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New Day Saturday
Justice Dept. Will Not Prosecute Two Former Trump Officials; Parents Left Frustrated After Uvalde School Board Meeting Ends With No Action On Security; 10M People Under Tropical Storm Warnings As System Nears Landfall; People Gather For Day Three Of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee; Oz To Face Lieutenant Governor In High-Stakes Senate Race. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired June 04, 2022 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning and welcome to your "NEW DAY." I'm Boris Sanchez.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Boris. I'm Christi Paul.
This morning for you, two former Trump officials will not face charges for stonewalling the January 6 committees. The reaction from committee members and why the DOJ declined to charges just days before some high-profile hearings are set to begin.
SANCHEZ: And plus, new details on the deadly mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children dead, what we're learning about the police response and whether classes will once again be held in that school.
PAUL: Also, we're watching the top tropical storm system closing in on Florida. It's bringing heavy rain. There's already some flooding. As you can see from these pictures we're getting in, there are 10 million people under tropical storm warnings right now. The timing and potential impacts, coming up.
SANCHEZ: Plus, this show goes on despite the Queen's absence, the Platinum Jubilee celebrations that are underway today.
We're so grateful that you are starting your weekend with us. It's Saturday June 4th. Good morning, Christi.
PAUL: Good morning, Boris. Good to see you here.
Let's talk about these two former Trump administration officials. They will not face charges for contempt of Congress in the January 6 investigation. Now, the Department of Justice says it won't indict former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino. The decision could hinder the committee's efforts to enforce some subpoenas.
SANCHEZ: Yes, meantime another Trump ally is facing charges. A grand jury indicting former adviser Peter Navarro for contempt of Congress over his effort to stonewall the January 6 investigation. The Select Committee begins its first public hearings this Thursday, the panel expected to reveal evidence and witness testimony that we have not yet seen or heard before.
For more on the January 6 investigation, let's bring in CNN national security reporter Zack Cohen.
Zack, fill us in on the Justice Department their decision to indict Navarro as opposed to Mark Meadows or Dan Scavino?
ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, good morning, Boris and Christi. So the January 6 committee making really clear last night they flat out disagrees with the Justice Department's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Meadows and Scavino, two people who they really have cast as key witnesses in their investigation so far, and they believe that they should have to comply with a congressional subpoena, even though they're former senior White House officials and do enjoys some protections, given their status of their former jobs.
Now they're making -- again the committee was reiterating this last night in a statement where it said, quote, as a Select Committee has argued in district court, Mark Meadows claim that he is entitled to absolute immunity is not correct or justified based on based on the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel memoranda. And the statement concludes with a refrain we've heard from the committee a lot, quote, no one is above the law.
Now, these two cases can be known Meadows are a little bit more complicated than some of the other criminal referrals. We've seen the committee send to DOJ given for witnesses that have resisted complying with their subpoenas. And that's because both Meadows and Scavino did cooperate to some extent, or at least engage in negotiations about cooperating, which really makes their case a little bit different, in addition to their status as former White House officials. Now, it remains to be seen what exactly the impact of this is on the committee investigation, as you said, we're really approaching the public hearing phase of the committee investigation, and it's hard to see if this will have a tangible impact.
PAUL: So, I want to ask about what is upcoming this week, the committee holding its first public hearing, we do know, as Boris had mentioned, that there are some revelations that could be coming in the form of documents and witness testimony. What do we know to expect here?
COHEN: Well, frankly Christi, not a whole lot. The committee has been keeping really close hold on details about the upcoming hearings, and really just announced formally the first hearing that's going to take place in primetime this coming Thursday. Now what we do know and as you mentioned that the committee has promised to reveal new material that hasn't been seen before. It's going to feature witness testimony. It's going to really -- the first hearing is going to be about laying out a path forward and summarizing what the next year and you're going to see. So we'll see what kind of details come out close with the hearing but a little is known right now.
PAUL: OK, Zach Cohen, we appreciate the update. Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Let's speak with a legal expert now, defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Shan Wu is here with us this morning.
Shan, always great to have you. Appreciate you sharing part of your weekend with us. I want to ask you about Peter Navarro's claims that his arrest was unconstitutional. He said that he wasn't allowed to make a call from jail that his attorneys weren't contacted. Was there any detail in his arrest that would lead you to believe that something improper took place?
SHAN WU, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, absolutely not. I mean, I thought he was saying he was defending himself. So I'm not sure who they would have contacted in terms of his attorneys. It's a little unusual that in the white-collar case, they wouldn't have allowed him to self- surrender. And that could indicate a couple of things. I mean, one, they might have been concerned that it was hard to reach him and he might flee. Given that he was representing himself. And two they may be trying to send a message. I mean, I don't think that it's a coincidence of the timing, that they announced the declination of Scavino and Meadows' cases, and also, on the other hand, are sending through the hard message of arresting on Navarro.
So, it may have been to make that point that they're not fooling around that when they indict, they're going to treat people quite seriously.
SANCHEZ: And Shan, Navarro says that he can't cooperate with the probe because the former president exerted executive privilege. The committee points out that he already wrote about a lot of the topics they want to ask him about in a book that was recently published. Give us your assessment of the strength of his privilege claim here.
WU: I think as a no privilege claim whatsoever. One, he's written the book and two, he's taking this hardline position that that privilege is still Trump's to assert at this point, and it's really not I mean, it's a privilege that attaches not to a person, but to the office. So I think on the legal analysis side of that, I mean, he really it's a slam dunk against him.
SANCHEZ: And how about the Department of Justice telling the January 6 Committee last night that it would not indict Mark Meadows or Dan Scavino, after Congress referred them for contempt charges. What do you make of that announcement?
WU: Yes, that's it. That's an interesting announcement. It certainly shows Ag Garland and the Department's very cautious approach towards these kinds of charges. And that can be a good or a bad thing. I mean, there are distinctions, as Zack was reporting, Meadows and Scavino were higher up, they have cooperated, at least in part, Meadows has turned over documents. It's clear reading the tea leaves that that's what DOJ is parsing very carefully versus someone who's blatantly defying the subpoena the way Navarro did. But overall, I think the committee has a very strong point that you need to either make everyone obey the law and comply or not.
I will say to me, it does not bode well that the Department is parsing at this finally even at the very low-level charge of these misdemeanor contempt. If they're going to really look for these sorts of distinctions and be concerned about them, I think they would find that a very hard decision to make to actually charge higher up members of Trump's inner circle.
SANCHEZ: Important indicator there. Now, speaking specifically of Meadows, CNN published a trove of text messages that the former chief of staff exchanged with fellow Republicans during the insurrection. They were urging him to get President Trump the former president to stop the violence at the Capitol. They believed he had the power, the agency to stop it. How do you think these messages might factor into their hearings into their inquiry?
WU: Well, I think those will be very powerful pieces of evidence for the inquiry. And I think it's a great challenge for the committee how in such a compressed amount of time, do they present the story to the American public. I think they'll have to make some choices, how much they focus on visuals, the actual violence? And how much can they come across as to the intent and thinking of these inner circle people with Trump and text messages like that will shed a lot of light on that thinking?
SANCHEZ: We know the committee is still reaching out to witnesses, including at least two people directly tied to the former Vice President Mike Pence. What does that tell you about what the committee is trying to present through witness testimony?
WU: Well, I think, you know, unlike a trial, and we have to remember this is a hearing, not a trial, they need to really lay on a -- affiliate presentation of the evidence, but like a trial, it still has to be really compelling. And they have an enormous amount of evidence to figure out how to marshal that. So, it's clear that they are reaching out to witnesses, we understand that they're going to be using live witnesses, which I think is very important thing to do.
What you don't want to have happen is have this mountain of paper evidence turned the presentation into just a bunch of PowerPoint pictures of messages and documents. It has to be told from the human standpoint the people perhaps who witnessed the violence, victims of it, the officers and the people who actually were in touch with Trump's inner circle and were privy to the President's thoughts that were underlying his actions that day.
SANCHEZ: Yes, making it as compelling as possible for as large an audience as possible probably their biggest challenge.
Shan Wu, as always appreciate the free legal advice.
WU: Good to see you Boris. PAUL: That is true, isn't it? We do appreciate that from Shan and many thanks.
So listen, still to come this morning. There are no clear steps forward in the wake of that massacre in Uvalde, the parents in the community still don't have answers on the mistakes that were made during the response to Robb Elementary School, but a Texas state lawmaker pushing for accountability now is with us next, you'll hear from him.
Also, take a look at what's happening in Florida this morning. Cars are flooded in the streets. The latest from the National Hurricane Center on the tropical system.
PAUL: There is growing frustration this morning among parents and families in Uvalde, Texas after that shooting at Robb Elementary School.
SANCHEZ: A meeting of the Uvalde School Board ended last night with no clear answers on next steps for the school. The superintendent though did announce that students would not be returning to that campus. But parents in the room were still left with a lot of unanswered questions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a fourth grader that was in the room next door that's terrified. My niece died. I have a six-year-old daughter that just told me, I don't want to go to school. Why? To be shot. I have one going into junior high. I have a third grader. We want answers to where the security is going to take place. This was all a joke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: We're now also hearing more chilling details about failures among police on that terrible day. CNN's Omar Jimenez has more.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was supposed to be an end of the year class party. Before it became a nightmare.
DON FLANAY, ATTORNEY FOR TEACHER'S AIDE: She saw everything from the time he wrecked, to the time she was taken out of there.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Special Education aide Emilia Marin was meeting a co-worker with food for the party when she saw a car crash. So, her lawyer says she prop the door open, went back inside to get her phone and called 911. But to report the accident, then she returned to the door. FLANARY: And she looks and sees him and he has a weapon she can't identify but a big weapon flung over him. And he hopped over the fence and starts running towards her.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): So she kicks the door shut.
(on-camera): And does she expect it to lock?
FLANARY: Yes, absolutely. She thought it was going to be locked.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Marin scrambles into a nearby classroom. As she begins to hear gunshots.
FLANARY: He's inside now, she hides. The 911 call drops. They don't call her back. She doesn't attempt to call back because she doesn't want to make any noise. There's some sort of counter that she gets under but it's exposed. She said that she thought that at that point she was going to die and she made a piece of that.
JIMENEZ (on-camera): So, she hears every single gunshot.
FLANARY: Every single gunshot.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): But she was one of the lucky ones who survived. Days later though she hears law enforcement say she had left the door the shooter used open.
(on-camera): And she's second guessing herself.
FLANARY: Right. Yes, it even made her second guess her own memories. And she had already spoken to the FBI and the Rangers and told them what happened.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): The Rangers eventually publicly corrected the record. As the community grieves a flurry of unanswered questions linger, including more about Texas schools police Chief Pete Arredondo, acting as incident commander during the shooting.
STATE SEN. ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D-TX): And I have been told that this person did not have, this person being the incident commander did not have radio communication. And I don't know as to why.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): And question if the 911 calls were properly relayed to first responders on the scene. One of those 911 calls came from a 10-year-old student who was inside the classroom. And according to transcripts reviewed by the New York Times, the students said there was a lot of bodies and I don't want to die. My teacher is dead. My teacher is dead. Please send help. Send help for my teacher. She has shot but still alive. The call lasted about 17 minutes. Gunfire was heard in the background at times, and the call was made more than 30 minutes after the shooting began, the Times reports.
The teaching aid Emilia Marin has now filed legal documents to get a deposition from Daniel Defense the manufacturer of the gun used in the shooting. With her attorney saying because the shooter got the weapons on his 18th birthday. He was likely planning the purchases beforehand. FLANARY: So his motivations to get that gun was when he was a minor. Are there, you know, gun companies that are marketing to minors? Is that what they're doing? And how many mass shootings do we have to have by 18-year-old men? It's cookie cutter. So what are they doing to change?
SANCHEZ: Thanks to Omar Jimenez for that report.
Let's bring in Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez.
Roland, great to be with you. Appreciate you joining us.
First, I just wanted to ask how you're feeling and what you've heard from the families that were impacted by this about how they're holding up.
GUTIERREZ: Well, Boris, you know, I went to another funeral yesterday and another viewing and saw another little fourth grader in a coffin, little angel. And it's just not normal. It's not normal for any of us to see it. It's not normal for those who are grieving parents. It's been tremendously hard and their suffering is a million times more profound.
SANCHEZ: Sir, you told me last week when we spoke that you were assured you would have a detailed report on what happened as far as the police response by now. Apparently, the district attorney intervened and you didn't get that report? Do you have any further clarity on why?
GUTIERREZ: Well, Boris, I'm told that there might be some presentation to the grand jury that that's normal protocol, when there's officer involved shootings. At the end of the day, I'm not -- I'm asking for logistical positioning of the officers that are accountable to the state legislature. That's the state troopers. Quite frankly, I should get to know where all of those officers were situated. I have been told that at any point in time there was between two troopers and as many as 13 of the 19 officers in that hallway, a lot of finger pointing in this whole situation. And I think that everybody erred. I think all of those law enforcement officers erred in their judgment, in their ability to follow protocols. I want to know that the ones that worked for the state of Texas, I don't know, which one of them were in that building.
SANCHEZ: Senator, do you know what is being presented to a grand jury? Is that the standard operating procedure?
GUTIERREZ: Well, I mean, it's, you know, the guys dead. I mean, who are we going to indict? Are we going to indict a bunch of cops made mistakes? I mean, I doubt that's going to happen. And so, what are we doing here other than just, you know, this continued attempt to cover up. I mean, I don't know if that's what it is. I mean, it seems kind of extreme to say that. But it's a point -- at one point or another, you have to just pull the band aid off of this. The state has spent $4 billion over the last year, increasing border security. All of these officers are in the area. And yet when it came down to do another functionality of their work, they didn't follow protocols. The other guys didn't follow protocols. The other enforcement units didn't follow protocols. It wasn't until the federal government guys together as a group, so to hell with this, we're going in.
SANCHEZ: It sounds like --
GUTIERREZ: Complete breakdown.
SANCHEZ: And it sounds like you are hesitant to call this a cover up. But I'm wondering why it is you think that the school district police chief Pedro Pete Arrendondo hasn't come forward and cleared the record and explained these are why these decisions were made. In light of so much scrutiny and in light of so much pain.
GUTIERREZ: I think they all need to, I think that we've heard from DPS several different stories, a lot of finger pointing some clarity at times. But they all need to come to a committee, not a special committee to talk about how many doors or yesterday I found another state legislature on the other side of the aisle talking about shields that every cop should have a shield in Texas, there was enough shields in that room to breach that room. There was enough shields in the hallway to go breach that room. It should have done the jobs. Everybody has to account for this.
One little girl died with a single bullet boom, through her kidney. She might have lived. Everybody has to account for this. You and I didn't sign up to be police officers. It's not what you -- (INAUDIBLE) we didn't wait. We didn't grow up and say I want to be a cop. But the guys that grew up said I want to be a cop took an oath to do all of the things are supposed to do including this and didn't have it.
SANCHEZ: Senator you say you've been told that a Uvalde police officer was receiving 911 dispatch calls, but that the school district police chief, again, the incident commander, Pedro Arredondo didn't have a radio on him. Do you know if the communications that other officers were getting were being shared with the rest of law enforcement agencies that were there on the scene?
GUTIERREZ: So Boris, it's pretty sad that I have to go play private investigator to get answers right.
GUTIERREZ: So I spoke to the Commission on State Emergency Communications and the protocol in this community for this incident. What I was told was to the extent that they know is a UPD gets the dispatch calls, and that's the only person, the 911 calls come in to UPD. And then they can dispatch to up to 17 first responders. Included on the list are ISD, Sheriff, police, DPS, CBP, a myriad of folks. So who they dispatched to, we don't know. I understand that they dispatched to some folks on PD, I don't know who. And they couldn't have dispatched to Arredondo because he didn't have comms. As to why he didn't have comms. I don't know that either. Another media outlet say he didn't have his radio that, obviously, why he didn't have comms.
And so, here we are in this space, looking for answers. I keep trying to find answer anywhere I can. Unfortunately, just more questions get, you know, arise out of this whole thing.
SANCHEZ: It does say something that you've been the most forthcoming official to give us these answers about law enforcement is conduct when they could very easily just come forward and explain their decision making.
Before we go, I did want to ask you one more question about what comes next. Because when we spoke, you mentioned that there were some Republicans that were open to considering at the state level, some change to gun safety legislation, perhaps raising the age to buy an AR-15 style weapon. Have you heard any more from your colleagues at the State Capitol?
GUTIERREZ: No, unfortunately, not. Boris, I mean, there's let's be clear, this is an absence of leadership from the very top. The governor should demand a full accounting, of full accounting to this body, especially when he calls these nonsensical special committees I say nonsensical because we've been there done that, with this governor, after every massacre, roundtables, you know, groups with recommendations and nothing gets followed. A special committee is committee is meaningless, unless we have what is called a special session where we can ask questions and take action. In other words, create laws.
His inability to be able to ask for an accountability from his own officers from the police taskforce that he put down and stands by and spent $4 billion in one year on is pathetic. It's feckless. It's ineffective leadership, and it's an absence of leadership. Greg Abbott likes to talk about the evil among us. The only evil here is when you have a glaring problem staring you right in the face, and you do absolutely nothing to fix it. And you call a special committee, and it's just a snow job to the voters in the people of Texas.
SANCHEZ: Notably, if you'll recall, the governor said that he was livid that someone misled him about what happened in Uvalde. But as of yet we've not heard that anyone was fired or held accountable for apparently misleading the governor.
State Senator Roland Gutierrez, we got to leave the conversation there. We hope that you'll come back in the future and continue this conversation.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Boris. Thank you for your report (ph).
SANCHEZ: Of course. Stay with CNN. "NEW DAY" continues after a quick break.
PAUL: It's so good to have you with us here. Boy, there are 10 million people under this tropical storm warning in the southern half of Florida, in Cuba, the Bahamas. And we've been listening to the experts who say this is what you could expect, strong winds, heavy rain flooding. This could become the first named storm of this year's Atlantic hurricane season.
SANCHEZ: Here's a live look at Miami skyline where the National Weather Service says more than 6 inches of rain have already fallen. You see it's kind of choppy out there. Very gray. You could hardly make up the skyline in the distance and you can see the result, heavy rain that's inundated streets, causing cars to stall out. Drivers forced to crawl out of their vehicles and try to lug them down the street.
Let's take you live to that area and CNN's Carlos Suarez who is in Fort Lauderdale for us. Also standing by, CNN's Tyler Mauldin at the Weather Center. Carlos, we want to start with you. Flash flood warnings have already been issued for parts of Florida. You are just north of the video we showed in Miami but it still looks like flooding there. What are you seeing?
CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN REPORTER: Yes, it is a mess out here on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Parts of South Florida have seen over 8 inches of rain in the past 24 hours and that has led to some serious flooding. We're on a portion of a A1A on Fort Lauderdale Beach where all of this water is just having a difficult time getting out. And as a result drivers while they're doing the one thing that law enforcement does not want them to do. They do not want them to try to go through some of these streets because of all of this flooding.
Now the situation is a whole lot worse down in Miami where the city's three water pumps have been going for the better part of a day now and they are having a difficult time keeping up with all of that water.
You can see some of the flooding that has led to a number of cars being stalled in downtown Miami as well as the Brickell financial district. We're told that the city of Miami Fire Rescue has a number of firefighters and at least six trucks right now going around town trying to get anyone that might be stranded in their cars. They're trying to get them out safely.
Authorities have spent the better part of the week warning folks that this was really going to be a rain event and that story has held all across the southern part of Florida. Over in Fort Myers and Naples, folks there have been seeing rain anywhere between 5 to 7 inches. The good news going into the latter part of the day is we are expecting that most of this bad weather will make its way off the coast of Florida come mid-afternoon.
However, the rain totals they're expected to go up. Right now again, we are seeing some places across South Florida reporting more than 9 inches of rain. Guys? SANCHEZ: A rough way to end the night for the folks in that video you were just sharing with us. Carlos, we hope you and the crew stay safe out there.
Tyler Mauldin, to you in the Weather Center, where's the storm headed right now?
TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So the 8:00 adviser is in from the National Hurricane Center and there are three updates in that advisory. Update number one to answer your question, Boris, it's sitting about 50 miles offshore Fort Myers and moving to the northeast. You'll notice that it's sped up as forward movement. It's now moving at 80 miles per hour.
And then the third update here is that areas north of Bonita Beach are no longer in the tropical storm warning. I know that may be hard to see right here. But if you live north of Bonita Beach, you're now out of the tropical storm warning. It's a ragged mess on satellite imagery and a ragged, a tropical system, a discombobulated tropical system, spells a lot of rainfall and a lot of flooding typically, and that's what we've been seeing.
So the squall lines have been pushing through giving us tropical storm force wind gusts, tropical downpours that has led to the ponding on the roadways across portions of South Florida. We've got the rain continuing to stream up from south to north across the keys, across the southern tip of the peninsula. The Tri County area is seeing some really heavy rainfall right now and southwest Florida continues to see really heavy rainfall.
These areas have been seeing rainfall since yesterday. For that reason, we have seen in areas such as Miami more than 6 inches of rain, but in other areas, we've seen as high as about 10 inches. The rain is not just going to end in the next couple of hours. It's going to take several hours for the rain to finally taper off once that system has the state of Florida in its rearview mirror.
For that reason, the southern half of the peninsula will continue to be in the flood watch. The area in red here, Broward County, and also northern Miami-Dade County, you're under a flash flood warning because we do expect more in the way of rainfall. As you can see, about 5 inches in some areas of additional rainfall. And in addition to the flooding, guys, we also have to watch for the possibility of isolated tornadoes from the Treasure Coast all the way down to Monroe County.
SANCHEZ: The first of what could be an active Atlantic hurricane season. Tyler Mauldin, Carlos Suarez, thank you both so much.
Still ahead, the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration continues across the United Kingdom, but notably missing from the royal party of the year, the Queen herself. A look at what's still on the schedule today for the rest of the royal family just a few minutes away.
[08:43:13] PAUL: Well today marks day three of a four-day celebration in honor of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, celebrating her 70 years on the throne. A little bit later today, the Epsom Derby and the platinum party at the palace. Buckingham Palace says the Queen experienced some discomfort during Thursday's Trooping the Colour parade, so she is sitting some of these events out. But the show must go on as you know.
Yesterday, the royal family attended a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral, which did include Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, of course.
Royal Correspondent for HELLO! Magazine, Emily Nash with us now. Emily, talk to us -- first of all, I want to get back to the Queen because this is all about her, of course. I wonder what the feeling was when she first walked out on the balcony without Prince Philip for -- I think some of us that was a little jolting.
EMILY NASH, ROYAL EDITOR, HELLO! MAGAZINE: Well good morning, Christi. You're absolutely right. It is a very strange sight to see her at such a major occasion without the chief (ph) by her side. But I think it was really interesting that she asked her cousin, the Duke of Kent, to stand in. And this is someone who's been part of her life 86 years. They have a huge shared history together and so it will have brought her a great deal of comfort to have him alongside her.
PAUL: I know tonight is this tribute that there are so many stars that are going to be there. Be interesting to see what Prince Charles and Prince William have to say about the Queen that may be one of the more poignant moments tonight, yes?
NASH: I'm anticipating this to be a really moving moment. We know Prince Charles has previously referred to the Queen onstage and event for her diamond jubilee as mummy and that went down an absolute storm. People love to see that more personal side of their relationship.
And, you know, we have to remember that not only is she a head of state and the most famous woman in the world but she is a mother and a grandmother and someone who has a very warm and loving relationship with her family. I think that there may be a few tears later on.
PAUL: Did we see that loving relationship with Harry and Meghan when they came back?
NASH: Well, we've not seen the Queen interacting with Harry and Meghan at all in public. And in fact, their appearance yesterday, the Thanksgiving service was somewhat muted. They have been keeping a very low profile. They appeared alongside other members of the royal family for the first time since March 2020 in public, but they weren't there in the front row with the other senior working members of the family.
This really marked out their new position as members of the family as the palace continually tells us they remain much like members of the family, but they're not there in an official capacity. And I think that, you know, that is absolutely right for this occasion that they're not sort of dominating the headlines, although there's a huge amount of interest in them over here. That this is very much focused on the Queen and their presence here is for her, and I'm sure making her very happy.
PAUL: Which a lot of people are wondering if she has met Lilibet yet, their daughter. And if so, are we going to see pictures moment?
NASH: This is the big question. It's obviously Lilibet's first birthday today. I can't imagine that any great grandmother not wanting to see their great granddaughter on such a special occasion. And, of course, you know, coinciding with her Platinum Jubilee celebrations makes it extra special.
We know that they're at Frogmore Cottage just a few minutes down the road from Windsor Castle. No one has confirmed absolutely yet that this meeting has taken place but I'm sure we'd all love to see the photographic evidence.
PAUL: Yes, no doubt about it. Emily Nash, thank you for the update. We appreciate it so much.
PAUL: Of course. We'll be right back.
PAUL: Well Dr. Mehmet Oz will be the Republican nominee in the race for Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat after his challenger businessman David McCormick conceded last evening. Oz who was endorsed by Donald Trump is now set to face John Fetterman, the Democratic Lieutenant Governor who's recovering from a stroke last month.
SANCHEZ: Yes, both of them looking to take over for retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey. This, of course, is going to be one of the most significant midterm races that could decide the balance of the Senate whether Democrats stay in control or whether Republicans take over.
PAUL: Well, she is on a historic mission aboard the International Space Station, NASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins, she has more up her sleeve.
SANCHEZ: Yes. She and other women at NASA are on a mission to bring more women into the aerospace industry. CNN's Rachel Crane has that story.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 250 miles above the Earth, history is being made. Jessica Watkins is the first black woman to do a long duration mission onboard the International Space Station.
JESSICA WATKINS, ASTRONAUT: I certainly would like to, you know, spend as much time in space as I can.
CRANE (voice-over): Despite her history making mission, Watkins and NASA know diversity in space continues to be a problem. According to NASA, 622 people have been to space, yet only 75 of them have been women. That's just 12 percent. Speaking to CNN while orbiting in microgravity, Watkins says she's doing all she can to work toward a pipeline of young talent that is more diverse.
WATKINS: Investing in school programs and education.
(on-camera): Does the space industry have a gender inequality problem?
PAM MELROY, NASA DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR: I think absolutely. The entire aerospace industry, I'll add, has a gender inequality issue.
CRANE (voice-over): NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy is taking action from the ground. As a former astronaut who made three trips to space and was one of only two women to command a space shuttle, she knows it's a tough problem to solve.
MELROY: We're just ignoring untapped potential. We have to take the proactive steps to make that number more similar to what the average population is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lift off of STS-7 and America's first women astronaut.
CRANE (voice-over): Sally Ride was the first American to open the doors for women like Melroy with her historic mission to space in 1983. That opened the floodgates for a series of firsts. First female commander of the International Space Station, first black woman in space, first all-female spacewalk.
MELROY: There were a lot of people who told me that women couldn't be pilots, couldn't be astronauts. But it is very tough when you are the first or the only, but I had a reason to keep going.
CRANE (voice-over): Still, nearly four decades after Ride's first flight, women make up just above 36 percent of NASA's active astronaut class.
BRIDGET CHAPMAN, WOMEN IN AEROSPACE: We really have to go deeper in the academic channel.
CRANE (voice-over): Bridget Chapman (ph) is an executive who also chairs Women in Aerospace. And she says the key is to start young.
CHAPMAN: Middle schoolers, those little girls who are excited about science and math before someone whispers in their ear that they should look at a different profession.
WATKINS: Hey, everybody.
CRANE (voice-over): NASA has more plans for Watkins. She has been selected by the agency to be a part of her astronaut class for Artemis, a mission which plans to send the first woman and the first person of color to the moon, but she hasn't been chosen to make the journey yet. No matter who selected, Melroy is convinced the impacts of sending a woman to the moon will be astronomical.
MELROY: You can believe it if you see it. This is going to have an impact far beyond that lucky individual who I'm already jealous of.
CRANE (voice-over): Rachel Crane, CNN, New York.
PAUL: Thanks, Rachel, for filing that report.
And thank you so much for joining us this morning. Don't go anywhere. We're back in just about an hour.
PAUL: We sure are. Smerconish is up with you next, but as Boris said, we'll see you at 10:00 a.m. Eastern for Newsroom. We hope you make good memories today.