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Migrants Say They Were Misled and Promised Jobs & Shelter; CNN on Frontlines of Ukraine's Counteroffensive Against Russians; Special Master Appointed to Review Seized Trump Files; Security Challenges Face British from Queen's Funeral. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired September 16, 2022 - 06:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Playing politics with human beings. Good morning to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman.


The migrant battle getting more heated with President Biden now weighing in. He ripped GOP governors of Florida and Texas for flying and busing more migrants to liberal areas in the Northeast. The president speaking at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus event last night.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Instead of working with us on solutions, Republicans are playing politics with human beings, using them as props. What they're doing is simply wrong. It's un- American; it's reckless.


KEILAR: The president adding there's a process to manage migrants at the border and saying Republican officials should not use political stunts to interfere.

This comes after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took credit for sending two planes of migrants to Martha's Vineyard.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott sent two buses of migrants to the vice president's residence in Washington.

Abbott and DeSantis are both strident critics of the Biden administration and the White House efforts to secure the Southern border. It's still not clear why the Florida governor organized flights for migrants from Texas, but he made clear he doesn't want them in his state.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We are not a sanctuary state, and it's better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction. And yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures.


BERMAN: And there are signs the migrants he sent to Martha's Vineyard may have been misled.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When you got off the plane, I asked him what do you think of this place?

"Beautiful, gorgeous," he says. "The people are very friendly."

"There were three options, he says: Washington, Utah, here in Massachusetts, whatever was available. The plane left and brought us here."


KEILAR: That is CNN's Miguel Marquez, who joins us now live from Edgartown, Massachusetts. You've been speaking with people there on the ground. What are they telling you, Miguel?

MARQUEZ: Yes, look, it's a little murky how they ended up where they were in Texas two days ago and then ended up here on Martha's Vineyard a couple of days later.

This is the second night they are spending here. It's not clear how many more nights they will be here.

But from what we understand, we spoke to far more than a dozen immigrants between myself and my colleagues on CNN Espanol. And they all said the same thing, that they were approached by somebody in San Antonio at the shelter that they were at. They were asked if they wanted an opportunity, if they needed help.

When they agreed to do it, they were taken to another location, a hotel. They were held there for some days until the planes came. Then they brought them all together, put them on the planes. They all left. They were all from Venezuela. They were all in Texas. They all got on those two planes there. And then they -- they went on.

The planes landed in Florida and then the Carolinas, probably for fuel. No one else got on. No one else got off. And then they landed here. Happy to be here, but confused.

For the lawyers and for the officials trying to help them out here, meeting their immediate needs, because most of them had little, if anything, on them. That's job one. It's already getting cool in the mornings, so they needed to get them clothes, food, shelter, all that sort of stuff.

Lawyers are saying now that, now that they can sort through their cases a little bit, it's going to be a really tough road ahead. Because we spoke to people who have their first hearing, for instance, on their asylum claim in Los Angeles, in Cincinnati, back in Texas, in D.C. They have to get there.

And so the state of Massachusetts is now sort of coordinating with folks here on Martha's Vineyard to figure out where they can get them from here and then figure out where most of them can go, where they want to go and what makes sense, given their asylum claims in the days ahead.

Back to you guys.

KEILAR: All right. Miguel, thank you for being on the ground for this.

MARQUEZ: You got it.

BERMAN: It's good that Miguel was focusing on these people as human beings. There's also politics at play here. And for that, let's bring in CNN's senior data reporter, Harry Enten.

Good morning to you, sir.


BERMAN: So let's talk about views of migrants seeking asylum among Republicans and then versus the population as a whole.

ENTEN: Yes. So, you know, it's kind of sometimes difficult to get an exact poll question, but this was basically the closest I could get. And this is basically allowing refugees who are crossing the Southern border.

And you can see here, this is a CNN poll. Fifty-six percent of Americans overall favor allowing those folks to cross the border to seek asylum here.

But look at Republicans. It's just 35 percent. Sixty-five percent of Republicans oppose. And I would argue that this poll question is actually a little tilted to try and get you to the favor side. But the fact is, the clear majority of Republicans do not want those migrants seeking asylum.

BERMAN: So when you're looking at these numbers from a political perspective, this looks like a base play, Harry.


BERMAN: And there's more evidence of that.

ENTEN: It looks like a base play. And so here's a broader question on immigration.

How do you feel about the level of immigration to the country today? This is among Republicans who were polled this year. Just 11 percent -- just 11 percent of Republicans are satisfied. Oh, my goodness gracious. Eighty-seven percent are dissatisfied, according to Gallup.

And they've been polling this question since the beginning of the century. And this is the highest level of dissatisfaction with immigration rates into this country that Gallup has ever recorded among Republicans.

BERMAN: Again, when we say a base play, what we mean is from a political perspective, trying to create enthusiasm within your base, amongst Republicans, maybe get them to the polls. And what are Republicans saying in the polls about where immigration ranks in issues they care about?

ENTEN: Yes. So if we look at the most urgent issue facing the country, again, among Republicans, inflation is No. 1 at 45 percent. But look at what's No. 2. Immigration is No. 2 at 16 percent. That beats out crime. It beats out election laws. It beats out abortion.

I should note, immigration ranks just fifth for all voters. But again, the base play, going after Republicans. Immigration is a very important issue to them.

BERMAN: And I just want to point out the date on this poll. It's actually a couple weeks old. And you might think, or you might posit, perhaps, what Republicans are trying to do, Republican leaders is to get that number up as this date gets later and closer to an election day.

ENTEN: Closer to the election, exactly.

BERMAN: In terms of other views that Republicans have, and it's not just about immigration, right?

ENTEN: It's not just about immigration. It's also socking it to Democrats, right? Sending them up to those Northeast liberal cities.

And I think this gives you a very good indication of how much Republicans at this particular point do not like Democrats. A very unfavorable view of the Democratic Party among Republicans. This year, Pew Research, 62 percent. Not just an unfavorable view, a very unfavorable review.

And you can see the time trend here. Back at the beginning of the century, just 20 percent of Republicans held a very unfavorable view of the Democratic Party. That number climbed to 30, 43. It was even 55 just five years ago. It's now 62 percent. The clear majority of Republicans really just hate Democrats.

BERMAN: These are different times. I mean, we are talking about different times, and that's not such a distant past, Harry.

All right. Governor DeSantis, it appears, sent these migrants from Texas, not from Florida. So it's not technically a Florida issue. He may be making a more national play, if you get my drift, Harry. What other evidence is there to that effect.

ENTEN: Yes, yes. So essentially, look, we learned from Donald Trump, if you're a Republican trying to win a Republican primary, you want to get on television. You want to get on FOX News.

And we can see, Ron DeSantis is a master of this. He has the clear lead among the non-Trump potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates, at 1,021 over the last six months. That clearly beats all the potential other competitors. This is a play not just for the base, but it's a play for media attention. And he's got it.

BERMAN: He's getting himself on TV, and he's getting an issue that he wants to be on TV back on TV.

ENTEN: Exactly.

BERMAN: All right Harry Enten, thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: Thank you very much for that.

KEILAR: This morning, Ukraine's counter-offensive blitz sending Russian forces running back across the border. Now Ukrainians are readjusting after months of Russian control in the town of Vovchansk, which sits just two miles from Russia and was seized on the first day of the war.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is live for us in Kharkiv, Ukraine, with more, where we can hear the air-raid sirens there, Nick. Can you give us the latest?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, intermittently, they go off here and sometimes close, sometimes distance, blasts, part, it seems, of Russia's bid to get some hold of the narrative by hitting targets, often infrastructure.

But they are losing fast around here, and the devastation in their wake quite clear. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, talking about 450 unmarked graves being found in the town of Izium.

But to the north, towards the border, evidence of their fast retreat, the void left behind them, and how close now Ukrainian forces are to that border.


WALSH (voice-over): The darkness is breaking quite suddenly up here, and the road to Russia's border with Ukraine strewn with what it left behind in its panic, including its own.

Two Russian soldiers shot dead in fighting about five days ago. Yet another sign the Kremlin doesn't care what or who it leaves behind.

This is Vovchansk, the closest town to Russia that Ukraine has taken back, and whose vital railways began the supply chain for most of Moscow's war.

The Russians, everyone says, just packed up and vanished a few days ago. They've always been so close, so part of life here. Any joy is not universal.

"They were not very good," says Andrei. "They didn't shoot anyone, though." "The hardest was to see their checkpoints and their 'Z' signs and feel

hatred growing in my heart," says Tatyana. "They can drink their oil and have their golden diamonds for dessert, but just leave us alone here."


Nastya is sailing ships, she says. Ukraine has been at war all the eight years she's known. "I think it will be better without them," she says. "It was uncomfortable having them here." Her parents, nearby, say fear meant they slept in their clothes all the six months.

WALSH: It's kind of strange here to see how almost unaffected so much of this town has been and how life seems to have slipped comfortably back into normal when the Russians just picked up and left.

And it gives you a feeling of how normality must still reign, just a matter of six kilometers away across the border in Russia.

WALSH (voice-over): But normal is never coming back, particularly to here, the borderline itself. Russia retreated back over it but must now live with the hatred it has stirred.

WALSH: The fact that Ukrainian forces are able to push right up to here, the beginning of the border buffer zone with Russia. Russia is just a matter of kilometers in that direction. It is another calamity Moscow has imposed upon itself.

Its opponent in this war and its struggling so deeply to defeat, is now so close to Russia's own towns and cities.

WALSH (voice-over): A moment long coming says local soldier Anton.

WALSH: How do you feel walking along the Ukraine-Russia border?

"Some people have waited this for eight years," he says. "It is the start of our victory."

WALSH (voice-over): Across the once-sleepy fields here, lives and harvests stalled, wilting. Yet another year will come.


WALSH (on camera): Now Brianna, the sirens have stopped here, but there is signs, possibly, up in that border area that things may already be accelerating. Russian officials saying there's been shelling into the Belgorod region that borders the place where we were just in that report.

And concerns, I think, too, is that us entering a new chapter in this war. It's clear Russia is losing, retreating in this area, certainly, but has to find a response, say many of its advocates, to this stark change in its fortunes.

Does that mark attacks on infrastructure? Do we now see Ukraine possibly taking the fight more to Russia's own territory? A very messy chapter ahead but certainly, Ukraine on the front foot -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes. Very messy. We know you'll be watching it and reporting. Nick, thank you for that report

A major development in the investigation into former President Trump's handling of classified records. A federal judge appointing senior Judge Raymond Dearie as the special master who will review these documents seized from Mar-a-Lago last month.

Dearie was the only candidate for the job that the DOJ and Trump attorneys could agree on.

Southern Florida District Court Judge Aileen Cannon is giving Dearie a deadline of November 30 to finish his review. The DOJ had cited deadline in October, while Trump's team said they preferred 90 days.

So who is Judge Dearie? Here's what we know about the judge.

The 78-year-old Reagan appointee has served as a federal judge in New York since 1986. Dearie served as chief judge in the district from 2007 to 2011. He's now a senior judge, meaning his work load is somewhat lighter.

He also served a seven-year term on the U.S. FISA Court. Back in 2017, Dearie was one of the judges who approved an FBI request to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, which was part of that probe of potential Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Two of the four surveillance warrants granted by the FISA court have since been declared invalid, including one approved by Dearie.

So along with appointing a special master, Judge Cannon also rejected the Justice Department's bid to resume its criminal investigation into the content of the classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Joining me, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Joey Jackson; and CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Jennifer Rodgers.

Jen, let me start with you. Your take on this aspect of the ruling? No stay.

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, well, this is a terrible opinion. I mean, DOJ gave her an off-ramp for this. They said, Let's just talk about the 100 classified documents, for which there is no legal justification for letting Trump have those back, no privileges, nothing. And she still said no. She said, you still have to stop.

They put in a factual affidavit explaining the irreparable harm if they had to stop reviewing these documents. And there's no contrary facts. Judges are supposed to decide on the facts.

The evidence is the affidavit. Trump's teams put in no affidavit. She doesn't really contest any facts in the government's affidavit but just says, I'm not convinced. And at the end of her opinion, she tells us why, because you have to

consider the context, and the context here is it is the former president; and that governs everything for her.


BERMAN: In terms of the effect, though, Joey, what she does say is the only thing, I'm saying you can't do is use the content of these classified documents. You can't read out loud these documents to witnesses that you question. You can't put the content of these documents before a grand jury.

But you can put the fact that they exist before a grand jury. You can investigate how these documents got to a certain place. You can still talk to witnesses in general about the fact of the document. So can't an investigation continue?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think so. I think that it's very difficult to split hairs like that. When you're presenting anything to a grand jury, you want information. You want that information to be reliable. You want questions that grand jurors potentially have to be answered to the grand jurors' satisfaction. Those are the ones who are actually issuing the indictment.

But my only issue, you know, with respect to disagreeing with Jen a little bit is that it's about trust for me and the government. Right? I'm a defense attorney. OK? And as a defense attorney, I look to judges, generally, OK, generally support the prosecution's point of view. What the prosecution wants, the prosecution gets. We beg for things in court. Now, sit down, Mr. Jackson, thank you. Maybe tomorrow.

I think it's about people really having a sense of value and belief that what their government is doing is true and accurate. You can't just take representations of what a prosecutor gives you in court of what the information is. What's the harm in having a neutral party sit, evaluate, issue a judgement that both sides agree upon?

And I think it instills trust. A lot of people, believe it or not, do not agree and support what the government does. I think this pause, at the end of the day, whatever happens in this investigation, right, you're going to say you had a neutral third party evaluate, put it on pause. Now we can trust it. Let's resume and go again.

BERMAN: I detected a head nod there.

RODGERS: I mean, listen, it's based on nothing. That's the problem. You know, she has a legal analysis from DOJ as to why there is no legal basis for giving these documents to Trump. She has nothing from Trump. There's no legal analysis at all. And she doesn't provide any.

JACKSON: I get that.

RODGERS: There's no legal basis.

JACKSON: I get that. RODGERS: You can't judge based on that.

JACKSON: My only issue is that I just think at the end of the day, there's so much political spin on this, Jen. Everybody is out there: You know what, this -- this is a political hit job on the president, et cetera. You get a special master. Both sides agree. You look at the documents, pause the investigation. There's no rush.

BERMAN: We'll see. We'll see what Judge Dearie does also, because Judge Dearie has been told to prioritize the classified documents. It actually could be a very quick process on those alone. You can see Judge Dearie saying, OK, go ahead. You know, take them.

RODGERS: Except then what does Judge Cannon do? Because Trump's team will come back and say, No, no, Judge Dearie got it wrong. Judge Cannon, help us fix this. But then what does she do? That's the problem.

BERMAN: That's a fascinating question to consider going forward.

Jennifer Rodgers, Joey Jackson, thank you both for helping me understand this.

So a 70-year reign means an historic good-bye. Queen Elizabeth's funeral is giving British police what could be the biggest challenge they've ever faced. How authorities are dealing with just the huge rush of people in London.

A Republican Senate's candidate's extraordinary flip-flop. He now says the 2020 election wasn't stolen from Donald Trump after all.

KEILAR: And the disturbing videos the jury was shown in the latest Alex Jones trial involving his lies about Sandy Hook.



KEILAR: This morning in London, officials are closing the line for the public to see the queen's casket lying in state. Why? It is five miles long. There's a 14-hour wait.

King Charles currently in Wales. And all of this is coming just days before Queen Elizabeth's funeral. Perhaps the biggest security event that London has ever faced.

CNN's Tom Foreman is joining us now to tell us all about it -- Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Five miles long. Thousands and thousands of people are waiting in these long lines, weaving back and forth to pay their final respects while Queen Elizabeth lies in state.

But even more could turn out on Monday, when British lawmakers, heads of state, royalty from around the world will also arrive. It is a day that security experts say could be Scotland Yard's biggest test ever. So far, we know on Monday morning, a procession will take the queen's

coffin from the Palace of Westminster, which is basically where Parliament is, to where the state funeral will take place over here to Westminster Abbey.

They'll be followed by members of the royal family, including the king and people who work in both Queen Elizabeth and King Charles' households.

Importantly, the route here will be surrounded by members of the military. The dignitaries at the church itself are facing restrictions.

For example, the White House confirmed only President Biden and first lady Jill Biden were invited to the funeral. That's in contrast to, say, other state funerals, like the 2013 funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, where then-President Obama spoke but former presidents Clinton and Bush and their families also attended.

Now, overseas government representatives, including foreign royal families, will gather initially at Royal Hospital Chelsea and travel together to Westminster Abbey. What we were talking about earlier is right up here. They're coming from down in this area, then taking a shuttle bus from a wedding [SIC] -- to a reception later on. Or something like that. So they'll be coming this this distance down here to join a couple of miles, something like that.

Some of the royals' most important leaders will be moving in London at this point and then in the same room all together.

A former Metropolitan Police superintendent said -- told BBC Radio 4 that not only with the funeral itself be a target, but the crowds will be, too.


Following the state funeral, the coffin will be taken back. They'll move again from this point to Wellington Arch. If you've ever walked through London this way over toward Buckingham Palace, you have a sense of how far this is.

The foreign dignitaries will not come along on this, but King Charles III will lead some members of the royal family, on foot, behind the coffin while the queen consort, Camilla, and others follow by car.

Crowds are expected to line this entire route, and that walking procession has security experts extremely nervous.

Think about those images of young princes William and Harry with their family, walking behind their mother's coffin in the middle of London 25 years ago. Twenty-five years ago, before everything you know about terrorism today and everything else. A lot has happened since Princess Diana was laid to rest.

So much so, that if you think about it, Bob Broadhurst, who was in charge of policing strategy at Prince William and Catherine's 2011 wedding, the 2012 London Olympics, he contrasted -- contrasted this plan with an American model, with dignitaries in armored vehicles.

He said, Look at it this way. "The American model is you put everybody in armored vehicles. The royal family will be in open-top carriages, riding horses. And that crowd of however many millions will be on the streets and will not have been searched and cannot have been searched. It's absolutely frightening."

That's what they're dealing with in London. So the potential problems there. And this is all without considering potential protests or other issues that could break out before or during this procession. A very, very big day for security forces. Indeed, one of the biggest they may have ever faced.

KEILAR: Look, you and I have covered many an inaugural procession. And you see a leader get out, a president get out for, like, a block and you don't know where it's going to be.

FOREMAN: At Ronald Reagan's funeral, standing inside the National Cathedral, I remember looking out on the floor and saying, most of the leaders of the world for the past 20 years are in this building. Big challenge.

KEILAR: Yes, huge. Tom, thank you for that.

So it didn't take long. Right after his primary win, Donald Bolduc, GOP Senate nominee in New Hampshire, reversed his support for election lies. So why the about-face?

BERMAN: Former President Trump warning of big problems, quote, "like we've never seen," if he is indicted over his handling of classified documents after leaving office.