Return to Transcripts main page

New Day Sunday

Biden Defends Upcoming Visit to Saudi Arabia Against Criticism; Next Hearing of the January 6 Committee is Tuesday; Abbott Nutrition Re-Opens Nation's Largest Baby Formula Factory; Japanese Police Identifies Suspect in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Assassination; Brittney Griner's Arrest in Russia Exposes Gender Pay Gap in Professional Sports. Aired 7-8 a ET

Aired July 10, 2022 - 07:00   ET



NARRATOR: There's never a dull moment when you're working alongside giants.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: It is an incredible series, and you can watch the full first episode tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

WHITNEY WILD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Whitney Wild.

SANCHEZ: Good morning, Whitney. I'm Boris Sanchez.

President Biden is defending his controversial trip to the Middle East this week in a new op-ed. Why he calls the trip critical to the security of the United States.

WILD: The country's largest baby formula plant is back up and running after being shut down for three weeks. What that will mean for families who are still struggling to find formula for their babies.

SANCHEZ: Plus, the mayor of Uvalde, Texas, is pushing back on a report criticizing the police response to the school shooting there all while families are still demanding answers. We're going to speak live to a Texas state senator and get his reaction.


WILD: It's Sunday, July 10th. Thank you for waking up with us.

President Biden is defending his decision to visit Saudi Arabia when he travels to the Middle East this week against criticism and controversy surrounding that trip. The president will meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman but, remember, as a candidate for president, Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a pariah. Now, as president, he says his visit to the country is critical to U.S. security. SANCHEZ: In his op-ed in "The Washington Post", the president also

touched on Saudi Arabia's role in dealing with a spike in energy prices. He writes, quote: Today, Saudi Arabia has helped to restore unity among the six countries of Gulf Cooperation Council, has fully supported the truce in Yemen and is working with my experts to help stabilize markets with other OPEC producers.

The president's trip has come under criticism because of Saudi Arabia's role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, notably on the same newspaper that published the president's op-ed. U.S. intelligence says the Saudi crown prince was responsible for ordering Khashoggi's murder.

WILD: Let's bring in White House reporter Jasmine Wright.

Jasmine, what are we hearing from the president about this visit to Saudi Arabia?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, the president is in major defense mode trying to argue that America will be better off with his engagement with Saudi Arabia rather than worse. But I think one question that could remain with those who criticize the trip is at what cost?

Now, of course, as you said the criticism stems from Saudi Arabia's role in the killing of "The Washington Post" journalist. Notably, that is the paper where this president published the op-ed. He really responded to those criticisms directly. He said it was under him that the report implicating the Saudi intervention force was released about that killing and he said that when it comes to human rights, when he meets with the Saudi leaders, remember, he is to meet with King Salman and others including the crown prince, notably his name was omitted from the op-ed, when he meets with those leaders human rights will be at the forefront.

I want to read you part of what he wrote. Biden said from the start, my aim was to reorient not rupture relations with a country that's been a strategic partner for 80 years. I know there are many who disagree with my decision to travel to Saudi Arabia. My views on human rights are clear and long-standing and fundamental freedoms are always on the agenda when I travel abroad as they will be during this trip just as they will be in Israel and the west bank.

So, of course, that is a much different language than we heard then- candidate Biden use calling Saudi Arabia a pariah. Now, of course, a part of this or in the backdrop of this trip will be gas prices as they search for ways to bring down the cost for Americans following Russia's invasion into Ukraine.

Now, officials have down played that this is a reason why President Biden is really seeking out this reset with the country that he once heavily criticized. That will be a major component we expect.

Now, before the president heads to Saudi Arabia we will see him in Israel and Palestine. The first trip he's making there as president and then he says he will fly directly from Israel to Riyadh in a sign of warming relations -- Boris, Whitney.

SANCHEZ: Jasmine Wright, thank you so much.

WILD: The January 6 Committee public hearings resume this week and those hearings have come amid new revelations about former President Trump's White House counsel Pat Cipollone's lengthy closed door interview with committee investigators on Friday.


Sources say Cipollone did assert privileges to a couple of questions and the committee asked him about pardons including potential pardons for the Trump family and whether Trump wanted to pardon himself.

So here to discuss all of this further is Michael Moore. He's a former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. He's currently a partner at Moore Hall in Atlanta.

Mr. Moore, thank you so much for joining us.

So my first question for you is a lot of people out there are watching these committee hearings so closely because they believe that the former president committed a crime. And so, if the committee has said over and over that there's always a possibility they will make criminal referrals but it's not their objective. Their objective is the legislative purpose.

However, how critical is Cipollone's testimony to tying some criminality or some criminal action to former President Trump?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Well, good morning. I'm glad to be with you. Thank you for having me on.

I do -- I think his testimony is crucial and I think what is crucial about it is he needs to be the bridge between the various testimonies and evidence they have already in their hearing and that is he needs to be the link between what people are talking about that somebody may have said at some time and what other people are saying, well, we saw this. He needs to be the one that pulls some direct evidence in play about what Trump may have ordered or directed or maybe there's a message or an email or a text or something documenting what happened at the time. That will be crucial.

You know, there are a lot of people who are very much in tune and thinking this should turn immediately into a criminal case this is a process and it will be important especially when you talk about whether or not a referral should be made of a former president to the DOJ whether or not we have direct evidence linking the former president to some criminal act not just his inner circle, not some close advisers or lawyers at the time but whether or not we can actually point to something that is illegal that Trump did, not something that was just being a lousy president or that he was derelict in his duties. Not that. That's what impeachment is about.

We've been through the impeachment trial and the Senate failed to act based on the evidence. In this case, they're talking about whether or not there's something there that ties him to some specifically unlawful comment.

WILD: There was a surprise that came out of the reporting on that testimony and I want to go back in time. A couple weeks ago, a former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, said it was Pat Cipollone who said he cannot go up there. The former president cannot go up to Capitol Hill because if they do -- and this is a quote -- that they will be charged with every crime imaginable.

So I think a lot of people were anticipating when Mr. Cipollone went back in front of the committee investigators that he would be asked about that. But two sources told CNN he was not. So, what do you make of that? Why would they not ask him that?

MOORE: You know, I was interested to read the reporting after his appearance, and it sounded to me like some of the reports from the committee member, at least as it spoke publicly was lukewarm and that there was an assertion by Cipollone of executive privilege.

That's an important thing. The privilege is something that even though we have seen in the prior administration, these are the norms of the country and the administration so it went out the window. It's important to have executive privilege.

He may have been trying to preserve and protect internal deliberations and discussions that go on between the administration figures and White House counsel like protecting communications with a client. And so, they may have steered clear of that or it may have been a discussion had early on. We know they were negotiating shorter terms back and forth for his interview. So, I'm not surprised at that and while he may have excerpted executive privilege he has corroborated certain key points from Ms. Hutchinson's testimony and maybe other witness testimony.

So I think it was a mixed bag in his statement. It was something that was important, they needed to do it. I applaud him for coming forward giving his statement and interview to the committee and we'll see. I expect as we go through the next week we may see some clips of that played in some of the public hearings.

WILD: Well, sources have also told CNN that Trump is considering waiving executive privilege for Steve Bannon which could possibly clear the way for him to testify to the January 6 committee. This is why he's facing a criminal contempt charge because he says he's not going in front of the committee. He says that he is basically barred from doing that because of these executive privilege claims.

So, if the former president says he would waive that and I know there's debate whether or not he's entitled to executive privilege, what does this -- how does this impact the Bannon case?


How does this impact the committee's investigation? What does this all mean? MOORE: I'm not very impressed by the offer, I will tell you. When you

have someone, at least is apparently the target of an inquiry and they want to hand pick who can come and give statements and block the other people from giving statements, I have some real concerns about that. It reminds me of Bonnie waiving executive privilege for Clyde or something. I mean, that's sort of nonsensical. The privilege needs to be waived or it doesn't as it relates to certain allegations around January the 6th.

So, you know, I don't think this will be a situation where they're going to allow Trump to hand pick people that give testimony. We'll see as we go on.

Some of this is a waiting game. Some of this is an effort to drag this out until after the midterms, until after the new Congress comes in. I mean, I think there's some clear efforts there that are going on to block things in court and claim privileges and the type of stuff that keeps testimony from the jury and information also from the American people and that's the travesty of it.

We just want to get to the bottom of it, get to the truth, and get figure out where the failures were. If those failures rest at the feet of the former president, then we got to deal with that. If it was somewhere else, then we have to deal with that, too, to make sure this does not happen again.

WILD: Michael Moore, such a pleasure. Thank you for joining us early on a Sunday. We really appreciate it.

MOORE: A great pleasure to be with you. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: It has been nearly a week since the deadly Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, that killed seven and injured dozens more. Officials are calling on the close knit community to come together and begin the healing process, as many struggle to understand just how this sort of violence could happen.

CNN's Camila Bernal has the latest.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Boris, Whitney, residents here in Highland Park finding different ways to cope and to deal with the trauma and what they leave through on the Fourth of July. For many, it was about coming here They were coming here to this rally to support each other. Others have told me they need time.

I talked to one resident who has lived here for 26 years. He was at the parade. He says he was very close to the shooter. And he says now he goes back to the memorial every single day and he says that's one way that he is healing. And he says talking also really helps.

A lot of people told me they go through waves of emotions where sometimes they're sad, sometimes they break down, other times they're just in shock and feel numb. I also talked to a mother who was at the parade, and she was there

with her husband and her 2-year-old. She says her husband ran with her 2-year-old. She stayed behind trying to help the elderly. And what she told me when I asked about healing was I'm not healing, I'm evolving.

And she said that part of that means taking action and speaking out against gun violence. Here's what she said.

REBECCA WEININGER, SURVIVED HIGHLAND PARK SHOOTING: Every morning when I wake up my soul is still crushing. From what I heard and saw and from what I heard and saw and the people separated from their children and the children who were crying and are different today because they experienced a fear that they should never experience and that injury doesn't stop.

BERNAL: And the rally was somber. It was emotional, but it was also a time for this community to come together. Organizers were asking for a couple of things -- one of them being donations and support for the victims and for those that were injured.

But the other thing they were asking for was legislative action. They say that is what comes next -- Boris, Whitney.


WILD: Camila Bernal, thank you.

The United States largest baby formula factory is now back in business again. It's been five months since Abbott first closed its doors because of possible bacteria contamination. The company later had to shut down again because of severe weather.

SANCHEZ: Yeah. But as CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard reports, the struggle to get much-needed formula is far from over.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Parents across the country still struggle to find formula. And here is what the current situation looks like. More than 20 percent of formula products have been out of stock for the past month. That includes powder, ready to drink, and liquid formula. And to try to help inventory this week, retailers continued to limit how much people can buy at stores.

Kroger said it was limiting purchases to four containers per person. Target and CVS both confirmed to CNN they had limits in place. And Walgreens was limiting customers to three items per transaction for all infant and toddler formula.


And, of course, the demand for formula remains high. So, we'll continue to keep an eye on this situation as it develops.

Back to you.


SANCHEZ: Jacqueline Howard, thank you.

Still ahead, outrage, anger and a demand for answers about why officers didn't try and take out the Uvalde school shooter sooner. Next, we're going to talk to Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez about the frustration with the investigation.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, new details are emerging about the suspect. Ahead, what he's telling investigators and why he says he changed his original plan when it came to the weapons he wanted to use.

And later, we're going to take a look at the pay gap between top athletes in men's and women's sports which ultimately led Brittney Griner and so many other women basketball pros to play for a Russian league.

All that and more when NEW DAY continues just minutes away.



SANCHEZ: The mayor of Uvalde, Texas, is disputing a new report detailing a series of mistakes by law enforcement and responding to the shooting at Robb Elementary School.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz spoke with a teacher who says he heard officers in the hallway calling out twice to the gunman who was inside a room with him and his students who had all been shot. Listen to this.


ARNULFO REYES, ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER: The children were dead under the table. But wasn't anything I could do about it.


REYES: Yeah, my children.


SANCHEZ: Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez joins us now. He's been pressing for answers since the shooting devastated his community in late May.

Roland, good morning.

It's always great to have you on and get your perspective on this because you've raised your own issues surrounding this new report. You point out some discrepancies in it. What about it stands out most to you?

ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D), TEXAS STATE SENATE: Well, Boris, the report is fatally flawed. It has one mention of a DPS trooper inside the hallway. From my own cross-examination with Steve McCraw, we know that there were 12 people from the Department of Public Safety in that hallway. The report fails to mention BORTAC, which is the federal unit that went in there to neutralize the suspect.

And then, of course, we hear from the mayor that during his own investigation, he went off and talked to his own police, did what any mayor would, and asked that police officer. That police officer indicated that he told the Department of Public Safety that that person turned out not to be the shooter but rather the coach. That was not contained in the report.

SANCHEZ: Roland, from very early on you've been saying you're afraid there's going to be a cover-up and recently the mayor echoed that sentiment. What is happening in Uvalde?

GUTIERREZ: Well, you know, Boris, what happened in Highland Park stands in stark contrast to what's going on. In Highland Park, we saw briefings every 30 minutes by law enforcement. We had two -- two, in a week, and then nothing.

And so that's what's happened in Texas right now is that we have law enforcement and this district attorney that have hid behind a criminal investigation to fail to disclose what I don't know. The only thing I can tell you is there was obvious abject failure, that there was clear systemic errors and clear human errors.

We all see it. For 48 minutes they stood outside that room and failed to go in. We see the failures. It's time DPS lifts the band-aid and tells us what went wrong that day.

SANCHEZ: In an effort to get more transparency, there's the 77-minute video that was taken in the hallway of the elementary school and there was reporting that it would be released soon, potentially as soon as tomorrow. But it doesn't seem like that's happening anymore. We understand the district attorney may have intervened to block the release.

What's going on with that video?

GUTIERREZ: So, we're hearing a lot of different things, Boris, on that issue. We hear from the district attorney it will come out, that it's not going to come out, that they're going to uncover the audio. The fact is your guess is as good as mine what's in the mind of a district attorney. I think what's happening most by the Department of Public Safety has really turned to cruelty because the families are just back and forth like ping-pongs, you know, emotionally, and they can't get to a place where they can get the answers that they need and at the same time be protected. I understand some of the things that might come out from that video might be very hurtful.


From us from a law enforcement perspective or from a legislative perspective, we need to know what happened so that we can avoid it from happening in another school again. We have 40, 37 days until school starts in Texas and we still don't know what happened almost 50 days after what happened in Uvalde. SANCHEZ: Roland, I just want to share with our viewers you're in

Washington, D.C., right now. You've been invited to the White House to commemorate the passage of that historic bipartisan gun safety law. Obviously, a moment that personally means a lot to you.

But I'm wondering if you think the federal government needs to get involved to clear up what is happening in Uvalde because as you noted, it has to be excruciating for these families of victims to not get the answers that they are looking for.

GUTIERREZ: Well, Boris, I echo the statements and concerns for the mayor. He's asked for a federal investigation. I'm asking for a federal investigation. As you know, I have a lawsuit that's pending. We should be in court around the 20th of July where we will subpoena Steve McCraw and others from the Department of Public Safety.

Absolutely, we want the federal government to be able to tell us what went wrong. I think it's telling in all of the failures that occurred in that school building for 48 minutes that none of the radio systems worked, none but the federal government's.

And so what's going on in Texas that we can't get even our own radio systems to work? We're now finding out that the governor new for the last seven years of a failed radio system was asked for as much as $13 million and has given a $1 million band-aid to that $13 million failed radio system.

We've got real problems that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, the leadership in Texas would rather have a bunch of dog and pony shows along our Texas border and then when it comes to securing our border, truly failed to do their jobs appropriately.

SANCHEZ: Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez, we appreciate your work and what you're doing to get answers for these families. We hope you'll come back as more details trickle in about exactly what happened at Robb Elementary School. Thank you.

GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

GUTIERREZ: Still ahead, the assassination of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stunned the world. Now there are new details about the suspected gunman's behavior from people who knew him. We'll have the latest on the investigation next.



SANCHEZ: We're learning new details this morning about the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. According to public broadcaster NHK the suspect told investigators he initially planned to use explosives to carry out the attack but later decided to use a homemade gun instead. WHITNEY WILD, CNN ANCHOR: It comes as we're learning a lot more about

the suspect's behavior from the people who knew him. So let's bring in CNN's Kyung Lah. She is in Tokyo.

So what are you learning about the suspect? What is the biggest revelation here?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're starting to get a slightly better picture, Whitney and Boris, so exactly who this man is. His name is 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, and Kyoto News Agency interviewed two people who know this man and at least they say from the appearance of him he was pretty mild mannered, that he kept to himself and that he didn't raise any immediate red flags.

He took a job at a factory moving freight, and he lost that job just seven months into it because he would have these unexplained absences. Law enforcement say that there is much more to learn and the process of beginning this investigation into this man is really kicking off. He has been moved from police custody into the custody of prosecutors. He has not yet been officially charged. Law enforcement has raided his home where they did recover more weapons, handmade weapons that look like pistols made out of pipe and adhesive tape.

Here in Tokyo, though, the process of the country moving on is beginning. The elections are in the Upper House of the parliament here in Japan. Those polls have closed. The election took place as scheduled. The former prime minister was out on the street, you know, taking part in the political process and the politicians in this country have been determined to make sure that the political process continues.

As far as what is going to happen with mourning the former prime minister, what we understand is going to be happening over the next couple of days. A temple that's actually just over my shoulder, it's dark right now, but the former prime minister will have a wake. There will be a funeral. It will be reserved for close friends and for family. But this entire city will begin the process of mourning.

We do understand, Boris and Whitney, that the secretary of state from the United States, Antony Blinken, will be coming tomorrow in order to pay his respects -- Boris, Whitney.

SANCHEZ: Kyung Lah, reporting from Tokyo. Thank you.

WNBA star Brittney Griner remains detained in Russia. Up next we're going to take a closer look at why this basketball superstar has to play in a foreign league.



SANCHEZ: Checking in on this morning's other top stories. Protests continue in Akron, Ohio, following the deadly police involved shooting of Jayland Walker. WILD: Officials say eight officers fired dozens of bullets. That

resulted in more than 60 gunshot wounds. Activists have accused the city of hiding information. They are calling for full transparency and they want the names of the eight officers to be released.

They were joined yesterday by the father of Jacob Blake. Blake was left paralyzed after Kenosha, Wisconsin, police shot him seven times. Police in that case were never charged. CNN affiliate WISN reports Jacob Blake Sr. was arrested this week while protesting in Akron.


SANCHEZ: Officials in Massachusetts say that a fire destroyed a historic hotel on Nantucket Island. The Veranda House Hotel was completely renovated in 2020 but the building itself dates back to the 17th Century. And this video from "The Nantucket Current" you can see heavy flames and smoke surrounding the structure. None of the hotel guests or staff were hurt but three firefighters had to be rushed to area hospitals for minor injuries. At this point the cause of the fire remains unclear.

Meantime, authorities in California say a wildfire burning in Yosemite National Park has grown to nearly 1200 acres. High temperatures and dry air has caused the fire to grow steadily since it was first reported on Thursday. Since then communities and campgrounds in that area have been evacuated. But officials say the fire may pose a threat to the park's giant Sequoia trees, some of those believed to be more than 2,000 years old.

WILD: The detention of WNBA star Brittney Griner is shining a spotlight on what some see as the inequality in the world of sports. She has been held in Russia since February after allegedly carrying hash oil in her luggage. Her lawyers say that the alleged smuggling was unintentional and it was done -- frankly just out of negligence.

Griner entered a guilty plea in a Russian court last week and she now faces up to 10 years in prison. But her attorneys are hoping for a more lenient sentence. Griner's coach says that she would already be home if she were more famous and a male.


VANESSA NYGAARD, HEAD COACH, PHOENIX MERCURY: I mean, the question is, would Tom Brady be home? But Tom Brady wouldn't be there, right, because he doesn't have to go to a foreign country to supplement his income from the WNBA. And so we want to keep focus on bringing BG home. But there is an undercurrent of the lack of coverage and value of women's sports.


WILD: Joining me now to discuss all of this is CNN sports analyst and sports columnist, and one of the women I very much look up to in journalism, Christine Brennan.

Christine, such a pleasure to have you here. Thank you so much for ironing out this complicated issue for us. The reality is Griner was in Russia because like a lot of professional athletes in women's sports she has to supplement her income by playing overseas in the off-season. So in an opinion piece for "The "L.A. Times" Griner's agent said that half of the women in the WNBA play in foreign clubs and the Russian and Turkish clubs are so attractive because they pay the most.

So how does the pay in foreign leagues stack up against what they can make here? What kind of percentage of their overall salary can they make up by playing in these well-paying but also high-risk areas?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Whitney, it's a great point, and thanks so much for having me. Great to talk to you. Absolutely Brittney Griner can make over a million dollars by playing in Russia, which, of course, was the reason she was going back to Russia in February. And well over a million. And the top salary for the WNBA which is in the spring and summer is $228,000.

You can supplement that with bonuses getting up to maybe a half million. But at least twice as much and probably many more times as much because it's Russian oligarch money that is being paid to these athletes. It's not necessarily about the bottom line. It's more about they want to bring stars from the U.S. in to play in the off-season of the WNBA.

And so that's why, as you said, half of the WNBA players go overseas. It's not just Russia. It's Spain, it's Italy, it's China, it's Australia. The money to be made by business people paying these athletes to come over is so much and, again, it allows them to supplement the income they make with the WNBA.

WILD: And when you look at what the WNBA generates, what the women who play in that league make versus the NBA, I mean, it's so marginal compared to what those guys make. And a lot of people will argue, that look, the NBA makes more money and so those guys should get more money. But is it that cut and dry? Is it that simple?

BRENNAN: Certainly it's capitalism, Whitney, on one level. On a big level. And that is just the NBA has been around longer. It is more popular than the WNBA. Those are facts. I mean, you know, men's basketball and men's sports in general got a big head start over women's sports as we just celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX. So yes, as I mentioned a few minutes ago that $228,000, $230,000 top salary for a WNBA player adding on then the bonuses you can go up to a half million, the top -- that's the WNBA. The top NBA players make more than $40 million. So we're talking hundreds of thousands versus $40 million. And so of course it's a huge disparity.

I think what the issue is really if people are not happy about this, well, then you need to buy tickets to WNBA games, you need to buy the jerseys, you need to support the sponsors. There is a way to handle this.


And if fans are so up in arms that they decide to take their granddaughters, their grandsons, the next-door neighbor, boys or girls to WNBA games to introduce them to women's basketball, that would be the way to do it to start to add to the fan base and obviously the coffers of the WNBA.

WILD: What impact do you think that Brittney Griner's case will have on that, on helping people understand what you need to do to support the WNBA, or just frankly to bring more attention to the immense talent that exists in that league?

BRENNAN: It's such a heartbreaking and tragic situation all the way around. But an offshoot of it, unintended consequences, it is giving the WNBA much more of a focus and a spotlight, and every conversation I've had, Whitney, about this it leads to that conversation, the disparity between the WNBA, the NBA, women's sports and men's sports. So that is good. Something good out of a terrible situation.

And certainly when Brittney Griner gets back home, and let's hope it's soon, if in fact she starts to play again, which one would hope, she's 31 years old and, you know, multiple all-star, two-time Olympic gold medalist, as we expect we haven't seen the last of her on a basketball court once she gets back home, once everything gets settled and she's able to get her life back together, then I would imagine there would be intense interest when she takes the court for the first time whether it be in the WNBA next year hopefully or soon, and then of course the 2024 Olympics in Paris for the U.S. women's basketball team which, by the way, hasn't lost since 1992.

The most dominant team on the planet is the U.S. women's basketball team. So the national team. And so I think there is a chance here through something so difficult to have some positives come out for women's basketball and women's sports in general.

WILD: Christine Brennan, thank you so much for joining us.

BRENNAN: Whitney, thank you.

SANCHEZ: A quick programming note to share with you. A new season of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" with W. Kamau Bell premieres tonight on CNN. And in this week's episode he explores how U.S. history and critical race theory are being taught in schools.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When people say critical race theory today, what they're talking about is a bogeyman that has been created by people who want to vilify, besmirch, demonize any sort of thinking that they perceive as progressive thinking about race.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the very fact that this time last year very few people had heard of critical race theory but suddenly overnight critical race theory is that thing that you have to come out and protect your children against. It's a great bogeyman, and we think we can make it run. And so far they've been right.

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST: Yes, yes, every now and again certain forces in this country come up with a new bogeyman that is a thing that they use to say your America is being taken away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you actually follow the money, you'll see tens of millions of dollars have been spent to create critical race theory as the bogeyman.


SANCHEZ: A new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" premieres tonight on 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.



SANCHEZ: If you've been outside lately, you know it has been a scathing summer with record hot temperatures, and today over 30 million people are expected to be under heat alerts.

WILD: In some places, temperatures could climb to more than 115 degrees.

So let's bring in CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers.

So, Chad, a scorcher out there all across the country but who is getting it the worst?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Death Valley I think probably unsurprisingly gets to 119 today, Phoenix to 115. It's be 104 in Dallas. So the Western two-thirds of the country, that's where the heat is. And that's where the advisories are. So 108 degrees yesterday in places like Waco, Texarkana, even up toward Chadron, Nebraska, should not be that hot.

Those were all record high temps and we'll see a few more of them today. Grand Island somewhere around 110 with the heat index there. So that's where the heat is and then to the east is where the heat isn't. Temperatures are very nice to the northeast. But what's hotter than the 10th of July in Death Valley? The 12th of July in Death Valley as it's getting hotter from here.

Now that cool air does work its way out of the northeast over the next couple of days. Guys, I want you to enjoy this day today. Your normal high in D.C. should be 90. You're going to be sunny and 83. Just think of all the people out West as you enjoy your sunny and 83.

WILD: I think we can think about that when it's sunny and 95, because it's such a scorcher.

MYERS: Touche.

SANCHEZ: Chad Myers from the Weather Center, thank you so much.

And thank you for starting your morning with us. Whitney, it was a pleasure. Come back any time.

WILD: Thank you for having me. You are the most gracious host and I appreciate.

"INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" coming up with Abby Phillip. That is next but first here is a new look at CNN's new series, it is so stunning. It's called "PATAGONIA" and it premieres tonight.


ANNOUNCER: This is Patagonia. See this land of extremes like never before, where animals and humans once enemies now fight together against new challenges.


What does it take to live in one of the most wild and isolated places on earth?

"PATAGONIA, LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD" premiers tomorrow at 9:00 on CNN.