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New Day

New Details On Tense January 6th Call Between Trump, McCarthy; A Third Of U.S. Families Still Struggling To Find Infant Formula; Ralphie Returns: "A Christmas Story" Gets Sequel On HBO Max; Independent Spars With GOP's Lee At Debate In Key State Race; Declarations Of Independents As The Midterms Near; Concerns Mount Over Iranian Athlete Who Competed Without Hijab; New NBA Season Kicks Off Tonight With Doubleheader. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired October 18, 2022 - 08:30   ET



ROBERT DRAPER, AUTHOR, "WEAPONS OF MASS DELUSION: WHEN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY LOST ITS MIND": -- of the Republican Party, that if it's not in McCarthy's corner, he doesn't get to be Speaker, period.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: You also have some very interesting reporting that expands on what we know about the phone call during the riots at the Capitol between then President Trump and Kevin McCarthy. And you write about this. Part of it we've heard, "Well, Kevin, President Trump said to McCarthy by phone shortly before 3:00 in the afternoon on January 6. I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are." In this part, "More upset?"

"McCarthy yield back incredulously, according to an account he gave a few hours later to a Republican colleague. They're trying to f-ing kill me." So that's sort of something new. He's saying to him, you know, I'm upset. They're trying to kill me.

DRAPER: Sure. No, that's right. I mean, this is Kevin McCarthy, not just expressing chagrin and concern about the capital, but expressing deep existential concern for his own personal safety. And so, of course, that's relevant when we look at McCarthy's behavior in the weeks to follow when he then went to Mar-a-Lago and basically kissed Trump's ring, believing once again that without the MAGA base, they can't retake the majority and he can't be speaker.

KEILAR: It's really amazing that change, that quick evolution that we see, a new detail, it's so well in here really adding to what we know. Robert, thank you so much for being with us. The book is called, "Weapons of Mass Delusion." And again, it is out now. Thank you.

Yet another prediction this morning on where the U.S. economy is headed more on the warning of a 1990 style recession ahead.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And why a third of U.S. families are still struggling to find infant formula.


BERMAN: Time now for five things to know for your New Day. The credit ratings from Fitch, warning that stubborn inflation in the Fed's interest rates hikes will push the U.S. economy into a recession beginning by next spring. The silver lining, they expect that recession could be mild.

KEILAR: President Biden announcing the formal launch of the Federal Application for Americans seeking Student Loan Forgiveness. People can apply for student debt relief by filling out the form in English or Spanish at

BERMAN: Prosecutors in the Oath Keeper sedition trial alleging founder Stewart Rhodes and four of his top lieutenants spent thousands of dollars building an arsenal ahead of January 6, preparing to try and stop the peaceful transition of power.

KEILAR: A new survey reveals one-third of U.S. families are still struggling to find baby formula. Research shows the amount of products out of stock has been cut in half. But stock rates are still worse than they were when the shortage began several months ago.

BERMAN: New video captures the moment a train smashed into a bus in the Netherlands. Thankfully, the bus was empty and no one was injured.

KEILAR: Those are five things to know for your New Day. More on these stories all day on CNN and and don't forget to download the 5 Things podcast every morning.

BERMAN: So guess what movie is getting a sequel.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll shoot your eye out kid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Merry Christmas. Ho, ho, ho.



BERMAN: So finally at long last, a follow-up to "A Christmas Story."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dad? Dad? Dad? Oh fuck.


BERMAN: So "A Christmas Story" Christmas begins streaming on HBO Max on November 17.

KEILAR: I can't wait. I quote that movie all the time. My kids have no idea what I'm talking about. Maybe now they will.

BERMAN: I actually get to hang out with Peter Billingsley once, who I think is in the new one and actually has a piece of the "Christmas Story" franchise now. He helped put the show on Broadway. Super nice guy.

I have a confession and unpopular view here. I always found the movie like oddly dark. Like not a --

KEILAR: Oh I agree.

BERMAN: Like not a laugh out loud Christmas movie at all. If you were sitting down for a feelgood Christmas, I always felt like you were sitting down, you're watching and you're like, oh, is this is kind of sad and twisted a little bit. Just my feeling.

KEILAR: I waited until late in life to watch it for the first time, and I agree with you on that. I really do.

BERMAN: Yes. You are more emotionally prepared than I.

KEILAR: I was.

An Iranian climber refusing to wear a hijab during an event and now there are concerns for her safety.

BERMAN: Candidates across the country hoping to seize on U.S. hyper partisanship by running as part of a third party. Could 2022 be the year of the Independent? A reality check next.




EVAN MCMULLIN (I), UTAH SENATE CANDIDATE: You we're there to stand up for our Constitution. But when the barbarians were at the gate, you were happy to let them in.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: I think I disagree with everything my opponent just said including the words but, and, and the, who was an information free, truth-free statement.


BERMAN: Utah Senate candidates clashing on stage and their only debate before the midterms. Independent Evan McMullin accusing the incumbent Republican Mike Lee of aiding President Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. McMullin attempting to paint Lee as an extremist and attacking him for his views on abortion and connections to Putin.

So, you heard me correctly, Independent Evan McMullen, the I word, the longtime white whale of U.S. politics, a third party. Could this year, really, be the year of the Independent. John Avlon with a reality check. JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good or hyper partisan times, here's a surprising fact. There are more self-identified Independents than either Democrats or Republicans in America. There are a few key contests this year where a competitive Independent candidate is actually on the ballot. If they win, it could change the model for how elections are run in their respective states, while giving a glimmer of hope to the majority of Americans who say they'd like to see a third party.

Now I sat down and talked to three candidates about why they chose this independent path. McMullin is giving citizens of Utah the fourth competitive Senate general election in decades by challenging incumbent Senator Mike Lee, a Trump ally. McMullin is aided by the fact that Democrats decided to step aside and not feel their own candidate.

At the same dynamic is at play in North Dakota, where a recent Ms. America and Harvard Law School graduate named Cara Mund is challenging the Republican incumbent, perhaps reflecting the fact that 52 percent of her fellow millennials identified as Independents.


Finally, out in Oregon, there's Betsy Johnson running for governor. She's been a Republican and then a Democratic member of the State Legislature representing a rural district. Now, all politics is local. But as you hear from these Independent candidates, you'll see they have similar reasons with national residents are issuing their own declarations of independence.


AVLON: Why run as an Independent?

CARA MUND (I), NORTH DAKOTA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I'm seeing this political divide, and I see that North Dakotans aren't being represented. And so the Independent route seemed to be the best route. There is a middle path 41 percent of North Dakotans identify as Independents. We have to take the best of both parties and find what's best for our people.

MCMULLIN: The extremes cannot govern. They've never been able to govern. I really believe that we've got to have more Independent leadership at all levels in our country. We need leaders who will push aside the influences that pull them away from simply serving the interests of their people, whether it's party bosses, or special interest groups or extremist factions, and simply just put the interests of their constituents first. And that's what I'm running to do.

BETSY JOHNSON (I), OREGON GOV. CANDIDATE: Well, actually, being freed from the ideology and the agenda of either of the two extreme political parties is a very comfortable place for me. I have been a Republican. I left them when they got to extreme on issues I cared about like, choice and gay rights. I then found a home with the Democrats. As I watched the Democrats writ large get stranger and stranger on stuff I cared about, like disrespecting the police, defunding the police, allowing Portland, frankly, to slip into a period of Urban decay, I just couldn't stay there any longer.

AVLON: What are the policies that you think as an Independent governor, you can get through that would otherwise be deadlocked in that fight between Republicans and Democrats?

JOHNSON: Well, I think an independent has tremendous leverage. I'm not running to be Ms. Congeniality, I'm running to get stuff done. And I think, frankly, some of the partisans, both these and ours would like to cover of an Independent governor saying it's OK to compromise. It's OK to collaborate. It's OK to work together on both budget and policy matters.

MCMULLIN: I'm already talking with senators of both parties who are part of a cross partisan, a bipartisan group in the Senate that have -- they've been responsible for really every major or most of the major pieces of legislation that have passed to the chamber in the last few months. I intend to be a part of that group, it will give this coalition and this state, Utah, a tremendous amount of influence.

AVLON: Have Democrats rallied around you? Is the party essentially stepped aside to give you this lane, or is that overstated?

MUND: The Democratic candidate has actually suspended his campaign. So it's now down to just me and the Republican incumbent, but the Democratic Party has made it very clear that they are not endorsing me, they're not funding me. And the Republican Party here in North Dakota has enacted two rules that I disagree with. The first is that you have to pay to get their endorsement. And that fee can go all the way up to $5,000.

And then the other is that if you try to get the nod from someone else, including being an Independent, you can't now then join the party or seek their endorsement for six years. So it is just this further divide. That if you don't agree with us, that you're not welcome with us. And again, that's just not the North Dakota way.

MCMULLIN: We haven't had a competitive Senate race in Utah in almost half a century. But that's why we're doing things differently and we need to. Our state needs to make a change here. But we can only do it if we answer the politics of division and extremism with unity and truth. I call it coalition campaigning.

So before I got into this race, and after getting into this race, I went to principle the Republicans and Democrats and leading Independents in Utah and ask them to join my campaign, rather than running their own candidates. And that's what we were able to build.

AVLON: I wonder what what the national mood is that you think creates an appetite for Independent candidates in a way that there perhaps hasn't been in the recent past?

JOHNSON: Partisan gridlock. People are sick of it. They're sick of the fighting.

MUND: I just don't see this, this partisanship division being something that we can continue. I think this younger generation, Independents, we want transparency, we want accountability. We don't want the games back and forth between parties.

MCMULLIN: There are -- there's a clear far-right movement that wants to unravel our system of self-government. I think the extremes on the ends of the political spectrum in general have become far too influential. And I made the case to all elements of this coalition that either we were going to be steamrolled by these extremes. And our state and our country would continue to suffer or we were going to come together and form a coalition, centered around our core ideals those in the Declaration of Independence.



BERMAN: Really interesting to hear from all three of the Independent candidates. You know, people who have benefited from the two-party structure over a long period of time often say that, oh, you put a third-party candidate or Independent and it's just going to split the vote of one party. It was interesting that two of these candidates, though, have sort of cleared the field of one of those parties. So in a way, you know, it's a two party election in these days.

AVLON: That's an important point. It's an offering from the polarization in these one-party states. In this case, Western states, overwhelmingly Republican states, where there haven't been competitive general elections. That disenfranchises the vast majority of voters. So the fact that Independent candidates are filling that gap and offering an off ramp to the sort of polarization hyper partisanship is a really interesting and hopeful sign.

BERMAN: It is really interesting to watch and was, as I said, compelling to hear from all three of them at once. John Avlon, thank you very much.

The NBA season tips off tonight. Hall of Famer Grant Hill joins us live with a preview and explains why LeBron James is calling one teenager an alien.



KEILAR: This just in, concerns are mounting over Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi who competed in Seoul, South Korea without wearing a hijab. You can see her without the traditional headscarf on Sunday during the International Federation of Sport Climbing Asian championships. Iran mandates the women were the hijab when they were officially representing the country abroad.

Rekabi is now saying that it fell off accidentally at the competition. Just moments ago, she responded in an Instagram post writing, "Due to bad timing and unexpectedly being called to climb the wall, I inadvertently created a problem with my head covering. Apologizing for the worries that I caused. Currently, according to the predetermined schedule, I am returning to Iran with the team."

But Rekabi's returned to Iran is raising alarms about her fate, because Iran wire a news website critical of the Iranian regime alleged that Rekabi will be transferred to prison upon arrival. Now CNN could not independently verify that claim.

In Iran, of course, nationwide protests are underway against the headscarf requirement and are sparking calls across the world for greater freedom for Iranian women. The Iranian embassy in Seoul dismissed what it called fake, false news and disinformation.

BERMAN: All right, well, watching that closely. In the meantime, the new NBA season kicks off with a doubleheader tonight. The Boston Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers, the Golden State Warriors. The world champions take on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here to preview opening night the season ahead NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill. He's also a commentator for NBA on TNT and an analyst on NBA TV. Grant, it's great to see you. The NBA season, it's here at long last. What are you looking for?

GRANT HILL, COMMENTATOR, NBA ON TNT & ANALYST, NBA TV: Yes, it is here. And I think there's a great deal of excitement in the basketball community. A lot to unpack. I mean, I think there's great excitement in the Eastern Conference. A lot of teams that feel like they have a chance to not only represent the Eastern Conference, but ultimately to win a championship.

Of course out west, Golden State back on top after winning last year. Can they repeat -- a little bit of drama early on, but can they get through that and get back to form? So a lot of storylines and a lot of excitement for this upcoming season.

BERMAN: Some drama with the Golden State Warriors with Draymond Green. What do you see happening within that team?

HILL: You know, I think what makes that team so special and so unique with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Steve Kerr running the show, is they play with a collective spirit and energy in a cohesiveness that really, I think, creates a situation where the sum of the parts are greater than the whole. And that's important, why they've had such great success, had a few years off where they had some injuries, but back to form last year.

This right here is a distraction, and this is a challenge, but I think there's tremendous character in that locker room. And I do think that they'll be able to work through it, get through the season. And obviously, as we know, in sports, and in particularly in the NBA winning cures all. So they come out and get some wins early and get hot. I think they'll be able to move forward.

I still have them representing the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. I think they're that good. I think the character in that locker room is too strong. And I think they'll get through this early preseason drama

BERMAN: Who do you have from the east and man, I'm hoping you say the Celtics.

HILL: Well, some distractions there as well but tremendous character in that locker room. Young guys. Obviously, some injuries early on what Robert Williams III who was second team all defense, he's out for two months. They bring in Malcolm Brogdon, who I think will be a great fit for them as a six man.

So I like Boston. I also though, if Milwaukee is healthy and last year we forget, last year as defending champions Chris Middleton was hurt in the postseason. And they had a great playoff series against against Boston. But I'm not ready to determine just yet from the east. I think it's between those two thus far and we'll have to see how the season wears on

BERMAN: We got to let you go in about 20 seconds. But Victor Wembanyama, this 18-year-old from France, how good is he?

HILL: Incredibly talented, 7'2, 7'3, 8-foot wingspan, defensively, can just cover the rim. Offensively, just off the charts. He is an example of how the game just year after year generation after generation evolves and he should be the first pick in next year's NBA draft.

BERMAN: Yes, so watch the competition.

HILL: As much form.

BERMAN: Watch the competition for NBC Champ, but also watch the competition for the number one pick in the draft.

Grant Hill, great to see you. I recommend your autobiography "Game" to everyone I talk to. It's a great piece. Thanks so much for being with us.

HILL: Thank you very much. Thank you.

BERMAN: And CNN's coverage continues right now.