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Dame Karen Pierce is Interviewed about the Search for Prime Minister; FDA Speaks about Formula Shortage. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired October 21, 2022 - 08:30   ET



KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: During this particular period as well. Turn around just a couple weeks later and go back - fly back down to Mar-a- Lago and stand with Donald Trump again because they realized that their own politics, you know, were hurt by going against -- by crossing former President Trump. So, you really, in these text messages, when you combine what we know from these text messages with those sound bites, you can really see that in a way that -- you know, I spent a lot of time trying to describe to people. But right there it's kind of laid out bare for everyone to see.

And, you know, if Kelly Loeffler wanted to run again for public office or become part of public life in the Republican Party, I mean, you've seen -- there is a map now to succeed Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, is likely to walk to re-election. He has, you know, been very judicious about how he's handled it. He pushed back against the former president in the context of the election, but at the same time he didn't criticize him. So, there is a path for some Republicans to do that. But, you know, I think, at the end of the day, this really just underscores the reality in which we are living.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it certainly does.

Kasie, thank you so much. I mean this is just really a fascinating look that the AGC has into some of what was happening in this dialogue. We appreciate it.

HUNT: Thanks.

KEILAR: British Prime Minister Liz Truss resigning after just 45 days. And now the search is on for her successor. The U.K. ambassador to the United States will be joining us next.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, live pictures right now of Steve Bannon entering a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. He is set to be sentenced just a few minutes from now for contempt of Congress. He has convicted on two counts there. The Justice Department has asked for six months in jail and a 200,000 fine. He's appealed that conviction. Nevertheless, set to be sentenced very shortly. We will let you know when that sentence comes down.

This morning, Britain's conservative party is opening the nomination process to appoint a new party leader and therefore prime minister that is following the resignation of Liz Truss after just 45 days in office. Christiane Amanpour spoke to the London mayor, Sadiq Khan. We should note, he is from the labour party, who said this about the current political situation.


MAYOR SADIQ KHAN, LONDON: We are a laughingstock. Our reputation is being diminished every minute Liz Truss has stayed in off.


BERMAN: Joining us now is Dame Karen Pierce. She is the British ambassador to the United States.

Ambassador, thank you so much for being with us.

A laughingstock. I know the London mayor comes at this from a political perspective, but how do you think the world, right now, perceives what is happening in the United Kingdom?

DAME KAREN PIERCE, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Well, as you say, Sadiq Khan is a politician and I'm a career diplomat, an independent civil servant, if you like. But I don't think people see Britain like that. What they see when they look at Britain is a country trying very hard to secure energy supplies for its people, to help households with energy bills over what might be a difficult winter, and above all, a reliable NATO ally and partner supporting Ukraine and helping NATO help Ukraine.

BERMAN: How do you convince the world that there is stability, because when you look at what has happened, you're going to be on your third prime minister in, you know, in two months. I can't even count how many chancellors of the exchequer there have been at this point? So how do you convince the world that there is the stability?

PIERCE: Well, I think it - you know, what's happening is of great interest if you're a political science major, but if you look at investing in Britain, if you look at doing business with Britain, if you look at having security relationships with Britain, then you see a very reliable partner. The world economic forecast outlook is pretty good for British growth this year. It puts us at the top of the G7 league. The fundamentals of the British economy, of the city of London remain strong. We have a very good workforce. We participate in a lot of international institutions and play a leading role, whether it's the U.N., or the IMF or the World Bank. None of that has changed about Britain.

BERMAN: You say it's of keen interest if you're a political scientist. It's also of keen interest if, look, you're a Ukrainian citizen, for instance. You want to know that you have that partner there in London, that has been there since the beginning of the Russian invasion. What's your measure to the people of Ukraine? PIERCE: Oh, we stand by you. We believe in a sovereign and independent

Ukraine. We are going to work to help the Ukrainian people. We're going to work to help them with their economy. We've invested nearly $1 billion in total so far between the defensive weapons we've supplied, the economic and humanitarian assistance we've given, and we're going to continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, no matter who becomes the next prime minister.

And I don't think -- to be honest, John, I don't think the Ukrainian people are in any doubt about that. They've had visits from British prime ministers. Presidents Zelenskyy has spoken to British prime ministers on the phone. The foreign secretary speaks to his Ukrainian counterpart, and so on. We're very strong on that. We've always been strong supporters in NATO, the G7, and at the U.N. for Ukraine, and we're going to carry on doing that.

BERMAN: All this has happened so fast over the last 45 days, we almost forget every small episode that happen along the way.

President Biden was actually critical of British Prime Minister Liz Truss' economic policy. Did you have any conversations with your counterparts here in the U.S., because that's unusual, after that statement was made?

PIERCE: My understanding is that the president was responding to a question. And I don't think it's surprising that a Democratic administration would have a different economic policy from a conservative government in the U.K. But I think the fundamentals of the relationship, including the economic relationship, are very similar.


You know, both governments are trying to help households as the cost of living rises. Both governments are working very hard to secure energy supplies and to get inflation down. As well as standing side by side on Ukraine.

BERMAN: I respect that you are a career public servant in the diplomatic corps and not a politician. I really do. It's an important job to serve around the world.

I am curious how complicated or difficult your job has been over the last several months given everything that's happened?

PIERCE: Well, it's a privilege to serve Britain as the ambassador to the United States. Before that, I was at the U.N. Doing the best of my country is what I'm here for.

We've had an interesting few months, as you say. The death of the queen, the state funeral, the president going to the state funeral, which I think is the first time a sitting president has been to a state funeral. And we were very honored by the president and many of the cabinet coming by the embassy to sign the condolence book.

So, there's been a lot going on. But my job is British interests and Britain's relationship with America. That's what I and the embassy have the privilege to do, and we're going to carry on doing it. We serve the British government of the day. We're going to carry on doing that.

BERMAN: Ambassador Pierce, thank you for being with us. I really appreciate the discussion this morning.

PIERCE: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: So parents in the United States still struggling to find the baby formula they need despite the Biden administration's best efforts to remedy the situation. When will the shortage end? We have a new report, coming up.

KEILAR: And, overnight, Taylor Swift dropping her much-anticipated tenth album and releasing her newest music video this morning.



KEILAR: This morning, as we head into the winter months, many parents with a baby younger than one, well they are struggling because the nationwide formula shortage is still going on. Now Dr. Robert Califf, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, is speaking to CNN about it.

MJ Lee is joining me now with this.

How is this still going on, MJ?

MJ LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, this formula issue dates all the way back to February. You remember that an Abbott plant in Michigan shut down. There were a number of recalls and it really set off this national shortage, and people panic buying and people were really concerned.

To be clear, things have gotten a lot better, but we are in the month of October and we are still hearing about parents who can't find exactly what they want. They are seeing gaps on shelves.

So, we've been interviewing senior administration officials, including Dr. Califf, the head of the FDA. And he's, you know, interesting because he is actually a cardiologist by training. And when I was talking to him he said, look, I've been an FDA commissioner once before under President Obama, and I know that this job entails running into a whole bunch of different issues. But he said when he was going through this confirmation process this time around, he never imagined that he would suddenly become an expert on baby formula.

And the gist of what they're talking about in terms of the supply and the issue is that they feel really confident that production is up right now, and it is outpacing consumption. But what we are seeing is a variety problem. So, in other words, you're seeing on the shelves a lot of some products, but not of others. So that is the issue that they're continuing with right now. KEILAR: And just real quickly, has he spoken to the president about


LEE: So, I was really interested to learn that he hasn't. I asked him, have you spoken with the president this year on this issue, and he hasn't. He said that he has mostly spoken with the president's chief of staff, Ron Klain. He also told me about some very intense conversations, tense conversations, that he has had with the head of Abbott. That makes a lot of sense given that Abbott has been at the root of all of this, really.

KEILAR: Yes, I just - I can't believe it's still going on.

MJ, thank you for that.

BERMAN: Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett delivering something of a victory for President Biden, at least for now. Justice Barrett rejected a challenge to the president's student loan forgiveness program, declining to consider an appeal brought by a Wisconsin taxpayer group. Barrett acted alone because she has jurisdiction over the lower court that ruled on the case. Separately, a lower federal court dismissed a challenge to the loan relief plan brought by six Republican-led states.

A New York jury found actor Kevin Spacey not liable for sexual battery in a civil case brought by actor Anthony Rapp. Jurors determined that Rapp did not prove Spacey touched him intimately in 1986 when Rapp was 14. Two other charges were previously dismissed. Spacey's legal trouble doesn't end here, though. He faces multiple charges of sexual assault in the United Kingdom. He has pleaded not guilty.

KEILAR: So, overnight, Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated new album, "Midnights," at, yes, midnight.


TAYLOR SWIFT, MUSICIAN (singing): It's me. Hi. I'm the problem. It's me. At tea time, everybody agrees.


KEILAR: So, this is her song called "Anti-Hero," and "Midnights," the album, is Swift's tenth studio album. It's her fifth in the last two years. She says the 13 songs represent the story of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout her life. The singer also dropped a surprise seven extra songs that didn't make the album, which she's calling the 3:00 a.m. tracks.

And she did drop them at, yes, 3:00 a.m., Berman, which makes sense.

BERMAN: So, wait, 13 songs plus 7. That makes 20, right? That's a lot.

KEILAR: That's a lot of songs. That - she just -- you know, she's like a machine now. She's just this prolific songwriter.

BERMAN: I was warned -- for much of the week I was warned this was coming, to brace myself for this - this seismic event. This is the first I've had a chance to hear. It's -- you know, she writes great songs. She does. She really does write great songs.

KEILAR: She does.

BERMAN: And keeps going.

KEILAR: I'll say, getting up at 3:00 a.m., I actually got to listen to some of this.


Up next, this week's CNN Hero is working to stop violence and rebuild lives on the south Philly streets, where he once sold drugs. We're going to hear from him, next.


KEILAR: The city of Philadelphia had a record high number of violent crimes, and it's a danger that Tyrique Glasgow knows well having been shot 11 times when he was a drug dealer. But after serving time, he's been a force for good, providing a safe haven for local young people. And that is why he's this week's CNN Hero.


TYRIQUE GLASGOW: When you run a block, you're the one who the community people know. It's a dangerous life, but it's a normal life.

Going to jail really woke me up. If our community was going to follow me for some of the negative stuff I just said, let me see if they're going to follow me for something positive.

You can grab what you want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make yourself at home.

GLASGOW: In 2019 we opened up our community engagement center, which used to be the community drug house.


But now it's a safe place for our children.

How many people here got kids?

We provide clothing, food, vegetables. We have hot meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

One shrimp. One chicken.

Giving people what they need not only helps them, it consistently stays safer here.

The shootings are down and the hope is up.

That's what you're here for.

My relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department is cool. Seeing the officers in a different light. It builds trust and it builds confidence.

They need to see that all cops aren't bad.

It's really about your heart and what you want to do.

We're trying to create a safe haven and an environment for the whole neighborhood.


BERMAN: It is about your heart and what you do.

To find out more about Tyrique and his work, go to There's wonderful information there.

KEILAR: Sure is.

CNN's coverage continues right after this break.