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CNN TONIGHT: D.C. Metro Police Officer Trapped In Capitol Door, Assaulted During Insurrection On First Public Select Committee Hearing; Uvalde School Police Chief Defends Delayed Shooting Response In New Interview; Biden Blames "Putin's Tax On Both Food And Gas" For Inflation. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 10, 2022 - 21:00   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The news continues. So, let's hand it over to Laura Coates, and CNN TONIGHT.


LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: John, thank you so much.

I'm Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT.

When it comes to persuading your jury, here's what every prosecutor knows. You tell them what you're going to tell them. You tell them that, and then you told them what you told them.

But beware. The jury is going to have to keep you honest, and they will hold you accountable. That's why, for so many, you under-promise, and then you over-deliver, which leads you right to that moment, when you have more than satisfied, your burden of proof. There's no room for any reasonable doubt.

Well, last night's hearing was that "Tell them what you're going to tell them" part. Now, there were moments, where they teased the actual telling, the testimony of prominent figures, who were relevant, not just because of their proximity, to then-President Trump, but also maybe for the role they played, within the government, maybe as a Member of Congress, or a White House aide, or maybe they were playing the role of lawyer, in a courtroom, trying to convince a judge, of a big lie.

I wonder, if it surprised any of you, to see testimony, as part of that "Tell them" part, from one-time Trump loyalist, like former Attorney General Bill Barr, calling Trump's stolen election lie, quote, "Bullshit," unquote.

Was it surprising to hear, say, Ivanka Trump, even saying that she believed Barr, saying that she respected him. Over her own father, she believed him. When it came to his unsubstantiated claims, of mass voter fraud, it altered her perspective, I believe, she said. Did it further surprise you that - to see her own father pushing back at her testimony, today, in a social media post, saying, quote, "Ivanka was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results. She had long since checked out."

Or did it surprise you to hear one injured Capitol police officer, who described the hellish that she went through, the carnage she witnessed, saying that she was even slipping on a fellow officer's blood?

Or maybe the words of Committee Vice Chair, Liz Cheney, saying how some House Republicans, allegedly, lobbied the Trump White House, after January 6, for pardons.

The Republican herself, is extremely vulnerable, in her own seat. She lost her Conference leadership post, because she wouldn't tow the GOP line, on any of this. They called her a RINO, in many parts of the GOP. And now, she's at risk of losing her seat, in Congress.

But it seemed, if yesterday was any indication, none of that is holding her back, from speaking her mind.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): I say this to my Republican colleagues, who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone. But your dishonor will remain.


COATES: Well, what she hopes remains, in the brains of those listening, and she and the rest of the panel, are trying to drill in on is, and hone in on, is whether former President Trump, or anyone, in his close orbit, may have been involved in this violent plot.

We could be closer than ever to actually learning those answers.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN HOST, THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER: Are there going to be witnesses that describe actual conversations between these extremist groups and anyone in Trump's orbit?


TAPPER: There will be?



COATES: Definitively "Yes," he says. Well! So, the committee is really saying, "Stay tuned!"

But, of course, remember, what the prosecutors would know, if this were a criminal courtroom. Because now comes the work.

This is now the "Tell them part," a.k.a., the time when you got to deliver the goods. Not just the sound bite. But the context that proves it's not deceptively cherry-picked, somehow, or can be easily refuted. But if they can substantiate the preview, if they can prove the preview? Their job doesn't exactly end there.

That if this were a criminal trial, you'd ask for the jury to find the defendant guilty of X, Y and Z. You'd actually know, who the defendant is. But this isn't a criminal court. And it's not precisely clear, if there is a singular target.

And this is, after all, a congressional chamber. And they're going to have to make a case, differently, than a criminal prosecution, not for a conviction, but for the American electorate, to understand, what it was like to have a republic, only one we couldn't keep.


They have to make the case for still caring about what happened on January 6, in June, of the following year. And they have to make the case of how they're going to be able to use their legislative and oversight functions, and powers, to prevent that, from having been a dry run, on January 6, let alone a blueprint.

And it's really, who they're going to have to make their case to, who their jury, so to speak, will be, their audience that, might present their biggest challenge.

I mean, the question is, is it the entire electorate? Is it one political party? Is it the choir, the converted, or the non-believers? Or is it the Department of Justice, and the very branch that does have the power, to pursue criminal charges?

Now, here's what we do know about this television audience, of pseudo- jurors. A lot of people were watching last night's main event. In fact, more than 20 million people tuned in, according to a preliminary Nielsen tally.

That's 20 million. That's more than this year's Olympics viewership average. It's on par with the ratings of say, a Sunday night football game. But perhaps nowhere near, say, the numbers a presidential debate, might draw. But still 20 million!

The next public hearings are set for Monday, and Wednesday, and Thursday. And a lot more information is being promised. So, here comes the part, where you tell them, what you said, you tell them. But whose voices will they hear? And what will they see? And will it be enough, to get you over?

Let's see what we can learn, and gather, from one of those panel members, on what to expect. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, Democrat, from Florida.

Welcome to CNN TONIGHT, Congresswoman. How are you?

REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): It's great to be with you.

COATES: A lot of questions now, since we've seen at least the preliminary day, of hearings, the first public hearings, hearing the testimony of one of the officers, learning from a documentarian, hearing those snippets, of people, who are certainly central to the Trump orbit.

What were you hoping to convey, most, from last night?

MURPHY: I think that after last night's hearing that the American people should understand that we are about to lay out, through a series of hearings that January 6 didn't happen by accident. That it happened, because there was somebody, who was willing to subvert the will of the American people, in order to ensure his will to stay in power.

And that was Donald Trump. And there were a number of people, around him, some who were accomplices, and some, who decided that their morality, and their conscience, wouldn't allow them, to move forward.

And so, it was a bottom-line upfront preview of the next hearings that are going to come across. And then, in those hearings, we're going to provide the detail, much like we did, in the first hearing, in first- person testimonies, as well as documentation, to have the American people hear, not in my voice, not in the voices of, necessarily, the members of this committee, but rather, in the voices of the people, around former President Trump, who either knew better, and didn't do well, or knew better, and peaced out of the situation, so that they wouldn't be caught up, in what they thought was either morally or criminally objective.

COATES: There's a lot of information to synthesize. And I know you began with the likes of the Attorney General, Bill Barr, and just the idea of the highest law enforcement officer, in the land, at one time, calling BS.

He did not abbreviate the term, but calling BS, which really had me wondering about the idea of how you were trying to piece together, the question that a lot of people were asking, when January 6 happened, which was, "What was the President of the United States doing and thinking and saying, while we were all watching what was unfolding?"

Are you confident that you'll be able to answer that question, through various conduits that are credible?

And will it stand to be able to withstand those, who are already doubting, and saying, "No, no, I never said that," Congressman Steve (ph) Perry, for example, "I never asked for a pardon." Others saying, that it was out of context.

I see you tilt your head, because I can already anticipate you realizing these are going to be the retorts people will give you. What do you do, to withstand that scrutiny?

MURPHY: What I am trying to do is not to convince the Scott Perrys, or the people, who've already committed the kinds of moral and maybe potentially criminal decisions.


What I am trying to do is, as a committee, lay out the facts, for the American people. And what I'm asking, of the American people, is that they set aside their partisan affiliations, not a Republican, not a Democrat, not an Independent. But rather a think about what our democracy means.

What does it mean, for you, to come to the polls and cast your vote? Can you still feel like your vote is counted? And just because your team doesn't win, doesn't mean that you get an opportunity, to try to dismantle this democracy, so that your team can stay in power.

And our democracy is dependent on the rule of law, the process, as well as a peaceful transition of power. And so, I'm trying to make that pitch, to the American people, whatever their political affiliations.

COATES: Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, thank you so much for your time. We'll look forward to seeing it all unfold, in front of us. I appreciate it.

I want to talk now, to someone, who was there, in the room, for the hearings, a.k.a in the room where it happened. And he is also the D.C. Metropolitan Police officer, who's seen here, trapped in a doorway, as rioters attacked him, with his own baton, during the insurrection. Difficult, even now, to watch this.

Daniel Hodges, joins me now.

Officer Daniel Hodges, thank you for being a part, of the program, tonight. It's difficult, for me, as a viewer, and witness, to watch this. It's very difficult, I understand, for you, to see this, still, even more than a year later.

How did it feel to be in that courtroom, last night? I mean, the Chamber. I keep calling it a courtroom, because I really did witness, in many respects, a laying out of a case, against someone. What did it feel like, for you, to be in that room?

OFFICER DANIEL HODGES, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, TRAPPED IN A DOORWAY BY RIOTERS ON 1/6: I was glad to be there. I was - it's, watching footage, from that day, always makes my blood pressure shoot up, makes my heart race.

But I'm very glad that there's a preponderance of the evidence, so to speak. And I'm glad that I was able to see it there. And I'm glad that the American people have been able to see it.

COATES: What do you hope will be the outcome? I was just talking to a congresswoman, who is a part of the committee. And obviously, their role is legislative. What do you hope will be the results and outcomes of these hearings?

HODGES: I hope that at the end of these hearings, there will be accountability, in some form, for those responsible, for what happened that day.

I hope that - I hope that Merrick Garland is watching. I hope that the Justice Department can move forward, in criminal matters, to charge those, and make sure that they face accountability.

COATES: Does that include those who might be still Members of Congress, or people who are in the upper echelons of government, who may have been powers that be, so to speak?

HODGES: Absolutely. The Members of Congress - part of what was said, last night, was that multiple Republican Members of Congress sought pardons, from President Trump, at the time.

And what the American people need to know is that, I believe, it's according to Burdick versus the United States Supreme Court case, in order to accept a presidential pardon, you have to admit guilt.

So, they knew that they committed a crime. They knew that whatever crime, they committed, was so egregious, they didn't even want to wait to find out whether they - whether they were going to get caught. They immediately sought a pardon.

So, they knew they committed a crime, and they knew that they needed to get it pardoned, immediately. So, whatever they are guilty of, if it amounts to sedition, then they are, it sounds hyperbolic, but they are the enemy of the people. They do not deserve to be in Congress.

COATES: In many ways, Chairman Bennie Thompson initiated the hearing, last night, talking about the oath of office, and reminding the American public, about the way, it changed, following the Civil War, and invoking former President Lincoln, on that very point, about the idea of swearing this oath, to defend domestic terrorists, and enemies, foreign and domestic, on this very notion.

I often wonder, for people, who have been watching? And the time has gone by, for different reasons, for those of the electorate. But for you, and for your colleagues, to hear, another officer, yesterday, Officer Edwards, speaking about what happened, to relay her experience? Behind her, there were widows of officers, lost in the line of duty, experiencing what you have recalled. The mother of Brian Sicknick.

What is the morale like, for you? When you reflect on the role, you played, to defend the Capitol, have your views changed, over time, about what that means to you?


HODGES: My views haven't changed. I was proud, during, I was proud, afterwards, and I'm still proud of the work, I did that day.

I think the only semi-negative emotion that I hear from other officers is everyone wishes they could have done more. Everyone wishes that we could have kept them out completely. Unfortunately, we were just so completely outnumbered and overwhelmed that that was impossible.

But we did everything we could. And we're definitely proud of the work we did that day.

COATES: As you should be. And we'll be looking to see, whether there is anyone, who has offended the pride of the nation.

Officer Daniel Hodges, thank you so much for being a part of today's - program, and your continued effort to try to aid, in the American public's illumination, of what happened that day. I appreciate it.

HODGES: Thank you, for having me.

COATES: Thank you.

And there is other big news to get to tonight. We cannot, for one moment, forget about Uvalde. These victims, and families, they too deserve answers. The School Police Chief, being blamed, for the slow response, you see him right there, to the massacre?


COATES: He's just given his first extensive interview, in which he said, he didn't know he was the one in charge that day, among a lot of other things. In fact, one of the reporters, he spoke to, is going to join us, next. And that's a conversation I want to have.

We'll be right back.



COATES: So, for the first time, the Uvalde School Police Chief is giving his side of the story, essentially defending last month's police response, to the massacre, where 19 children, and two teachers, were murdered.

In an interview, with "The Texas Tribune," guided by his attorney, Chief Pete Arredondo says, he never considered himself, the Incident Commander. He also blamed the delayed action, on the classroom's steel reinforced (ph) doors, that there was no way to break them down that they had to wait for the right keys, he said.

Now, CNN has reached out to Texas Safety officials, in the school district, for comment. But, according to Arredondo's attorney, the Chief isn't giving out any more interviews, at this time.

James Barragan, is one of the reporters, who spoke to Chief Arredondo, for "The Texas Tribune." And he joins me now.

James, I'm glad you're here.

I have to tell you, we've all been waiting, to hear from this Chief, in some form or capacity. I'm actually a little bit surprised that, at this point in, several weeks later, he is saying that he didn't think he was the Incident Commander?

First of all, could that be right? And two, why is he only saying that now?


And I think that is the question that so many people have had, in terms of was he the Incident Commander? If it wasn't him, who was it, or who was it supposed to be?

But he is telling or, at least, he told us, in our interview, definitively that he went in there, he never thought he was the Incident Commander, never identified himself as the Incident Commander, and really never gave an order, for any officers, to stand down, from breaching the room.

You've alluded to some of the points that he's made, in the interview, in terms of sort of giving some context, as to why it took law enforcement, more than an hour, to get inside the room. And, I think, that really was his goal, to explain sort of the law enforcement response, because he's cognizant, obviously, that this has become a national story, and that every move is being scrutinized.

COATES: What was his attitude, in terms of describing, why his reason to tell you he was not the Incident Commander? Did he believe that he was being scapegoated? Was he trying to ensure people knew that there were other people involved? What was the motivation, he explained?

BARRAGAN: Well, he was very clear that he was not trying to point the finger, at anyone else, at any other agency. And he made very clear that he was proud of the law enforcement response, not just from his police department, or the city's police department, but every agency that responded.

But he is also a member of the community. He grew up there. He went to Robb Elementary. He spent the first 16 years of his career at the Uvalde Police Department. And he knew some of the victims in the shooting. So, it's very close to him. And he told us that he hadn't spoken out, out of respect for the families that were grieving.

But he wanted to, at this point, several weeks out, give that context that he thought was needed, for what he thought was inaccurate, or incomplete information that had been released, by state and law enforcement authorities, so far.

COATES: It's not your job, to defend him. I know that you are the reporter, who is bringing the information that we so desperately want.

I just have to sort of raise my eyebrow, in incredulity here, to think of the word, "Proud," being used, in terms of the police response, in the same sentence.

But one of the things he spoke about is this steel-jam door. This has played a significant role, in his response, to you. In fact, he discusses that maybe the safety protocols that were in place, within the school, worked against the response. Tell me why. BARRAGAN: Right. It's not our - it's not our job, to defend his actions. We don't pass judgment, on the actions. And I would encourage all your viewers to go read our story, and decide for themselves.

But, to your point, about these steel - these reinforced doors that he's talking about? He is telling us, and I think this is a new detail that hasn't been reported before, that he checked the door, for the classroom, where the gunman was, trying to see if he can get inside, and see if law enforcement officers could get inside, and contain the shooter.

He checked the door, found that it was locked. And then that created a whole new set of problems. Because these doors are sort of the response that we, as a society, have had, to potential active-shooter incidents. They're designed, to be very safe, for the people, who are inside, usually students and teachers, and very difficult, for people, on the outside, theoretically attackers, to break it in, or get inside.


But when the gunman was able to get inside the classroom? That is when Arredondo says, sort of the situation gets flipped, and it becomes very difficult, for law enforcement, to get inside, break down the door, as people have suggested.

And now, the shooter is inside, very safe, with potential victims. And that's what caused the delay. He then asked for keys, or extrication tools, and those were a long time coming.

COATES: I do encourage everyone, to read this really important piece, to give that information, to give that context, and also, to really dive into that notion of the barricade versus the active shooter component. That really stems apart - is dovetailing perfectly from that conversation, about the steel doors, as well.

James Barragan, thank you so much, for bringing us this information. I appreciate it.

BARRAGAN: Thank you so much.

COATES: There's reaction ahead, from a Texas State Senator, who's been demanding answers, from Uvalde officials, from the start. So, why is he just now hearing it, like the rest of us? Does he believe Chief Arredondo's account?

We're going to ask him, next.



COATES: So, as you just saw embattled Uvalde School Police Chief, Pete Arredondo, is finally speaking out. This time, in an interview, with "The Texas Tribune." And he's defending the hour-long delay, where law enforcement did not confront the gunman, who gunned down 19 children, and 21 (ph) adults, for a period of time.

Joining me now, Texas State Senator, Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde.

Senator, thank you for joining me, tonight.

I wonder what your immediate reaction is, to this reporting, that he is now saying, several weeks out that he didn't think he was even the Incident Commander. What's your reaction to that?


COATES: I think, we're having trouble hearing the State Senator. I'm not - I'm not hearing you, sir.

Are we able to get his - let's get his - let's get his sound up. Because, I really - given all the work that he's done, to try to get information, from the officials? We've heard his voice probably more than any other voice, in this investigation, thus far. And so, what he has to say, is really important. And I'm going to just make sure we hear it.

So, let's take a second, to get it right, to regroup, because the voices we invite on this show are the ones we need to listen to.

Let's go to a quick break. We'll be right back.



COATES: All right, thanks for sticking with us. We got the audio kinks all worked out. We have Texas State Senator, Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde.

And I'm so glad that you're here, because I really wanted to speak with you, in particular, given all that you have done, to try to get information, to the community, to the nation, at large, of what's happening in Uvalde.

What was your reaction to "The Texas Tribune" reporter's article, where Arredondo says, he didn't know he was Incident Commander?

GUTIERREZ: Yes, Laura. And essentially, now, we have these two competing narratives. We have "The Tribune" article. We have "The New York Times" article that came in within an hour, after the legislative committee hearing ended.

DPS is saying one thing, that's our state troopers, and Arredondo is saying another. It's a real cause for concern.

What I want to know, from the people that are accountable, to the state legislature, and what I've been asking for, all along is, how many DPS troopers were in there, what other law enforcement entities were in there, in that hallway, within that span of 45 minutes?


GUTIERREZ: And we have yet to get that information.

COATES: I'm just going to say, I mean, those are pretty basic questions, you know? It doesn't have to go to extensive reporting, just these answers.

Why is it, do you think, the answers are not coming? I mean, the lawyer in me, says, and I'm always skeptical of people, is it a matter of lawyering up? Is it a matter of trying to get your story straight, to smell like roses? What is it? Why don't we know more?

GUTIERREZ: Laura, this was, admittedly, by Steve McCraw, this was a breakdown, in law enforcement protocols. Admittedly, this was law enforcement failure. And I think that there's always this thing where everybody wants to point the fingers at each other.

But clearly, law enforcement failed at every level, the local level, the sheriff level, the state trooper level. At every level, there was system failure and human error. We have to get beyond that. We can't be hiding, behind a criminal investigation. We need accountability and transparency, so that this never happens, again.

As a policymaker, I am concerned that the Governor has put $4 billion on the border, and the law enforcement entity that was there, probably had 40 or 50 cops, on scene, wasn't part of the solution, of breaking into that room, faster.

These are real questions that need to be answered. And heretofore, we haven't gotten those answers.

COATES: Well, there are some, there's the DOJ, legislature, they're vowing to try to investigate what's happened, to put some, I guess, intellectual muscle, and support behind this, as well.

But do you have any confidence? I mean, just given the systemic errors that you have already articulated, do you have concern, and should the greater world have concern about the ability to really get and drill down to the details that will help this community?

Not just me, and you, understanding, but those who have been victimized, those who are living, with this day in and day out, who deserve to have the answers? Do you have confidence that's going to happen?

GUTIERREZ: I think, as of yesterday, I saw perversion of the process. Someone from either DPS or the Governor's office, or someone in the House, leaked out much of that reporting, from that legislative committee hearing.

Arredondo, here, again, does his own interview, yesterday, with this other media group, and has perverted the process, to a certain degree. We've got a District Attorney, whose saying, "Well, we're going to wait because we've got maybe some criminality, we're looking at."

All I'm asking is logistical positioning. I want to know, which law enforcement agency was in that hallway. That is transparency that we need to have, and those parents need to have. We've been hearing a lot about democracy these days. Without transparency, we don't have democracy.

COATES: I mean, it's so well-said, and the idea of just the - just think of, in journalism, we think about the, who, what, when, where, why, how? The fact that we can't get past the, who? And here we are, with funeral services, with grieving families, with people, desperate to understand. And here you are, trying to get those answers.

I see this is very, it's very emotional. And I know that it continues to be, for the community. Because we can't forget that this is a community, this is - people, who are trying to grapple with this.

State Senator, Roland Gutierrez, thank you.

GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Laura. Thank you so much.

COATES: Excuse me. Now, the rough economic picture, is getting rougher. The Dow - excuse me, I'll have a sip of tea, because I don't want to have a frog in my throat.

Here's what we know. The Dow tanked this afternoon, with inflation.

I got to break. What's going on? Am I getting choked up? We'll be right back.



COATES: So, Star Trek II was in theaters, the last time, we saw prices that were rising this fast. And you might not know, but I am a real Trekkie. I just can't do the hand thing!

But the painful reality is today's inflation numbers are now the highest in 40 years, even as more people go back to work. The reality is we're all paying more for just about everything.

The President, today, well he had lots of blame, ready.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Putin's price hike is hitting America hard.

Exxon made more money than God this year.


COATES: But when it comes to solutions? Well, the Administration says this.




COATES: Well, let's discuss those ideas that you're open to, now, with a Senior Adviser, to the President, Gene Sperling.

Gene, thank you, for joining me, tonight.

What are these ideas? Because, as President Biden spoke about, as your colleague spoke about, you're open to ideas. What are the ideas that you have, for the table, and for the American people?


GENE SPERLING, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN, WHITE HOUSE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN COORDINATOR: Look, Laura, I think, the President is leveling with people, and letting them know that these gas prices are global phenomenon that they are very much caused by the unthinkable war of aggression, in Ukraine. That's not a shift of blame. That's just a description.

Prices were $3.31 on January 17, when Putin started doing military exercises, in Belarus. They're $4.99, right now. And they've had higher jumps, in other countries.

Now, that's not any comfort to any American going to the gas pump. But it is the fact that we are all suffering from this, again, this unthinkable aggression. What the President's made clear is he gets it.

Yes, we've had record job growth. Yes, we have 3.6 percent unemployment. Yes, 4.2 million people have come back into the workforce. Those are all signs of a recovery that is still going. But, for an American family, as you're saying, going up to the gas pump, going through the grocery line? They're getting hit, by higher prices than they should need to.

Now, we're not going to pretend there is a silver bullet that's going to stop the global phenomenon, of the gas price going up. But doesn't mean there's not things we can do.

The President's already released a historic amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He's already allowed E15 gasoline to be available to put some downward pressures.

He called, today, for legislation, to prevent the exorbitant hikes on shipping that are being passed on to Americans, to other measures that Congress can do, with them, to - that might not directly hit gas, but still lower the price that families are paying, in prescription drugs, internet, utility bills.

And finally, yes, we're glad that natural gas production is at record levels that oil production is at near-record levels.

But yes, you heard the President say, today, he sees the record profits, by the big oil companies. And he wants to make sure that everyone is asking, are they doing enough, to bring back the 800,000 barrels a day of refinery capacity they closed down, to use the permits they have, and to make sure that their focus is more supply, lower prices, for American families, and not record profits?

COATES: Well, I can turn the question back to the Administration, of course, Gene. Is the Administration doing enough, and at a pace that actually is commensurate with what you're seeing, the fast pace, of the rising inflation?

I mean, you had Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday, saying that tariff reductions could help bring down the prices, as it's just one particular option, and one idea, on Sunday. Commerce Secretary said it may make sense to lift some tariffs on goods.

What is the Administration's response, to that notion? Those are two ideas. Those might offer some solutions, not only in the long-term, but in the short run. What state of play are we in?

SPERLING: Right, you're right. I think there are lots of different things that we can do. And you saw the President reduce some tariffs, on solar equipment, coming into the United States, to also keep prices lower.

There's some things we could do, that he can do on his own. With the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, he was able to get companies to commit together to offer lower even free internet service for up to 48 million households. That's something he could rally. There's - rally companies and others to commit to.

But Laura, there's so much more we could do if we had some cooperation from Congress. This shipping prices, company after company says the exorbitant profits, and the exorbitant price hikes, of shipping companies, bringing products into the U.S. has been passed on, directly, to consumers. We can stop that.

We can at least reduce the pressure of prescription drug price by letting prices that families are saying - paying the same families, by allowing Medicare, to negotiate with companies, and bring down those prices.

And, I think, the President has made very clear that he is willing to look at other measures related, more directly, to gas prices.

But listen, this is a global phenomenon. There is not a silver bullet, to this Russian aggression, at the moment. The fact that the President's been straight about that, but also making clear we're willing to do every single thing, we can, to help bring down gas prices.

And look, you do see that forecasters do project that prices will moderate, this year. But we understand, again, that's of little comfort, when people are seeing the $4.99, at the gas pump, and getting another disappointing inflation report, today.

COATES: Yes. Gene Sperling, we look forward to hearing more, from the Administration. I mean, as the gas prices are rising, some people's bank accounts are really running on fumes, as you can imagine. Thank you for your time, tonight. I appreciate it.

SPERLING: Thank you, Laura. Appreciate you having me.


COATES: Well, we've got an amazing True Crime story. I'm telling you, it's more than 40 years, more than 40 years have passed, after a husband and wife were murdered. Now, their daughter, who's known as "Baby Holly," is found alive and well.

That's actually her, holding the picture of her with her parents.


COATES: My next guest is a big part of the reason, why "Baby Holly" was found. A look at how she used science, to solve two mysteries, and will it help in the search for justice?

We'll talk about it, when CNN TONIGHT returns.


COATES: Listen to this story. A baby, who vanished, more than 40 years ago, has been found, and found alive, and well. But the remarkable story is bittersweet.


"Baby Holly" Clouse vanished, along with her parents, in 1980. Now, a religious group, told their family that the couple ran away, with them. But DNA testing proved just last year that the couple was murdered in 1981.

However, that baby, who's now a grown woman, her life was spared. And she was reunited, with her family, over Zoom, just on Tuesday.

Now, Holly's grandmother, telling CNN, today, it's a blessing.


DONNA CASASANTA, "BABY HOLLY'S" GRANDMOTHER: I just kept praying and hoping and never gave up hope, and believing in the Lord that he would reveal it to me, eventually. I ask him to let me know what happened to my son, and his wife, and the baby, before I die. And it's all happening. So, we never gave up, none of us.


COATES: Well, I'm joined, tonight, by the genealogist, who, helped ID the couple and also find "Baby Holly."

Allison Peacock, welcome to the program.

This story is unbelievable. I have to first ask you, you found out that there was even a baby involved, by speaking with one of the victim's family members. Tell me about how that even came to pass that you were aware?

ALLISON PEACOCK, HELPED FIND "BABY HOLLY": Hi, Laura. Yes, it was pretty shocking.

We were in the process of identifying a male and a female Doe, for Harris County. And when we got to the point, where we needed to verify that we had the right identity, I made a phone call, along with one of my colleagues, to Debbie Brooks. And that's Donna's daughter, and Dean's sister.

And as soon as she validated that she did have a brother that had been missing for 40 years, and I gave her the bad news, the very next words, out of her mouth, were "What about the baby?" And I was speechless. I said, "What baby?"

So, we began going through the records, and learning more about Holly, and the fact that she was not found with her parents.

COATES: Now, when you say you broke the bad news? It had been a cold case. They did not yet know that their loved ones had even been killed, let alone that the baby was missing.

PEACOCK: No, and--

COATES: Right?

PEACOCK: That's right. And that's one of the heinous things, about this crime, is that not only were the couple murdered, but the people that were behind this horrible crime, went back and confronted the family, with his car, and tried to extort money, and said, "We'll drive this car back to you, because he doesn't need it. He's giving away all of his worldly possessions."

And so, they made it seem, as if Dean and Tina were rejecting their families, and they said, "They're with our cult, now. They don't want to speak to you. They're rejecting family and worldly goods, and just leave them alone."

And so, not only did they lose them physically, they lost them emotionally, because they thought that they were being rejected. So, that's a pretty horrible thing.

COATES: I mean, speaking of the emotional aspect, I mean, I'm wondering how "Baby Holly," how did she survive? Was she - was she raised by some - I mean, how did that happen?

PEACOCK: Well, this is still an ongoing criminal investigation. But, I think, some of the things that they have announced were that she was raised in a happy family, by people that did not have anything to do with the crime.

And what we do know, is she was left in a church, in Arizona, and that someone affiliated with that church, eventually adopted her, after some length of time. They had to have a home study, and do everything, on the up and up.

I don't think anybody could have convinced them at the time that they were taking in a child that had been stolen, because I think the story that they were told, is that they've given up this baby, because, "We're in a cult, and they won't let us keep her."

So, again, it's - there's a lie planted, that makes them not look any further for the family. And Holly probably grew up, thinking her parents didn't want her, because they preferred religion, to her.

COATES: What was her reaction, I mean, when she realized this? I mean, it was not only a shock to the family, who thought they'd been rejected. But, for her, I mean, it's quite bittersweet, to know that she had biological parents, who not only had been murdered, but this is how she's learning about it.

PEACOCK: Right. Well, I wasn't in the room, when she learned about it. I met her on the Zoom meeting. And I know that, at some point, Holly's going to tell you her story, and how she feels. But I don't really feel comfortable telling you her story. I think it's her story to tell.

COATES: I think that's very respectful, I understand.

But I really want to know, Allison Peacock, I mean, you normally work with DNA. You're a genealogist. Is this going to be something we should look for, in terms of the ability to be able to solve crimes, such as this? It must have been a shock to you, as well, knowing the work you do, to lead to this sort of consequence, and result.

PEACOCK: It's very unusual. In all the cases, I have heard of, in all the studying, I've done, the reading, I've done, about cases, being a genealogy nut, for years? I've never heard of anything like this.

And that's what was so shocking about it, because the implications were that the child being missing, had to have had something, to do with the murder, and to realize 40 years later, "Oh my gosh! This child has been possibly in the company of somebody that killed her parents!"


PEACOCK: So, it's a very unusual case, very unique.

COATES: Yes. Allison Peacock, thank you for sharing. We appreciate it.

PEACOCK: Thank you.


COATES: And now, welcome to a bonus hour of CNN TONIGHT. I'm Laura Coates, still. And Don Lemon is off, tonight.