tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN July 26, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PDT
away. experts believe it could fall to the lowest level since last february, the white house down plays fears of a recession. >> my hope is we go from this rapid growth to a steady growth. so we'll see some coming down. but i don't think we're going to -- god willing, i don't think we'll see a recession. >> let's hope he's right. today's report is the first of many marking the state of the economy, especially this week. tomorrow, the fed will make its announcement on interest rates and will likely hike that interest rate. so let's begin with the economy this hour with cnn reporter matt egan and jeremy diamond. matt, we'll let you look at the numbers just coming in. but jeremy, what is the strategy for the white house as they prepare for so many consequential reports on the economy this week? >> reporter: we have seen from the white house a week of prebuttals ahead of all of these
economic numbers this week. in particular, those gdp numbers that we are expecting on thursday. the white house has been eager to push back on this notion that two consecutive quarters of negative gdp growth automatically equals a recession. yes, it is a rule of thumb. but the white house is really emphasizing here, and trying to educate the public essentially over the last week, that there are all these other economic indicators that also go into that, and that it is not necessarily indicative of a recession. they are actually correct on that. the national bureau of economic research, which is the nonprofit, nonpartisan body that effectively determines whether or not the u.s. economy is in a recession, also takes other factors into account, including employment, personal income, industrial production. gdp numbers are a significant part of that equation. but if you listen to most economists, they don't believe at this point --
the president was saying yesterday he does not believe the u.s. is in a recession, pointing to the low unemployment rate, which remained at 3.6%, continued job growth with over 300,000 jobs created last month, as well. and so the white house has been doing a full-court press this week. we have heard from top economic advisers from the treasury secretary to a member of the council of economic advisers to the president's top economic adviser, all points to that strong jobs market as one of the factors why the u.s. is not in or headed immediately into a recession. but of course, those numbers this week, and the consumer sentiment will all play heavily into whether we do move into that feared recession. >> a look at these numbers, what do they tell us on consumer confidence? >> the american people are not happy with the economy right now. the cost of living is just way too high. consumer confidence in july
declined for a third consecutive month. and consumer's assessment of the current situation, the current business environment, that fell sharply. the conference board said that is a signal of a possible slowdown in the economy of serious recession risks. what's interesting is that this latest decline in consumer confidence is occurring at a time when gas prices have come down significantly. the national average is down by 69 cents from the record high, down to $4.33 a gallon. that's not cheap, but it's moving in the right direction. this is not about prices at the pump. inflation is an economy wide problem. consumer prices went up in july -- in june rather at the fastest pace in more than 40 years. this is a problem at the supermarket, restaurants, car dealerships and causing problems for major companies. walmart just issued a rare profit warning, saying their customers are being impacted by high food and fuel prices, and it's forcing walmart to cut
prices. that is driving walmart's stock down. and more warnings from economists. the imf this morning, downgrading its global growth forecast, and ramping up its inflation outlook. the imf said "the outlook has darkened significantly. the world may soon be teetering on the edge of a global recession, only two years after the last one." jim and poppy, we don't know yet if a recession is in the cards, but we know that consumers are hurting right now. >> yeah. matt egan, thank you very much. jeremy diamond, thank you. let's bring in our guests now. catherine, to you. i thought there was a great piece this morning about basically if it feels like a recession, does it matter if it technically is one or not? for most people at home? and the reality is, from those
consumer confidence numbers, from how much groceries cost to rent and on and on, it feels like a recession. and by the way, the imf says watch out, because the rest of the world may not be far behind. >> this is an excellent point. whether or not we are officially in a recession, and we won't know for a while, whether or not it gets that brand, consumers are very unhappy. they're feeling it because they spend more at the grocery store, more on rent, more on almost every category of spending. their paycheck isn't going as far. so whether or not we get that official designation, if people are suffering, that suffering is out, right? and that will have implications for how they behave going forward and how they vote going forward. so there are a lot of
republicans presumably who are eager to get that recession brand on the current moment. but even without it, i think that it's still very troublesome for democrats as we head into the midterms. >> no question. the contradictory information is the job market, which remains extremely strong. so is that rare to have such low unemployment with negative growth? >> it is. in fact, it has some wondering what would a recession look like with job growth what it is and unemployment at 3.6%. this is part of the reason janet yellen said over the weekend, you don't see this type of job growth in a recession. 3.6% unemployment. there are 21 states right now that had unemployment at 3% or lower. so people by and large are employed. there is also very strong demand for workers. there are about 1.9 open jobs for every 1 person looking. wages are increasing, but the problem is, even with those wage
increases, inflation is outpacing that. it's almost as if you're making more but can afford less. >> so catherine, senator elizabeth warren wrote a really interesting op-ed in "the wall street journal" yesterday, basically begging the fed don't hike rates a lot this week. they're likely going to 75 basis points again. her argument is low unemployment and high inflation is painful, but it's worse to fall into a recession, not have paychecks at all than to have these high prices. the wall street editorial board points out that senator warren was one of many who was a big advocate for a lot of stimulus and a lot of spending, not only in the biden administration, but trump admin did this, too. but what about her argument, a recession would be worse than this inflation. >> no doubt. nobody wants a recession. the fed does not want a
recession. in fact, they keep saying over and over again, they're hoping for a soft landing, meaning they're able to cool down demand without tipping us into recession. that will be challenging. the reason we don't want that to happen is yes, recessions are painful. unfortunately, we do have a sustained period of high inflation, and this may be the most effective medicine we have available. and, in fact, if senator warren and other democrats would like the fed to hike less aggressively, i think they should be the fiscal policymakers, as well as the president, should be doing more to take pressure off of the fed, doing things like repealing tariffs or suspending some restrictions on shipping that make shipping things more expensive. or fixing our legal immigration system, because there are a lot of bottlenecks contributing to labor shortages. there are some modest things that congress could be doing right now that biden could be
doing right now that would take some pressure off of the fed. but they don't seem willing to do those things. so yeah, they have to hike more aggressively, even though they don't want to. >> recessions -- well, economic data can be self-fulfilling prophecies, that consumer confidence, they read the signals and they become less confident. there's the possibility of a snowball effect, is there not? >> it's the psychology of inflation, and the psychology of a recession. there are critics sort of warning, let's not talk our severallves into a recession. we talk about a recession, we feel like we're in a recession, so we behave like we're in a recession. maybe we pull back on major purchases and we're seeing people pull out in the housing
market. that largely being because of rates. so the idea is, because psychologically, we feel like we're in a recession, even if we're not technically in a recession, we behave like it with our dollars. >> we'll be catching closely. thanks to both of you. now to major developments in the criminal investigation by the doj of the january 6th attack on the capitol. in a new cnn interview, the former chief of staff to the former vice president, reveals he testified to a grand jury under subpoena. this is the doj investigating criminal exposure. >> it's a really significant development, the highest profile witness known to have testified before that doj grand jury. congressman adam kinzinger echoed criticism that doj has faced for its handling of its investigation. listen to this. >> there was a lot of frustration, just kind of personally for the last, i
guess, year and a half, like what's doj doing? obviously, we have two different interests. ours is to get to the bottom of what happened, put out recommendations to the justice department to look at criminality. what have they been doing for the last year and a half? >> what have they been doing? i mean, evan perez, our senior justice correspondent, joins us now. so that's significant criticism that i don't think doj will respond to. but what are you learning about schw schwartz's cooperation? >> reporter: this is a major development that we reported on last night. mark schwart have testified to the grand jury. this is a grand jury that is looking broadly at the scheme to get mike pence to set aside the election results and secondly,
this effort to have these fake electors, who could essentially keep former president trump in office well after the election. and so what this means is that, you know, the justice department is doing some of the things that i think the representative kinzinger has been wanting them to do, which is to look more deeply at what happened, what led to the violence on january 6th. listen to jacob describe at least some of his interactions with the former president and john eastman, who was pushing pence to set aside the election results. >> we had an extended discussion an hour and a half to two hours on january 5th, and when i pressed him on the point, i said, john, if the vice president did what you're asking him to do, we would lose 9-0 in the supreme court, wouldn't we? and he initially started, well, i think maybe you would lose
7-2. and after some further discussion, acknowledged, well, yeah, you're right, we would lose 9-0. >> reporter: i imagine he would have said some of these very things to the grand jury when he testified recently. >> so fit this into the broader investigation, if you can. there's still continuing questions about how high this goes, right? what is the current justice department footing on whether they would go after potentially a former president? >> reporter: great question. the importance is to underscore how huge it is for the justice department to bring in these close aides to the former vice president into the grand jury. at a minimum, we know that greg jacob and mark schwart were in a meeting on january 4th where trump and eastman are pushing pence to do this thing that we know is unconstitutional, it was illegal. so at a minimum, we know that
the prosecutors, the investigators are -- have reached now into the trump white house. we know that they are looking into possible crimes related to overturning the election. so if you're donald trump, this may not be a sign necessarily that you're directly under investigation. but what this means is that prosecutors believe that the crime occurred in that effort, and you should be very worried. so, again, i think one of the criticisms is the justice department is moving very slowly, right? compared to the congressional investigation. but a lot of this has been going on behind the scenes, and so i think, you know, this is going -- first of all, i think it's reaching into the white house in a way that a lot of people did not realize until now. >> jeffrey toobin made the point if you look at past criminal prosecution such as in iran-contra, these things don't move so quickly. evan perez, thank you very much. >> thank you. still to come, the republican tug of war, as both
donald trump and mike pence return to d.c. today can with big speeches, very different speeches. what this spells for 2024, next. i'm also joined by congressman mike quigley. he just returned from a visit to ukraine. what did he find there? also, whether speaker pelosi should really visit taiwan. there are genuine concerns about inflaming the relationship with china. later, here in the united states, wildfires spreading at unprecedented speeds, really unbelievable flooding. look at st. louis on the right hand side of your screen. the tangible and political pressure on joe biden to declare climate an emergency this week. this dad and daughter were driving when they got a crack in their windshield. [smash] >> dad: it's okay. pull over. >> tech: he wouldn't take his car just anywhere... ♪ pop rock music ♪ >> tech: ...so he brought it to safelite. we replaced d the windshield and recalibrateded their car's advanced safety system, so features like automatic emergency braking will work properly.
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so just hours from now, former president trump returns to washington for the first time since he left office. he's going to give a keynote speech at the conservative america first agenda summit. >> this is remarkable. trump's former vice president mike pence is also in d.c. today. he spoke just in the last hour before a youth gop audience, making the arguments conservatives need to focus on the future, reference to not focusing on the 2020 election it seemed. have a listen. >> as i said, i came today, not to look backwards, but to look forward. the truth of the matter is, now more than ever, conservatives need to be focused on the challenges americans are facing today. but in order to win, conservatives need to do more than criticize and complain. we must unite our movement. behind a bold, optimistic
agenda. >> joining us now is republican stra strategists. good to have you both on. sara, you've been conducting weekly focus groups with 2020 trump voters. i wonder, are they desperate for a trump rerun for 2024 or mike pence, do they like either of those candidates for 2024? >> yeah, i'm not sure it's either. right now, there are a little more in the ron desantis camp. if it was a trump/pence matchup, it would be trump all the way. mike pence is in the sour spot with gop voters. the trump acolytes think he's a traitor, a rino. i watched his whole speech. i was watching the comments go through. they were booing mike pence, calling him a rino and a traitor. so the problem for mike pence is that the swing voters, the people who are a little more
trump skeptical, they watched him kind of nod by trump for four years. so they don't particularly care for him either. so i've seen almost no appetite for mike pence. in fact, they don't really want these establishment, sort of old guard republicans at all. they're much more interested if not in trump himself, the american first wing of the republican party. >> you cannot overstate how stunning it would be to see a head-to-head match between a former president and his former vice president. by the way, if that's what we see for 2024, but by the way, pence has not said a lot about the riots, the day people were chanting "hang mike pence" or the president said he was disappointed in him. >> well, i think mike pence would say actions speak louder than words. what he did on january 6th and
standing up to the mob and the intimidation tactics deserves to be praised and noted every time we talk about it. >> no doubt. >> regarding the political ramifications of him running in 2024, a few things can be true. number one, he's earned the right to make the case he's making. i also watched the speech. he checked every single box on policy that any republican or conservative would want you to check today. number two, he did get asked a question about trump, and whether there is a division. he said he didn't think they had a division on policy, but they had a division on focus. he used the word focus and talked repeatedly about the need for republicans to look to the future. i think several republican candidates are going to make that case. so the question is, which of them is going to have the personality skills, the candidate skills to make that case stick against donald trump. i think sara has an interesting point about whether republican voters think mike pence is going to be that guy. that's what campaigns are for. we'll see if he can do that. >> there was a time and not long
ago where the conventional wisdom was, no one could sfamd up and attempt to challenge trump in 2024. we're seeing his former vice president might speak openly. we've seen nikki haley tweet about the possibility of running. ron desantis not taking his name out of the ring. sara, do you see a fairly wide open race for the republican nomination? and does a trump-like candidate help or hurt republicans in a general election? >> i'm not sure i would call it wide open. i think that trump still absolutely has, you know, a hard core base. he has an advantage. but one of the things i've seen in the focus groups lately since the january 6th committee happened is that a lot of these republican voters are worried that trump can't win. i think that, you know, people ask do the january 6th hearings break through, it's more that
they have seened in, and people are worried that trump has too much baggage, but they still like trump and people that are from that combative style. there is this russian expression, the appetite increases while you're eating. what happened with trump is people crave his combative style of politics that the republican old guard doesn't embody, but somebody like a ron desantis does. there's a lot of people that see that trump, you know, it's funny, something the voters say, it seems like an obvious point, is they say look, if trump runs again, he only gets four years. if one of these other people run, they get eight years. so some of these other republican candidates are seeing an opening with these voters, but they will do it much more as trump imitators than trump combatants. >> scott margaret hoover, host
of "firing line" who worked as a republican strategist, said yesterday the problem is, if a whole lot of republicans jump into the primary against trump, you get trump, right? and she does not want to see trump as the candidate for your party. which is what happened previously in 2016. do you agree with her assessment, that the party needs to gather around a few strong folks and not 16. >> she's right. fragmentation is trump's best friend. he got 45% of the vote in the 2016 primary. it looks to me about half the party may want to do him again, and half the party might want something else. that's subject to change. in our system, you have winner take all by states. you don't have to get a majority of the votes to get all the delegates. last time, he had a contested primary, it did not collapse soon enough. i do think that people see
weakness in him. otherwise, you wouldn't see so many people planning presidential campaigns. my sense is, you'll see some of these people that think they have a chance shake out earlier than they did in 2016. so coalescing could occur sooner rather than later if you have any chance of stopping him from getting the nomination. >> thank you both very much. >> thank you. ahead, record flooding and raging wildfires. we are seeing the devastating impact of climate change across the country play out before our eyes this week. and now congressional staffers are coming on joe biden to take ambitious and assertive action on climate change. will he? nope - c'mon him? - i like him! nooooo...
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in a rare move, more than 165 congressional and government agency staffers sent a letter to joe biden and chuck schumer urging democrats to take action, some action this week to address the climate crisis. >> it comes as we see more evidence of climate change across the country. in california, the oak fire is spreading fast, now burning more than 17,000 acres near yosemite national park. in st. louis today, we are seeing record flooding. parts of i-70 are closed as rain has submerged cars, left people stranded. sit the most rain the city has ever seen in a day and it's
still raining there. phil weir joins us. how would a declaration of a national emergency help now? >> well, it would vary, depending on how ambitious the president wanted to be with that particular tool. he's already used sort of provisions of the war powers act to ramp up production of fire hoses out west when there was a shortage of that. there are those that say if you declare a national emergency, shut down offshore drilling, these signals that the cause of this problem is the kind of fuels that leak and burn that the world depends on in so many different ways. but the need to move away from them. that's why you are see thing uprising among staffers who thought they had the best chance in recent political history to lead on climate and nothing's happening. >> so where does that leave things? we have more than 35 million
americans under heat alerts this morning. i don't want you to do a deep dive on how climate change has created the conditions for a lot of these things, but what can the administration do next? they may very well lose the house or the senate in several months time. >> yeah. >> what should folks look for? >> that is the big question that the president says his lawyers are working on right now, to what extent they can stretch his executive powers without any legislative help. it's interesting that the letter from staffers, part of their plea, is please get joe manchin to change his mind. this is hung up on an old fashioned filibuster sort of recent made-up american rules where the fate of life on earth is at stake. and doesn't seem to match. now, if this were fda, if this was the '40s, if this was pearl harbor, maybe you would nationalize the way they tried to get ford and chevy to make
ventilators for covid. why not use the military's foot prints as a symbol of a transition? the carbon reduction in the infrastructure bill is 1/6th of what the pentagon emits around the world in all the bases. so to put this in perspective, hillary clinton was going to declare this on day one, a national emergency, just to set the conversation in this way. some people think you need a clear mission, like what are we declaring a emergency? what is the target to fight that? it should touch every cabinet office. really? wholistically. that's what people are waiting to see, what the president does, now that he really doesn't have the courts or congress on his side in any meaningful way. and jim, i spoke to your old high school recently. the debate, the topic of the last debate was, can a democracy
even survive a climate crisis? what we see around us is the american form of democracy, the 2022 version, certainly cannot. >> goodness. does it require sacrifice and compromise, right? there's not a lot of that in politics these days. bill weir, good to have you on. thanks so much. >> you bet. congressman mike quigley, part of a delegation that just returned from ukraine. up next, he'll tell us what president zelenskyy said his country needs from the u.s. to win, maybe push the russians out. you always have the whole place to yourself. just you and your people. ♪ ♪ [w[whistling] when you have technology that's easier to conol...
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in ukraine, russian strikes continue across the south and eastern part of the country. overnight, missiles hit odesa, the port city, and mykolaiv. ukraine looks to export grain under an agreement negotiated with russia just days after a bipartisan group of lawmakers returned from ukraine where they make with president zelenskyy, saw the war's impact on kyiv and the surrounding cities. among them, congressman mike quigley, and he joins me now. thank you for taking the time this morning. >> good morning, jim. >> so you were there as russia struck the port of odesa, one day after russia, along with ukraine and others, signed a deal to export ukrainian grain. russia has since attacked odesa
again. do you believe russia will abide by that deal? do ukrainian officials believe russia will abide by that? >> the ukrainian officials were quick to point out they weren't a signatory to that and they don't want to negotiate. their reaction, again, we were able to see this in realtime, saying you can't trust the russians. i also believe that the russians think that they can continue to shell these ports and not think that it's violating the deal. i don't know that they care that much about it, they don't see it as inconsistent as the rest of the world does. >> is any grain going to get out of the country? because the concerns are that this causes a global food crisis. >> it will cause a global food crisis. ukraine is the breadbasket of
eastern africa and much of the middle east. there's some grain getting out in alternative paths, and perhaps some will go through the path, through this negotiated deal. but it will be a far more limited basis. you know, this is putin channeling his inner stalin, using food as a weapon against the rest of the world. >> since the arrival of himars, this u.s. nato supplied rocket system, the ukrainians have been hitting key russian targets with greater accuracy and frequency. command posts, ammunition storage facilities. after speaking to the ukrainians there, is it their view, is it your view that these weapons systems are turning the war? >> they're making a dramatic difference. when we met with president zelenskyy, that's what they wanted to talk about. it's pushing the russians back, and it's giving the ukrainians an opportunity to direct fire to win the battle. you've seen the interesting
history of how we armed ukraine, arming what we thought would be an insurgency with javelins and stingers, to then howitzers, and now these. of course, what's next? weapons systems with even longer ranges that can do more to push back the russian military. >> with each additional weapon, a previous barrier goes down, right? initially, there was hesitation to give those javelin missiles and others, worried that they would fall into russian hands. they were hesitant to give into some of these longer range rocket systems for fear of how russia would react. but in each case, russia has to the given a catastrophic action towards the west, say striking nato. i wonder do you think nato, the u.s. waited too long? >> well, i honestly believe, i was saying so from the beginning, that we should have adapted from, again, battling what we thought was going to be an insurgency, and stop worrying
about putin's redlines and creating our own. and there i'm paraphrasing the commander general of nato. at this point in time, when you see the genocide that's taking place, and the fact that a sovereign democratic country can be wiped off the face of the earth, we need to give them what they need. >> another topic, china and taiwan. the speaker of the house, a member of your party, nancy pelosi, planning to visit there. but china really rattling the saber about how it might respond to this, and there is growing concern within the biden administration that this would be too disruptive. i wonder, do you think it would be a mistake for the speaker to follow through and go ahead with this trip? >> you can't let beijing dictate what the speaker of the house can do. congressional delegations have been traveling to taiwan for as long as i've been there and before. and that should continue.
but they also travel to beijing, so beijing has to understand that, and they can't let -- we can't let them dictate that policy. i understand the sensitivities involved, but particularly we're engaged in a proxy war elsewhere. but at the same time, we have to work with the biden administration to work this out. >> are you concerned that china's reaction would be particularly severe, that there are fearing of shutting down the taiwan strait. >> i am concerned that they will escalate. at the same time, the fact is, we can't let china dictate that policy. they're being extraordinarily aggressive in many of the things they've been doing in the last ten years, and i suspect that will continue. the united states and our allies have to come to terms with that, and recognize that threat is going to exist. the fact that the speaker of the house wants to visit there shouldn't change our policy.
>> congressman mike quickly, welcome back from ukraine. glad you're safe. >> thank you. >> good to hear from him. coming up, a major shakeup in international cooperation in space. russia says this morning its time at the international space station is ending soon. more on that, next. and doug. [power-drill noises] alright, limu, give me a socket wrench, pliers, and a phone open to libertymutual.com they customize yourur car insurance, so you o only pay for what you need... and you could even save $652 when you swswitch. ok, i need a crowbar. and a blowtorch. [teddy bear squeaks] [doug sighs] limu, call a mechanic. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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potential major setback to international cooperation in the space community, as well as the broader relationship between what russia and the west. russia says this morning it is preparing to pull out of the international space station after 2024. >> our cnn space and defense correspondent kristen fisher joins us. it's so significant, obviously given what a pariah russia has become to much of the western world. this was a place where people work together and this changes that, right? >> reporter: potentially, poppy, that's right. i think it's important to remember this is not the first time that russia space agency has threatened to pull out of the international space station. this has happened many times in the past in response to u.s. sanctions on russia and russia's space sector in particular. but this threat may have more teeth. and here's why. it's coming from the newly appointed head of russia's space
agency. he's very close to russia's president vladamir putin. he was just put in this position a few days ago. and the other reason why this threat may have more teeth is because this was announced and posted on the kremlin's official website. it was a meeting that took place between the two, and when vladamir putin asked him what he thought russia should do with the international space station, borisov responded that he thought a decision has been made for russia to pull out after 2024. and putin, and there's a video of this, putin reportedly said "good." now, all of this is happening on the same day there just happens to be a conference happening on the international space station research and development here in washington, d.c. the news broke about this just minutes before the conference started. so during the conference, the director of the iss was asked
about this. she said she had not received -- nasa had not received official word from russia about this decision yet. actually, one of the astronauts who is up there on the space station right now, was also asked about this development. he said he hadn't heard anything official yet either, because this news was just breaking. so i think it's important to remember here that while this does sound very threatening, and indeed it is, but this threat likely has more teeth than previous threats. but also look at what russia's actions are. and just last week, they agreed to a crew swap agreement with nasa. so we wait to get official word. >> kristen fisher, thanks so much. >> thanks to all of you for joining us today. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. our colleague will start off a quick break. bath starts with quality people. our consultants help you choose from hundreds of bath options
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from the company that powers more businesses than anyone else. call and start saving today. comcast business. powering possibilities. hello, everyone. at this hour, potentially huge revelation in the january 6th investigation suggests the department of justice could be moving closer to criminal charges. the federal reserve considers a major move to control inflation. and public health officials meet to discuss whether the time is right for a new round of covid booster shots. this is what we're watching at this hour. hello, everyone. i'm bianna golodryga. kate bolduan is on assignment. we begin with the criminal investigation into january 6th. the top aide t