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Judge Grants Federal Prosecutor's Request for Special Master to Review Materials Seized During Giuliani Raid; Time's Up CEO Launches Business Coalition to Address Childcare Crisis; 37-Plus Million People Expected to Travel over Memorial Day Weekend. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired May 28, 2021 - 10:30   ET




POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: Well, this just in. A federal judge granted a federal prosecutor's request to appoint a special master to review materials seized from Rudy Giuliani's home and office during raids earlier this month.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: The judge noting in it his decision that a special master, as it's known, is warranted for, quote, the perception of fairness.

CNN's Kara Scannell following story, what more can you tell us?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Yes, good morning, Jim and Poppy. That's right. So, a federal judge this morning, just moments ago, granting the federal prosecutor's request to use a special master. that is an independent person to review the 18 electronic devices that were seized from Rudy Giuliani's home and office when that search warrant was executed last month.

Now, prosecutors had suggested the use of a special master from lessons they learned in their search of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney. They had searched his home office and hotel room. They say that they wanted the special master for the perception of fairness, the judge agreeing with that.

The judge though also denying Giuliani's request to look back at a search of Giuliani's iCloud accounts 2019. The judge saying that the use of a government filter team, those are prosecutors and agents who are not working on the investigation, was adequate to protect any attorney-client privileges.

So, definitely, the judge siding on the side of the government here and giving both sides the defense and the prosecution until next Friday to come up with a list of names of people who could serve as that special master.

HARLOW: Okay. So on top of this, Kara, you have got the Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg looking like he could be deposed really soon in a different case, right? This isn't a D.C. attorney general lawsuit that alleges former President Trump's inaugural committee abused donation money. How does that tie into this?

SCANNELL: Yes, that's right, Poppy. So it's just more pressure on Allen Weisselberg. He is under investigation in New York. There is a investigation to his personal taxes. He is the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization. And that company and its executives are under investigation there for a range of potential crimes.

But then there is also this lawsuit, it's civil lawsuit in D.C. brought by Karl Racine, the attorney general. And he has sued the Trump Organization and the president's inaugural committee for misusing funds that were raised to put on Donald Trump's inauguration.

Now, they said that they want to speak to Allen Weisselberg because he was not affiliated with the inauguration at all but they had learned through witness testimony and emails that he had reviewed the finances of the inauguration at one point.

Now, a source tells me that he reviewed the finances because then- President Donald Trump had asked his people to ask Allen Weisselberg, someone he trusts very much, to look at the finances. Because when they were made public, it became known that this was the most expensive or I should say the most generous inauguration in the sense that a record of money was raised, but there questions about how that money was used.

So now the attorney general saying that they want to speak to Allen Weisselberg because they want to understand why he was involved in this at all. Jim, Poppy?

SCIUTTO: He's been involved for a number of years in Trump Organization. Kara Scannell, thanks very much.

In just minutes, President Biden is set to speak, touting the White House says the progress the country has made against the COVID-19 pandemic.

HARLOW: Jeff Zeleny joins us again this hour. Jeff, good morning to you. Do you have a sense of what the president is going to say?


JEFF ZELENY, CNN NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: We are learning this morning that President Biden is going to open this long Memorial Day weekend talking about in the sacrifices that Americans have made but really focusing on the progress and what he calls a reason for optimism in the fight against COVID-19. This is one of the series of stops where we've already seen him in recent weeks. We'll see him throughout the summer talking about how far the U.S. has come, how far Americans have come through sacrifice, hard work, and also, you know, good science here.

So he'll be talking about specifically, he'll be at a business in Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac River here from the White House, talking with Virginia governor at his side about the specific progress the state of Virginia has made and also the federal partnership, how all of these vaccination clinics around the country have helped reach a goal of vaccinating so many Americans. But also he will use this, I'm told, as an opportunity to urge those Americans who have not received their shots yet to still go out and get vaccinated.

So a bit of a holiday kickoff here coming up for the president shortly. Jim and Poppy?

HARLOW: Okay. We'll be watching, Jeff. Thanks very much, Jim.

ZELENY: You bet.

HARLOW: Well, even as the economy is beginning to get more on track, you especially got women hit so hard about it pandemic still out of the workforce, millions of them coming up. We'll speak to the CEO of Time's Up about a big new initiative in collaboration with some of the biggest companies in the world to help.



HARLOW: This is staggering. According to government data, 2.5 million women left the workforce during the pandemic, that is nearly a million more that lost jobs than men, and a big reason is the childcare crisis that persists. More data show nearly 50 percent of companies cited a lack of childcare as an impediment to hiring or calling back their workers.

So the CEO and the president of Time's Up is now launching a new coalition with the hope of reimagining childcare and she's got some huge partners, Fortune 500 companies like McDonalds, Spotify, J.P. Morgan Chase. Over 200 others have signed on.

Time's Up CEO Tina Chen joins me now. Of course, you also served as the chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and you were executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and now this fight, which I should note, Tina, is for childcare givers. So it's not always the woman in the family. It's just -- it's been a lot of the weight that is falling on women especially during this pandemic. Thank you for being here.

TINA CHEN, CEO, TIME'S UP: Hello. Well, thanks for having me, Poppy. And, yes, it's so important, and it's not just childcare, it's eldercare, because a lot of foster care support elderly parents. And you're right, it is also to support the caregivers, those paying -- that paid workforce that's got neglected for so long.

HARLOW: So, I mean, I'm not surprised you have so many big companies signing on. That's great. And it's also really good P.R. for them. Can we talk about action and accountability? Like how you are going to work with them? What is the accountability going to be for these companies to really see a change?

CHEN: Well, let's take this in steps. First of all, I've been doing this work for decades. I was a single working mom myself, so this is a pretty close issue to me. And the first step was it's remarkable to get these companies to recognize that this is important and to join a council like this.

And I will tell you, Poppy, the new news is we announced this last week with 200 companies. In the last week alone, 50 more companies have joined, companies like Wayfair, Experion, Upwork, it's also small businesses, because we wanted to make sure this isn't just a big business issue, we want to help small businesses who got a small workforce and small margins try to figure out how to do this as well. So we've got like a popcorn shop in Texas and ice cream shops in Washington State.

So the first step is they recognize it's an important problem and they're willing to speak out publicly and put their names on the line for public investments, like Biden plans, and also do more for their own workers. And then we're going to help them do it, right, because a lot of these companies don't know what to do. They want to do something. They're not sure how they can afford it.

They're trying to figure out how to convince their board of directors to make the investments. We're going to help them with those arguments, help them construct it. It's not the same solution for every company. What works for the popcorn shop is going to be really different for J.P. Morgan Chase. And then we're going to showcase the folks who are doing better, sharing those practices. And as we share those, it's going to start to become apparent, Poppy, who is not doing the work.

And this is a long-term effort. We're in this for at least two years. We told the council members for two years here to try to do this work.

HARLOW: One of the -- one additional troubling sign other than the women numbers that I just laid out in terms of employment is that black and Hispanic women continue to be hit even harder. When you look at the labor force participation rates, when you look at the latest jobs numbers from last month, you've got 4.8 percent of white women still unemployed but 8.6 percent of black women, 7.5 percent of Hispanic women. How do you specifically work to help, especially working or want to be working moms of color who are stuck here?

CHEN: Well, look, a lot of these women are predominantly in low wage jobs in the jobs have got hit hardest by the pandemic. That's why, you know, in addition to companies doing more for these workers, we really need public sector investments.

You know, we do not have a national childcare, care giving infrastructure in this country. Remember, we entered the pandemic as one of only two countries in the world without a nationally paid leave policy. We need that. We need national paid leave, we need national affordable care investments in childcare, in eldercare investments. That's why the Biden-Harris plans and the American jobs plan and American families plan are also a really important part of this.


Companies can't do it alone. We have got to have the public sector step up to make access to care affordable to everyone.

HARLOW: Right. And one of the things that they hope will happen in the Biden plan if they can get it through is all workers having access to a baseline of family funded leave, right, whether it is parental or childcare or medical. But I just have to ask you, Tina. Call me cynical, but you worked alongside the president, alongside the former first lady, Michelle Obama, and the Obama White House. They wanted it too. Ivanka Trump worked on this effort in the Trump White House.

If it couldn't get done to this level in those administrations, why do you think it can happen now?

CHEN: I think it was the pandemic. You know, I will say that the universality of the way pandemic hit everyone has caused a different sensibility. Look, as you point out, these are problems that have existed for a long time. These are effort that have been going on for decades to try to make changes.

But for the first time, everyone, no matter where you were, if you were CEO, you were stuck at home too and you could see what was going on behind you with your kids home from school. You could see what is going on the workers' homes on the Zoom screen. You couldn't avoid it. You now have people and CEOs saying they can't get workers back to work and they need that talent.

So I think that experience that we're coming out of collectively has really changed the understanding of how devastating these problems are and how critical it is to the country, our economy as a whole if we want to be globally competitive to make these investments.

HARLOW: Right. I mean, look what Japan did with womenomics, right? And you can see the benefits.

Let me just end on this. What -- where do you fall on this debate between should taxpayer or the government fund it should corporations fund it? And that comes down to a whole question of should corporations be willing to eat into their profit and therefore affect their shareholders to fund this fully if it's not going to be taxpayer funded?

CHEN: We need both. The real answer is, Poppy, we need both. Because you need -- you know, there are going to be small businesses that need help in providing this, you know, some supplement to the income that they can give, for example, for paid leave. There are, you know, big companies that also need to contribute because we need both to contribute into this. This is not something where just one sector can do it by themselves.

HARLOW: You know, as you said, from personal experience being a single mom and doing it all, you truly did it all, Tina Chen, so hats off to you. I can barely do it with an equal partner in my husband. So, thank you very much.

CHEN: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: Thank you, Tina. Have a good long weekend. CHEN: You too.


SCIUTTO: President Biden is set to speak in just minutes on the progress being made against coronavirus, this as millions of Americans get ready to travel this holidayweekend. We're going to be following the president's comments. Stay with us.



SCIUTTO: Expect lots of traffic on the roads and packed airports this weekend, starting today, in fact. More than 37 million people are expected to travel for the Memorial Day holiday.

HARLOW: That's up 60 percent from last year, obviously, when the pandemic forced so many to stay at home.

Our Aviation Correspondent Pete Muntean is at Reagan National Airport this morning. Air travel going to hit a big new high this weekend.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Poppy. The key word here is really busy. So many people traveling for the first time in a long time and things are really going to start to feel a lot more like normal. These are the latest numbers from AAA. It forecasts 37 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend, that number 60 percent greater than where we were a year ago but only 13 percent less than 2019 pre-pandemic.

The biggest change will be to air travel, these figures many times greater than where we were a year ago, and airport that's were ghost towns are really starting to fill up now.


DARBY LAJOYE, ACTING TSA ADMINISTRATOR: We have already seen a sharp rise at the nation's airports and we'll continue to experience steady increases throughout the summer. Many airports have already returned or exceeded to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.


MUNTEAN: The TSA screened 1.85 million people at airport across the country just yesterday. That is near the pandemic record of 1.86 million people screened on Sunday. The question is whether or not we'll reach that elusive 2 million passenger mark, a number we have not seen since March 2020 that would have been a normal day before the pandemic. So things are truly starting to get back to normal, Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Yes, those airport traffic numbers up nearly 600 percent from it last year, man.

All right, sad story, there's been a wave of recent passenger misconduct on flights and airports, including assault on a flight attendant on Sunday. I saw the pictures of it, just alarming. What is the reason for it and how severe is the uptick?

MUNTEAN: You know, the numbers really tell story here, Jim. The FAA says it's received 2,500 complaints of unruly passengers on commercial flights since they put a zero tolerance policy in place back in January. 1,900 of those 2,500 complaints have been about mask compliance. So people are still chafing about the mask rules.

Remember, the TSA is requiring masks on all public forms of transportation, even if you are fully vaccinated, that means planes, trains, buses, boats, also here in terminals.

HARLOW: Pete, thank you very much.


Have a good, hopefully, long weekend for you. And thanks to all of you for joining us. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend. We'll see you here Monday morning. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: Yes, wishing you and your families the best this weekend. I'm Jim Sciutto. At This Hour with Kate Bolduan will start right after a quick break.



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.

Here are the things that we're watching at this hour. Time to decide.