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U.S. Jobless Rate Falls, U.S. Is Technically in A Full Economy Mode; Suspected Russian Spy Caught Working Inside U.S. Embassy; Woman Who Helps Homeless Man Has Police Called on Her by Safeway Store; Police Called on College Student While She Ate Lunch; Bridging Bionics Helps People Learn to Walk Again. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 3, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Richard Quest is with me now and, you know, so the unemployment numbers continuing to go down, wonderful news. Jobs -- the wage not as fast as it should be. What's going on?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN MONEY EDITOR AT LARGE: Well, that is a slight concern, not only because Americans want to have higher wages.


QUEST: But at this point in the cycle we should be seeing more wage growth. Effectively to all intents and purposes the United States is now at full employment. Arguably anybody who wants a job there is a job for them.


QUEST: And that creates a pricing pressure because suddenly companies can't find workers. Suddenly employers are having to bid up wages and we're not seeing that fully yet. Now, it could still happen. So, there are still great uncertainties. A lot of unease about what is happening longer term in the economy, but make no bones about it, the president is right in the sense of the economy is -- is in sparkling form and now is the time to sort out the trade issues if you want to have a trade battle.

BALDWIN: Well, on that I was talking to a pork farmer last week, we were talking about that $12 billion bailout. While the farmers are grateful for the help he was saying that that is not the long-term solution at all.

QUEST: It's not even enough. It's not even enough. If this carries on, that $12 billion will be spent and gone in no time at all. The thing I think we should focus on today, besides -- look at the market, it's on a frolic of its own.

BALDWIN: On a frolic.

QUEST: Frolic of its own, volume very low and it's August. That's all you need to know about that number. But more importantly --

BALDWIN: You want to talk about Toyota. QUEST: I do, because Toyota had results and Toyota warned today what

the effects would be. It says about $1,800 on a Camry from tariffs from a domestically made Camry. $6,000 extra on an imported Camry. So, this trade war will have an effect. Prices will go up and companies are now warning of the real damage being done. The president says this is a pain that has to be endured for the longer good and that now is the time to do it. The voters in the midterm will decide that of course.

BALDWIN: That will be looming depending on how this looks --

QUEST: Frolic of its own.

BALDWIN: Frolic of its own. Use that in a sentence over the weekend. Richard Quest, thank you so much.

Coming up next this Russian woman who had access to the State Department and Secret Service, she was caught meeting with Russian intel. How this suspected spy got away with working inside the U.S. embassy in Moscow for over a decade.


BALDWIN: We are learning these details about a suspected Russian spy who worked for ten years at the U.S. embassy in Moscow before being fired last year. A senior administration official tells CNN the Russian national worked for the U.S. Secret Service for years before raising any kind of suspicion and was having regular unauthorized meetings with the Russian intelligence service. She had access to the secret service's intranet, e-mail systems, but the official insists that this was not an issue of national security. With me now former undercover CIA operative Lindsay Moran. Not an issue of national security? How do you see this?

LINDSAY MORAN, FORMER UNDERCOVER CIA OPERATIVE: For sure it's an issue of national security. In every and any U.S. embassy overseas typically, we rely on what are called foreign service nationals, that is locals who are going to work at the embassy. That said, they are generally subjects of a great deal of scrutiny and vetting before they are hired, specifically because they are locals, it's sometimes unclear where their loyalties may lie and certainly in a place like Russia anybody -- any foreign service national who is at the U.S. embassy is in a great position to collect intelligence on the U.S. and on U.S. personnel. So, it's kind of astounding to me that this could be classified as anything but an issue of national security. That's exactly what it is.

BALDWIN: So, the Secret Service says that this woman was never able to obtain national security secrets but the fact that she was on the inside, Lindsay, for more than a decade, what potential threats would this pose?

MORAN: I think it poses a lot of potential threats. First of all, she obviously had access to the Secret Service intranet and their e-mail system. So certainly, she had access to internal communications possibly and probably access to the schedules of visiting American personnel, of the president, the president's spouses. So that's very sensitive information.

Now, look, this is not the first time we've seen the Secret Service as an agency show kind of galling lack of accountability when it comes to counterintelligence. If you think back to 2012 when there was this scandal in Colombia with Secret Service agents soliciting and cavorting with Colombian prostitutes there was hullabaloo about the moral implications of secret service agents cheating on their wives or whatever but there wasn't a lot of attention given to the larger and more critical issue of when you have Secret Service agents in compromising positions that's a huge counterintelligence threat and concern.

BALDWIN: Hullabaloo then and now. It's not like this individual was in there for six months.

[15:40:00] MORAN: Right.

BALDWIN: This is ten years.

MORAN: She was there for a decade, right.

BALDWIN: Ten years.

MORAN: And that's a long period of time.

BALDWIN: What kind of safeguards, precautions are in place to expose people like this?

MORAN: Well, I was really a pounded to learn that this came up in a routine investigation conducted by investigators from the regional securities office there because I would certainly think that for any foreign service national working in the U.S. embassy in Moscow there would be investigations and scrutiny beyond a five-year routine check. I think we will find out more about the circumstances of how this woman was hired and whether or not she was vetted, and my guess would be that it wasn't all above board or kosher or by typical hiring protocol.

BALDWIN: Sure. While I have you, in other Russia spy news, the alleged Russian spy, Maria Butina, her spy skills leave a lot of people saying that she was this not so secret agent because sources say at least two times she was inebriated, she bragged about her connections with the Russian government, comments that were so alarming that two of her classmates reported them to law enforcement. Would someone in her situation be told to keep a low profile and maybe stop taking too many shots with your colleagues?

MORAN: For sure she would have been instructed by her handler to maintain a low profile. I don't think that she went to any kind of elite Russian intelligence training academy. I think she was essentially what's called an access agent and she was a target of opportunity for Russian intelligence. They realized that they could manipulate her. But, look, spies are not always the most stable people and they are human, that's why it's called human intelligence. So, it's not to say she wasn't a spy, she just wasn't a good spy.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much.

MORAN: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next an African-American woman trying to help the homeless instead questioned by police after a grocery store employee called 911 on her. We will talk to her about how this happened.


BALDWIN: Napping while black, golfing while black, mowing the wall now black, now you can add eating lunch to the growing list of reasons people call police on African-Americans for no good reason. A student at Smith College in Massachusetts says a school employee called police on her because she appeared, quote/unquote, out of place. She was eating her lunch and reading a book in a room that is only available to people with key card access, which, by the way, she has because she's also a teaching assistant. So, she says she remembers someone pacing back and forth by the door just looking at her shortly after an officer arrived who she credits with deescalating the whole thing.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: We were wondering why you were here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was eating lunch. I'm working the summer program so I was just relaxing on my --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: You are with one of the summer programs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm actually a TA.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: He didn't know who it was. He watches over --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I -- it's OK. It's just like kind of stuff like this happens way too often where people just feel like threatened.


BALDWIN: The school and the campus police issued statements condemning the unnecessary 911 call. They say they have reached out to the student and opened an investigation.

To California now, for this one. A woman who had the police called on her when she was trying to help the homeless. Erica Martin says employees at a Safeway supermarket in Mountain View, California picked up the phone and called 911 on her and her family last month because apparently the store suspected them of shoplifting. So, I want you to listen here, this is the video that her sister recorded on her cellphone once police arrived to question them.


SISTER OF ERICA MARTIN, WHO SAFEWAY ACCUSED OF SHOPLIFTING: Right here at Safeway, Mountain View. Someone called the police on Erica and accused her of stealing. She was in her car the whole time. This is crazy. Crazy. Now four cops here. For one black person. Absolutely nuts. (END VIDEO CLIP)

[14:20:00] BALDWIN: Safeway has since apologized but Erica says she was actually helping a homeless man that she knew, giving him some treats and food for his dog. So, Erica and her sister, Faith, join me now. So, ladies, thank you so much for coming on and, Erica, let me start with you. Help me understand, take me back to this moment. Y'all are at the grocery store, you know, with your kids and what happens?

ERICA MARTIN, FALSELY ACCUSED BY SAFEWAY OF SHOPLIFTING: My sister and I we were at the grocery store and I had saw the homeless guy, his name is Rabbit, and I, you know, gave him the bag of dog food through the window and I was feeding his dog through the window. I saw my sisters come into the parking -- Safeway parking lot and I decided to park in front of Safeway and my sisters they parked on the opposite I'm just sitting in my car.

And I see my sister, Faith, and other sister, Ashley, get out the care packages that our church put together for the homeless people. And so, my sister walks over to the two homeless guys and they both give them the packages and our kids are inside the store getting free cookies and the free samples from the deli. I'm in my car listening to some gospel music.

My sisters walk over, we're just talking then I see a Safeway employee run from Safeway and he's looking at me, my sisters and he looks at my car and he goes right in to Safeway and two or three minutes later as we're getting ready to leave, I'm backing out in my car, a cop car blocks me in. And he's like asking me do I know what's going on. I tell him no. What's going on? He wouldn't tell me what was going on.

There's a female officer comes to my side of my car and asked me do I have any warrants. Why was I at Safeway? I told her I was giving a bag of dog food to a homeless guy and she was like, are you waiting for somebody to come out of Safeway? I told her no.

Then she was like are you married? No, I'm not. What is going on? I kept asking her what was going on? She wouldn't tell me. All of a sudden, she was like, we were called by Safeway because you fit the description of someone taking items from the store and putting them into your car. She said I was wearing a blue spaghetti strap shirt and I wasn't. I was wearing a t-shirt.

BALDWIN: Let me jump in because from your sister's perspective, Faith, let me ask you. We hear your voice. You say crazy. You take this video, crazy, four cops for one black person. Obviously, we know that your sister was not shoplifting. Was in fact helping this homeless person and feeding his dog. We should say the Safeway store apologized. They're investigating. Why do you think the cops were called on your sister?

FAITH MARTIN, SISTER OF ERICA MARTIN: Because we're black. That's why. They saw kids in the store. Going and asking for cookies, asking for a sample. They didn't like what they saw. So, they saw us outside talking and they knew that the kids belonged to us. So that's why I believe they called the police.

BALDWIN: This has been happening to black people in this country for a long time. We were talking about incidents more recently making the news, mowing a lawn while black. Campaigning while black. Does this discourage you from helping others less fortunate?

ERICA MARTIN: No. It does not.

BALDWIN: Tell me why.

ERICA MARTIN: It actually makes me want to get out there and do it more.

FAITH MARTIN: Yes. Exactly.

ERICA MARTIN: Because there's too many homeless people in this world where this world is full of money. But a lot of homeless people who are living on the street. Without homes, without food. It's everywhere. And it's not right.

FAITH MARTIN: Especially in Silicon Valley.

BALDWIN: I appreciate both of you coming on and saying that and telling your story, Faith and Erica. Thank you so much.

ERICA MARTIN: Thank you.

FAITH MARTIN: Thank you.

[15:35:00] BALDWIN: Back to our breaking news in the Russia investigation. Robert Mueller and his team just interviewed a woman who once ran a high-priced New York call girl ring. She was known as Manhattan Madam. We'll talk about her tied to Roger Stone.


BALDWIN: Want to take a moment to honor this week's CNN Hero.

Amanda Boxtel was paralyzed after a skiing accident and has made it her mission to help people walk again with the help of bionic limbs. People like Nate injured in a kayak accident.


NATE, RECOVERING FROM KAYAK ACCIDENT WITH THE HELP OF BIONIC LIMBS: My goal has always been to make a full recovery. And I think a lot of people thought that was farfetched. It was a lot of hard work. I remember when I made this first couple of steps. When I knew that making a full recovery was possible.

AMANDA BOXTEL, CNN HERO: His living the miracle of what we all want and what we all aspire for. To stand up and to do it on our own. He's doing it.

I haven't witnessed that too often in my lifetime.


BALDWIN: Please check out Amanda's incredible story in bionics. You can watch all about it. Just go to CNN and donate to any of this year's heroes. Go to I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me. Erica Hill in the big chair for Jake Tapper. "THE LEAD" starts right now.