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New Day

Zelenskyy Demands Punishment for Russian Aggression; Black NFL Coaches Being Iced Out of Top Jobs, Investigation Finds; Biden Declares Major Disaster in Puerto Rico as Rebuilding Starts. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 22, 2022 - 07:30   ET





UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY: A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressing the United Nations and urging world leaders to strip Moscow of its veto power in the U.N. Security Council. His speech comes as Putin announces a partial mobilization of Russian citizens and raised the specter of nuclear weapons.

Joining me now is Samantha Power, who is at the center of the U.S. government's response to the global toll of this war. She said of USAID, that agency that distributes billions of dollars in U.S. aid abroad, she was also U.S Ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama. Administrator, thank you so much for joining us.


BERMAN: When Zelenskyy notes the challenges of having Russia with a permanent seat on the Security Council, I mean, how has that stood in the way of the world coming together at the United Nations to take action?

POWER: Well, this is not a new phenomenon. I was at the United Nations when the war in Syria was raging even more than it is today, and it still rages more quietly but with great human toll, and Russia used its veto again and again to protect Syria, which was gassing its people at the time, to protect itself because it was bombarding Aleppo, like it was Dresden and just horrific attacks on civilian centers, infrastructure, et cetera. And now we see Russia protecting itself.

And you heard President Biden yesterday just saying no member state of the United Nations can rip up the U.N. Charter, lop off part of a neighbor, commit aggression of this magnitude.

And I would note something that it seems now so obvious that Zelenskyy would be speaking before the U.N., but, of course, he's in Ukraine, just another small testament to how isolated Russia is.


That actually doesn't happen at the U.N., you don't get to beam in and do your speech. So, Russia called a vote and said, no, this can't happen, and just about everybody in the U.N. voted with Zelenskyy to be able to hear his voice.

And it is structural. I mean, U.N. Security Council is blocked from reaching its potential, but, nonetheless, the U.N. is still a good venue for showing that isolation for the Russian Federation in light of its war crimes and its aggression.

BERMAN: When Putin announces a partial mobilization before the winter, presumably, what challenges does that pose to you and your efforts here in the ripple effects of this conflict around the world?

POWER: Well, we want the war to end, so that's first and foremost. So, when somebody is mobilizing, that gives an indication that they're intent on ramping up. It is also, as you know, as a practical matter, a testament to the desertions, the lack of enthusiasm the Russian people have for fighting this war, the chaos on the battlefield that the Russian Federation is facing.

But from our standpoint, it's going to be a long winter ahead in Ukraine. We've already -- the American people have already given $1.5 billion to support humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. But the -- as you say, the cascading effects around the world are severe, 44 percent of Africa's wheat comes from Ukraine and Russia. And while the U.N. has made headway in getting some of that wheat out of Ukraine, it's nowhere near the flow that there was before the war.

Russia is the world's largest fertilizer producer. Fertilizer is absolutely critical to food security around the world. The prices of fertilizer in most parts of the world is up as much as double. And that means you plant half the land if you're living on the edge, if you're living on the margin, every little bit of fertilizer makes a difference.

And so the war has to end for the sake of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, the people of Ukraine, the people even of Russia who are getting conscripted and want no part of this. But Putin's war is not just a war against Ukraine, it's a war that is causing hunger globally.

BERMAN: Well, if it doesn't end this winter, and let's presume from a moment that it won't at the rate it's going right now, President Biden just announced an additional, what, $2.9 billion in food aid, to aid food insecurity around the world. How is this going to get to the people in need? And what have been seeing in terms of their perception of the U.S.? Given how much they are suffering because of what is happening in Ukraine, how open are they to the U.S. of assistance right now?

POWER: Well, they are facing an hour that they -- the royal they -- I mean, it depends on which country we're talking about. I was in Somalia where there's unprecedented drought. I was in Pakistan where third of the country is under water. So, the needs are different everywhere, but there are needs in so many parts of the world, climate change, of course, being the chronic condition that's causing these extreme weather events, there are harming food insecurity compounded then by Putin.

When you meet a country's need at such a moment of grave crisis, they remember. And the United States is the world's largest humanitarian donor. The share of humanitarian aid we are providing now is larger than it has been in the past, thanks to bipartisan support in Congress. So, we know a lot about the bipartisan support for the people of Ukraine but people, I think, no less that there's bipartisan support for actually meeting food security needs around the world.

We at this U.N. General Assembly raised with the United States, working with UNICEF, raised an additional $280 million for a miracle paste to actually help kids who are wasting, a little paste that you take where it basically resuscitates a child who looks like they're on death's door.

So, what the United States does is it leverages our assistance to get other countries to step up and do more, but the needs are unprecedented. Last year, we had never faced anything like the degree of food insecurity and the degree of need, the number of conflicts in the world are greater than at any points since the end of the cold war. And now, just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, it is worse. So, philanthropy, private sector, individuals and governments now need to step to support folks in need.

BERMAN: The need greater than ever before with no apparent end in sight, at least now. Samantha Power, thank you so much for being with us. Thank you for the work that you do.

POWER: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: A new investigation shows black NFL head coaches perform about as well as their white counterparts but face significant hurdles getting and keeping their jobs. One of those coaches does join us next.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, a Florida lawmaker is now hoping to block Governor DeSantis from organizing more migrant flights. We'll have the details ahead.



KEILAR: As millions enjoy the start of the NFL season, The Washington Post has an in-depth investigation about how the league blocks black coaches from top jobs, even though the players are 60 percent black. The analysis shows that black coaches continue to be underrepresented, and despite their successes, they are more likely to be fired than their white counterparts, they're also less likely to be hired for the types of mid-level coaching jobs that lead to head coaching positions and they spend more time in those less lucrative mid-level coaching jobs than their white counter parts.

And the Rooney Rule that was adopted in 2003, requiring teams to interview at least one coach of color for open head coach and front office jobs has failed to address the inequity.

Joining us now to talk about is Hue Jackson. He is a former NFL head coach for the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders, and he is currently the head football coach at Grambling State University. Coach, thank you so much for being with us this morning and for taking part in this story that we see in The Post here.

As The Post points out, black coaches have long felt that they're playing by a different set of rules, that they have to outperform significantly their white counter parts, and this analysis of hiring and firing pretty much supports that. So, when you're looking at this report and at what Roger Goodell has said this past year about hiring practices being unacceptable, what does the league need to do now?


HUE JACKSON, FORMER NFL HEAD COACH, OAKLAND RAIDERS: I think they need to just really go about making change. I think, you know, you mentioned it earlier about the Rooney Rule. I think anything that is not, you know, really in the constitutional bylaws of the national football league, to me, really can't be enforced. So, at the same time I thought it was a great rule when it started, to give minorities an opportunity just to be interviewed, not that they had to be hired, that you really, truly have to dig in a little deeper so that these men have an opportunity to have chances at these jobs.

KEILAR: Because in practice, it seems like it's not working, right? Brian Flores, who filed a class action suit after was fired from the Miami Dolphins earlier this year says it just ended spawning what he calls sham interviews. So, does that Rooney Rule need to be totally scrapped? What needs to be put in its place?

JACKSON: Well, I guess, and I'm thankful that there was a Rooney Rule, that it opened a door for minorities just to be interviewed. I think now the real change means you have got to be very intentional on making sure that these minority candidates have a legitimate chance at the job. It's one thing to go interview for the job and it's another thing to truly interview for a job.

And I think we've all felt the weight of being in some interviews where we know we really didn't have a chance and you had to take the interview just so you can have maybe the next opportunity. I think it's so important to understand the lay of the land, understand who the owners are, who the decision-makers are, so you can get the best opportunity when you have that chance. KEILAR: Your career, Hue, is so interesting, because, in a way, you're sort of an anomaly. You had these offensive coaching opportunities, you were Joe Flacco's Q.B. coach. And those are really the kinds of opportunities that pave the way to a head coaching job. But what this report makes so clear is that those are the kinds of opportunities that most black coaching talent do not get. How do you address that?

JACKSON: Well, you said it. I think, and I have heard that the National Football League is trying to address it the best they can, by hiring on staffs two minorities to be on the offensive side of the football to work closely with the coordinators and the quarterback coaches.

I think that's great. But you have to make sure that those things are truly being done, that the guy is getting the knowledge and the opportunity that he needs to be able to coach that position at a high level. Because I truly believe on the offensive side of the ball, if you don't coach the quarterback, the chances of you becoming a coordinator and the chances of you becoming head coach doesn't happen.

KEILAR: This also, of course, comes down to the owners, right? I mean, they're the ones ultimately making these decisions. And something that struck me about this analysis and this story by The Washington Post, it's a series of stories, but this initial story was that only one owner out of 32 even agreed to be interviewed for this article, and it was Art Rooney II. What does that tell you about their willingness to really get out in front of this problem?

JACKSON: I think it says it all. The fact that they don't want to talk about it but yet the league talks about diversity and inclusion, to me, that says it all. And until the owners make a real decision that they're going to truly engage in this process that the National Football League wants, I don't think there will be change.

KEILAR: Well, Hue, this is a conversation we're going to keep on having. It's a fascinating series of pieces that they're doing in The Washington Post and we appreciate you speaking with us about it. Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you.

KEILAR: Iranian women seen burning their head scarves in protest following the death of a young woman there. Ahead, we'll speak to Christiane Amanpour about these demonstrations and why her interview with Iran's leader was canceled at the last minute.

BERMAN: Plus, CNN live on the ground in Puerto Rico as communities rebuild following Hurricane Fiona.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This wasn't Maria. It was supposed to be a more fluid process. There's no system, no electricity, no water in Puerto Rico. That's the problem we have.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so used to it. It doesn't affect me. There have been moments when I weep. But now, no, nothing, it gets flooding and I just keep going.


KEIALR: This morning, crews are facing setbacks restoring power to Puerto Rico, as more than 1 million homes and businesses there are in the dark. President Biden is now approving a major disaster declaration there after Hurricane Fiona unleashed torrential rains, causing widespread damage and an island-wide blackout. Thousands of people are also suffering without water.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is live for us in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, with the very latest. Leyla, what can you tell us?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, we are on the northern part of the island. And lucky for these folks, that's what they tell me anyway, they do have power and water. But now, the clean-up begins as the majority of the island remains in the darkness. 38 percent of customers here have power. So, that means nearly 60 percent of the island still does not have power. And then when it comes to water, you have about 60 percent that have had water restored. So, quite a bit of progress overnight when it comes to water. But, still, the majority of the island still does not have power days after Hurricane Fiona.

In this area where I am right now, this is an area that was completely inundated, completely flooded.


Most of these residents were just able to come back from the shelter yesterday. And so they spent much of the day cleaning that -- cleaning their homes out. That's why you see the debris, the furniture, their lives, essentially, their possessions out on the road here, lining the streets, waiting for pick up.

But as you mentioned, that major disaster declaration means essentially that there will be more resources freed up, they'll be able to have more funds available to help in getting back to whatever sense of normalcy may come after Hurricane Maria, earthquakes, COVID and now Hurricane Fiona here on this island, Brianna.

BERMAN: Leyla, the people that you're talking to who have lived through so much, and you just went through the litany, from Maria to today, how are they coping? Where do they find the strength?

SANTIAGO: I actually asked -- there's a woman who lived here next to me. Her name is Patria Diaz (ph). I asked her about that yesterday. I said, how are you coping with all of this? She has lost a bit of hope, feels like that have been forgotten. And she points out, she's says, look, I'm getting older, I'm not 30 years old anymore, I can't buy another house and it feels like most people have forgot everything that has just battered this island over the last five years.

John and Brianna, we have talked about this all week long. Take note of the timing. It was five years ago this week that Hurricane Maria changed the lives forever of everybody on this island. So, there was a lot of trauma, a lot of anxiety tied to Hurricane Fiona, hoping that history would not repeat itself, not only when it comes to the disaster that Mother Nature caused but also the response among government officials and the communities here to what was destroyed.

KEILAR: Yes, and just the constant rebuilding at a certain point, as she said, she's not 30 anymore. And to do it over and over again is just exhausting. Leyla, thank you so much for that report.

New Day continues right now.

BERMAN: A legally bruising 24 hours for Donald Trump and a bizarre new defense.

I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.

Overnight, the Department of Justice scored a significant win in the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago for classified documents. An appeals court reversed a judge's decision and will now allow investigators to use some 100 classified documents as part of their criminal probe. Now, neither the special master nor Trump's legal team will have access to them.

Part of the appeals court reasoning is that the Trump team has never produced any evidence or even any arguments that the documents were declassified or that Donald Trump needs any access to them.

On that subject also overnight, Trump offered a, frankly, odd defense.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You're the president of the United States. You can declassify just by saying it's declassified, even by thinking about it because you're sending it to Mar-a-Lago to wherever you're sending it. And there doesn't have to be a process. There can be a process but it doesn't have to be. You're the president. You make that decision. So, when you send it, it's declassified. I declassified everything.


BERMAN: If you talk to experts, they'll tell you he seems he's to be creating a new security category, declassified in his mind. We'll have more on that in a moment.

KEILAR: In New York, Trump, some of his children and his organization accused of fraud, deceiving lenders, insurers, tax officials over the value of his properties for more than a decade. The New York attorney general wants the Trump Organization dissolved.

Also in New York, Trump is now facing a new sexual battery lawsuit from E. Jean Carroll, who accuses him of raping her in a department store during in the mid 90s. Trump has denied her accusations.

Finally, CNN broke the news that Ginni Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to sit down for a voluntary interview with the House January 6th committee. The committee has wanted to talk with Thomas about her role in Trump's efforts to overturn the election.

BERMAN: With me now is CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig, a former state and federal prosecutor.

And, Elie, I want to start with this appeals court, this three-panel part of an appeals court here, which issued this surgical takedown of a district court judge. What did it say?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, John. This is a big win for the Justice Department over a very small but very important set of documents.

Now, how did we get here? Two weeks ago, the trial judge in this case ordered that there will be a special master. He's now been appointed, this senior U.S. district judge, Judge Dearie. DOJ did not want the special master at all.


They lost at the district court. So, the way it was going to work was all 11,000 documents seized at Mar-a-Lago have to go through the special master.