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Miami Officials Say 99 People Unaccounted for After Building Collapse; Family of Paraguay's First Lady Missing in Building Collapse; Britney Spears Says I'm Traumatized by Abusive Conservatorship. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired June 24, 2021 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We do know that the Red Cross is on scene, that they are helping or trying to help families that have been displaced to find a place to stay temporarily.
From the hotel, my understanding that there were 15 families there that were displaced. But, you know, this is a building, 12 story, 130 units, 55 of which collapsed. This is going to have a big impact on the people that lived there and surrounding areas.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Yes, Surfside, a community of about 6,000 in a much larger beach community there in South Florida. We spoke with Jorge Soto a few moments ago who lives across the street and talked about just how hard this hits that small community.
Leyla Santiago with the updated breaking news. Thank you so much for that. Again, 99 people unaccounted for, up from 51 just a few hours ago the latest from Miami officials of course we'll get you more as we get it.
Next, Vice President Kamala Harris is headed to the border tomorrow as she works to find a solution to the border crisis.
Plus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces that she will move ahead now with a select committee to investigate the January 6th attack.
BLACKWELL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced a new House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th insurrection. Now, this is after Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan independent commission about a month ago.
CNN's chief political analyst Gloria Borger joins me now. Gloria, good to see you. She gave the caucus four options. This is the one she went with. Expected?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I think anyone who has listened to Nancy Pelosi over this last month understands how important she feels that it is to get the bottom of this and that the way to do it if you can't do any kind of a special commission, which is what she initially wanted is to do a select committee. And that means that this select committee will have subpoena power. It will be controlled by the Democrats, but it is no small thing to be able to subpoena people under penalty of law to testify before the Congress about just what occurred on January 6th.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's turn now to Vice President Harris headed to the southern border.
BLACKWELL: She's going tomorrow, yes, she's going to El Paso, not to McAllen, which some are making a lot of noise about. But is this succumbing to pressure from Republicans, or is this an expected stop for someone who's been tasked with solving the crisis at the border?
BORGER: Well, it depends on who you talk to when you ask that question. Of course, people who work for Harris say, no, no, she was going to get to the border. And Harris, of course, when she was asked about this by Lester Holt, if you recall the other week, she said, well, I haven't been to Europe yet either and that wasn't a
very good answer.
And so she got a lot of criticism for that. We do know that she has been to other places and that at this point they've decided she's going to go to the border now tomorrow. Is it a coincidence that Donald Trump and Republicans are going to be at the border next week? Maybe not, but she is certainly going to beat them there.
BLACKWELL: Maybe not. Gloria Borger, thanks so much.
BLACKWELL: More on the breaking news, the latest number now, 99 people unaccounted for after that building collapse in Surfside, Florida. Family members of the first lady of Paraguay among them.
BLACKWELL: Right now there's a desperate search happening in Florida. 99 people are now unaccounted for after that high-rise building collapse in Surfside, Florida. Among those unaccounted for are some family members of the first lady of Paraguay.
CNN international correspondent Matt Rivers is tracking that part of the story for us. What do you know about that -- Matt?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, as we learn more and more about the victims of this tragedy, it's becoming clear it's not just the United States and its citizens that are affected here. Multiple countries in South America also affected including you mentioned Paraguay where we have heard from the foreign ministry that the sister of Paraguay's first lady, Sophia Lopez Moreira, she and her family were apparently on the tenth floor of this building and it's believed by the foreign ministry that, well, they're missing at this point.
The foreign ministry speaking a little bit earlier this afternoon saying that officials with Paraguayan consulate have gone to different hospitals in the area where this partial collapse happened looking for the first lady's sister and her family including her three children and unfortunately, they have not located them at any of these hospitals. They haven't said anything more than that. But of course, that leads everyone to assume the worst at this point as they try and find out more information, Victor.
We also have heard from two other consulates from South American countries. We've heard from the Argentinian consulate as well as the Venezuela consulate. The Argentinian consulate says nine Argentinian nationals are missing as a result of this partial collapse. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan consulate says four of its nationals are missing as a result of this.
This, of course, is an area of South Florida that is very known for some South Americans to either have a second home there, live there with some permanency. And so we're going to have to wait as more information comes out if more countries are affected -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, Matt Rivers, with the latest there, Matt, thank you so much.
We're expecting a news conference any moment and we will be right back with that.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk now about this emotional plea to a judge. Britney Spears is asking for an end to the court-ordered conservatorship that she's been living under for close to 13 years. She calls the arrangement abusive. She made some really troubling allegations in the hearing. She said that she's been forced to perform, forced to take lithium against her will. She says she's not allowed to remove her IUD contraceptive from her own body even though she wants to have another child. She says she's been stripped of access to her $60 million fortune and denied liberties as simply as riding alone in her boyfriend's car.
Her request is simple. She said, and this is a quote, I just want my life back.
Liz Day is the senior story editor for "The New York Times Presents" and the creator of the documentary "Framing Britney Spears."
Liz, thanks for being here. Listen, every time more details of this conservatorship are released to the public, just the degree of control that her father, Jamie Spears, has over her is just amazing. Birth control and these medical treatments now. LIZ DAY, SENIOR STORY EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES PRESENTS":
Absolutely, the allegations that Britney made in court yesterday were extremely concerning. She had so many shocking things to say. It will be very interesting to see what happens next in court.
BLACKWELL: So let's get a reminder of Jamie Spears, her father. Watch a portion of this documentary about Britney Spears. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAY: Jamie, Britney's father, wasn't around very much when Britney was growing up. We know that Jamie was struggling with alcohol and he later goes to rehab. He drifts in between construction, being a cook, tries to open a gym business that didn't work out and later ends up filing for bankruptcy. He doesn't seem to be a big presence in her life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: What do we know -- and this is the man who's controlling essentially these elements of her life, according to the allegations. What do we know about their relationship now?
DAY: So Jamie was not around very much when Britney was growing up. He had serious alcohol issues. But at the time of 2008 when they filed for a conservatorship Jamie swept back into her life and was granted a large amount of control over both her day-to-day life and her finances. And then all was mum basically for a decade. Britney went back to work, started making many millions of dollars. But then last year in court her lawyer started filing to remove Jamie, saying that Britney was afraid of him and wanted him gone.
BLACKWELL: Is there some variable now, I mean even after this element has been made public, that makes ending this conservatorship any more likely than it was in the past?
DAY: Absolutely, I mean this was the first time that, you know, Britney directly, publicly said that she wanted to terminate this conservatorship. And she said that she did not know that she could ask the court directly to terminate it. So it feels like if that is true that she didn't know that and now she's saying that. That perhaps, you know, the ball will start to roll.
BLACKWELL: But the onus -- the way I understand this, is that the onus is on Britney to prove that she now can take control of her life and all of these elements. I'd imagine that would be difficult to do if she's been so controlled that she alleges she doesn't have -- she doesn't have the flexibility to show a track record of running out of these elements of her life.
DAY: Absolutely. So If you're under a conservatorship and for the past 13 years you haven't had the ability to control your own money or use your credit card, how do you show the court that you are responsible and can manage your finances day to day? It really puts you in a predicament where it's a high burden to prove.
BLACKWELL: Any timeline on when a decision could be made?
DAY: No, but we know her conservatorship and conservatorships in general take a really long time. There are lots of lawyers involved. It's very expensive. And it seems as if it's going to be very messy.
BLACKWELL: Lastly here, there's a statement after the hearing from Justin Timberlake saying that we should all now be supportive of Britney Spears. Part of the documentary actually focuses on some of his relationship with her and how that attitude, the scrutiny that caused a lot of these issues, this has really been a mirror I guess for him, but for a lot of people.
DAY: Absolutely. You know, we saw such a reception after the documentary came out of people kind of reckoning with their own complicity of, you know, how they viewed or treated Britney back then. And yesterday -- in yesterday's hearing, Britney told the court that she's never publicly came forward and talked about this because she felt people wouldn't believe her. So I think it was really interesting to see after she spoke this swell of support from celebrities and others coming out to support Britney.
BLACKWELL: Yes, Liz Day, good to have you. Thanks so much for the insight.
DAY: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right, so we are standing by for that news conference out of Surfside, Florida. Officials just updated the number of those unaccounted for to 99. Double what we were told earlier today as they now take a broader look at the residents there at the Champlain Towers South Condominiums. We will bring this to you live as soon as it starts.
BLACKWELL: Live pictures here in North Carolina. President Biden there has arrived. He's in Raleigh, making a final vaccine push, although he's not expected -- the country is not expected to reach that goal of getting 70 percent of American adults at least one shot by the Fourth of July.
The White House says that he is there to highlight the ease of getting vaccinated, encourage vaccinations and mobilize grassroots vaccine education efforts across the state.
North Carolina is one of several southern states with lagging vaccination rates, just 38 percent of states -- of the state is fully vaccinated. Well below the national rate of 45 percent. You see the president there having a conversation. I see facing us is the governor there, Roy Cooper and Michael Regan, the administrator of the EPA.
All right, something else I want you to know, I'm excited about this. I want to invite you to celebrate the Fourth of July with CNN. I will be hosting a star-studded event along with my colleagues, Don Lemon, Dana Bash, Ana Cabrera. Do not miss the music and the fireworks and the celebrities starting July 4 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
"The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.