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New Day

CEO's Predict Recession in Next Year; Key races for Control of the Senate; Competitive Angler Steve Hendricks is Interviewed about the Fishing Cheating Scandal; Alex Jones Trial Resumes. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired October 04, 2022 - 06:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: What's going to be the determining factor between whether it is mild or not?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So, I think what these CEOs are telling us is they don't buy this idea there will be somehow a magical soft landing, that the Fed is going to be able to jack up interest rates and then we're carefully going to bring the economy down from that. They don't think that's going to happen.

So, what does a mild recession look like? Maybe two shallow quarters of negative GDP growth. Maybe you see the jobless rate rise a little bit. The jobless rate doubled in the terrible financial crisis. I don't think anybody is calling for that.

There is a pathway, though, that I think is really interesting that economists are talking about, where, if you have a lot of people starting to come into the labor market, you could actually see jobless rate rise without massive layoffs if people start coming in. maybe that happens.

BERMAN: The unemployment rate could go up even though job cuts won't actually be happening.

ROMANS: Right.

BERMAN: It's possible. It's a technical thing.

Mark, Christine, thank you both very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: Drama this morning in the Georgia Senate race. Republican Herschel Walker denying a report that he paid for a woman's abortion.

Will Smith teasing his post-slap return to Hollywood with a new film about the Civil War. Will he get his comeback?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got weights in fish! (INAUDIBLE).


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: That is a cheating scandal that is rocking the world of competitive fishing. A top angler who was there and saw it all, and then won, joins us live.




HERSCHEL WALKER (R), GEORGIA SENATE NOMINEE: But I (INAUDIBLE) this is a flat-out lie. And now you know how important this seat is. This seat is very important that they'll do anything to win this seat and lie, because they want to make it about everything else except what the true problems that we have in this country is. This inflation. The border wide open. Crime. They don't want to talk about that.


BERMAN: The Republican nominee for Senate in Georgia, Herschel Walker, denying a "Daily Beast" report that he paid for his ex-girlfriend's abortion more than a decade ago. This would fly in the face of his anti-abortion stance on the campaign trail.

CNN cannot independently confirm the report from "The Daily Beast," but the drama did not stop there. Not at all. Walker's son lashed out at his father on social media, accusing him of lying and of not being a family man. Walker responded on Twitter saying, I love my son no matter what.

KEILAR: And so here we are with five weeks to go until the midterms. So, how do this Georgia race, other key matchups as well, impact the balance of power?

Joining us now, CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza.

I know, Chris, that you're looking here at a handful of key races that really could change the balance of power in the Senate. Take us through this.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: OK, I'm going to get to Georgia in a minute because that race is one of them, Brianna.

But I want to first start on where we are broadly. Set the scene.

OK, there are 35 seats up in this election. This is important. There are 7 more Republican seats than there are Democratic seats. So there are more targets for Democrats than Republican.

But this is the other piece of math I want you to remember. Democrats have a one seat - that should have been a one -- have a one-seat majority, OK? So we're talking about very narrow margins here.

Let's get to Georgia. Let's talk about that race. This is Raphael Warnock, who you'll remember was elected in that January 2021 special election. And Walker. Walker's campaign. This is not new. Lots of controversy has followed Herschel Walker throughout his campaign. But he's still within striking distance -- excuse me, striking distance. 46-41. That's a manageable race.

The thing you have to remember about this too. If neither candidate gets 50 percent, it goes to a December runoff with the top two vote getters. So, this race might not be over in November. It might go to December.

I want to go through a few other ones. Pennsylvania is probably the race most people who are even following this at all closely have heard of. This is John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor, against Mehmet Oz, the TV doctor. Here's what's important here. This is a d plus two race. Sorry, Dr. Oz, I wrote right on his face there. This is a d plus two race right now. This has moved. Fetterman was ahead by high single digits for a while in this race. He really had Oz on the defensive. Now Fetterman is starting to close a little bit. Oz is hitting Fetterman on crime, which is a very common theme in these Senate races, Republicans attacking on crime.

Then, let's go to Nevada. I call this the -- this is sort of your under the radar Senate race. It's out west. Not as many people talk about it. But look here, this is the incumbent. This is the incumbent. I'll write "inc" there. Catherine Cortez Masto, 43. Adam Laxalt, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2020, and happened to unite Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell behind him, which is a pretty amazing thing given what we've seen over the last two days, 45. Now, most of the polling here has this race - I would say this is effectively tied.

But these are the three races. Georgia, very close, as you can see. Pennsylvania, basically tied. Nevada, effectively tied. These are the three races, I think, that when we get down to it are going to be the closest and are going to be the deciders of which party controls the Senate.


BERMAN: There are the three. But if you were to go to four.


BERMAN: If you could count higher than three, Chris, what would be the fourth Senate race.

CILLIZZA: One, two - oh, sorry, I can't - that's going to take too long for me to count to four, John. I'm just going to go to this next slide. OK, I think - I think the next one there is this race, Wisconsin. Ron Johnson against Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. Johnson plus two of late. That's a change as well. Johnson, stop me if you've heard this before, a little bit of a broken record, has gone after Barnes on his crime record and thinks he's set on crime and has made up ground. Let me give you a sleeper race, though? I think New Hampshire, we've

talked a lot about because of Don Bolduc, the controversial Republican nominee. Ohio we've talked a lot about because JD Vance is the nominee there and is underperforming. But it's Ohio. Trump won by eight points there.


This is the race people aren't talking about. North Carolina. Ted Budd, member of Congress, Republican, Trump endorsed, won the primary. He's running against a woman named Cheri Beasley. A poll came out that showed it tied. Now, again, it's North Carolina. It's a state Trump won. But it's also a state Barack Obama won in 2008.

So, keep an eye on North Carolina. It's a little bit outside of that immediate narrow -- this, if we're ranking, I'm going to put that one fourth, Wisconsin. But keep an eye on North Carolina because I think that might be the race we're not talking about, but a race that actually winds up being a little bit closer than most people expect.


KEILAR: All right, we will keep our eye on that. And, just to remind people, Chris Cillizza, that you have a new podcast, "Downside Up," which explores how the world would change with even tiny shifts in the status quo. You can listen to this wherever you get your podcasts.

Chris, thank you so much.

CILLIZZA: You got it.

KEILAR: Heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the regime's violent crackdown on protesters. What President Biden vows to do about it.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got weights in fish!




BERMAN: Something stinks in Ohio, and it's not just the fish. It's something inside them. The competitive world of fishing rocked by a cheating scandal. We're going to speak with the real winner of this who saw it all happen.




SETH MEYERS, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": When he was preparing to leave Walter Reed Medical Center in 2020 after being treated for the coronavirus,, then President Trump reportedly told aides he wanted to exit the hospital in a wheelchair and then stand up to reveal a Superman shirt, you know, just like Superman would never do.

JIMMY FALLON, HOST,, "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON": Some news from overseas. I heard that today at the Vatican Pope Francis met with Apple's CEO Tim Cook. I guess when you're the pope and have tech issues, that's who they sent.

Meanwhile, Adam and Eve were like, oh, so now we're cool with apples? Interesting. OK, good. Interesting.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Drop what you're doing, ladies and gentlemen, and focus up right here because there has been a devastating scandal in the world of sport. At a fishing tournament in Cleveland on Friday, a duo that had been declared winners were caught cheating. Of course, this was fishing. So, after they were caught, they were released.


KEILAR: And that is the perfect segue to our next guest there. Colbert referencing the investigation underway in an apparent cheating scandal at a major walleye fishing tournament in Ohio. On Friday, two fishermen, Jake Runyan and Chase Cominsky, set to win a nearly $30,000 prize when they were disqualified after it was discovered that their fish were stuffed with lead weights and also fish filets.

Here's the moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got weights in fish!





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's the other one?



KEILAR: Tensions ran very high after that moment.

Joining us now is Steve Hendricks, he is a competitor angler who was part of the competition that day. He was there for that moment. Steve and his teammate, Brian Ulmer, ended up winning team of the year honors after those two allegedly cheating fishermen were disqualified.

Steve, thank you so much -- first off, congratulations. That's a big honor to be team of the year. But just tell us about this moment as you witnessed these lead balls being pulled from these fish. What was that like?

STEVE HENDRICKS, LAKE ERIE WALLEYE TRAIL TEAM OF THE YEAR WINNER: Well, it was a crazy weekend. We had -- they came up and they had their fish out in the - in the tank and they were getting ready to come up and they picked up a fish that should have weighed about four pounds and they set it on the scale and it said eight. And then they put the rest of their five in and it came up to 35.

So, everybody was going nuts, as you can see in the video. And it was - it was very obvious this time that they weren't going to get away with that.

So, it's just -- it's a shame that that had to happen. And I'm just glad that they got caught. And it's been a long time coming. So.

KEILAR: A long time coming, you said. You've suspected this in previous competitions. One of the things we've learned is that there are actually polygraphs in some of the larger competitions, and one of these competitors failed a polygraph in a previous one, which cost them.

You've suspected this, you and others.

HENDRICKS: We -- people had good ideas and thoughts about it, but like anything, you know, you want to give people the benefit of the doubt. But, you know, some -- when you fail one and pass one and there's different things and they blow everybody out of the water by five, six, seven, eight pounds every time and just, you know, some shady stuff going on. So, they've been investigated. They've done the polygraphs. You know, Jason Fischer has done a great job trying to do polygraphs and testing and asking questions and doing everything he can do to keep it legit. But, they got - they got it this time. So.

KEILAR: You know, I wonder, in this case, we're talking about weights of almost eight pounds. And it seems like maybe if they'd gone for less they would have gotten away with it and still won.

So, what needs to change in pro fishing to make sure this doesn't happen again?

HENDRICKS: So, I think they're going to - they're going to bring in some -- maybe some kind of x-ray, maybe scanning, or maybe top five boats, maybe they open the fish to see what's in the fish and that way take all the question out of it. I mean there's - you know, this is a - this is a rare, rare thing. I mean 99.9 percent of the group is -- there's none of this. This isn't something that happens all the time. And, you know, we've got a great group of guys. They got a lot of benefits. They do a lot of donations. We have great sponsors. And it's a great group of guys out there doing what they love. And it's just a shame we had to deal with this.


But, at the same time, it's a good thing. It will be an eye-opener for everybody. And we got the bad ones out of there. So, going forward there will be, like I say, those -- maybe a few of those item and we're and kicking around a bunch of ideas now, what we can do to make it better.

KEILAR: Yes, look, there's a lot of money at stake here, both in the earnings and when it comes to sponsorships for sure. But county prosecutors in Cleveland have opened an investigation into this. Have you talked to them? What do you think needs to happen here?

HENDRICKS: I really haven't. We just, you know, Jason, the tournament director, Jason Fischer, he handed over everything that we had. They were there collecting evidence and getting everything. And I just hope that - I hope they get them for everything they can for what they've done to everybody. These guys are - you know, they're out there and they've got a lot of money tied up in trucks and boats and travel and work. And, you know, it means a lot to them. That's what they love to do, and they're out there trying to do a great job. And it's just - it's unfortunate that a select few can come in and ruin all that for you. So, I hope they get the max.

KEILAR: Well, look, it's an unbelievable moment caught on camera there.

Steve, thank you so much for being with us again, and also congratulations again to you and your partner. We appreciate your time this morning.

HENDRICKS: All right. Thank you very much.

KEILAR: Are migrants in New York traveling to Florida to help out in hurricane relief? We have a live report ahead.

Plus this.


NICOLE HOCKLEY, DYLAN HOCKLEY'S MOTHER: I got sent pictures of dead kids because I was told that as a crisis actor I didn't really know what a dead kid looked like. So, this is what it should look like.


BERMAN: Emotional testimony in the trial against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. What to expect as the trial resumes today.



BERMAN: This morning, the trial is set to resume against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. It comes after a week of emotional testimony as the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre described the years of abuse they say they suffered after Jones spread the lie that the mass shooting was a hoax.

CNN's Jean Casarez has been covering this case, joins us now.

What can we expect next?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we believe the plaintiffs are very close to resting their case. Now, they knew when they filed this case that they were going to have to take the stand. They knew they were going to have to relive the horrors of the Sandy Hook massacre, and the horrors of the aftermath. They continued to take the stand. And reliving the horrors, they are.


CASAREZ (voice over): The damages trial against Alex Jones resumes today after more than a week of emotional testimony from the victims' families. Robby (ph) Parker's daughter Emilie was murdered in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He testified he was accosted by a man in Washington state in 2016, venomously cursing at him, accusing him of being a crisis actor who was faking his daughter's death and profiting from the government.

ROBERT PARKER, EMILIE PARKER'S FATHER: For years I've been dealing with this. And everybody was online or everybody was in the comfort of their studio in some other state and I nerve had a chance to tell anybody how I felt or what I thought.

And I turn around and I looked at him and just - I'm paraphrasing at this point, but, like, just, how dare you? You're talking about my daughter. She was killed. Who do you think you are?

CASAREZ: It was this video of Parker the day after the shooting played by Jones repeatedly in slow motion that served as the launching point for his false claim the mass shooting was a hoax.

PARKER: I already felt like I had failed Emilie as a dad when she was alive because I have -- because we sent her to school. And I was especially starting to feel like I was failing her in her death because of what people were saying about her and what they were saying about me trying to remember her.

CASAREZ: The Sandy Hook victim's families have won their defamation case against Jones. This trial is to determine how much in damages Jones and his company, Fee Speech Systems, will pay the 15 plaintiffs in this case.

Jillian Soto testified in 2015 she was harassed by a man at the end of a 5k run in her sister Vicki Soto's memory.

JILLIAN SOTO-MARINO, VICKI SOTO'S SISTER: So this gentlemen then was like - he took the picture and shoved it in my face and asked me to explain this picture and why I was pretending that my sister existed. He was eerily calm but also aggressive. CASAREZ: Other victims' family members have taken the stand describing

the harassment and barrage of disturbing messages they have received over the last decade.

NICOLE HOCKLEY, DYLAN HOCKLEY'S MOTHER: I got sent pictures of dead kids because I was told that, as a crisis actor, I didn't really know what a dead kid looked like. So, this is what it should look like.

I got a mail - a piece of mail telling me to slit my wrists before they did it for me.


CASAREZ: So, once the plaintiffs rest their case, we believe it will be this week, shortly, then it's the defense case. The pivotal question, will Alex Jones take the stand in his own defense, John, to be questioned by his own attorney, easy questions, right, and he would just talk and talk about the reasons why this all happened, why he said what he said. But then there's cross-examination. But it will be a pivotal decision.

BERMAN: We'll wait and see what happens. The pain from those families, just unimaginable. Unimaginable.

Jean Casarez, thank you so much for your reporting.


NEW DAY continues right now.