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New Day Sunday

Senate Dems Close To Passing Sweeping Climate, Health Care Bill; Actress Anne Heche Remains In ICU Following Car Crash; Twitter Accusing Elon Musk Of Unjustly Exiting Acquisition Deal; Biden Says He's "Feeling Great" After Recovering From COVID; Kentucky Flood Survivors Brace For More Rain; More Than 600 Flights Cancelled Across The U.S. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired August 07, 2022 - 07:00   ET




AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: A very good morning to you. And welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Amara Walker.


A marathon session is under way. Lawmakers pull an all-nighter on Capitol Hill as Democrats push toward final passage of the president's economic bill. We'll take you live to Capitol Hill for the latest.

WALKER: Plus, Albuquerque on edge. The FBI investigating the killings of four Muslim men, and authorities trying to figure out if the same person could be responsible for their deaths.

MATTINGLY: And lucky to be alive. That's what one source says about actress Anne Heche after she was involved in a fiery car crash. We'll have the latest on her condition.

WALKER: And the battle between Twitter and Elon Musk heats up. Now the Tesla CEO firing back in a new public filing against the social media giant.


WALKER: Hello, hello, everyone. It is Sunday, August 7th. Thank you for waking up with us.

It's so good to be with you, Phil. I'm just curious how much compassion and empathy you have for Manu right now, who I thought would be walking around like a zombie.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, I have none. And I'm going to tell you why. I have no compassion or empathy for Manu right now because he somehow manages to look good at 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. after an all-nighter --

WALKER: Oh, there he is.

MATTINGLY: -- when the rest of us having gone through a dozen or so of these at this point in time I looked like a zombie walking through the halls. And it is very frustrating that Manu has the ability to do this and, frankly, I'm opposed to him and it.

WALKER: No jealousy there at all.


MATTINGLY: I know. We'll get to Manu in a second, because up first, Senate Democrats, as we said, they're pulling that all-nighter. So is Manu. They moved closer to final passage of the sweeping climate and healthcare bill.

WALKER: Right now, senators are nearing their eighth straight hour of considering amendments in a so-called vote-a-rama, sounds like a festival, it really isn't. That marathon process began when the Senate voted to advance the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says it will help struggling Americans.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): this is one of the most comprehensive and impactful bills Congress has seen in decades. For families struggling to pay the bills, for seniors struggling to pay for medication, for kids struggling with asthma, this bill is for them.


WALKER: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham blasted the legislation, saying it will hurt Americans already coping with sky high inflation.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): So you're the same people that told us if we passed American rescue plan, all would be well. We're at 9.1 percent inflation. You're increasing gas taxes. Now you want to expand Medicare. This is going to hurt the American people. Stop the madness. Vote no.


WALKER: So the bill known as the inflation reduction act includes nearly $370 billion to fight climate change. It also allows Medicare to negotiate some drug prices, caps Medicare out of pocket costs, $2,000, and extends Affordable Care Act subsidies. Also, it imposes a 15 percent minimum corporate tax on the largest U.S. companies.

MATTINGLY: CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju rejoins us, still looking fresh and annoyingly so. I won't ask you the question that everybody on Capitol Hill hates, which is when is the Senate going to finish this today, but I do want to know where -- how is the process playing out right now, and is there anything you see that could derail what seems to be a pretty straight line Democrats have in the Senate right now? RAJU: Nothing is going to derail this, but everyone hates asking that

question, but I'm asking that question to pretty much every senator I see. And I have just had a chance to talk to a bunch as they have been milling around the Senate chamber. No one has any estimate. Under the rules of the Senate, you can offer as many amendments as you want, go as long as you want to try to change, scuttle, derail, parts of this bill because of the procedure Democrats are employing here, which is trying to pass this along straight party lines with the budget process that cannot be filibustered.

This is why this is so significant. Democrat Democrats, if they keep their caucus in line, they can get this through. Under the rules of the Senate, any senator can offer any amendment they want, no time limit, a bunch of senators told me several hours to go, four to five hours at least. John Thune, the number two Republican, told me 19 more amendment votes and each amendment vote could take 20 minutes or so, if not longer. And then they can get to final passage.


But ultimately, Democrats are in line of achieving a significant win for their party after a more than a year of internal party wrangling. They have managed to fend off Republican attempts to change the bill, whether it is to go after the new IRS agents, hired to enforce tax laws, go after immigration on energy issues, the whole range of Republican efforts have fallen short here because the Democrats have stayed united in trying to keep this bill forward that would allow Medicare for the first time the power to negotiate prescription drug prices, also impose a 15 percent corporate minimum tax, extend Affordable Care Act subsidies for three years, significant issues.

But one significant issue will come up later today I'm told by John Thune, is the Republicans trying to go after the $35 cap on insulin that has been a key part of this package that Democrats have put forward. Under the rules of the Senate, Republicans are likely to succeed in that endeavor. Democrats have essentially dared Republicans to try to strip out that measure, expecting them to get some backlash at the polls if they do just that. Thune indicated to me they do plan to go ahead here, but nevertheless, the ultimate outcome seems not in doubt at the moment, which is Democrats passing this bill sometime today, but who knows when.

WALKER: Who knows when, but the process is moving slowly along. I'm supposed to ask you, Manu, about, you know, the timeline in terms of once the Senate passes this bill, when it would go to the House. Can you also talk about what it looks like behind the scenes? Does it look like a scene out of a zombie movie or not?

RAJU: You know, actually, senators seem surprisingly in good spirits. The last time they did this overnight session, the first -- the last year in some time the senators were looking like zombies at that point, sitting in their chairs, falling asleep, everyone is bleary eyed. It looked like coming off a red eye flight.

Here it is much different. It feels like happy hour in some ways. Senators are up chitchatting, they're standing around, they're talking and that's why voters have taken some time because they're not sitting in their seats and vote, people are leaving the chamber, coming back. I talked to Mark Kelly, the senator from Arizona who told me he's not sleeping at all. He's not even having coffee no coffee, no sleep, just walking around, that's keeping him awake.

But that is -- still, this will pass today and you asked about the House, they'll come back on Friday, pass it, and the house is a much different process. They don't have this long vote-a-rama process. The leadership will deny any efforts to offer amendments on the house side, they will pass this bill likely impact, possibly get it out of the chamber by the end of this week and send it to Joe Biden's desk.

WALKER: I love happy hour. I'll show up to any happy hour, but I don't think that's one I want to go to.

Manu Raju, you're the best, thank you so much. Great to see you.

So joining me now is Yeganeh Torbati. She's the economic policy reporter for "The Washington Post."

Good morning to you and thank you so much for being with us this morning.

So, the bill, it's called the Inflation Reduction Act.

So, clearly, we know this is how the White House is going to sell it. It is supposed to reduce inflation. Can you tell us about the provisions in the bill that would actually help us get to that point?

YEGANEH TORBATI, ECONOMIC POLICY REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Sure. So, one of the main provisions, of course, is the climate section and the aim of that really is both to move the U.S. to sort of cleaner energy situation, especially by 2030, cutting emissions, but also to make kind of energy more plentiful and to bring down energy costs.

And so there is all sorts of tax credits and provisions that would make it cheaper and easier for Americans to buy electric vehicles, use electric vehicles, electric appliances, and energy saving appliances for their homes, and then also giving tax credits to utilities and all sorts of different companies to switch to cleaner energy. So that's one aspect of it.

And then I think the other way that Democrats are going to be selling this on an inflation reduction basis is looking at the healthcare costs. So, you know, there are increased subsidies for the American -- for the Affordable Care Act, and then, of course, enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices with prescription -- with pharmaceutical companies is going to bring down those costs as well.

And so thereby, reducing those costs and that basically is what inflation is, if you can reduce those prices, then presumably inflation would go down as well. That's, I think, how Democrats will sell it.

WALKER: So, more of a long-term outlook, right? Because you heard Senator Lindsey Graham on the floor imploring his colleagues to vote no by saying, look, this is a large spending bill, obviously in your shadow of the $2 trillion or $3.5 trillion package that Biden wanted. But with all that spending, I mean, couldn't it hurt inflation?

TORBATI: I think there is some comparisons with the last big sort of spending package that the Biden administration got through. Even prior to the Infrastructure Act was the American Rescue Plan Act.


And there has been some analysis and speculation that contributed to the inflation that we're seeing now. This is a bit different. There is no -- there's not that same kind of, you know, direct payments going to Americans, things that kind of really increased their bank accounts and enabled people to go out and shop more and spend more on vacations or furniture or those things that are now driving those prices up.

This is sort of more about incentives to corporations to build certain types of infrastructure and certain types of energy investment in the U.S., and so the speculation and the analysis is this is not going to increase inflation in the same way that perhaps other packages have in the past.

WALKER: I think something that perks up a lot of ears when it comes to just regular folks hearing oh, limiting insulin prices, so through the series of amendment votes called vote-a-rama, that Senate parliamentarian has been narrowing some of these provisions aimed at lowering drug prices.

So do you expect these provisions to stay largely intact? And also, I did want to point this out to you, sorry for the long question, but Kaiser Family Foundation poll says 61 percent of Americans support limiting how much drug companies can increase the price of prescriptions and also 53 percent support capping the price of insulin. So, I mean what is the political payoff of targeting a provision that enjoys widespread support?

TORBATI: Right, I mean I think from the news that we heard overnight it seems like the parliamentarian's objections were narrow and it will require a little bit of trims on one of the prescription drug measures that the Democrats had in place. And in terms of the popularity of these measures -- I mean, yes, poll after poll has shown that across the aisle Americans support putting limits and having Medicare negotiated and the government negotiate for drug prices.

I think going into the midterms, especially midterm season that is going to be quite difficult for Democrats, where they're trying to hold on to the Senate and the House, passing this bill will enable them to point to these specific healthcare measures and sort of shore up the reputation as the party that does work to, you know, make healthcare more affordable for Americans. Some of these climate provisions may not be either as popular or as well known or as politically salient for Americans, but certainly the healthcare provisions are the ones that the Democrats will be able to point to on the campaign trail in November.

WALKER: Yeah, that's important. Just about three months away and the Democrats need some tangible accomplishments to point to.

Yeganeh Torbati, appreciate your time. Thank you.

TORBATI: Thank you so much for having me.

MATTINGLY: Albuquerque police and the FBI are looking into the murders of four Muslim men for possible connections. Twenty-seven- year-old Muhammad Afzaal Hussain is one of three Muslim men murdered in the past week. He and another man were both members of the same mosque, both from Pakistan, and found dead in the same part of town.

Now investigators are looking to see if there are connections between the latest attacks and a fourth murder from November of last year. The police have not said whether they believe one person or multiple suspects carried out those attacks.

And overnight, in Ohio, police say Stephen Marlow, the suspect wanted in connection with several murders, has been captured. Butler Township police chief John Porter says Marlow was taken into custody by officials in Kansas.

WALKER: Authorities did not provide any additional details regarding his arrest. Marlow is suspected of killing and shooting four people in multiple sites outside of Dayton, Ohio, on Friday. Officials say a motive remains unclear.

And in an unusual move, the personal cell phone numbers of Secret Service agents have been provided to investigators looking into the January of 6th Capitol attack. The agency wouldn't confirm which entity they gave the numbers to, but a spokesman stressed their Cooperation in multiple ongoing probes. The Secret Service is under new scrutiny after CNN reported the agency had erased text messages from January 5th and 6th, which the agency says happened during a phone data migration.

Still to come this morning, President Biden finally tests negative for COVID. What this means for his schedule and the week ahead.

MATTINGLY: Plus, Anne Heche remains in the ICU as Los Angeles police say they're investigating the fiery cash involving the actress. That's coming up next.



WALKER: The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating a single car crash involving actress Anne Heche. A source familiar with the investigation told CNN that authorities had yet to question Heche about the circumstances of that incident. The LAPD says no arrests have been made.


WALKER (voice-over): Anne Heche remains hospitalized after a car she was driving crashed into a house in Los Angeles Friday, and became engulfed in flames.

Anne is in the ICU. She's lucky to be alive. She has a long recovery ahead. Her team and her family are still trying to process what led up to the crash, a course close to Heche told CNN Saturday morning.

According to Los Angeles police, the car was traveling at a high rate of speed when it ran off the road and collided with the residence. It took firefighters more than an hour to access, confine and fully extinguish the stubborn flames within the heavily damaged structure, Los Angeles fire said. Heche was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. No other injuries were reported. A neighbor had this to say about the resident of the home that was hit.

ROY MORGEN, NEIGHBOR: She was in the house at the time. And a car stopped, like, two feet away from where she was sitting. So she was pretty lucky.

WALKER: CNN has contacted e representatives of Heche for comment.


On Saturday, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN authorities had yet to question Heche about the incident, saying the significant nature of her injuries have prevented officers from interviewing her.

The Los Angeles police department is investigating the crash, and an alleged misdemeanor hit and run incident, an LAPD spokesperson told CNN Saturday evening. LAPD said no arrests have been made.

The 53-year-old actress rose to fame on the soap opera "Another World" where she played the dual role of twins Vicki Hudson and Marley Love, and earned a daytime Emmy Award. She followed that with films like "Donne Brasco," "Six days, Seven Nights" and "Wag the Dog."

Her romantic relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in a 2021 in the late '90s resulted in intense media attention. In 2021 interview with Page Six, Heche said she felt blacklisted after going public with their relationship.

I didn't do a studio picture for ten years, said Heche, who dated DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000. Heche has appeared in numerous television series, more recently including "The Brave", 'Quantico" and "Chicago PD". She has several acting projects currently in post production, according to her IMDB profile.


WALKER: CNN will continue to monitor the situation and the investigation, obviously, and we will bring you any updates as we get them in.


MATTINGLY: Now, a quick check on some of the top stories we're following. Officials say at least one firefighter is dead and 17 others are missing as a massive fire engulfs an oil storage facility in Cuba. This all started Friday after lightning struck the storage tank. You see it right there.

The Cuban health ministry says at least 121 people were injured. More than 1300 have been evacuated from the area officials say no fuel has spilled into the ocean. Cuban authorities say Mexico and Venezuela are sending assistance to help battle the blaze.

WALKER: More than 300 Haitian migrants are in custody after being detained in the Florida Keys. The U.S. Coast Guard says they intercepted the migrants yesterday after their sailboat ran aground near Key Largo. The boat was overcrowded as you can see, and more than 100 migrants jumped off the boat and swam to rescue vessels. Authorities say none of the migrants were injured.

Four more grain ships left from Ukrainian ports this morning. The country's infrastructure minister says the vessels are loaded with over 160,000 metric tons of food. They're headed to Italy, China, and Turkey. Ukraine resumed its grain exports this week. International officials also hope the exports will ease global food shortages.

MATTINGLY: History was made in Washington, D.C. this weekend. Michael Langley was sworn in as the first Black four star general in the history of the United States Marine Corps.

During an emotional military ceremony, General Langley acknowledged the weight of his promotion.


GEN. MICHAEL E. LANGLEY, U.S. MARINE CORPS: Let's all think about the significance of what this means to our corps, and our country, because it is not about me. It is about the symbolism of what it is going to sow the seeds of inspiration for those young captains as we embark into global security.


MATTINGLY: General Langley will now take over the U.S. Africa Command overseeing America's military presence across 54 countries.

There's much more ahead on NEW DAY after the break. Stay with us.



MATTINGLY: The battle between Twitter and Elon Musk -- well, it's heating up. I think it's been heating up for several weeks now. The tech mogul's legal team made public on Friday its response to Twitter's lawsuit, attempting to force Musk to complete their $44 billion acquisition.

WALKER: Yeah, the drama is far from over. Musk responding to the social media company's claims that he is trying to unjustly exit the deal. CNN's chief media correspondent and "RELIABLE SOURCES" anchor Brian

Stelter is here with us now.

Good morning, Brian.

Tell us more about what Elon Musk is saying.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Essentially, he's saying he's trying to back out of this deal, get out of the company he agreed to buy because the company is the platform, Twitter, is overrun with spam bots, and with the kind of junk that nobody would want to own. This is a fascinating situation, though, because Musk already agreed to buy Twitter months ago. This was a major event, where he agreed to pay $44 billion and pay a huge premium for the stock in order to take Twitter private.

So, it's is kind of like somebody agreeing to buy a house, was waiting for the deal to close, waiting to get the keys and in the meantime, looked around the garden and said, well, this garden, there are too many weeds here, this is gross, I don't want to buy the house after all. The problem, of course, is you already agreed to buy the house, the deal is going through.

But that's what's Musk is charging. He's saying the garden is full of weeds, that Twitter has a lot more of a spam bot problem than twitter actually admits. This has been a battle going on for months. But as this plays out through the legal system, Musk is trying to provide evidence, proof, he was misled by Twitter, that actually, there were a lot more spam bots than he thought.

Of course, one of his original arguments for buying Twitter is he was going to clean up the garden, that he's getting rid of the bots. So, now, he's saying he's surprised there is so many of them and that thus essentially Musk's argument in these legal documents.

Here is the response from Twitter's board chair Bret Taylor, he said in a tweet, of course. Twitter filed a response to the counterclaims. His claims are factually inaccurate, legally insufficient and commercially irrelevant. We look forward to seeing you in court.

That was the message from Twitter to musk.


MATTINGLY: You know, Brian, for those of us looking to book hotel rooms for the inevitable media circus in Delaware, when will this go to trial and what will that mean for whether or not Musk will be on the hook to pay $44 billion or $1 billion or something?


STELTER: Exactly. This trial is set for October. The judge in Delaware wants to get it going a lot sooner than Musk wants. Twitter, of course, wants it to happen quickly.

But I think the reality here is this all a giant negotiation. Whether this ends up in court or not, whether it ends up being settled before October, it is all about the two numbers you mentioned, $1 billion, which was what Musk agreed to pay if he backed out, and $44 billion, the amount Twitter wants because frankly the board, they don't have any other buyers. They want to get rid of this company. They want someone to take it private.

So, $1 billion or $44 billion. I think Musk is going to end up paying something in between, and this is a giant negotiation.

WALKER: Okay. And I guess big picture here then, how does twitter in general stack up to its social media rivals these days?

STELTER: Isn't that so interesting, right? Twitter is much smaller than bigger platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat. So Musk is trying to buy Twitter because of the public influence it brings, the political energy, all the conversations that happen on Twitter. It is relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

Right now, all roads lead to TikTok and all roads lead through TikTok. They want to be the Chinese-owned TikTok. That's where all the energy is in social media.

And Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat, trying to redesign to be more like TikTok and yet here is Twitter without an owner stuck in limbo, and thus less able to compete, les able to innovate, less able to keep up. Ultimately, whatever happens here, it probably hurts Twitter.

WALKER: Speaking of TikTok, I don't know how to use it, but I'm going to learn.

STELTER: Not too late.


MATTINGLY: Fascinating story all the way around. Brian, I'm sure you're doing TikTok dances with the kiddos on a regular basis. Thank you so much.

And you can catch Brian this morning on "RELIABLE SOURCES". He'll be speaking with two people in the courtroom for that pretty dramatic Alex Jones trial. You do not want to miss it.

WALKER: I'll be tuning in. Thanks, Brian.

Eighteen days, that's how long President Biden has been isolating at the White House after a rebound case of COVID-19.

MATTINGLY: The president finally tested negative yesterday and just a few moments ago, he finally left the White House.

I want to get straight to CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak who is able to navigate the South Lawn to North Lawn.


MATTINGLY: Kevin -- you saw the president, what did he say? LIPTAK: Yeah, Biden has left the building. It's been 18 days. He's

out of isolation. He looked good, he sounded good, and he said he was feeling good when he walked out of the building there. He had his mask on, but took it off, gave us a little wave and said he's feeling great.

And we also asked him about the Inflation Reduction Act, that's the bill that's making its way through the Senate today. He said he thought it was going to pass. He gave a little bit of a thumb's up.

So, certainly Biden very happy to get out of the White House after this lengthy isolation period. Remember, he first tested positive back on July 21st, and he went through that initial bout with COVID, mild symptoms, didn't feel too bad. He tested negative, came out to the Rose Garden, proclaimed himself as a good example of how people can survive this disease.

But then it was only a couple of days after that when he tested positive again. The White House doctor attributed that to the antiviral Paxlovid and it was back into isolation for the president. He had his German Shepard here at the White House to keep him company. But by all accounts he was going a little bit stir crazy. He made FaceTime calls to people on Capitol Hill. He was reading a little bit. He was doing work. He made some phone calls.

But, you know, it's pretty isolating at the White House, even when you can leave. You know, President Biden has called it a gilded cage, but this had to have been even more isolating for the president. His wife wasn't even here. She was at their home in Delaware.

So, certainly, the president very eager to get out of the building, he is heading now to his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He'll be there for just one night, and so the president finally getting out of his bedroom, out of the Truman balcony, out of the treaty room, those are places he had been bouncing back and forth upstairs in the residence, certainly very happy to get out of Washington.

WALKER: Can't imagine how elated he must be to get out of those four walls. Very isolating, I imagine. 18 days, so much can happen after regular folk like us, right, in 18 days, and obviously the president has a lot to get to, we know he's been working this entire time.

But he's also planning to travel to parts of Kentucky, that's been hit by those devastating and deadly floods, Kevin.

LIPTAK: Yeah, I mean, just to get your first point, it has been a very productive isolation for the president. Just think of all the things that have happened between then and now, the leader of al Qaeda took out him with a drone strike, a number of major pieces of legislation making their way through Congress.

He will be traveling tomorrow to Kentucky to view flood damage. That was another thing that he sort of navigated from his isolation, phoning the governor there.

[07:35:01] Also talking to the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who represents Kentucky, spoke to him last weekend to talk about this devastating flooding. So the president will be touring that tomorrow, with Governor Beshear and his wife. The president was just in Kentucky in December, when a tornado swept through that state. So this is something of a familiar trip for the president. But certainly he will want to see the damage, want to talk to some of the victims and that is what the president will be doing tomorrow.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, he's done so much of that. I do find it a little ironic, the president who will do absolutely anything to get out of town every single weekend and get home to Delaware stays in town and has the most productive period of perhaps his entire presidency.


MATTINGLY: Kevin Liptak --

LIPTAK: Something to it, yeah.

MATTINGLY: Maybe, maybe. Kevin Liptak, thanks so much, buddy.


WALKER: Good point.

So, over the last week, we have seen deadly flooding in Kentucky and devastating wildfires out West. The warning this morning from climate scientists is up next.



MATTINGLY: From California to Kentucky, pretty much everywhere in between, climate change is very clearly fueling sweltering heat, damaging floods, devastating wildfires.

On Friday, Death Valley National Park closed due to substantial flooding. About an inch of rain fell within an hour, a thousand-year flooding event. McKinney Fire in northern California, now scorched more than 60,000 acres in just over a week. Nearly 90 homes have been destroyed and at least four people have died. Officials say it is 40 percent contained.

Residents in Kentucky are bracing for even more rain, just days after a catastrophic flooding killed more than three dozen people.

Joining me now to talk about all of this is Kevin Reed. He's a professor of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York.

I want to thank you for joining us.

One of the things that I've been trying to figure out over the course of the last several weeks, probably several months, maybe years, but these areas, we're talking about Death Valley, Kentucky, you've seen such a large amount of rain and such a short period of time. One is the why, and two is what does this signal bigger picture to you?

KEVIN REED, PROFESSOR, STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MARINE & ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES: Yeah, well, let's first discuss the why, right. These are rare events in that when you receive a large amount of rain over a short period of time, such as in some cases over 8 or 10 inches, that really what we see is a large impact of flooding and the impacts are real.

And these are really compounded by the fact we have urbanization and infrastructure in these areas that kind of lead to damage. And when we think about the connection to the global warming, it is really that as the temperature continues to warm, the moisture in our atmosphere continues to increase.

And this increase means that there will be more moisture available to produce rainfall like we saw this past week. And so this is very similar to what we experienced on a hot humid day, when the moisture and the atmosphere holds a lot of moisture.

And so these are one of the clear indicators of climate change. Not only the extreme rainfall, but the drought and wildfires as well as the heat waves we have been seeing recently.

MATTINGLY: You know, one of the things, people say this is a once in a 100 year storm or occurrence of rain, once in a thousand year, but it is not anymore. We're seeing this weekly. We're seeing this monthly.

The types of storms, the types of fires, all this types of stuff, it is happening at such a scale at this point in time that you can't frame it anymore as this is a once in a 100 year -- is that right or that's how it seems from afar?

REED: Yeah, that's exactly right. Work from scientists all over the world that have shown a rare event, say an event that is -- has a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year, that that event now, in 2022, because of climate change, is more -- increase of over 1 percent. So there is more than a 1 percent chance of that event happening.

And really I think the scary part gets to when we think about the future is that these same scientists estimate that these 1 percent events that we might experience now that have a lot of damage, these can become maybe 2 percent or 3 percent events per year in the future, and that means they happen more frequently and it also means the magnitude of the events, how much rain can fall over the short period of time is also increasing.

We have seen a 5 to 10 percent increase in the magnitude and we expect it to be further in the coming decades due to climate change, if we don't drastically reduce our carbon emissions.

MATTINGLY: One of the -- I was going to say fascinating, but also damning, almost every time you're quoted in a news story, you're making the point that, like, climate change is here now. This isn't a future problem. This isn't something we need to prepare for because it is coming. It is very clearly here, which I'm not really sure why that's in question anymore.

But I think one of the questions I have is, it is here, what needs to happen to change it and move things in a different direction than where it is clearly headed right now?

REED: Well, you know, I think the first is we need to get our act together and we really need to start reducing carbon emissions, and this, you know, of course, the climate provisions in the -- in the inflation reduction act, it is an important and promising step in that direction, right? It can demonstrate to the world that the United States is getting serious about reaching its goals and reducing carbon emissions.

But that he's real's one step. We need a variety of solutions and develop and implement them rapidly in the United States.


We need climate solutions that can be equitably provided across communities in America.

MATTINGLY: You know, one of the things that is the bigger picture, you make the point that the Senate is moving on that legislation right now, but I want to talk specifically about the wildfires, just because I cover the White House, my day job, the president has gone to a lot of these things, talked about this quite often, I think a lot of times you don't understand the scale until you're on the ground and actually see them.

Why are we seeing things burn faster, longer, harder, at a significantly larger scale right now?

REED: Yeah. So, you know, if we think about the other side of what we were just talking about, these extreme rainfall amounts over a short period of time, the other clear indicator of climate change is prolonged periods without rainfall, and that we are seeing not only increase in the frequency of droughts, but also the magnitude, right?

So, how -- how long are we going without periods of rainfall? When that means that if you have more vegetation that is dry, because of this drought, that you have more fuel for that fire.

MATTINGLY: Yeah. It is -- it just seems like on a daily basis you seeing some else, something more. There's a lot going on.

Kevin Reed, I appreciate your time and expertise. I really appreciate it.

REED: Great, thanks for having me.

WALKER: Very important and urgent conversation, the changing climate also having a direct impact of the -- on the ancient woodlands and wildlife of Patagonia. CNN spotlights that in a new original series "PATAGONIA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD". Here's a preview.


NARRATOR: Young pumas are getting older and bolder. Honing their climbing skills. But their claws are no defense against the season's greatest threat. The forests are tinder dry. All it takes is a spark.


WALKER: And you can see the rest when an all new episode of "PATAGONIA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD" airs tonight at 9:00, right here on CNN.

Storms forcing hundreds of flight cancellations, flood watches issued for several Midwestern states and more heat for millions of Americans. We will have your full Sunday forecast when we come back.



WALKER: It's going to be another rough day for travelers across the country. Weather has forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights this week.

MATTINGLY: Now, more than 300 flights have already been canceled across the U.S. today. That comes one day after more than 600 flights were canceled yesterday.

Saturday marked the third day of major flight cancellations after thunderstorms pounded major airports on the East Coast. This summer's travel season has been plagued with those flight cancellations and delays as airlines struggle with staffing shortages and severe weather. Well, the rest of the weekend weather may not help. The Midwest bracing for heavy rain and storms.

WALKER: Let's bring in CNN's Allison Chinchar.

Hey, Allison, what can we expect?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah. If you have a flight in or out of Chicago, check with your airline before you make your way there because we've got a long line of showers and thunderstorms making its way towards Chicago. Several flood warnings and even flash flood warnings in effect and a lot of lightning especially on the southern side.

Already, they've dumped a tremendous amount of rain where you see the reds and oranges and yellow color there. Now, you're talking two to four inches, some places five to six inches has already fallen. But you have more that's going to fall on top of it. So, that's why we've got a moderate risk for flooding across Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

Slight risk in the surrounding areas and also as well for portions of eastern Kentucky through the mid-Atlantic, because we've got several waves of showers and thunderstorms making their way through. There's the first wave, sliding through the Midwest, making its way towards the Great Lakes and Northeast.

But notice the secondary wave, basically right on the heels later tonight and continuing through tomorrow before the whole front begins to make its way to the Northeast. So, on top of what we already had, a lot of places picking up, at least another additional one to maybe even as many two inches.

Heat advisories in the Pacific Northwest, the central U.S. as well as portions of the Northeast, looking at these temperatures, 97, ten degrees for Philadelphia on Saturday. Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. also in the mid to upper 90s.

In the West, you're talking triple-digit temperatures, thankfully maybe just one more day of intense heat before we see temperatures coming down, getting close to normal by Tuesday. It's that time of year, guys.

We're still looking at the tropics, those things starting to ramp back up. We're keeping an eye on this particular area of concern, has about a 40 percent chance of development over the next five days. So, guys, something we'll keep a close eye on in the coming days.

WALKER: It's that time of year again, oh, boy. Allison Chinchar, thanks.

And we wanted to end this hour on a positive note. We can thank the Seattle Mariners for this story. Meet Tucker. The 4-year-old Labrador Retriever is the Mariners' newest team member, and he certainly looks at home at T-Mobile Park.

MATTINGLY: That is a very good boy, I'm going to say unequivocally.


The Mariners say they saved Tucker are from euthanasia saying there's still a huge population of pets that need their forever home. From the looks of it, Tucker seems to be getting along quite well with new his teammates. The Mariners say he'll be in the clubhouse every day with the players and will even join them on road trips.

And good news, you can keep up with all of Tuckers' adventures on Twitter since, of course, he has his own account. I love him and I want him. He's amazing.

WALKER: He is very cute. Labrador was my first dog, as well as my first and last dog. Found out I was allergic. But that's a beautiful dog.

All right. Thanks for starting your morning with us.

Phil, so good to be with you.

MATTINGLY: Thanks for having me. Thanks for letting me hang out.

Good news. "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" with Abby Phillip is coming up next. Have a great day.