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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Judge Allows Trump Attorney To Attend Pre-Sentencing Interview; Dad Of Trans Teen Attacked Calls For Criminal Charges; Pat Sajak Departs "Wheel Of Fortune" After 41 Seasons. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 07, 2024 - 21:00   ET



HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I know you were a Jeopardy guy.


ENTEN: But I feel like you could go on "Wheel of Fortune." Maybe Ryan Seacrest can invite you on, on a Celebrity Edition. Maybe we can do a joint team together?

COOPER: No, I don't think so.

ENTEN: No? But not--

COOPER: I don't think so.


COOPER: I don't think so.

ENTEN: I thought we were coming together.

COOPER: But I think Ryan Seacrest can do a great job.

ENTEN: I hope so as well. But at least Vanna White will be there for some--

COOPER: Which I'm very excited.



ENTEN: Absolutely.

COOPER: Harry Enten, thank you, man.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Pat Sajak, we wish you the best.

Vanna White, so happy you're staying.

Have a great weekend. The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.


New details, on a critical interview, for Donald Trump, with a probation officer, ahead of his sentencing, here in New York.

Plus, free Beyonce tickets, free luxury trips, and several six-figure book deals. A Supreme Court that was already under scrutiny is now under even more, tonight.

And a game show giant signing off after four decades. Pat Sajak is taking his final spin, tonight, on "Wheel of Fortune." Another TV titan, Tom Bergeron, is here to talk about it.

I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

Donald Trump often claims loudly and repeatedly that the entire legal system is rigged against him. But he's about to have one privilege that not all convicted felons actually get.

Tonight, the judge, who is overseeing his hush money case, Justice Juan Merchan, says he'll allow Trump's lead attorney, Todd Blanche, to attend an interview before Trump is sentenced, here in New York, on July 11th.

Typically, the defendant would meet one-on-one, with a probation officer, without an attorney present, for this pre-sentencing investigation. But Trump is now allowed to bring Todd Blanche along.

And here's why that matters. The information that is gathered, from that interview is quite important. It all goes into what's known as a pre-sentence report, to help the judge here, decide the defendant's punishment. And for Trump, as we know, that could very well mean jail.

But also, tonight, the judge did something else. He flagged a Facebook post, from last month, to both the prosecution and the defense. Now, the person, who made this post, this poster, claimed to be a cousin of a juror, and they wrote that their cousin told them Trump was going to be convicted.

Now, there is no evidence that this is real, that this person is actually at all related to a real juror, who was inside that room. And I should note, the individual who is posting this, personally describes themselves as a trash poster, basically an online troll.

But none of that context, tonight, appears to matter to Trump's Republican allies, who quickly seized on it.

Look at this.

Senator Marsha Blackburn posted, we all know "Trump's trial was decided before it even began. WITCH HUNT," in all-caps.

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene said quote, "The fix was in from the beginning."

And Congressman Jim Banks called it quote a, "MISTRIAL" in all-caps.

My first source, tonight, spent nearly 20 years, on the bench of the California Superior Court. Retired Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell is back here with us.

And Judge, let's get to that in a moment.

But first, on this pre-sentencing report. Typically, a convicted defendant would meet one-on-one with a probation officer, without their attorney there. What do you make of this decision, and how much Trump's other cases could factor into this?


So, it is unusual, but not uncommon, for a person who has been convicted of a crime, to have a lawyer with that person. And usually, it's the person, who has enough money to pay for a lawyer, to come sit for all the time it takes, to do the interview.

But understand. This is a pre-sentence report, as you said. Sentencing, when it comes before the judge, basically has three goals. The judge has to decide a punishment -- on punishment, decide on whether or not the sentence can be rehabilitative, and also deter the person from engaging in the conduct again, and deter others from engaging in that kind of conduct.

So in order to do it, the judge needs to know as much as possible about the defendant, and also about those who were impacted, the victims. So, that's why we have this pre-sentence report. And the probation officer is tasked with doing this.

So, one major section in a probation report is a statement from the defendant. So -- and that's a big one. And that's the time, where the defendant can talk about the crime, and talk about remorse and contrition. That's what generally they want to do, when they want to get a favorable or a lenient sentence from the judge.

This is a whole different can of worms here. So, it's going to be very interesting, what Donald Trump says, at this probation interview.


His lawyer may instruct him to say nothing at all. Why? Well, one is because Donald Trump tends to become unhinged, and could really say things that really, really poorly impact him, in front of the judge. And also, it could be because Donald Trump is facing some other cases, other charges, and what he says there could be used against him, in other proceedings.

So, that's why this lawyer is going to be there, basically to try to keep him under control, and keep him on the right track.

COLLINS: Yes. That's a--

HAZZARD CORDELL: Understand also--

COLLINS: Well that's a really point good.


COLLINS: Because the attorney is Todd Blanche. And we actually had him on the show, after the verdict came down, last Thursday. And I asked him, what kind of sentence does he expect, Alvin Bragg to seek here. I want you to listen to what Todd Blanche told me.


COLLINS: District Attorney Bragg, tonight, did not directly say whether or not they are going to seek jail time for Donald Trump. Do you expect that he will?


Look, there's a system in place that -- where you rely on precedent. And somebody like President Trump should never, never face a jail sentence, based on this conduct. And it would just kind of confirm what we've been saying all along.

And a lot of people say that we're wrong and that we're missing -- we're missing key pieces. But if other 77-year-old first-time offenders would never be sent to prison for this conduct?


COLLINS: Judge, I look at that. I hear what Todd Blanche was saying there. But I also think about Michael Cohen and Allen Weisselberg, they both faced prison sentences, for what happened with them.

Do you actually think that -- do you agree with Todd Blanche, basically?

HAZZARD CORDELL: No, I don't. And what is important is what you just said. Michael Cohen was basically convicted of the same crime, although not 34 times. And Michael Cohen was contrite. He was remorseful. He assisted in the presentation of the case, by the prosecution, and he got three years.

So, if you have a defendant, who did this, 34 times, and is not remorseful, and denigrates the entire system, the process and the judge, if you -- you know, a thinking of a judge in sentencing is well, wait a minute, even though that was in federal court, I still have to do what I believe is fair, looking at this defendant. I also have to also really understand this defendant, which means the judge has a right to require a person to undergo a psychological evaluation.

And given how unhinged and incoherent Donald Trump has been, in speaking publicly, that kind of an evaluation might be merited, because for example, he could be dementing. So, these are all the kinds of information that a judge needs to make an informed, a reasonable and objective as best one can, a sentencing in any instance, and particularly in this case. COLLINS: Yes, a lot of things for the judge to weigh here.

Judge, it was great to have you here, tonight.


COLLINS: Thank you for joining us.


COLLINS: And here in studio with me.

Defense attorney and jury consultant, Renato Stabile.

And also, retired Judge George Grasso, who spent 13 years, as a judge, in New York City. And also was there every single day of the trial.

When we're talking about what, the pre-sentencing report, that came out today that they said yes, Todd Blanche could come in.

But this other post that the judge flagged, to the two parties, about this person, claiming to be a juror's cousin, we have no clue if this person actually is. They seem to have posted the same comment multiple times out there.

Why would the judge flag this to the defense and the prosecution?

GEORGE GRASSO, RETIRED NEW YORK CITY JUDGE: Well I think it was very smart that the judge did that immediately. Because theoretically, this could be very impactful, as to whether or not every juror upheld their whole -- their oath to be fair and impartial, and engage in deliberations with an open mind.

So if in theory? First of all, we don't even know if a Michael Anderson exists. We don't know if this is real. But it could be. It could be.

And it was posted to a court website. So, right, so the judge got it. It's exactly what I would have done, you get it right out, to both parties, get it out to the defense, get it out to the District Attorney. And now, they can investigate it. They can request a hearing.

There are other things the judge could do. Theoretically, Todd Blanche might want the judge to bring jurors back in, poll the jurors. There's a lot of -- there's a lot of potential tools.

But the last thing the judge would want to do is be behind the eight ball on this, have this information, not give it to the parties, and not give them a position to make a record and be heard on how it should be handled. Because it could be, and I emphasize, could be significant, and it needs to be looked at and thoroughly reviewed.

COLLINS: So, who's in charge of actually conducting the investigation? Is it Todd Blanche and Trump's team? Is it the District Attorney's office? Is it the judge? Who's supposed to? RENATO STABILE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY & JURY CONSULTANT: Well, I would think that the judge would be leading the investigation. If I'm the defense, I'm jumping all over this. As Judge Grasso said, could be true, could be not true.


I'll just note. The post was the day before the verdict, apparently. Now, the person has a 50-50 shot of getting it right. But they did get it right. So, if I'm the defense, I'm looking for any legal opportunity, to overturn this conviction.

I'm going to ask the judge, can you bring in all the jurors, even the alternates? Can we question them one by one, in-camera, meaning individually, in private? And just ask them. Did you speak with anybody? Do you have a cousin, named Michael Anderson? And see how they answer. You never know what's going to shake out. There are juror issues in high-profile cases all the time.

COLLINS: And that was the name of the person.

But when you actually look at this person, one, they self-professed to be an online internet troll. They've made this comment, claiming to be a juror, and that they knew what the outcome of the trial was going to be, multiple other times that we could find. And so, I mean, it doesn't seem realistic in any way, shape, or form.

And so, is there -- I understand what you're saying about the judge, wanting to be sure that he had it out there. But is there any danger in putting it out there? Because you see how Republicans are now saying, oh, there should be a mistrial.

GRASSO: I'm going to go right back to what I've been -- excuse me -- saying about Judge Merchan from the -- from the beginning.

His job isn't to think about how the public might perceive it, what the political implications are. His job is to be a judge. And part of his job of being a judge is to seeing that this defendant's rights are protected, every step of the way. So, he had to get that out. He had to make that available. He had to protect this defendant's rights.

And whatever they're going to say -- I mean, I saw in the promo, you've got United States Senate is already like a, you know, did Laura Blackburn, I think she was what--

COLLINS: Marsha Blackburn, yes.

GRASSO: Marsha Blackburn. Did she conduct her own investigation? She knows there is a Michael Anderson? She knows this is true?

This is the poison that's polluted political times we live in. Judges get paid to avoid all that. Do what's right. And that's what he did here.


Can we talk about the other thing here is that -- you know, we'll see how that plays out on the political aspect.

But what we do know is happening is this interview with the probation officer. And I know, they're -- typically, they would ask about their employment history, their background.


COLLINS: But I mean, are they actually going to ask Donald Trump that, since it seems--

STABILE: They will--

COLLINS: --quite obvious.

STABILE: They will go through their list of -- yes. I believe they will just go through their list of questions. I mean, there might be some chuckles in there, because it's all so obvious.

But I think the reason Todd Blanche wants to be in there is trying to keep things under control. I mean, the last thing he wants is for Donald Trump to be going off, on this probation officer, saying this is all rigged. Who knows what he might say? So, I think that's really the goal here, is to be in there and keep things civilized.

COLLINS: Well, and I mean, could we actually see Trump submit letters, from friends and family, as part of this, kind of on his behalf? And would that make a difference, for the judge here, do you think?

GRASSO: He's really a good guy? He really didn't mean it? I don't know. If they want to, submit the letters.

But I will say, agreeing with Renato, if there was ever -- it's very unusual that the defendant brings the attorney to the -- to this interview, with probation, for the pre-sentencing investigation. But if there was ever a case, where it made sense, for the defendant to bring his lawyer, this is the case.

COLLINS: Because essentially, the concern is that he could say something that -- well, the judge made an interesting point there about if he said something, it could affect the other cases that he--

GRASSO: It could--

COLLINS: --is involved in.

GRASSO: It could affect the other case. Could also affect this case. I mean, he'd just start going off and attacking the judge, attacking the court, attacking the jurors. It's part -- it's the probation investigation -- it's part of the PSI. I don't think that would be very helpful. Less is more. He needs adult supervision.

COLLINS: Can we--

GRASSO: And I think it makes sense.

COLLINS: Can we talk about something that did happen today? Alvin Bragg, the District Attorney, puts out this newsletter about the work that his office is doing. He posted it today, just talking kind of a roundup of what they've been working on lately.

The first one that you notice there is actually about a conviction of a pizza -- pizzeria owner, who is pleading guilty to stealing wages.

Second billing is Donald Trump. I mean, maybe it's very New York. It kind of made me laugh that Donald Trump was at the top billing, on his newsletter, and the conviction.

GRASSO: You can't get a good slice of pizza for $1 in New York anymore. Good go, Al Bragg.

STABILE: Pizza is very important in New York. But well maybe also he thought it would be too gloating, right? To put Donald Trump?

GRASSO: Maybe, yes.

COLLINS: On the top of the bill.

STABILE: I don't know.

GRASSO: Seems a little weird, but.

COLLINS: Great to have you both. Now, I'm hungry.

Judge Grasso, Renato Stabile, great to have you both here.

Up next. This is something quite noticeable. These are some eye- opening disclosures that we are getting tonight, from Supreme Court justices, how much money they're making on their side gigs, and who they have been getting gifts from, including one from Beyonce.

Plus, tonight, a trans teenager was attacked at school. Police are now investigating it as a possible hate crime. She's here to tell her story.



COLLINS: Book deals, Beyonce, and a big trip to Bali. You will find all of that and more in the annual financial disclosures, out today, from the U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Justice Clarence Thomas has now only just formally disclosed two 2019 trips that were paid for by the Republican megadonor, Harlan Crow, saying that he quote, "Inadvertently omitted" that trip to Bali, and another trip to a private club in California.

It was the non-disclosure of those trips, which were first reported by ProPublica, in an investigation that raised major questions, about what gifts that Thomas and other justices may have been receiving.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson disclosed four tickets to a Beyonce concert, last year, a gift, I should note, from Beyonce herself. [21:20:00]

And we also learned that several of the justices have received six- figure payments, last year, for book deals. That includes Justice Jackson, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and also Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Now, these disclosures come at a time when there are a lot of ethics questions, for the Supreme Court, and as there are only several weeks left for them to decide, and we'll find out what they decide, on several politically-supercharged cases.

That includes whether or not Trump has immunity from prosecution, and also about the nation's access to abortion pills. Those are just two of the decisions that we are waiting to come, this month, from the Supreme Court.

My sources, tonight, are CNN Political Commentator, and former White House Communications Director for President Biden, Kate Bedingfield.

As well as, CNN Senior Political Commentator, and former Senior Adviser to Mitch McConnell, Scott Jennings.

Scott, I mean, just given, it was just last year that Justice Thomas argued he didn't need to disclose these kinds of gifts. I wonder what you make him saying that he inadvertently omitted them does, for the court's credibility here?

SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO MITCH MCCONNELL, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the fact that he puts them out there now, I think, is a good thing. I take him at his word that it was an inadvertent omission.

And you go back to 2011, 2012, a bunch of Democrats filed an ethics complaint against Clarence Thomas, over this exact same kind of stuff, back then. It was looked at by the Judicial Conference, and they found that he had done nothing wrong.

Harlan Crow, by the way, is a longtime friend of Clarence Thomas. He's often described as a Republican megadonor. But they've been friends for a very, very long time. So, this is a personal friendship that he has.

I would also point out, since you raised the cases, Harlan Crow is on the record, as saying he is pro-choice, and he's also no big fan of Donald Trump. And so, people often draw a link between Crow and Thomas, and these upcoming cases. But in this case, I don't think he's going to be finding a sympathetic ear, for his personal views--


JENNINGS: --with Clarence Thomas. And that's not even really the issue. The issue is -- they're friends. And they've been friends for a long time.

COLLINS: Yes. And so, OK, regardless of the politics of the person, I think what people look at, and they're kind of -- they kind of have a side eye is that when it's a Supreme Court justice, going on major lavish trips that are funded by a billionaire, Harlan Crow is a billionaire, and not saying anything about them. And I think that is where the questions have been, Kate.

And so, on this issue, even if it's not something that is linked to what's happening here, there is a political perception issue with the court, and the credibility of it.

And so, that's the question of whether or not that affects how people see those decisions that are made by these justices, these rulings that we are getting, when they're looking at these trips to Bali, and which I should note was on a private plane, and a private yacht, that was not part of the disclosure, tonight.

KATE BEDINGFIELD, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR UNDER PRESIDENT BIDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, I think that's exactly right. I mean, this is a moment where people, across the board have -- are steadily losing faith in our -- in institutions, including journalism, including the courts.

And so, the idea that these justices are not being forthcoming, that they're not disclosing these incredibly significant, and in Thomas' case, lavish gifts from people who have significant political influence, within the Republican Party? That is -- that is troubling.

And the fact that he has a different point, said he wasn't obligated to disclose it or -- and then said he forgot. I mean, the sheer fact that he's not being transparent about it is problematic, is a perception problem.

And I think, it's also important to remember that, at least for federal judges, the statute for recusal is not just actual conflict, but it's the perception of conflict, the perception of bias.

So if you're the average voter, and you're looking at these really significant cases that are coming up, before the Supreme Court, and you have concern about whether the justices are being transparent and forthcoming about these kinds of things? Of course, there's going to be a political impact there, that's going to leave a bad taste in people's mouth.

And so, I think, for the Supreme Court, they don't view themselves as political. They don't think of themselves as political. Maybe they should. And I don't mean that in terms of the cases that they're deciding. But in terms of how they think about their institution.

I think that they probably need to have a more realistic perception of how the public sees them, and think about how they conduct themselves to earn the public's trust.

COLLINS: Scott, do you think that they think of that, that that is taken into consideration, even if it's what you said there, that they're lifelong friends, that there is no intersection of Harlan Crow's interest, and the cases that are before justices, including Clarence Thomas. The idea, for a regular American, to see a lot of these justices getting six-figure book deals, but one in particular, taking these trips, how the average American looks at that?

JENNINGS: Yes, look, it's a legitimate question. And it's worthy of debate.

I do think the justices, and I mean, this broadly, all of them, from right to left, don't and should not think of themselves as political actors. I do have a disagreement with Kate about that.


I mean, the reason we give them lifetime appointments, the reason they don't stand before voters, the reason they have this insulation around them, in their branch of government, is because we don't want them to act politically. We just want them to think of themselves as acting only in the interest of the U.S. Constitution, and our laws that are passed by the political branches of our government.

So, I don't want them to begin to think of themselves in a way that the average politician would think of themselves like, Oh, I better not do this, or I better do that. Because then they become politicians and not judges. I want them to be judges first.

COLLINS: Well, and Kate, the Supreme Court is--


COLLINS: --so front and center, for a lot of voters, especially after Roe versus Wade was overturned.

And we heard President Biden, last week, in Philadelphia. He was talking about this, the Supreme Court. And he was saying, the next president is going to be able to appoint a couple of justices. He says, I'll be damned, you know, talking about putting really progressive judges in there, if that would change people's lives.

Do you think this is something that he should be talking more about, not just in the sense of how Roe versus Wade was decided, but in what he would do, if he has a second term, when it comes to the Supreme Court?

BEDINGFIELD: Well, remember, he views -- he finds -- he believes it to be very fundamental, the separation of powers in this government. He has always been very, very careful not to use the power of the presidency, to overstep or to, in any way, suggest that he is trying to sway what the court's doing.

I think, remember, he was on the Judiciary Committee for many, many years, in the Senate. He takes all of that very, very seriously, and views, the idea of the erosion of trust in the court, as a really fundamental problem for the country.

And as he thinks about how to approach this, within the confines of a political campaign, he's thinking about how to not further erode that trust that he thinks is really fundamental to our system, continuing to work.

So, I think there are, as we've been discussing here, I think there are legitimate questions, concerns, I think, when a Supreme Court justice views themselves as so far outside of the realm of politics, and this is what I mean by political, that they can take $4 million from a -- over the course of their career, from a significant conservative donor, and not have to disclose that, because they view themselves as so far outside of the processes that they're not obligated to disclose it.

That's a problem. That creates trust issues.


BEDINGFIELD: And I think Democrats broadly can and should raise that.

COLLINS: Kate Bedingfield, Scott Jennings, great to have you both on, tonight. Thank you.

BEDINGFIELD: Thanks for having us.


COLLINS: Coming up, and a story you're not going to want to miss, a transgender teen was attacked at her high school, she says, by other students, hospitalized with a broken jaw. That 17-year-old is here to tell her story, next.



COLLINS: Tonight, the father of a transgender teenager is calling for criminal charges against students, who attacked his daughter.

17-year-old Cobalt Sovereign was in the school bathroom, at her Minnesota high school, last week, when she says schoolmates attacked her. Her jaw broken in two places, she lost two teeth and had to have reconstructive surgery.

Cobalt Sovereign joins me now, to tell her story, along with her father, Mark Walztoni.

And thank you, first, just Cobalt, so much for being here tonight. I can't even imagine what a week you've had. And so, I'm just, I'm really grateful that you're here.

Can you just -- can you start by telling us what happened?


Earlier or last week, the previous Thursday, I was attempting to use the restroom, during school. And while I was in the stall, another student looked over said stall, and stared at me, before calling me a homophobic slur. And after I had tried to quickly leave the restroom, I was continuously insulted in the hallway, before being punched directly in the jaw, fracturing it in two places, and scattering parts of my own tooth and my mouth.

COLLINS: Your tooth actually broke in your mouth after the hit?

SOVEREIGN: That's right. I noticed because there was something in my mouth that wasn't there before.

COLLINS: I mean, I can't even imagine what that felt like.

SOVEREIGN: Not much at the time. Shock definitely numbed the pain, as it was happening.

But I was given support by my school counselor, who took care of me until my father was able to arrive, and take me to the emergency dentist, where I had an X-ray taken and it was discovered that it was not only my tooth that had broken but my jaw.

COLLINS: And the fact that you had to have reconstructive surgery. I mean, had you ever worried about something like this happening, when you were at school? Had you and your dad ever talked about what to do, if someone was harassing you like this?

SOVEREIGN: Well, I have dealt with harassment in school before. Nothing even close to this extent. I usually just try to ignore it. And if I couldn't or if it became too difficult, I confronted verbally, by saying -- by trying to say, you have no reason to be upset at me for any reason. I have -- I had never met these students before, never even seen them.


COLLINS: Dad, I mean, what's it like for you to see your child go through this?

MARK WALZTONI, FATHER OF TRANSGENDER TEEN ATTACKED AT SCHOOL: Well it's -- it's pretty horrible, I have to say. There's not anything worse that could happen to a parent really is, something -- somebody going after your child, especially for this -- these reasons, which are, beyond like, comprehension as to why someone would target another person, just for trying to be who they are. And it's very upsetting.

And so we're hoping that everybody reacts appropriately, in terms of law enforcement, and the school district. And so far, it has been a little lackluster, to the point where the school is withholding information from the police department.

And I just, I don't want to see it get swept under the rug, and see other kids have to go through this same thing, and other parents have to go through the same thing. So, I'm trying to be the best parent, I can, of a trans child, or model that. And so, it's important for me to speak up, on the matter, because it's -- it shouldn't be--

COLLINS: Yes. WALZTONI: --a thing--

COLLINS: Well and--

WALZTONI: --like this.

COLLINS: And it's notable to hear you say that you think that you're worried about it being swept under the rug, and that the school -- the school's not being entirely forthcoming.

And Cobalt, for -- as I was just hearing your story, today, I was so struck by it, because one, you're a teenager. You're just going to the bathroom at school. And I think for -- for as much as people talk about who should be using what bathroom, and this discussion, this is something that you actually deal with in your daily life.

And I wonder what that's, you know, how you would describe that to people who talk about it, and have no idea what it's actually like, for you, who lives it? What would you say it's like?

SOVEREIGN: Well, as somebody who identifies as non-binary, using the restroom has always been a bit of an issue for me. I try to use any gender-neutral or family restroom options if they're available.

But when I'm not given that option I've had to use the men's restroom because it's what makes everybody around me the least amount of uncomfortable. And making other people uncomfortable is something that I try not to do.

COLLINS: It's remarkable.

SOVEREIGN: It's one of my worst fears indeed.

COLLINS: It's remarkable to hear you say that, that you don't want to make other people uncomfortable.

WALZTONI: Well, Cobalt is super-kind, and thoughtful and loving. And makes it extra sad, that should be targeted, honestly.

So, it's unacceptable. The whole transphobia and homophobia thing is, in my opinion, so 20th Century, or it should be, a thing of the past. And it's clear that the climate is getting worse, in this regard.

We feel really fortunate to live in Minnesota. We have a tremendous amount of community support here. And where--


WALZTONI: --Cobalt is feeling very loved and -- but it's the kids that are there today aren't safe. And we're not sure if Cobalt's going to be safe to go back next year. So, we need to see some--


WALZTONI: --changes made.

COLLINS: Mark, you're a special dad.

And Cobalt, I just want to say thank you, again, for coming on and sharing your story.

And I think everyone can agree that all kids should feel safe at school, and feel protected there. So, I just want to thank you, both, for being willing to come on and to share your story. I think it means a lot to a lot of people.

SOVEREIGN: Thank you so much for having us. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to have us.

COLLINS: Yes. Thank you guys.

WALZTONI: Yes. Thank you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Still ahead here, on THE SOURCE, Pat Sajak, as I mentioned at the top, he is taking his final spin on the "Wheel of Fortune." Hear his farewell message, tonight, after more than four decades.

Also, fellow TV legend, Tom Bergeron, is here with me.



COLLINS: Tonight, after more than four decades of selling vowels, Pat Sajak, the beloved host of "Wheel of Fortune," gave the wheel one final spin.


PAT SAJAK, AMERICAN TV PERSONALITY AND GAME SHOW HOST: Well, the time has come to say goodbye. I have a few thanks and acknowledgments before I go. And I want to start with all of you watching out there.

It's been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes, night after night, year after year, decade after decade. And I've always felt that the privilege came with the responsibility to keep this daily half-hour, a safe place for family fun. No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing, I hope. Just a game.


COLLINS: And with that, Sajak's legendary run, hosting some 8,000 shows is now over.

It all started in 1981. He was actually working as a TV weatherman, before he was tapped as the new host of "Wheel of Fortune." But since then, Sajak, Vanna White, and that big wheel became staples of network TV. The show still averages more than 8 million viewers, each week.

For perspective on his goodbye, my source, tonight, is another legendary game show host, Tom Bergeron, who has hosted "Hollywood Squares," and "Dancing with the Stars."


I'm going to keep calling you a legend, Tom. But it's great to have you here.

I mean, because Pat Sajak did have this legendary run. I mean, he's synonymous with game show television. I wonder what you make of him signing off after 41 years.

TOM BERGERON, LEGENDARY TV HOST, FORMER HOST, "AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS," "DANCING WITH THE STARS": Well, here's the thing. I hosted a midday talk show, in Boston, in the late 80s, early 90s. And Pat was one of my guests for an hour. And he gave me a little insight into what would be my future on "Hollywood Squares."

He told me on the show, in Boston, being a game show host is the best gig. You show up in your jeans. There are five suits hanging in the dressing room. You knock off a week's worth of shows, in a day. You do two weeks of shows in two days. Then, you go home for half a month. So, he was right, by the way.

So, I don't think Pat is really going into retirement. I think, for the past 41 years, he's been semi-retired anyway.

COLLINS: And, I mean, well, it's because basically, you film all of your episodes in what, like two days, and then you have--


COLLINS: --several days off after that?

BERGERON: Yes, more than several, yes. Yes, we were -- when we were doing "Hollywood Squares," it was so interesting, because I think of what Pat told me quite often.

Because I would. I'd go into my dressing room. I'd drop that day's suit into a ball. There'd be another suit hanging up. By 4 o'clock in the afternoon, Whoopi and I and the whole gang, we're going to dinner.

COLLINS: I mean, but I think some people would say that's crazy. They think of, you know, they watch this on a daily basis. They get daily appointment television, to think that you're filming game after game after game. And this 48-hour period is quite an interesting, a way to live, I guess, you should say.

BERGERON: Yes. Yes -- and we -- and I'll probably be chastised for this, because we like to foster the idea that we're working very hard.

COLLINS: What is it like? I mean, what did you admire most about Pat -- Pat Sajak, and how he -- you know, he always had this affable way of talking to the audience, who was there. You saw his tribute to them, to the viewers at home.

And I know this is something that was important to you. It's just kind of have this, this place where it's not about politics, and it's not about the big issues of the day, to kind of have this haven for people. BERGERON: Yes, I think what you could see Pat doing so well, and again, over 8,000 shows, was something that I've -- whenever students are broadcasting, or podcasting, or whatever, would talk to me about, well, how do you do it? I said, well, don't think about 8 million people watching you, or, back on the dancing show, 20 or 30. Think of one.

It's just one person, on the other side of that lens. And I think that's what you could see Pat doing very well. It was creating that sense of personal intimacy, with not 8 million people, but one.

COLLINS: How does -- how does a host know when to walk away, when to make a decision, like what Pat Sajak just made?

BERGERON: Well, I -- it's hard, I think. It's almost like an internal sense of timing. I know, when I was doing the America's Funniest Video show, the 25th anniversary of that show coincided with my 15th year of doing it. And that just -- the symmetry of that just seemed to work for me that it was time to, as I've said, pass the pinata stick on to somebody else. And I was very pleased to do that to Alfonso.

COLLINS: Ryan Seacrest is going to -- is taking over for Pat Sajak. Do you have any advice for him?

BERGERON: Well, I'm just happy it's Ryan, because the kid needs the work.

COLLINS: Well, he is a Georgia fan--

BERGERON: No, he'll do great. Ryan is one of--

COLLINS: --I'm pretty sure, so.

BERGERON: Ryan is sort of from the Dick Clark mold of producer-hosts. And I think he just -- I think he probably throws to commercials in his private life.

COLLINS: What are the other secrets of game show hosts? I mean, what is it? So few people know what it's like. What is it like?

BERGERON: Well, one of the things, and I can only speak from the perspective of "Hollywood Squares." But I remember the first two days we were taping, I had these nine celebrities in this massive Tic-tac- toe board. And I came from a talk show background.

So, we were about three or four shows in. And the King brothers were the producers of the show, back then. And Michael King came to me, during a break, and he said Tom, you're doing great. But remember, this isn't a talk show. These contestants, they want to win stuff.

So, that little shift in emphasis really got me focused more on the contestants, and less on kibitzing with the nine celebrities. And -- because that was -- that was my real object list.

COLLINS: Yes. I'm sure people liked also hearing your back-and-forth with them. It's quite a moment for Pat Sajak.

It's great to be able to talk to you about it, of all people, Tom.


COLLINS: Thank you, for joining us, and coming on, on your Friday night.

BERGERON: My pleasure, Kaitlan. Thanks so much.

COLLINS: Great to have you.


Up next. A TikTok star has been putting a name to what a lot of Americans are feeling about the economy, as it is known as the vibecession.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the vibecession over? And if so, what did we learn from it? And why is there still a gap between vibes and hard data?




COLLINS: Today's jobs report delivered a pretty welcome surprise, for the Biden administration. 272,000 new jobs, in May, underlining signs of the economy's health, as wages also surged, in this latest report.

And yet, despite those numbers that you're looking at there, and that the White House wants to tout, polls show that people aren't that thrilled with the economy, right now. 64 percent of voters say it's getting worse. Only 30 percent, as you could see here, say it's getting better.

There's actually a term, for this disconnect, between the data and how people feel. It's called a vibecession. And it was coined by my next guest.

Kyla Scanlon became a TikTok star demystifying the economy, for everyday people, and is also the Author of the new book "In This Economy?: How Money & Markets Really Work."

And this is a fascinating thing that every political head, in Washington, is trying to figure out, because it is this kind of perception versus reality, where as much as you talk about the reality, the perception still really matters for voters.

KYLA SCANLON, AUTHOR, "IN THIS ECONOMY?: HOW MONEY & MARKETS REALLY WORK," ECONOMICS WRITER, VIDEO CREATOR & PODCASTER: Yes, absolutely. And I think it's hard, right, because the vibecession is this idea of

a disconnect. But when you look deeper into the data, like structural affordability, housing crisis, elder care, child care, et cetera, there are real reasons why voters feel bad.

But it's really this outsized disconnect that I think people are concerned about, like when will people actually start to feel good about the economy? And if they don't feel good in this economy, what economy will they feel good in?

COLLINS: Can you just explain vibecession? Because there are probably some people at home--


COLLINS: --who are like, like my dad, who was like, what--


COLLINS: --what exactly is a vibecession?

SCANLON: Yes, it's not necessarily a new concept. It's very similar to Keynes' Animal Spirits, George Soros and reflexivity.

It's just this idea, as you said, a disconnect between how people feel, and what the economic data is seeing. So, a strong labor market- ish, strong economic metrics, like GDP, inflation going down. But yet people are feeling bad.

COLLINS: And what you said there about the numbers that people are feeling, and what they're paying attention to.

Because we hear from the White House a lot. They'll say, OK, well, look at what wages are, look at -- well look at what the job numbers is, look at what the unemployment rate is.

But what you just pointed out there, the housing market, affordability, those are things that people feel because they're not able to buy a home, they're not able to make these kinds of big-life steps that typically they'd be able to take.

SCANLON: Yes. And I think that's kind of why we're seeing this disconnect. I think it's just people feeling like they're not able to even get that first foot on the bottom rung of the ladder, and feeling like they don't even know how to climb up.

COLLINS: And so, what do you hear from people? Because you have this -- you do this great job of explaining, basically, this disconnect, or breaking down the jobs report, for people? What do you often hear, from people, about what their biggest concerns are?

SCANLON: I mean, I hear a lot of frustration. I think a lot of people are frustrated by the housing market.

Like the bottom 50 percent of Americans, all their wealth is tied into housing. It's the American Dream. And if you look at the top 10 percent of Americans, most of their

wealth is in equity and business ownership.

And so, again, people are looking towards the housing market as a way to gain generational wealth. And that's not really an option, right now. And I think a lot of people feel concerned by that.

COLLINS: And they're not paying as close attention to the stock market or something that lawmakers often look at.

SCANLON: Yes. And the stock market, there is a live stream, today, of Roaring Kitty with GameStop. And so, I think people look at the stock market, and they're like, this is really silly, like it doesn't even seem real. But it is a great way to gain wealth. And a lot of people don't get to participate in that.

COLLINS: So, what numbers do you think people -- that we should be watching the closest? When we look at the cross tabs here, and what this are, what do you think, is the some -- what's the real indicator of how people are feeling?

SCANLON: I mean, I think a lot of people are trying to figure that out, what's the difference between anecdote and data? But I think what we need to pay attention to is, the actual metrics, and look at a broad tapestry of metrics. Like, today's jobs report was confusing.

And you have to look across the board to get a big picture of what's actually going on. So, it's really, as terrible of an answer as it is you do have to look across all the metrics and kind of take an average of them.

COLLINS: Yes. It's always fascinating, when these jobs reports come out, to kind of decipher them, and see what they mean.

Kyla, great to have you. Thank you for coming in.

SCANLON: Thank you.

COLLINS: And before we go tonight, a sneak peek at this week's new episode of the CNN Original Series "Secrets & Spies."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): On the world stage, President Reagan is determined to defeat what he calls the Evil Empire.

But another battle is playing out in the shadows.

"JACK BARSKY," FORMER KGB OFFICER: For me, becoming a spy for the KGB was ideology. I am Jack Barsky. That's not the name I was born with. We stole the identity of a Jack Barsky, who passed away at the young age of 11.


I spent 10 years, as an illegal undercover agent for the KGB in the United States. I was a 100 percent convinced that Communism was the right thing. That the world eventually would wind up being one happy Communist family.


COLLINS: The fascinating new episode premieres, this Sunday night, at 10 PM Eastern, right here on CNN.

Thank you so much for joining us. Have a great weekend.