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State of the Union
Interview With U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm; Interview With Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI); Interview With Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); Interview With Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX). Aired 9-10a ET
Aired June 19, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DANA BASH, CNN HOST (voice-over): Building their case. The January 6 committee reveals new details on Mike Pence's security.
REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): The vice president's life was in danger.
BASH: As state election officials prepare to testify in this week's hearing, I will speak exclusively to a Democratic committee member, Congressman Adam Schiff, and a Republican Congressman Fred Upton, next.
And recession looming? High inflation and gas prices are hitting Americans' wallets hard, but President Biden says a recession is not inevitable.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm using every lever available to me to bring down prices for the American people.
BASH: When will prices start to fall? Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm joins me exclusively to discuss ahead.
Plus: marking Juneteenth. The nation celebrates a momentous day in American history. I will speak to a Democrat who worked to make it a federal holiday, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, ahead.
BASH: Hello. I'm Dana Bash in Washington, where the state of our union is worried about our democracy and our wallets.
Yet there is one bright spot this Father's Day. Children as young as 6 months old are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, after more than two years of the pandemic. But this bit of good news comes as even President Biden is acknowledging in a rare interview that Americans are -- quote -- "really, really down."
Well, here's why. Americans are watching their 401(k)s plummet as the economy faces the highest inflation in decades and record high gas prices. The threat to the economy is sharing a split-screen with the threat to democracy. The ongoing January 6 hearings are now entering their third week. And, this Tuesday, the January 6 Committee is expected to move the
argument from former President Trump's pressure on state officials to change the elections.
Officials from Georgia and Arizona are expected to testify, including the Georgia secretary of state, Republican Brad Raffensperger, who recently defeated a Trump-backed opponent in his Republican primary. Remember, Trump asked Raffensperger to find -- quote -- "11,000-plus votes" during a very, very long call, January 2, 2021.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, look, all I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BASH: What does it mean for the committee's case?
Here with me now exclusively is the man leading the next hearing, Intelligence Committee Chairman and member of the January 6 Committee Adam Schiff.
Thank you so much for joining me.
We do already know a lot about Georgia, including that phone call we just played. What are you going to reveal new about Georgia and also Arizona?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Like most of the other hearings, they will be a combination of things that are already in the public arena and a lot of new information.
And what I think is most significant is, we will weave it together, tell the public how one thing led to another. One pressure campaign, as we saw last week, on the vice president to ignore the Constitution put the vice president's life in danger. And, this week, we will hear about how a similar pressure campaign directed against state and local elections officials put their lives in danger.
And, similarly, the president was told this scheme is essentially something that his own lawyers couldn't justify. But yet he pressed on, uprooted people's lives, put their lives and our democracy very much at risk.
BASH: Your hearing will include evidence about Trump electors in battleground states who submitted fake Electoral College ballots, even though Trump lost these states that we're talking about.
We have already heard that campaign officials, Trump campaign officials, were involved in that. Do you have evidence that the former president himself was involved?
SCHIFF: Yes, we will show evidence of the president's involvement in this scheme. We will also again show evidence about what his own lawyers came to
think about this scheme. And we will show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn't go along with this plan to either call legislatures back into session or decertify the results for Joe Biden.
The system held because a lot of state and local elections officials upheld their oath to the constitution, a lot of the Republicans, as well as Democrats.
BASH: Just to be clear, you said you have evidence that the then- president was involved in putting a fake slate of electors out there.
Do you have evidence that he directed it?
SCHIFF: I don't want to get ahead of our hearing. We will show during a hearing what the president's role was in trying to get states to name alternate slates of electors, how that scheme depended initially on hopes that the legislatures would reconvene and bless it.
BASH: Will we see that he directed it?
SCHIFF: They didn't. And they pressed forward with it anyway.
BASH: Will we see that he directed it?
SCHIFF: I don't want to get ahead of what we will show you during the hearing.
SCHIFF: But we will show you what we know about his role in this.
BASH: Your committee sent a letter to Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The letter went out on Thursday asking for her testimony. You obtained communication between Ginni Thomas and the lawyer plotting to overturn the election, John Eastman. What questions do you have for her?
SCHIFF: Well, we want to know what she knows, what her involvement was in this plot to overturn the election.
She has said that she is willing to come in and testify voluntarily. We're glad to hear that. Really, anyone with pertinent information, we want to hear from. And so we have a range of questions to ask her. Obviously, I think the committee will be interested, in among other things, whether this was discussed with Justice Thomas, given that he was ruling on cases impacting whether we would get some of this information.
BASH: If you find the answer to that question is yes, do you agree with some of your Democratic colleagues like Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that Justice Thomas should resign or perhaps should be impeached?
SCHIFF: Well, I think that, at a minimum, it suggests -- and I think we know enough to say this already -- that Justice Thomas, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, should have nothing to do with any cases relating to January 6, particularly regarding our investigation, because we want our justices to uphold a standard that goes beyond what's lawful or unlawful to avoid even the appearance of a conflict or impropriety.
BASH: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren told my colleague Jake Tapper this week that some information has been provided on a confidential basis from your committee to the Justice Department.
You know this. I'm sure you're hearing this. So many people watching your committee hearings are asking, what is going to come of this? Is the Justice Department going to file criminal charges?
First question is, why haven't you given everything over to the Justice Department that they are asking for and they say they need in order to potentially do that?
SCHIFF: I don't think Congress has ever done that. And I have been participating now in several investigations where there have been parallel investigations done by the Justice Department.
Congress never says, hey, Justice Department, other branch of government, just come and go through our files. We also don't say, hey, we want to go over and just rifle through your files.
When the Justice Department asks for things specifically, hey, we're looking at a case, we're investigating this person, can you give us what you have, we work with them. And we will work with them here.
I do want to point out, the Justice Department has the subpoena power too. They can convene a grand jury. They can bring in witnesses. Traditionally, they don't wait for Congress to do that work for the department. So we're going to work with them. We want them to be successful in bringing people to justice.
But I can't go into the private conversations we're having.
BASH: Well, have you seen evidence that the Justice Department has already opened an investigation into the former president?
SCHIFF: I -- just looking at the public record, I have not seen, for example, grand juries convene in places where I would think they would be convened if they were looking at some of the conduct, for example, that Judge Carter in California wrote he believed that Donald Trump was engaged in multiple acts that violate the criminal laws.
BASH: You have been critical of the Justice Department for moving slowly.
If you have done so much work, why not help them out?
SCHIFF: Well, we certainly will help them. We want them to particularize what they're asking for.
And it's our intention, when we conclude our investigation, to make public our findings in great detail.
SCHIFF: But we have a job to do as well. And we are doing that. And we're doing this consistent with how the -- our branch of government has operated and the executive branch has operated.
BASH: We have seen a lot of taped testimony from the hundreds, even more, of closed-door testimony that you have done as a committee.
But why aren't you calling witnesses in a public way who might challenge the committee? Is that intentional, because you don't want to deviate from the storyline that you're trying to present to the public and, of course, potentially to the Justice Department?
I mean, we are interviewing, frankly, anyone that has relevant evidence. We're putting that relevant evidence before the public. And we're doing it in a way that is the most cohesive and that we can get across the salient points to the public.
BASH: So, like, why not subpoena Mike Pence, for example, if he won't -- I know you asked him to testify voluntarily. That didn't happen.
SCHIFF: We're not taking anything off the table in terms of witnesses who have not yet testified.
We would still, I think, like to have several high-profile people come before our committee. But, at the moment, I can't disclose what private conversations may or may not be going on with respect to certain individuals. But there are still key people we have not interviewed that we would like to.
BASH: So, Mike Pence is a possibility still?
SCHIFF: Certainly a possibility. We're not excluding anyone or anything at this point.
BASH: Mr. Chairman, thank you so much. And happy Father's Day.
SCHIFF: Thank you very much.
BASH: Appreciate it.
And yet another Republican congressman who voted to impeach President Trump after January 6 won't be around next year. What does it say about the former president's hold on the Republican Party?
We will speak to one of the 10, Republican Congressman Fred Upton, next. Plus, what is the Biden administration doing to bring gas prices down?
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is here exclusively.
BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
As the January 6 Committee presents its case that former President Trump pushed to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Republican voters in South Carolina ousted one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the former president over his role in the January 6 erection -- insurrection.
Five-term Congressman Tom Rice lost his primary to state Representative Russell Fry, who was endorsed by Trump.
Joining me now, one of the other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan, who is now retiring at the end of the term.
Congressman, thank you so much for joining me.
You were just, as I said, one of 10 Republicans who voted in the House to impeach Donald Trump for his actions on and leading up to January 6.
Do you think the case the January 6 Committee is presenting is resonating with moderate Republican voters and independents?
REP. FRED UPTON (R-MI): Yes, I think so.
I think the overriding issue certainly is the economy and gas prices. But I think there's been real interest in what's going on. You have got, obviously, your different factions that are not going to turn it on and watch. They made their decision some time ago.
But, yes, I think that it's had an impact on voters across the country. And we will see how this thing plays out. The committee has been very careful not to divulge any details in advance of their hearings.
For me, I have -- obviously, I was there that day. The regrets that I see is that some of the folks that they have talked to who are now -- their answers are being made public, where have they been for the last year-and-a-half? Why weren't they saying what they're saying now a year-and-a-half ago, particularly to those of us that actually witnessed what was going on, to back us up a little bit?
BASH: Well, conservative Judge Michael Luttig testified this week that Donald Trump and his supporters still pose a -- quote -- "clear and present danger" to American democracy.
Congressman, the former president is actively exploring a 2024 run right now. Is your party going to back him again? UPTON: Well, I have said from the beginning I think that Donald Trump
is going to be a candidate in '24. The voters still like him a lot.
We see that certainly in Michigan. He's had a number of decisive wins, where he's endorsed candidates that they have won. He's had a few losses as well, but he certainly entertains a majority of the Republican base, and will be hard to stop.
And, frankly, as we look at the economy, we look at gas prices, all these different things, folks are not really happy with the Biden administration, which is why he is mired at a level even below where Donald Trump was at this point in his tenure.
BASH: What does it say to you about your party that, even after what we have seen over the last week that you say is pretty damning, that Republican voters, you think, still might make him the nominee if he does run?
UPTON: Well, look, it was a close election. It was a close election in 2016. It was certainly a close election in 2020 as well.
And you have got the base voters that are really upset that things didn't go their way, and they're -- they're loyal as can be.
BASH: South -- on that note, South Carolina Republican Tom Rice, who like you, voted to impeach Donald Trump, lost his primary this week.
That means that, of the 10 House Republicans who backed impeachment, half, including yourself, will not be returning to Congress next year, and the remainder are facing some pretty tough reelection battles come January '23. The question is, will there be anyone left in the House Republican Congress -- Conference, sir, willing to stand up to Donald Trump?
UPTON: I think that there will be.
I mean, for a couple of us, my district -- Michigan lost a congressional seats. So we went from 14 to 13. So they made my district like a sandwich with -- even Upton Middle School put with Lake Erie. And I can see lake Michigan from my house.
Adam Kinzinger, they diced his district up pretty well also. So we will see when these primaries are over, but I -- yes, I think there will be some of the 10 that are standing.
And you got to remember too, though there were only 10 of us that voted to impeach, there were 35 of us that vote voted for a bipartisan commission to look at this. And we know that there were a lot of folks who were, frankly, scared of their reelection, which is why they voted the other way as well.
So our group is actually a little bit stronger than what the numbers showed. And, of course, we did send it to the Senate, and they did have a majority of the senators vote to impeach the president. But we will -- that's why politics is so much fun sometimes. It's -- we will see how things all shake out.
BASH: Want to turn to guns.
A bipartisan group in the Senate is trying to lock down a compromise deal. But funding for state red flag laws and eliminating the so- called boyfriend loophole do remain sticking points for Republicans.
Congress leaves for recess in a week. Do you think a deal is still gettable?
UPTON: I sure hope so.
We talked to -- so, I'm a vice chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. We had a Zoom meeting last week with a couple of senators. They brought us up to speed where they were. Frankly, I thought, by now, we'd have the legislative agreement since they agreed in principle a week ago.
As you said, the Senate is going to be out, as the House will be, the end of this week. I'm hoping that they get close. Those are the two sticking points. And should they get the votes to get it done, I think that the House will take it up immediately when we come back, but haven't had an update in the last 48 hours.
But I know that they're getting close. And it's -- frankly, it's common sense. Law-abiding folks, they shouldn't have any fears in terms of what's -- what's going on. It's been a rallying point, particularly for the NRA and the gun owners of America. You look at their Web site and they're, like, raising cash like you wouldn't believe in terms of their Second Amendment rights are being taken away.
No, that's not what's happening here. This is some commonsense stuff. But it's been elevated, for sure, when -- particularly when you have some pretty well-respected Republicans, whether it be a John Cornyn or a Dan Crenshaw, literally being accosted at their state conventions in Texas this weekend.
BASH: Fred Upton, congressman from Michigan, thank you so much for joining me.
Happy Father's Day to you, sir.
UPTON: You bet. Thanks.
BASH: Up next: Americans are hitting the road for summer vacations and paying a lot for it. What's the solution?
President Biden's energy secretary joins me after this.
BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
President Biden is pushing back on claims that a recession is coming, even as the market plummets and prices soar.
So, what are the steps the administration is taking to bring prices down, especially prices at the pump?
My next guest is at the center of the issue, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
Thank you so much for joining me.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY: You bet, Dana.
BASH: So, the former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, he said to me on the show last week that there is certainly a risk of a recession in the next year.
Are you and the Biden administration taking preventative steps in case that happens?
GRANHOLM: Oh, for sure.
I mean, the president is really focused on preventing these inflationary increases, to the extent he can. Inflation, obviously, is happening globally. A recession is not inevitable. The president really wants to have a steady and stable recovery.
But, of course, one of the biggest pieces of these inflationary increases that we're seeing is the price of fuel.
BASH: And, if that doesn't happen, those preventative steps that you're trying to take, are there proactive steps that you can take if the recession actually happens?
GRANHOLM: Well, what we're trying to do, in my column, right, we really want to make sure that we can increase supply, because, right now, we have a huge mismatch between demand for fuel, for gasoline, and supply of it.
And so we are doing a whole series of things, including, this week, I will be meeting with the CEOs of oil and gas companies, because we have a -- globally a refinery challenge. The refineries shut down, many of them, some of them, during COVID, pulled in the United States a million barrels of capacity offline.
And that, of course, increases to these upward pressure on prices.
BASH: So, on that note, the White House said this week that President Biden could use the Defense Production Act to help solve the problem.
Are you developing plans to use that in order to increase the domestic pipeline?
GRANHOLM: Yes, I mean, let's just say the president is prepared to use all of his authorities to do what he can to increase supply.
Supply, of course -- just to set the stage on this, though, Dana for everybody, of course, oil is traded on a global market. This issue of supply is hitting every country around the world. Every country is paying high prices for gas. If you were in Singapore, you would be paying $9. Canada, it's over $6.
Bottom line is, we have to, all countries increase supply in this moment, because demand is also increasing, especially as countries like China will be coming out of COVID. So you have got an upward pressure on prices.
So the president is doing everything he can within his power, including releasing a million barrels per day at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We have got to replace the barrels of oil that Russia used to export around the world and that now is not available because of the war.
BASH: But he's not doing everything that he can do.
One option is to pause the national gas tax. That is something that the woman who sits in the governor's mansion that you were just -- that you were in previously, Gretchen Whitmer, is calling for. Why hasn't that happened yet?
GRANHOLM: Yes. I mean, it's one of the tools.
First and foremost, we want to increase supply. We also want to take a look at consumer relief directly. And that is...
BASH: Right, but this is 18 cents per gallon.
GRANHOLM: It's 18 cents.
BASH: That's a lot when you add up it. So, why not do it now?
GRANHOLM: It is.
And it's certainly one of the things the president is evaluating. I know this is what's been happening in many states as well. Honestly, the whole array of tools are still being pressed. He's used the biggest tool that he has, but he's obviously very concerned about this continued upward pressure on prices.
BASH: What's he waiting for on the gas tax?
GRANHOLM: Well, I mean, part of the challenge with the gas tax, of course, is that it funds the roads. And we just did a big infrastructure bill to help fund the roads.
So, if we do -- if we remove the gas tax, that takes away the funding that was just passed by Congress to be able to do that. So that's one of the challenges, but I'm not saying that that's off the table. That is -- as prices continue to rise, it's certainly something the administration is considering, just like I know governors across the country are considering that.
BASH: When people are watching, they're saying, OK, this is the president's energy secretary, and what I want to know is, when will my gas prices come down? [09:30:02]
GRANHOLM: Here's what I can tell you.
BASH: What's the answer?
The Energy Information Agency, which is the objective agency that does forecasting, in their June short-term energy outlook, they projected that, in the third quarter, the price of gas will average about $4.27 a gallon.
Now, that is -- it's a forecast that is based on assumptions that could be completely upended with world events. So, for example, if the E.U. decides that it too is going to fully ban Russian oil, that will create an upward pressure on prices. If China does open up sooner than is predicted, that too will create upward pressure on demand.
BASH: So, if that doesn't happen in the fall, you're saying...
GRANHOLM: Well, I -- listen, far be it for me to say any firm date.
I can just tell you what the experts are projecting. But we know this is going to be a tough summer, because the driving season just started. And we know that there will be continued upward pull on demand.
BASH: You mentioned that this is a global problem.
BASH: President Biden will visit Saudi Arabia next month to talk about this.
On Friday, he said -- quote -- "I'm not going to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. I'm going to an international meeting, and he's going to be part of it."
Can you clarify this? Is he going to meet with the Saudi crown prince to talk about oil prices or not?
GRANHOLM: Well, he's going for the purpose of this international conference.
BASH: But, while there, will they...
GRANHOLM: So, I know that he will -- I think he will meet with the Saudi crown prince.
He has asked for all suppliers around the globe to increase production. That includes OPEC. That includes our domestic oil and gas producers. He is asking for an increase, like other leaders around the globe are increasing -- are asking for it. BASH: So, they will have a one-on-one meeting?
GRANHOLM: That's my understanding that they -- he will be meeting.
But there's a series of meetings around energy overall. The Saudis are very interested, for example, in developing an expertise around hydrogen, clean hydrogen production. So I think there's a series of topics related to energy on the table.
BASH: And can you explain why -- to the American people, why it is appropriate for a U.S. president to meet with a dictator who murdered and chopped up a journalist, to -- to do that when it comes to human rights, given what he has said before about it?
GRANHOLM: Yes, I mean, obviously, the president is a strong believer in human rights and has condemned Saudi Arabia.
BASH: Just to be clear, he didn't actually do the murder. He ordered it.
GRANHOLM: Of course, but totally understand that.
And the president is very concerned about that, and I'm sure will raise that issue. But he's also very concerned about what people are experiencing at the pump. And Saudi Arabia is head of OPEC. And we need to have increased production, so that everyday citizens in America will not be feeling this pain that they're feeling right now.
So, all around the world, he is asking for people to increase production, but especially our own oil and gas producers. And, to their credit, in some ways, they are -- some of them have decided that they are going to increase production. But it's still not enough. And that's why we're asking for this additional meeting this week.
BASH: Secretary Granholm, thank you so much.
GRANHOLM: You bet.
BASH: Appreciate you coming in.
GRANHOLM: You bet.
BASH: And the January 6 Committee is presenting evidence from top insiders within Trump's White House, but, 50 years after Watergate, in the era of TikTok and today's media bubbles, how will it make a difference?
We will talk about that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAM BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I told him that the stuff that people were shoveling out to the public were bull -- was bullshit, I mean, that the claims of fraud were bullshit.
ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ATTORNEY: What they were proposing, I thought, was nuts and that the theory was also completely nuts.
BILL STEPIEN, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I didn't think what was happening was necessarily honest or professional at that point in time.
So that led to me stepping away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
We're here with our panel.
Let's start there.
And, first of all, welcome to the panel, Senator, Ambassador, Ambassador, Senator Scott Brown.
Do you think, based on what we have all heard so far, that voters, particularly Republican voters' minds will be changed about Donald Trump and about January 6?
FMR. SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R-MA): Well, I think the hearings are an important part of the process.
And I think you asked a great question to Adam Schiff, which is, are you going to bring people on board who are going to actually challenge the committee? Because people want to know what happened. They really do. I don't care if you're Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative. Doesn't matter. They want to know what happened.
But they want to know the entire picture. They want to know the good, the bad, the ugly. They want to know, what about the security issues? What happened? What should have happened. But they don't want it to happen again.
But the American people right now, there's a barrage of issues affecting them, not only this issue, which is there. They see it. But you talked recently to the secretary of energy, and gas prices at $4.80 in the third quarter? What, are you kidding me?
And when I got home from New Zealand, as the ambassador, it was $1.72 with my B.J.'s card, and now it's over $5.10.
BROWN: You have inflation, the border, all these other things that are really just so -- so much in people's minds right now.
They can't -- they can't focus on...
BASH: Yes, I mean, my colleague Michael Smerconish really framed it well yesterday in his show about the competing challenges to people's wallets and to the fundamentals of democracy.
Alyssa, you spoke with, you were interviewed by the January 6 Committee. What is your sense of how it's going so far?
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that the hearings have been very methodical, and they have made the case of why this was truly an attempt to overthrow our democracy. And I think there's going to be more revelations that come out.
But, to the senator's point, Congress needs to be able to walk and chew gum, because the issues in the midterms, it's going to be the economy. It's going to be gas prices. It's going to be inflation.
But I do think that the January 6 Committee has an impact on 2024. This is really going to raise some -- it raises huge questions for Donald Trump's ability to run again and potentially be president again. So I don't see an immediate impact on the midterms in a significant way. But I do think it does matter for 2024.
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Right. You can not be happy with your gas prices. You cannot be happy with your milk prices, and you can still say, gee, I don't think I want that to happen again.
I was wondering if the ambassador could,-- could you expand on the things you think are missing? You mentioned security.
CORNISH: What else do you think they could dive into?
BROWN: Well, as Dana said -- Dana said to Rep. Schiff, they're not challenging the committee. They're not bringing any witnesses that will challenge the committee.
I want to know, what was Nancy Pelosi's role? She's responsible for the safety and security of the Capitol. I want to know what role the FBI played or should have played. I want to know what role the National Guard, the D.C. mayor should or should not have played, because I'm 39 years military.
I have worked at the Pentagon. I understand. I was a former senator. I know every nook and cranny. And I want to know, where's the breakdown? Because they knew or should have known that something like this was going to happen. And, respectfully, I don't think that they were prepared.
CORNISH: And then just other thing. I mean, to your point, it sounds like what you're saying is, as a Republican, this is not having an impact on you.
BROWN: No, I didn't say that at all.
I think the hearings are very important. But if you're talking, as I do around New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, people want to know the whole, the whole picture, not just part of the picture. They want to get past the politics. They want to find out what happened and why and make sure it doesn't happen again.
And that's not happening, respectfully.
FMR. STATE SEN. NINA TURNER (D-OH): I think the main thing in dealing with this is, is anybody in the elites going to have to face justice?
I mean, we're saying that an injustice happened. And it did. The everyday person that participated in this should definitely have to bear some responsibility for their behaviors, but also those among the elites.
I mean, a coup -- they tried to -- a coup took place. They tried to just totally dismantle democracy. So, are any of the people with the fancy titles going to be brought to justice?
BASH: You're talking about the president.
TURNER: The president of the United States and anybody else in his Cabinet or around him that had any knowledge of this should be held accountable.
BASH: Well, and I note, Alyssa, if I may, one of the questions that we have been asking since these hearings started is whether or not the committee can prove intent, whether the president intentionally tried to overturn the election, knowing that he actually lost.
You -- he told you in November of 2020 that he lost when you were working in the White House.
FARAH GRIFFIN: He admitted -- he blurted out watching Joe Biden on TV, can you believe I lost to this guy?
And he actually admitted in a press conference when he was speaking to the -- about coronavirus in the press Briefing Room, he actually slipped and kind of admitted that Joe Biden won.
I think intent is going to be hard. I'm not of the mind that this is going to take down Donald Trump in a legal sort of way. But I do think it's going to inform the public about a man who lost and couldn't do what we have done for the entirety of our history, which is allow a peaceful transition of power and allow who the voters elected to step into office.
BROWN: And, Dana, one -- two things that are really striking to me.
One, the last couple of weeks, his circle of advisers shrunk dramatically. Barr, Ivanka, Jared, others were gone. So the people that he was getting advice from, they just weren't giving him good advice, number one. And I was shocked.
And Vice President Pence and I were very, very close. When I was an ambassador in New Zealand, he was my go-to guy, worked exclusively with him all the time. I have a tremendous amount of respect. The fact that people were 40 feet from him and potentially were going to hurt or kill him, that's what shocked me the most, out of everything that I have learned out of these hearings.
BASH: I want to turn back to the economy.
And, Nina, the president, Joe Biden, did an interview last week with the AP. And on the question of a recession, here's what he said: "First of all, it's not inevitable. Secondly, we're in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation."
You live in the real world, in the Midwest.
TURNER: I mean, we may be in a stronger position than any other country in the world, but the people in this nation right now are hurting, the confluence of the pandemic, the confluence of this inflation, and, quite frankly, the cavalier attitude that many in the elites have about the suffering of everyday people in hoods all around this country, whether they're rural hoods, urban hoods, or suburban hoods.
This is real. I mean, look, the gas prices in California, for example, are higher than the federal minimum wage. In my state of Ohio, gas prices are over $5 a gallon, and don't need premium, because, if you need premium, even in Ohio, you're paying almost $6.
There are things that can be done. I was talking to stratification economist Dr. Darrick Hamilton, who was saying that we understand that inflation at some points are -- is -- will happen, but what will we do as a nation to drive down the level of pain that people are feeling in this country when they can't afford their food, they can't afford gas?
You got to go to work, but you can't afford the gas. There are things that can be done. The Fed can actually be a lender too. The Fed can jump in here. They can do more than just increase -- increase rates. They can actually jump in here and do something. So more has to be done.
BROWN: And she's doing -- actually, I agree with everything you just said.
My daughter is expecting. The whole baby formula thing, they knew or should have known. It's the whole supply chain issue. The Fed raising interest rates, inflation, stop spending. And thank God for Joe Manchin, because, but not for him, we would have been a worse situation.
TURNER: Oh, Senator, we're not going to thank God for Joe Manchin. BROWN: Yes, we are because...
TURNER: This is not about spending. This is a supply chain issue.
BROWN: Listen, when I was there, when I -- respectfully, when I was there, it was a $9 trillion national debt. We're at $30 trillion.
You can't keep spending and spending and spending and expect inflation to...
BROWN: ... under control.
BASH: We have 20 seconds left.
Audie, I want to get you back in.
CORNISH: Excellent messenger right here. I don't know if Biden needs a Matthew McConaughey type come out and start talking about the economy.
CORNISH: Remember, he was Obama's number two. Obama was the messaging person there.
So, I think this is going to be complicated to find something that the party can coalesce around and talk about.
BASH: Everybody, thank you so much. Appreciate you coming in.
BROWN: Thank you.
BASH: Happy Father's Day.
BROWN: Thank you.
And Happy Father's Day to all those fathers out there.
BASH: Congrats on the new baby, new grandbaby coming.
BASH: Up next: celebrating Juneteenth.
I will speak with the congresswoman who's part of making this important date a federal holiday about why it matters next.
BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. Today is Juneteenth, the celebration commemorating the end of slavery
in the United States, marking the date in 1865 when slaves in Texas were finally told they were free more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Last year, President Biden signed legislation making it a federal holiday, which will be observed tomorrow.
Joining me now is Texas Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who fought to get the day nationally recognized.
Thank you so much for coming on.
You were essential in getting the day recognized, as I mentioned.
What does Juneteenth mean to you this year?
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Dana, thank you for having me.
And happy Juneteenth. Happy Father's Day.
I introduced the first legislation dealing with making this a national holiday after 10 years of seeking recognition. For me, it is a moment of great emotion. It is a moment of passion and compassion, because slavery was enormously brutal. And the discussion and information and history about slavery has not been at the center point of America's story.
I thought it was extremely important to pass a federal holiday that would give America a moment to be able to reflect not just on the jubilation of freedom, but also the brutality of slavery and what it meant to human beings.
BASH: And you're sponsoring a bill to study reparations. It did pass a House committee last year, but still hasn't come up for a vote in the full House.
Can you explain, first of all, what that bill would do and say whether or not the House speaker has committed to you that she will bring this up for a full House vote?
JACKSON LEE: Well, when we introduced this legislation, we had the support of all of the leadership, and we maintain that continues today.
We're on a two-track. We think the president can offer an executive order. But what the legislation means, it is a commission to study slavery and develop reparation proposals.
And, obviously, over this weekend, I have had a lot of time to speak to Americans. I was at Ashton Villa. That was where General Granger made the number three order to announce freedom to people who were in shock when they heard the words, having lived through such a brutal time.
I believe it's important for America to know that slaves built the American economy. They made cotton king. They made the monies that went from the rich landed South to the Wall Street banks. And they created the transatlantic slave trade.
And during that time, however, there was no structure of employment. So there was nothing for the slaves to have, nothing to pass down to their progeny.
What this does is talks about the modern-day disparities that connect directly from slavery. But unless America understands that this is about healing and repair, we can't bring all of America together, we can't stop Replacement Theory, racism, because they don't understand what slavery meant to America and to the people.
So I think the commission will be a bright light, just as Juneteenth is. What Juneteenth does is, it channels a way for America to talk about slavery and to talk about it without intimidation and without anguish. That's what I think is so positive about both initiatives.
BASH: You mentioned that the president could create the commission by executive order. Have you spoken to him. Has he committed to that?
JACKSON LEE: We have been in discussions. I feel very positive about those discussions.
We have been in discussions and meetings with the Congressional Black Caucus. And the myriad of support, from the National Urban League, to the NAACP, to the National Action Network, to the Congressional Black Caucus, and 350 other organizations, N'COBRA and the National African American Commission on Reparations.
It is a widespread, diverse group of people. So, I feel very positive that, between Juneteenth and understanding in a peaceful manner what slavery means, that we will move forward.
BASH: We're almost out of time, but I just want to ask about your day today. I know you're attending church in Houston.
And part of your mission is to highlight the spiritual dimension of Juneteenth. Talk about that briefly, please.
JACKSON LEE: This was very emotional.
Just to give the name of Sister Clark (ph), who was a slave who told her story in a slave narrative and said she was whipped by a bullwhip. She was whipped to get the cotton. She was whipped if she didn't understand the master.
I want to take this day at Antioch Baptist Church founded in 1866 by Jack Yates. The community will be there. We welcome Houston and all others. And that is to honor slaves who have never been honored who lived, who were born, lived and died in slavery, never honored, unmarked graves.
That's what we want today to be part of, a remembrance, and that we never forget, again, not with hostility, but with healing and repair and bringing Americans together.
Juneteenth is about that celebration, but it is about that remembrance. That's what we will be doing at Antioch Baptist Church today in downtown Houston.
BASH: And, Congresswoman, thank you so much for coming on and sharing those sentiments and that history with our viewers.
JACKSON LEE: Thank you for having me.
BASH: And be sure to tune in to CNN tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for "Juneteenth: A Global Celebration For Freedom," a live concert at the Hollywood Bowl with a star-studded lineup of black artists, including Chaka Khan, Khalid, and Ne-Yo.
Thank you so much for spending your Sunday morning with us.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially some of the dads in my life, my own father, my brother, my co-anchor, Jake Tapper, the father of my son, and all of those on our team, including our senior booker, Polson Kanneth.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" is up next.