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New Day Saturday

WH Defends Monkeypox Response While Accelerating Vaccine Effort; Source: Putin Agrees To Allow Inspectors Access To Nuclear Plant; At Least 12 Killed After Gunmen Storm Upscale Hotel In Somalia; WH Officials Privately Express Concern About Classified Information Taken To Mar-a-Lago; Sen. Graham Loses New Bid To Avoid Facing GA Grand Jury Next Week; Pres. Biden "Preparing" To Make Announcement On Student Loans; TX Transports Nearly 1,000 Migrants To NY In Recent Weeks, More Than 7,000-Plus To Washington, D.C. Since April. Aired 8- 9a ET

Aired August 20, 2022 - 08:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning everyone and welcome to your "New Day." I'm Amara Walker.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Great to be with you, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez.

The White House is rolling out a new strategy to combat monkeypox amid criticism. Their plan to vaccinate large groups in high risk communities.

WALKER: There are growing concerns of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine as Russia stages attacks from a power plant only a few 100 feet from a nuclear reactor. Depression now growing from the international community.

SANCHEZ: Plus deeply concerned the new CNN reporting shedding light on how worried some in the Biden administration are about classified documents ending up at Mar-a-Lago.

WALKER: And cutting it close. The freeze on student loan payments is set to end this month. And borrowers aren't the only ones in the dark about what's going to happen next.

SANCHEZ: It's the weekend Saturday, August 20th. We are so grateful to be a part of yours. Thanks for joining us.

WALKER: It sounds like you were well rested last night or something.

SANCHEZ: Oh, almost never.

WALKER: Almost never. Well, you do a good job of faking it. Good to be with you, Boris.

A lot of news to get to this morning. First, the White House defending its response to the spread of monkeypox across the U.S. and implementing its new aggressive plan to control the outbreak.

SANCHEZ: Yes. There are more than 14,000 monkeypox cases in the United States, more than a third of all cases in the world. And listen to this in the last three weeks, the number of monkeypox cases in the U.S. has nearly tripled according to the CDC. The Biden administration declared monkeypox, a public health emergency earlier this month after facing criticism that it wasn't moving fast enough to address the crisis.

Now, I spoke with White House Deputy monkeypox Response Coordinator, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis yesterday, he defended the response.


DEMETRE DASKALAKIS, DEPUTY COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE MONKEYPOX RESPONSE: We know what we've got in terms of this outbreak. It is acting differently than any monkeypox outbreak we've done before. It's clear the epidemiology, its clear what strategies need to be implemented to be able to control the outbreak. And it's also clear which populations we need to focus on. So I think really, it's more about the right time as opposed to there being a delay.


WALKER: Now, those comments came one day after the White House announced its new plan, which includes boosting vaccine supply with an additional 1.8 million vaccine doses, making antiviral treatments more rapidly available for patients who have contracted the virus and reaching out to at risk communities. That plan is being put into action this weekend in Charlotte.

Healthcare workers in North Carolina will be administering three monkeypox vaccines at private events across the city. Charlotte is one of several across the south receiving 50,000 vaccine doses from the Strategic National Stockpile ahead of large public events.

Now, complicating efforts to get a handle on the health crisis are problems around messaging. Some are concerned that specifically stating which groups are at highest risk could be dangerous. Others say not being specific and dangerous people who most need help.

Well joining me now to discuss as Gregg Gonsalves, co-director of the Yale Law School and School of Public Global Health Justice Partnership. Greg, good morning to you. Thank you so much for joining me this morning.

So let's talk about this delicate balance of messaging because obviously, that's all pitted against, you know, making sure that people who need the care get the access that they need. How should public officials be talking about monkeypox?

GREGG GONSALVES, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, YALE: Well, the point is that it's not a gay disease, the disease is spread by close physical contact, and endemic regions. This has nothing to do men who have sex with men. I think the reason we're saying not to focus on it being a gay disease is because of the stigma and discrimination that we all know well from, you know, fight against HIV and AIDS. But that being said, this disease is spreading particularly among men, intersex -- men, gay men, in the United States and around the world right now.

So we have to hold two thoughts in our heads at once. Avoid stigma and discrimination, but also focus our efforts from the groups that need care and prevention the most. Men are second men, gay men in the United States and elsewhere right now.

WALKER: I understand. I mean, you studied HIV for many years along with other infectious diseases. You are and have been an AIDS activist as well. I mean do you see any parallels to the anti-gay stigma that was so pervasive, at least at the beginning of the epidemic with HIV and AIDS? And what can we learn from that compared to what we're seeing now with the monkeypox?


GONSALVES: Well, I'd say the real similarity right now is in the sort of bureaucratic, bumbling, the sluggishness of the response, the inability to get ahead of this outbreak, when, as Dr. Daskalakis said, we know what this pathogen is, we have a vaccine, we have treatments. But as you said, we had a tripling of cases over the past few weeks. And we have the vast majority of these cases happening, men have sex with men, particularly among the African-American and Latino communities.

And so, the parallel is less stigma and discrimination from the 1980s, than to sort of the failures with the response in the monkeypox effort, which really reminded me of the early days of AIDS.

WALKER: You know, for those at home are saying, well, what's the big deal? What's the big deal with the messaging? I mean, it has real life effects, though, doesn't it? I mean, we saw, we had CNN reporting a week or so ago about phlebotomy has set specific labs who were afraid of refusing to take blood samples, because they were worried about the monkeypox. They didn't know much about the virus. So the language around monkeypox could have real life effects, right when it comes to access to care and intervention.

GONSALVES: Of course it can, it can keep people away from care and prevention services, if people are afraid of coming forward, because they're going to face anti-gay stigma and discrimination. But right now, I think it's a second order problem. The point is, is that our groups response has been so slow, our supply of vaccines has been so limited by choice not by accident, that that people who actually need care are not getting it, people who need a vaccine are not getting it. And that's the biggest problem at the current moment.

WALKER: Is it too, too little too late right now with the Biden administration's response, then accelerating the number of vaccine doses 1.8 million more doses and also trying to engage with the higher risk communities?

GONSALVES: Well, you know, we're heading towards Labor Day. This all started around Memorial Day, when the -- when we could have been quick out of the gates and contain this outbreak in the United States, which we're in many people in public health right now, is we may be past the point of no return and the fact that this is not going to be contained, and it's going to become quote, unquote, endemic among men who have sex with men in the United States and elsewhere, leading to a persistent infection and a new epidemic that we have to deal with on top of HIV and COVID-19.

WALKER: Yes, that's concerning. We appreciate the conversation. Gregg Gosavles, thank you very much.


SANCHEZ: We want to turn out to the war in Ukraine and more military aid that is on the way from the United States. The Pentagon says the U.S. is providing another $775 million in aid, bringing the total assistance under the Biden administration to more than $10 billion.

WALKER: The aid announcement comes as concern grows over fighting around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and the possibility of a nuclear disaster. Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses the Ukrainian military of conducting repeated military strikes at the plant. But as CNN first reported new satellite images contradict those claims.

CNN military analyst Col. Cedric Leighton says Russia needs to make good on reported -- on its report a promise to allow inspectors onto the site.


COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think there'll be a lot of international pressure on Russia to do this. The question is whether or not it's going to be a valid inspection and whether or not it will actually stop something bad from happening.


SANCHEZ: We want to take you now live to Zaporizhzhia and CNN senior international correspondent Sam Kiley, who joins us, live.

Sam, how likely is it that Russia is going to give nuclear inspectors access to the plant that will follow through on this agreement?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, I think, first of all, I don't think it's necessarily an agreement. That's how it's slightly been portrayed following the conversation between President Emmanuel Macron and President Vladimir Putin last night, yesterday afternoon. But the reality is that this is an offer that's essentially been on the table for a while from the Russians. The problem is that this is a frontline location. And the international community is saying they want to see a demilitarized and it's unclear whether demilitarization has to occur before these inspectors can get in, not least for their own safety.

So there's quite a long way to travel and quite easy for the Russians to say, yes, fine, we welcome some inspectors at some later date while simultaneously continuing to prosecute their war against Ukraine, which is using that location or areas very, very close to the nuclear power station as a fire base for attacks on among other things civilian targets on the other sides of the Dnieper River.


And on about that there is no doubt whatsoever. They are firing rockets regularly Nikopol town just across the river was hit the game last night. Thirteen people have been killed over the last month in that town alone. Boris, Amara.

WALKER: And just quickly, what is the situation around the nuclear plant as it stands right now?

KILEY: Well, accurate information is extremely difficult to get hold of. But we have been in touch with people who are actually working there through third parties. They are saying that it's extremely tense, that they do hear detonations on a regular basis. We've also spoken to one former employee who escaped a Ukrainian who escaped was recaptured, tortured, and was then finally released. He said that the Russian technicians who have been brought into that power plant are anxious about their physical safety.

And many of them don't support Putin's war and would like to leave. And we do also know that refugees from (INAUIDBLE) which is the town right next door arrive not quite regularly because it's extremely difficult to get out. But the mayor of that town said there were at least thousand vehicles trying to get out there reports that some may be emerging today.

This all speaks to the fact that this is an unsafe place, and an unpleasant place to be under the Russian occupation. Amara.

SANCHEZ: Sam Kiley reporting live from Ukraine. Thanks so much, Sam.

WALKER: At least 12 people are dead after armed gunmen attacked an upscale hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu last night. Authorities say the gunman stormed the Hyatt hotel after several -- setting off car bombs. The hotel is popular with lawmakers and government officials and officials say the death toll is likely to rise as Somali security forces are battling the gunmen for control of the area around the hotel. The al-Qaeda linked terrorist group al- Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

SANCHEZ: Still to come on "New Day." Why the recent search for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago has some White House officials concerned?

Plus, the latest on Senator Lindsey Graham's ongoing court battle to stay away from testifying before a Georgia grand jury. Stay with us.



WALKER: Why the White House officials, excuse me, have privately expressed concern over the classified materials taken to former President Trump's Florida Resort Mar-a-Lago including some documents that are only meant to be viewed in secure facilities. SANCHEZ: Since the search, those closest to the president of maintain near silence on the issue, insisting that this ongoing investigation is simply a matter for the Justice Department.

Let's bring in CNN White House reporter Jasmine Wright, she's live for us here in D.C. Good morning, Jasmine, walk us through this new reporting.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, well, deep concern. That is how one senior Administration official describe the level of worry inside of the White House to my colleagues Kaitain Collins and Kevin Liptak really about the documents that were taken to Mar-a-Lago.

Now you're right, the White House has been very disciplined in their messaging near silence from them really referring comment back to the DOJ. But here thanks to my colleagues, we have a window into the increasing privacy concerns from the White House over what was taken in that and that concern really focuses in a large part on exactly what was taken and whether or not what was taken could imperil the way that U.S. intelligence gathers information and the sources that it comes from.

Now, the White House is not exactly sure about what was taken. They received as we did last week, that real inventory list stating exactly what it was. Remember, some of those documents were found in the basement of Trump's private residence Mar-a-Lago. And some of those documents, like you said, they were labeled so highly classified that they were only supposed to be viewed in those high security level rooms called SCIFs here in D.C. So there's concern about whether or not how those documents are handled, whether or not information could get into the wrong places that it's not meant to go.

And now of course, here, Boris and Amara, there's a diplomatic acid to it, because on that inventory list, we know that there was listed a line about French president Emmanuel Macron. Now the White House has to know what it was. And I have to say that neither the White House or the French Embassy, they both declined to comment here. But there's some concern officials say of whether or not it could imperil diplomatic relations. So, it really is there on two fronts here. The White House is certainly concerned about this, especially when it comes to how they collect intelligence and of course, relations with their sources.

WALKER: All right, Jasmine Wright, appreciate your reporting. Thank you.

And here to discuss this further is Michael Zeldin, former federal prosecutor and the host of "The That Said" with Michael Zeldin podcast.

Michael, good morning to you good to see you.


WALKER: There are so many questions right about these classified documents, the why and exactly what were in these documents. What is your thought process?

ZELDIN: So two things. One is for the current White House, they have to be very concerned, as was just reported about what those documents are and what they contain and who had access to them. So from a national security threat analysis standpoint is that's the White House's view.

From the prior White House, then you have to think about what liability do any of them have for getting those documents that were classified from the White House to Trump's basement. We saw in the Mike Pence operation, how systematic they were in going through the documents to make sure that nothing classified moved out of the White House. In this case, Mark Meadows who would have been in charge of this seems to have been missing in action. And that's why all these documents perhaps vanished from the White House, you know, without security around them.


And so, if Mark Meadows and those people, I've got liability concerns if I'm, if I'm Joe Biden and his people, I got national security interests concerns, so two different White Houses, two different sets of concerns.

WALKER: So yes, legal exposure seems to be expanding, at least in terms of the potential there. Let me ask you about the search warrant and this affidavit that the judge, the federal judge seems to be leaning towards releasing at least a redacted version of the affidavit, which would obviously, if it weren't redacted, we probably know about, you know, what kind of problem cause there was for the search to even happen. If the affidavit were released, and it is likely going to be heavily redacted, will there be anything left of substance, like how would that help the public interest?

ZELDIN: Well, I don't know that will help the public interest. If you look at the Mueller report, remember when they released those redacted documents, they were just black pages with a date here and there. But when we don't know when an ongoing criminal investigation like that is whether even a date is a tell to the persons who may be looking at the documents.

So for example, if you and I were in a conspiracy agreement, and on June 7th, we decided to do something and all that was blocked out, was everything but that date, you and I might be you know, tipped off that are they know something about the June 7th date that you and I were talking about?

So you never know, what is a tell in the unredacted portions of it, which is why the Justice Department so strongly suggested to the judge that releasing any of it redacted or not, was potential jeopardizing of their investigation. I think that's the position they should continue to take. And if the judge insists they should go to the district court judge or the court of appeals, because it's a very bad precedent to release affidavits in the midst of an ongoing investigation of this sensitivity. WALKER: So even if had been heavily redacted, you believe that there could be a lot of damage done, at least when it comes to the witnesses and the investigative techniques taken by the FBI during an active investigation.

ZELDIN: Exactly. So, we the public may look at it and learn nothing. But those who are the subjects of this inquiry may learn something and that's what we want to avoid.

WALKER: Yes, got it and it could impede the investigation obviously.

ZELDIN: Exactly.

WALKER: Michael standby for a moment if you will, because I want to get your thoughts on Senator Lindsey Graham and a state level investigation into the 2020 presidential election. We've learned that he may appear, may have to appear next week before a grand jury on Tuesday investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

Sara Murray has more of that listen.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is still keeping up the fight trying to get out of having to appear on Tuesday before a Georgia grand jury that's investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the state. Now a federal judge already told Lindsey Graham she was not going to quash his subpoena. Graham went back to that judge and said could you stay your decision? Could you essentially put pause on this because I'm planning to appeal? The judge got back to him on Friday saying, Senator Graham raises a number of arguments as to why he is likely to succeed on the merits, but they're all unpersuasive.

Now, Graham does have one other irons in the fire. He also filed with an appeals court saying he plans to file his appeal and asking that court to put a stay again, essentially to pause his required Tuesday appearance while this appeal plays out. We are still waiting to see what the appeals court says about this.

The district attorney who's investigating all of this in Georgia, her office has said that Graham is a crucial witness. They are particularly interested in a phone call that Graham had with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Raffensperger came away from that call, feeling like the senator was asking him to throw away ballots in Georgia in a way that would benefit Donald Trump.

Senator Lindsey Graham has denied that and we will see what happens for his legal challenges. And if he asked to appear before that grand jury on Tuesday.

Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO TAPE) WALKER: All right, so let's get back to Michael Zeldin on this. So we heard there that Senator Graham is now arguing. Look, he shouldn't have to testify in this because he his actions were related to legislative activity. Does this argument have any teeth in your opinion? And how much of a chance does he have at the federal level to appeal this?

ZELDIN: I don't think his argument is persuasive. I agree with the judge that the speech and debate clause, which is what's at stake here is to protect legislators from criminal, you know, investigation of stuff they do in the course of their official business. Here, this was not official business, according to the judge, and therefore the speech and debate clause does not protect him. And we saw this in the case of Senator Menendez from New Jersey. Remember he was tried for his lobbying exploits. And he said too that his lobbying was covered by speech and debate and the courts unanimously ruled against him. Those are non-legislative activities.


I think that Graham falls into that same category of this being non- legislative personal and therefore not protected. And I think that the courts have viewed the speech and debate clause cases over the years should agree with Judge May, and he should be required to testify.

WALKER: Yes. So, what kind of information could the Senator provide regarding these two calls that he himself made to the Georgia Secretary of State when it comes to President Trump and his allies attempts?

ZELDIN: Yes, simply what was up with those calls? What were -- what was it that you were trying to do? The judge said to him in the order, look, your communications with Trump, and the efforts to overturn the 2020 election are not legislative. They're critical to the investigation in Georgia. And we need to know what was going on. Who were you talking to? What was being said in those conversations? What was the objective of these efforts? And who else do you know that was participating in this? All that stuff is non-legislative, not protected by speech and debate, critical to the investigation.

And Lindsey Graham has, according to the judge, a legal obligation leave aside of course, the moral and ethical obligation to find out what was going on here in an effort to essentially overturn the popular vote in a presidential election, legislatively not relevant, legally required. I think Graham should be there on Tuesday, he'd have to testify.

WALKER: Well see. Michael Zeldin, appreciate you joining us this morning. Have a good one.

ZELDIN: Thank you.

WALKER: Thanks.

ZELDIN: You too. SANCHEZ: Coming up, the (INAUDIBLE) on repaying student loans expires at the end of August. What happens if President Biden doesn't take any action? We'll discuss the potential ramifications after a quick break.



WALKER: Here are some of the top stories we are following.

A massive fire at a Massachusetts boatyard has injured at least four people including three firefighters. More than 100 firefighters were on scene yesterday battling this fire. Heavy black smoke filled the sky as you see the flames engulfing the area damaging dozens of boats and cars and at least five buildings. The Fire Chief says flames moved quickly partly because of the wind.

Rosa Jeopardy (ph) who shot this aerial video says within 15 minutes the entire yard went up and smoke and the cause still under investigation.

Apple telling users a security flaw in its operating systems for devices could let hackers get access to iPhones, iPads and Macs. The company now directing users to update their software immediately saying the vulnerabilities give hackers the ability to take control of devices. The tech giant dropped two surprise software updates earlier this week to fix the flaw.

SANCHEZ: But clock is ticking. Later this month, some 43 million Americans are set to resume making payments on their federal student loan debt. Remember, most repayments have been on pause since the start of the pandemic back in March of 2020. The Biden administration says the President is preparing to make an announcement on forgiving some student loan debt after mulling on this issue for months, though they have not said exactly when it's coming.


BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: There's a set of considerations that the President is taking into account. And there's also the timeline of where we are. There's the question of the weather and how students should start to repay their loans that during the pandemic that pause payments on student loans across the board as part of the emergency efforts that we did for different parts of the economy, small businesses (INAUDIBLE). And so there are those factors that need to be factored in.


SANCHEZ: We want to introduce you now to Scott Buchanan. He's the Executive Director for the Student Loan Servicing Alliance, nonprofit trade group whose members are responsible for servicing over 95% of all federal student loans.

Scott, we're grateful to have you this morning. What do you think needs to be considered as the White House ways student loan forgiveness?

SCOTT BUCHANAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, STUDENT LOAN SERVICING ALLIANCE: Yes, good morning Boris. I think it's really important for us to think about, you know, what is the right thing that's actually going to matter for American families today and borrowers? You know, I think the government right now is sort of in this conversation playing a little bit of game of poker. And I think they don't really know how the cards will fall for them politically, will they win or lose in the midterms, that they go all in? The problem for every one of us, though, is that they're playing a little bit of game with, with house money, your taxpayer money. So this needs to be a decision where did an economics good policy.

And so, we're trying to make it purely about buying votes and politics. And I'm really hoping that the White House will ignore that noise and focus on making the right call, as they see it, feel bars make progress and pay down their loans as soon as they can.

SANCHEZ: Well, there's a CNN poll for May that shows that 49% of Americans think the U.S. government is not doing enough. It's doing too little to address student loan debt. Do you think there might be another extension on this pause? Or do you expect that the White House is going to make some gesture toward potential voters before the midterm elections?

BUCHANAN: Yes, I think we are 12 days away from the resumption is sort of scheduled, according to the government today. And I think, you know, we've been told and sort of, you know, not communicate with borrowers about that potential resumption, which creates a little bit of a challenge for, for borrowers about the confusion about will I have to begin repayment or will I not have to begin repayment? And I think it's critical that the government become very clear, very quickly about what exactly their expectations are.

I think it's absolutely true that Congress has got to do a lot more to improve the federal student loan program make improvements to the income driven repayment plans we have today. The forgiveness programs are already available under law in order to make those more easily accessed for borrowers, because I think that's been the real challenge that we see the servicers interacting with borrowers on a daily basis.


There's a lot of confusion about these programs, are incredibly complicated today. And simplifying them is something that Congress and the administration should be focused on doing. So that whether it's today, tomorrow, or 10 years from now, student loan borrowers can easily access programs are going to help them assist in repaying their loans.

SANCHEZ: I want to get more thoughts from you on congressional action, but in a practical matter, as far as borrowers, what can they do, worst case scenario for the if there is no extension, and forgiveness does not happen?

BUCHANAN: Yes, I think the number one thing is talk to your servicer today. You know, I think waiting and seeing hypothetically what the government may or may not do is probably not a good personal financial decision. You should operate on the information you have today. And talking to your service or getting ahead of the rush right, if we have sort of all his confusion going into resumption on September 1st talking to your servicer now to understand what repayment plans are available for you. Getting into that repayment plan today, updating your contact information with a servicer so that we can reach out to you and speak to you directly and give you the information. It's the most important thing that people can do.

I just think it's most important that you don't wait on the hopes that the government may or may not do something in the future. But take personal action today to control your personal finances and budget for what inevitable you will be redemption payment at some point.

SANCHEZ: On a personal note, I had to borrow a ton of money to go to school. And since then the cost of going to college has increased exponentially. Do you think that is something that Congress should step in and intervene and try to lower the cost of an education?

BUCHANAN: Well, in many respects, you highlighted you know, I had student loans as well that I had to pay back. But student loans are in some ways a symptom, right of the problem here. And the real challenge that we need to address is college costs. As you highlight college costs are have increased faster than health care costs in the United States over the last 10 years.

And that's something we've got to really focus on how do we convince families to understand that college is an investment that needs to have a good ROI, not just go to the most prestigious and most expensive institution, but the one that's going to get you value that becomes economically beneficial to you, when you leave college. That's something we really got to focus on.

And that's my concern about all this discussion about payment pause. And you know, what we do forgiveness. We really need to be focusing on is it reducing the need to borrow and making sure that people are getting a real value for their education.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it's also a complicated problem, because for a lot of these borrowers, if I'm not mistaken, many of them are most of them never actually finished school, right?

BUCHANAN: That is absolutely a huge problem. When we look at student loan repayment, one of the biggest drivers of default or real distress in student loan portfolio is associated with people who've never completed their degree. They don't really have a tradable economic valuable asset, right, because they don't have that piece of paper that's worth something in the economy, and making it easier for people to stay in school, find ways for them to be able to return, complete those degrees are ways that we can really reduce the distress the bars are going to face.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it is a complex problem. Scott Buchanan, we appreciate you walking us through that and sharing your perspective.

BUCHANAN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Hey, stay with CNN. We'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: Texas officials say they've bussed nearly 1,000 migrants to New York City in the past two weeks and more than 7,000 to Washington DC since April. As part of Governor Greg Abbott's controversial busing program that began earlier this year.

WALKER: New York City Mayor Eric Adams says Texas is forcing the migrants onto buses but Governor Abbott says that's not the case.

CNN's Gary Tuchman with more.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These migrants at the shelter in Eagle Pass Texas most from Venezuela have just crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas, surrendered to the U.S. Border Patrol, received future immigration court dates. And some are about to board this bus for a 1,700 mile trip to Washington D.C. A plan started by the Texas governor in April. Some people say it's cool. But this story may not be what you expect. Listen to these migrants like 28- year-old Genesis Figaroa (ph) from Venezuela.

(on-camera): Are you taking the bus?


TUCHMAN (on-camera): At Washington D.C.?


TUCHMAN (on-camera): So it's a yes?



TUCHMAN (on-camera): Are you happy?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): And listen to those who advocate for the migrants.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Valeria Wheeler is the executive director of Mission Border Hope, a nonprofit organization, which serves this border community and Eagle Pass and operates the shelter for the recent arrivals. She's aware of the political component to the long bus rides, but says many of these people want to go to Washington or New York, the two locations where the Texas State buses are going.

(on-camera): And you're saying no one has been forced to go on these buses.

WHEELER: No one has been forced.

TUCHMAN (on-camera): They're going out because they want to?


TUCHMAN (on-camera): This free ride to New York, Washington.

Hundreds of people come to the shelter each day. The people that work here face an average of about 500 people daily. And many of these people have family in the United States, family with money, and in no time at all, they'll be in their family's home house. But other people here have no family have absolutely no idea where they're going to go next.

(voice-over): Genesis Figoroa (ph) has no family in the United States. But she traveled a month and a half by foot, bus, and boat to get here.


She says I got very tired, my legs hurt and I got sick. I came down with pneumonia. I was hospitalized for three days in Guatemala. Genesis says she does have friends in Washington. So she says she and her husband are happy to take the Washington bus.

(on-camera): Washington D.C. as quarenta horas, 40 hours.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): She says we've been on the road for so long we don't mind two or three more days.

Cousins Luis Pulido and Ainar Garrido (ph) took six weeks to get here from Venezuela. And then something horrible happened.

Luis says we left in search of a dream, but now it's a very difficult hard situation, because this trip took my brother's life. Tragically, Louisa younger brother Juan disappeared when they were all swimming across the Rio Grande. Shelter officials had just informed him Juan's body was found. He drowned.

The cousin said they will go ahead with their plans and take the Washington bus.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Luis says, our destination is Chicago but ads they will get off the bus along the route in Kentucky and the relatives will pick them up there.

The executive director here confirms the buses have indeed led off passengers along the way once they get out of Texas. The time has come for the bus to leave and Genesis Figaroa (ph) gets processed by members of the Texas State Guard and so the cousins Luis Pulido and Ainar Garrido (ph). And then 41 men women and children come out in the blazing sun to board the bus for the 40-hour ride.

Genesis says she's ready. She says she hopes to support her family back at Venezuela by cleaning, cooking or doing office work, Luis and Ainar so they'd like to help their families by working in the restaurant business.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): The bus pulls away. Each passenger we talked to saying they appreciate getting the air conditioned bus ride to what they hope is a much better road ahead.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Eagle Pass, Texas.


WALKER: This weekend, CNN takes an in depth look at the rise of anti- Semitism in America. Is as hate being normalized in the U.S.? That story coming up after a quick break.



WALKER: Tomorrow night, CNN takes a deep dive into anti-Semitism in America and the high tech fight against it.

WALKER: Here's CNN anchor and chief political correspondent Dana Bash with more.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Boris and Amara, to try to combat the rise in anti-Semitism it's important to understand where it starts and how it spreads. And in my upcoming special "Rising Hate AntiSemitism In America," I visit someone who used to take part in that hate, a former skinhead who was recruited on the streets of Los Angeles as a teen. His insight was enlightening and disturbing.

DAMIEN PATTON, FMR SKINHEAD: Their recruiting is pretty sophisticated.

BASH (voice-over): Rcruitment into the world of hate is something Damien Patton understands well. It happened to him.

PATTON: And this is ultimately where I was recruited into gangs.

BASH (on-camera): Right here?

PATTON: Right here.

BASH (voice-over): It was the 1980s, Patton was a runaway, homeless on the streets of Los Angeles.

PATTON: How the skinhead approached me was really with a business card. A business card is reserved for adults. It's reserved for people who are successful for people in business.

BASH (on-camera): So you thought they're successful?

PATTON: They're successful.

BASH (on-camera): I want to be like that.

PATTON: Exactly. That's how it all started. And had nothing to do with ideology in the beginning had everything to do with wanting to be like them and wanting that in my bad situation.

BASH (voice-over): He came from a broken home, a single mom, she was Jewish.

PATTON: The part that probably resonated with me in their message was I was angry. And so anti-Semitism was really saying, I was anti my family.

BASH (voice-over): Patton became a skinhead, the movement which erupted across the U.S. in the '80s with violent attacks and murders, often targeting Jews. He rose in the ranks becoming a recruiter himself. Patton says these days, it's easier than ever to lure people in.

PATTON: These white supremacists are sitting at home today, looking for the vulnerable online, you can be on thousand street corners at once now. And that's the big difference.

BASH (on-camera): That last point that on the internet, you can be on thousand street corners recruiting at once is one big reason anti- Semitism is on the rise over the last few years. It's much easier not just to lure people into the world of hate but to normalize anti- Semitic symbols and tropes on social media and even on gaming platforms, even those that are supposed to be safe for children.

We explore all of this in our investigation into why anti-Semitism is rising and explore ways to stop it and protect from it. Boris and Amara.


WALKER: So disturbing but very, very important to watch. Dana Bash, thank you.

Don't miss the Special Report. This Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

SANCHEZ: And right after that special is an all new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" tomorrow night. W. Kamau Bell is going beyond the crowded beaches in Hawaii to explore the tensions between visitors and locals. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we think well, you can go somewhere, like a lot of us can't go whether it's economic reasons or cultural reasons. Like this is where like we believe from the plant came us, like how are we going to leave and like I'm from another island. And we're seeing like, this island is just getting so overwhelmed. Ten million people a year tourists with a 1.2 residency? That's like 11 million people every year.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's like 11 million (INAUDIBLE) going into Hawaii (INAUDIBLE). Think about you know.

BELL (on-camera): Yes.



BELL (voice-over): And with that colorful image floating in my mind it is time to get in the water for my first surf lesson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then I if you can take your left foot and put it in between around here, you can twist sideways. Then you let go the rails and you turn sideways and stand up. Just like that.

BELL (on-camera): That's it.


BELL (on-camera): And I'm surfing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you're surfing.

BELL (on-camera): Super easy.


BELL (on-camera): Super easy. Why did we make such a big deal about it? (INAUDIBLE) that's easy. I did it.


SANCHEZ: "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" airs tomorrow night at 10. You'll be able to see W. Kamau Bell actually do that in the water. See if it's as easy as he made it look.

Thank you so much for joining us today. Amara, great to be with you. I hope that you're free around 10 o'clock.

WALKER: I will be there I promise. "SMERCONISH" is up next. Boris and I'd be -- we'll be back in one hour. See you then everyone.