tv CNN Newsroom With Brianna Keilar CNN February 3, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PST
establish the space force. the desire for the department of defense to focus greater attention and resources on the growing security challenges in space has long been a bipartisan issue and formed by numerous administrations and thousands of men and women probably serves in the space force. you know it was established by congress and any other steps would actually have to be taken by congress. not by the administration. >> one other space question. nasa's artemis program, the program to return american astronauts to the moon by 2024. what is the president's plan? what is he going to do with that program? is he going to keep it intact? >> i am personally interested in space. a fascinating area of study but have not spoken with our team about this particular program. let me see if i can get you a more informed overview of that. >> one more question. sorry. about the president's comments last night as he was paying his respects to the fbi agents that lost their lives, or were
injured. he said by and large the vast majority of these men and women are decent, honorable people. what did he mean by that? "the vast majority" part, exactly what he meant's go ahead, kristin? >> thank you, jen. president biden has been very clear that one of his core charges to the country is to try to unify the country. how can he do that while the impeachment trial is going on next week? >> well, he were focus his efforts, exactly what he's doing, on delivering necessary relief to the american public, and using his forum to talk about how he's going to reopen schools, how he's going to get shots in the arms of americans, how he's going to ensure that the one in seven american families who are concerned they can't put food on the table can do exactly that. that's how he's spending his time. as we started this briefing, and how he will continue doing it moving forward. >> what's the message to republicans who say the very
trial itself undercuts any effort at this? >> he invites republicans to work with him on bringing relief to the american public, and that's why he invited him here, many of them here on monday, and why he will continue to engage with them moving forward. >> talking about his agenda. president biden has been speaking to the american people almost on a daily basis. obviously the focus will shift to the senate next week. how concerned is he that the senate trial will undercut his momentum? >> i think the president has been clear there is an urgency to delivering relief to the american people. and it's important and vital that the house and senate work quickly to get this bill passed. >> wrapped up within a week? >> not giving a deadline. conveying what he's stated many times publicly. we are confident they have the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. >> one more question. there's discussion on the hill about stripping congresswoman marjorie taylor greene of her
committee assignment. does president biden believe she should be stripped of this post? >> speaking of her, resisted speaking of her in this briefing room and not going to do it today, because it's up to the hill to make that determination. >> and reuters, president biden has always expressed support for -- in fact distributed a plan to kind of strengthen work and organizing around the country. >> uh-huh. >> there were thousands of workers at an amazon facility in alabama that are currently gearing up to cast a vote and potentially form a union inside the company. this will be the fourth of it's time inside amazon. does the white house and president biden support their efforts to organize and forming a union? >> as you've noted, the president is a strong longtime believer and supporter of the efforts of labor unions and workers. i have not spoken with him or our economic team about this particular important -- seen it before i came out. anything more to provide you
we're happy to follow-up with you directly. >> i did have another question on secretary yellen calling for a meeting. >> sure. >> with top financial regulators on gamestop. >> uh-huh. >> we understand the meeting is likely to happen this week. will the meeting be held on thursday, and will the focus really be on whether robinhood cheated retail investors unfairly over large institutional investors? >> i send you to the treasury department for specifics from the times of the meeting or focus on the meeting, for anyone no not seen the report. secretary yellen called a meeting and believes the integrity of markets is important and asked for a discussion of recent volatility in financial markets and whether recent activities are consistent with investor fairness and i'll send you to the treasury team
for more. >> any updates on the white house visitor laws? able to figure out if you can technically access the trump logs? >> i was. we cannot. under the per view ofchives and you there. in terms of our plans to release the visitor logs plan to do that on a quarterly basis just as the obama/biden administration did as well. >> and mitch mcconnell critical today keeping generous funding to school districts where the media is around not have the schools open. reaction to that? >> i would say the purpose of giving funding or supporting funding and getting it to school districts is to ensure teachers are safe, that kids are safe. there is necessary ppe and ventilation in the school. that there is the -- the environment that allows for children to return safely. and that is the president's
focus. that's why he also wants to reopen schools, and wants them to not just reopen but wants them to stay open, which as a mom, that is pivotal. and that's -- but he knows it's essential it's done in a safe way. >> anything on the unions not allows some schools to reopen? >> different discussions in different districts as you well know. between school districts and elected officials and the unions and we certainly hope and encourage progress on that front, but the president's focus is on the schools reomming safely and them staying open. go ahead? >> i have a question. thanks, jen. so during the georgia runoff, president biden campaigned specifically on $2,000 stimulus checks. obviously as we've discussed the payment is $1,400. doesn't seem to be an active discussion of actually raising that amount. reference to voters who may have been expecting $2,000, and what the administration, would they
be open to raising that amount? >> well, you're right that the president is very focused on ensuring millions of americans receive those checks and that pivotal relief at this point in time. there were $600 you know in the ak thatch that passed in december. this is $1,400. for that it's $2,000 delivering on the promise made and something he's firmly sticking by. >> question on immigration. the biden administration ex extended temporary protective status for a nationals. the trump administration cut off protection for nicaragua and haiti, and others, does the united states expect to reinstate those for those kints? ku countries. >> the president talked about this but nothing is complete at this point in time. go ahead. >> and earlier today on -- the
president talked about better targeting stimulus checks. just explain what is meant by that and what might be under consideration? >> sure. as we've said in here a few times but i know it's an ongoing process. the president having served in the senate 36 years fully recognizes that the bill proposed, he did it by a primetime address on two weeks ago, that may not look exactly like the bill that comes out. he knows that. that's part of the legislative process. further targeting means not the size of the check. it means the -- the income level of people who receive the check and that's something that has been under discussion. there has been a conclusion but certainly he's open to that discussion. >> and about the past administration often when coronavirus cases came up in the white house, people were positive, came out in the news media. i wondered if this white house has a policy on releasing information about people who test positive?
in the white house, or in the administration, contact with white house officials? >> sure. for anybody who covered the campaign, i was not on the campaign. they tried to be very transparent about anyone who had any contact with, would have been in close proximity to the president or vice president and released if they had a covid positive test. and so we will certainly model that transparency. if and when that occurs here, and venture to provide accurate and up-to-date information as quickly as possible to all of you. not through the media, but directly. i mean, you are the media, but you know what i mean. go ahead. >> one question, jen and what for a colleague who knt be here. >> sure. >> the cdc director says the vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for reopening schools? does the administration agree with this? >> i saw the comments of dr. walensky, but i will say even
she would say if standing here, welcome to come anytime, but in atlanta. they have not released their official guidance yet from the cdc on the vaccination of teachers and what would be needed to ensure the safe reopening of schools. so we've certainly defer to that, which we hope to see soon. the president himself has talked about the importance and priority of vaccinating teachers, and in most states they're in the 1b category of vaccination, but it is up to states to determine prioritization. obviously there's federal guidelinance and we work closely with governors but leave it to them. ensuring teachers are vaccinated, prioritizing teachers is important to the president. >> and this is from a colleague. >> sorry. go ahead. >> following the 2020 election, 28 states have brought forward 106 different bills related to voting access according to the brennan center for justice. is president biden keeping track of those efforts and will he talk with states to ensure
americans aren't restricted from voting in future elections? >> well, the president's priority is certainly ensuringened a the vice president priority, ensuring more people, not fewer people, have access to voting and that it's easier, not harder, to do that. we saw examples of voting by mail or early voting given covid, that could be modeled for the future. certainly an issue he's following and his team keeps him abreast on. not an update since inaugurated to him but an issue he cares personally about, as does the vice president go ahead in the back. >> good afternoon. owen jensen with ewtn global catholic network. president biden has stated he wants the united country in the first two weeks in country, however, much of the great disappointment of pro-life americans has revoked the mexico city policy. he has ordered review of title 10 and issued a statement
strongly supporting roe v. wade. is the president going to make any effort to reach out to pro-life americans in his administration? >> those have long been the president's positions, and he certainly was just restating them and delivering on promises made on the campaign trail, but the president will reach out to all americans, and that is how he's going to govern, but he talked about it in his inaugural dress and has every intention on delivering on that promise. >> following up on that, a devout catholic, will he use his faith to guide him in any policy decision-making? >> he does attend church nearly every weekend. it's important to him personally and to his family, and he's talked about the impact of his faith on healing and everything he's been through as a human being. certainly it's a guide to him as a human being. go ahead? >> thanks. earlier you mentioned a number of topics that president biden and putin had discussed.
one that you didn't mention is the two marines who are in prison, trevor reed and paul whalin. trevor reed from texas had an appeal today in moscow, u.s. ambassador called his conviction a mockery of justice. what is the u.s. doing to secure their release, and do you consider these two marines to be hostages? >> well, ambassador sullivan, who i think you were referring to today, called trevor reed's trial a mockery of justice, and we certainly agree. as you know, have a range of means of communications with the russians at several levels. a secretary of state who's now confirmed. we have a national security adviser and a number of officials in the state department, but i'll use this as an opportunity once again to call on russia to swiftly release both mr. reed and paul whalin doing so on the heels, would demonstrate russia is ready to move past, within the
bilateral. lots of bipartisan. we raise this at every opportunity. >> any other consequences under consideration? >> a review announced here, of course. i talked about it a little at the beginning of our relationship and certainly a number of issues that are being looked into by the national security team. and once that review is concluded we'll have more to say on our policy moving forward. >> does the administration consider them to be hostages? >> i don't think i'd add a mu category from here today. go ahead? >> jen, following up on ventilation in schools in terms of reopening them safely. how exactly does the white house see that playing out? is the president saying that no school should be reopened unless they get a brand new or renovated ventilation system? >> i think the president is saying that, and the cdc, i should say more importantly and health and medical experts, are saying that ventilation and proper ventilation in schools
and especially publish schools that don't have often the benefit of tuition and things along those lines need to have proper ventilation. we've seen from health and medical experts that is something that contributes to ensuring safety of people indoors, part of what school is. they're conveying that's an important component of looking at school safety and how to reopen schools. >> not a prerequisites? >> they haven't been set. there have been, you know, broad objectives that have been set by the cdc and others. they have also not put out their specific detailed guidelines yet. we'll look forward to seeing those and abiding by them and communicating about them from here. go ahead. >> the president has said he really want to protect the middle class. i wond whir it comes to things like direct payments, what's the income range by which you define the middle class? how much does someone who's middle class, how much do they earn?
what's the rate? >> well, there are ranges in the bill, as you know. they are what the president proposed and outlined during this primetime address. i don't know he looked at the bill as his own personal definition of the middle class as much as a definition of the people who need help the most. >> so that's the -- that bill's rough range how you think about it. >> i just said. not definition -- he wasn't looking to answer the question for economists around the world on how to define the middle class. he was defining who needs help the most now. that's how the bill is defined and why he's so focused on ensuring those checks get out to the american people. >> proposing one other question, voting rights act update. >> uh-huh. >> majorities in the house and senate. talked about it on the campaign trail, given the change of preclearance, is that a priority and if it is, i understand in
two weeks -- but with majorities will you push forward on that priority? >> remain as priority, of course. the president's number one focus, though, remains getting the american rescue plan through and also going to talk more about a build back better plan as we get into the early spring or late winter, i guess. that will be another priority as an immigration package that he proposed to the hill as well. ensuring that it is easier to vote, that more people have access to voting, that we are making it, you know, a part of the right of being an american is a priority to the president, but i don't have a timeline or date for you on when we would push for that bill to move forward. >> mitch mcconnell spoke to the president yesterday expressed quickly, the administration to quickly sanction military leaders -- talking about changes in foreign aid. what is the timeline on sanctions? is leader mcconnell right sanctions would be coming quickly? >> one i note that the state
department rapidly completed think review designating or naming the military coup in burma in a very short period of time. something spurring action senator mcconnell agreed on. obviously, the detention of an seung suu kyi and this is a direct assault on burma's transition to democracy and the rule of law. we're continuing to review our sanctions authorities and other options. certainly it's a priority to this administration. i can tell you jake sullivan called me sunday night to tell me we had to put out a statement because it was important to have our voice out there and obviously a statement from the president acted quickly. i don't have an exact timeline but it is a priority and certainly reviewing our sanctions authority seeing where there's action to take there is something the team is focused on. go ahead. >> have you guyed been talking at all about the iowa caucuses on lineup for the next
president -- >> too soon, jennifer. too soon. >> a question about nevada wanting to go first? >> i don't -- we are certainly not focused on the next political campaign here quite yet. and we don't have any, any point of view to share on the order of the presidential nominating contest. though nevada's a little warmer, but, you know. all great states. go ahead. >> jen, you said that you'd check with the nsc and the summer olympics. can you tell us does he think at this point it is safe for the u.s. team to go? >> i know there's been reporting on this. we're not currently talking about changing our posture or plans as it relates to the beijing olympics. we consult, of course, closely, with allies and partners at all levels to define our common concerns and establish a shared approach, but there's no discussion under way of a change
in our plans from the united states at this point in time. go ahead. >> thanks. one of the law enforcement gaps that was identified after the riot january 6th was that president trump had insisted to focus on antifa. i wonder what president biden has done to redirect emphasis on right-wing extremism? >> we've launched an entire review on domestic violent extremism covering that across the board, activity across the board. it's not a political review. it's a review of domestic violence extremism. our plan have our teeth look at that not through a political lens but through the lens of a national security expert, experts and teams with expertise in this area and when that review is concluded we'll have more to say on it. >> follow-up quickly on the olympics. you said beijing. talking about tokyo? >> there's a lot of olympic questions going on.
sorry. >> think it's safe for u.s. athletes to -- >> again. nothing changed about our plains. i would accepted you to the usoc to discuss plans further on athletes. >> thank you for that clarification. lots of olympics. >> follow-up with the previous question, circle back to president biden's comments yesterday in the oval office when he said the vast majority of u.s. law enforcement officers were decent, honorable people. why did he want to, why did he think it was torreimportant to "the vast majority". >> men and women serving our country in variety of capacities have been criticized. some threatened. the roles they're playing have been questioned over the last several years, and he wanted to reiterate his support for the important work they do. also why he's visiting the state department tomorrow. >> not to say all of -- he made that delineation? >> the point he's making is that
despite reports of, you know, individuals in different areas who may have done things that are problematic, that the vast majority of men and women serving in our law enforcement roles in civil servant roles, serving in roles across government to vital and essential work for the american people. go ahead. >> thanks. sebastian smith at -- >> i know. i remember your mask. stands out. flamingos on it, in case anyone's wondering. >> i'm a flamingo guy! >> uhuh-oh. sorry about that. i owe you a drink later. >> the flamingo guy. >> okay. >> again, on sanctions. on russia. any discussion of targeting people close to putin or what's happening in that, the position there? and has the president talked to eu allies? about this? >> the president has certainly spoken with a number of european
allies including russia, of course. in terms of what sanctions options may exist or what options in terms of a response may exist, the president, of course, reserves the right to respond in the manner and course of his choosing at any point in time. but we're going to let this review complete, and then our policy teams will make decisions about any specific steps they'll take in response. >> and another one related but not exactly the same -- does the president have any position on the -- the activity, the presence of outlets like russia today and sputnik, which i don't know, if terms of, does he have a position on that? in some countries seen and out and out propaganda tools of the kremlin. reciprocity with putin right now. what's the position on this? >> i have not spoken with the president about rt or sputnik.
factualal to say tools of propaganda on the work of the russian government. flinn questions that, raise your hand. happy to discuss. i did not discuss that with him specifically. i know when i was at the state department they attended the briefing. fun with them from time to time but attended the briefing. asked questions, but i think there's no question as we're trying to decipher information that's accurate and inaccurate it's important for the american people to know there are outlets working on foreign governments that have an agenda. not playing press in the free media as you are. >> working in the white house? >> i haven't seen them around here. not sure if they're in the white house correspondents association. ask them. it's important for people to understand and know there's an agenda and they are not the same as a.p., other outlets. bbc, around the world. go ahead. >> can you clarify what president biden's goal is for the number of vaccines? i thought he raised it to 150,
but zients on today's call said 100 million. >> the president will always push his team to go as, as big on vaccine distribution as possible, but or goal remains 100 million shots in the arms of americans in 100 days. that was a goal set in the fall before a single vaccine was put in the arm of an american. seen as bold and ambitious. we're not stopping at 100 million. not declaring victory. we're setting markers for ourselves. that's the marker we set and we're working to achieve it. go ahead. >> earlier today saying that confirmations came up during this meeting. a difference frustrated by -- on the senate side and whether -- what the message is to senators? >> well, the president has always wanted to move faster. confirmed that having been here twice, but you know, certainly there was a delay in the
confirmation of a number of our cabinet nominees over the course of weeks. some slower paced than should have been early on. there are people we would like to see in place. obviously, mayorkas confirmed yesterday, homeland security. lurc love for merrick garland's appointment. future attorney general, i should say. to deliver on the president's promise of ap independent justice department that's not influenced by politics nap would be a break from the past. key positions that have not moved through the confirmation process that we are eager to see move forward. we have seen, though, progress in the last week or so and a number who have moved forward. former mayor pete buttigieg, of course, yesterday, just confirmed as the first lgbtq in the cabinet playing a pivotal role in economic planning. more to be done and something the president and his team will push on to get his full team in
place. go ahead, do you know on the cloud contract for the pentagon awarded to microsoft, do you know if the biden white house will revie that at all? you know during the trump administration awarded to microsoft instead of amazon and president trump had feelings about amazon -- >> i heard that. saw that. i would certainly send you to the pentagon on that. jennifer, if there's more to report from here i will let you know but certainly send you to the pentagon. go ahead, all the way in the back. >> will president biden be open to having mandatory year-round schooling to get kids caught up? so many kids have fallen behind. open to that? or full-time summer school? whatever it takes? >> i have not discussed year-round. that often requires state funding and up to governors to know if they can provide that funding. i have nothing further for you on that. all right. did anyone not get a question?
okay. thank you, everyone. >> thank you. all right. headlines there out of the white house briefing today. the white house actually -- let's listen in and see -- nope. no other questions. what we learned -- the white house not bending. again, we knew this, but reiterating not bending on the price tag that biden wants for the covid relief package, $1.9 trillion including $1,400 checks. also we learned, psaki saying the space force has the full support of the biden administration. cleanup after being dismissive of space force, of course, a branch of the military created by president trump. so i'm a little bit of cleanup duty there. also, the white house, again, refusing to comment on the conspiracy congresswoman marjorie taylor greene, who, of course, her fate is being discussed today by house republicans here in just a couple of hours. i want to talk now with our cnn
chief white house correspondent, kaitlan collins and cnn chief political analyst gloria borger. kaitlan, takeaways for you? >> reporter: i think, of course, top of mind for so many people in washington and throughout the country really right now is, what is happening with this pandemic relief package? what it's ultimately going to look like. of course, republicans want to know if they're sign on to it? no republican voiced support for the bill. earlier before jen psaki came out saw president biden meeting with senate democrats in the oval office. she noted, one, shot down the idea there are white house staffers holding president biden back from negotiating with republicans. you saw that implication from some republicans on capitol hill yesterday saying that president biden seemed more willing to negotiate than his staff did and maintaining a lot of top lines in his proposal. she said that is ludicrous. no one is holding him back or telling him what to do. of course, that comes amid the questions what the top line is
going to look like, and he said earlier he did not agree with that $600 billion republican proposal, he wants it to be a lot closer to the $1.9 trillion, top line he has proposed. other question, though. what the checks will look like. he's proposed $1,400 in stimulus and expect the openness. you've heard that from scentriss and democrats as were el's they cannot afford to lose any democratic votes here. the number will stay at $1,400, but may structure who will be eligible for the full amount and what it's going to look like, though. she didn't define what he sees as middle class and who exactly the president believes should qualify for these checks, if he is going to compromise on that area. >> one example she gave, gloria, was a kindergarten teacher i think making $60,000 a year. i saw on social media a lot of
people blowing up about that saying, you know, which kindergarten is making $60,000 a year? actually looked at. meadian in the country is about $4,000 less than that. we can be sure, there are many, many, many kindergarten teachers making more in the $30,000s and $40,000s. psaki, what she said wouldn't qualify. what do you make of that? >> i talked to a senior white house adviser about this yesterday. i think they're open to saying, we don't want to give money away to people who shouldn't get it. who are doing just fine during the pandemic. they want to find a way, as republicans, kaitlan mentioned, moderate democrats, want to find a way to make sure the money gets in the right hands. to make sure the money for small businesses, for example. mentioned that as well. they can work with republicans on that. making sure that small businesses get the money that they need. what they're not going to compromise on is the overall size of their package.
and you know, this goes back to the day when biden was vice president and he had to shepherd barack obama's stimulus bill through the congress. he got, finally got three republicans to vote for it, and what did it get them? no republicans on obamacare. so they feel like they have the public support. right now. and she's mentioned 74% of people in the country support it. mentions that number every day. there's, they're going over heads of congress saying you supported it. i promise this to you. we're going to work with republicans around the edges in targeting it, but we are not going to stop going after what we promised you we would do. >> did you get a sense, kaitlan, where that number would be for who's going to get this check? that $60,000 number works that be folks earning up to that? i mean, is there clarity for you on that? >> i think that the thing they expressed concern about was if it's a couple and they qualify together they both make
$100,000, how would that affect them? one's a teacher, one a nurse. that kind of example. this is something getting a lot of support they want these to be further targeted, because according to numbers we've seen for the last stimulus checks a lot did not spend those. saved those. didn't actually go into the economy. a big question facing the economy. i assume they'll work it out with democrats and republicans on the hill given the moderate democrats who voiced dern about -- concern about it. the question of bipartisan support for the bill seems more and more unlikely. even you heard from senator mitt romney earlier saying if it stays the way it is now he does not predict a single republican will go for this. saying if it changes and nodifications are made, potentially. look at the republican proposal from moderate republicans and in this biden proposal, pretty far apart. that's going to be a big question of what that actually looks like, but the white house maintains they are going to
potentially get republican support even as democrats are moving ahead to pass this with no republican support. >> all right. thank you so much to both of you. kaitlan, gloria, appreciate it. house democrats are about to try something unprecedented in congress. which is removing a member of the opposing party from a committee. democrats will begin this process tomorrow. it's attempting to oust republican congresswoman marjorie taylor greene from the education and budget committees. house floor vote on taylor greene could happen as soon as thursday. her list of offenses before she entered office, it runs rather long, and includes endorsing the execution of top democrats. >> kevin mccarthy should handle this problem, because marjorie taylor greene is totally out of control. seems to me that the best thing that could happen at this moment is for kevin mccarthy to make clear that she should not be on
the education and labor committee. if he doesn't make that decision i think as the speaker and steny hoyer indicated, we'll be prepared to move forward, but let's cross that bridge when we get to it. >> house republicans are just hours away from a key meeting of all house gop members that could shape, really, not just the shape of their conference but the future of their party. in addition to marjorie taylor greene, republicans will also determine the fate of liz cheney of wyoming. voting on whether to oust the congresswoman from her leadership role as conference chair nap is the third-ranking republican position in the house, because she voted to impeach former president trump in a second impeachment. joining me nowtalk about this, cupp. democrats received this decision an not coming to agreement with house minority leader kevin mccarthy. certainly there be many republicans out there who are wondering why kevin mccarthy
didn't figure out a way to dispense with this, take some action against taylor greene and not have all of this aired like this on the house floor? >> well, listen, i don't think you've seen a lot of courage over the course of the past four, five years as these very inflection moments have arisen. when the republican party has been given the opportunity say, this is not who we are. whether it was charlottesville or kids in cages, ukraine, and as recently as the big lie in the insurrection. republicans chose door number two, which is to double down, or ignore it, sort of let it ride out, and in this case you're seeing the same lack of courage. seems like kevin mccarthy and house republicans would much rather democrats do the dirty work. do the hard thing. and kind of let republicans off the hook. they're just too scared of the
fringe, you know, minority in their base, and their reaction to any sort of condemnation or criticism of marjorie taylor greene. >> speaking of when it comes to liz cheney, there is some, according to cnn reporting, there are some republicans who want liz cheney to apologize for her impeachment vote. that seems unlikely. >> well, yeah. i mean, so her original sin, when compared to marjorie taylor greene's, her original sin is, is voting to impeach the president. something that lots of republican voters are -- are okay with. a lot of republicans are sort of losing interest in support for former presi that's actually her job as a congresswoman. to make those sorts of calls. and have that, you know, kind of accountability. you know, this really does represent the rift and the
existential crisis now in the republican party. is liz cheney the enemy or is marjorie taylor greene the enemy? i think you don't have to go that far back to look at other times where this wasn't such a problem for republicans. 2012. a name that haunts me to this day. todd akin. sure you remember todd akin talking about things like legitimate rape while mitt romney was trying to run for president. republicans told him to resign. you know? and leave an election that was really important for republicans. that kind of courage, that kind of principled fortitude just isn't seen that much anymore. >> no. that was a blast from the past, though. remembering him. se cupp -- can't believe only that long ago. great to see you. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. still ahead -- one of the first people in the u.s. to be diagnosed with the uk variant of the coronavirus has
passed away. his wife is going to join me to share their heartbreaking story. if you're at home thinking about your financial plan... so are we. prudential helps 1 in 7 americans with their financial needs. that's over 25 million people. with over 90 years of investment experieieiee, our thousands of financial professionals can help with secure video chat or on the phone. we make it easy for you with online tools, e-signatures, and no-medical-exam life insurance. plan for better days. go to prudential.com or talk to an advisor.
nearly 450,000 americans have died because of the coronavirus. every one of those numbers represents a family who has suffered an unimaginable loss. today we're introducing you to one of them. in birmingham, alabama, alfonzo jackson noticed mild symptoms around christmas. admitted to the hospital january 22nd and doctors confirmed he contracted the covid variant first detected in the uk. the uk variant. we reached 0 ut to his wife
ashley yesterday as a.j. was fighting for his life after a series of complications and in between then and now he passed away, but his widow ashley jackson is joining us now. still wanted to make sure that we knew his story. ashley, you have been on my heart today, and i think that you will be on the hearts of our viewers as well as they listen to this story. and i want to talk to you about what you've been through here in recent days, but before we do that i want to talk about a.j. and i want you to tell us about his life. >> well, his daughters of his life. mainly, if you hear him talk about anything else it's always his two girls. they're his mini twins. and all he did was work. you know? he worked hard at his job, and come home to his children and play dress up and polish their nails. >> the videos that you shared on
facebook are beautiful of him dancing with his girls. of him doing their hair. of him being such a good sport and letting them do his hair. which you point out at one point they would have burned him if it wasn't just a toy tool but he was such a good sport about it. tell us -- you know, i'm sure he was fighting like hell to try to be with his daughters. >> yes. >> tell us about what he went through here in the last month or so. >> well, basically, as i said, he started having covid symptoms, but all the tests were negative. made me concerned because he started to decline. when we got to the hospital on that friday and we thought it was covid, turned out it was heart failure. then on to liver failure and eventually having to be on the respirator and have the machine placed in him to support his heart and lungs.
pretty much every day was like a roller coaster. you know? one day went great. the next day went really bad. so my daughters themselves knew something was wrong daddy didn't come home the first few days and didn't know how -- well, they knew what was going on and know about the virus as well, but they just didn't know it had affected their dad that bad. >> so he actually was suffering clotting. right? was that sort of what appeared to be the, the sort of origin of the problem? >> yes. you know, from the heart functioning not correctly, he did, a big clot did form in his left ventricle compromising his heart from pumping correctly to support the rest of his organs. >> we understand as you take us through this process where he had gotten the rapid test, right, as he entered the hospital. two of them, radio it? came back negative and wasn't
actually until after he suffered heart failure and then sort of like a cascading effect to his kidneys that he received a positive covid test. when did you learn -- >> yes. >> when did you learn it was this uk variant? >> they told me the following wednesday. which was very scary, because i don't have, we don't have pretty much information about that. my first thought was, how, when, did he get that? where? and also how many others have that same variant that are unaware. >> yeah. look, i do want to be clear, because at this point experts, there's a lot they don't know about this. they haven't been able to confirm that this particular variant is more deadly than other strains. certainly a.j., you know, he did not respond well to this strain at all, and this caused him a cascading series of problems. what -- you know, do you feel --
did you feel throughout this process that you had any sort of clear idea, or that doctors had a clear idea, of what he was facing? >> no. like i said, when we first got there, it was -- heart failure, and then surgery and things like that, and to try to control that blood clot. here we got the covid strain and now with the lack of information, it was, we don't know. i don't think they knew everything they could. they tried to reach out to other hospitals that handled those cases but basically it didn't help them. >> you just lost your husband last night. how -- how have your daughters been holding up? they're pretty little. >> my oldest, she knows about death. you know. i lost my father back in 2018.
my mom -- when i told her, she asked to see her dad and video call her dad, it was very hard. i had to tell her. daddy became an angel just like granny and immediate hit the glor and just started crying. it was just so bad. >> no one can blame her for that. this is a tremendous loss. you -- i know that your husband was places on a ventilate but when you did have a chance to talk to him, you know, were you able to discuss anything about the future? what did you guys talk about? >> well, the last conversation i had with him was the day before they put, the same day they put the ventilator on him. earlier in the day, when he was able to form words, like you know, all i can think about is you. my kids, my mom. he was able to talk to a couple friends and family.
his sister, his dad, his mom. best friend. co-workers. real good friends. that was the last conversations with him, but once he got on the ventilator, all he could do was squeeze my hand with a yes or a no. >> he was so, so young, ashley. just 35 years old. i'm sure that -- you're just start ing to wrap your head around what all of this means. what do you want to know us about a.j.? can you tell us what you're going to miss the most. >> what i'm going to miss the most is the ultimate girl dad. like i said, i didn't have to do anything. they were his shadow. i could do whatever i wanted, shower, and now that he's gone, they've been right here and it's just, you miss him. and they don't understand why isn't daddy home?
or why didn't daddy get bet jer how come the nurses and doctors couldn't get him better? just being able to not see their daddy, probably the most difficult >> yeah. these are some beautiful moments just to see your kids with your husband. he was clearly a very special man, ashley. you know, i do want to mention because i know that i'm going to get a lot of inquiries from viewers that they are going to ask how they can help. i know you're going to touch their hearts. is there -- is there anything -- is there anything to be done? do you have a gofundme? >> yes, i do have a gofundme linked to my facebook page to help with our medical expenses because, like i said, my
insurance didn't kick in until monday and we've been in the hospital for over eight days and all we can worry about or think about was how am i going to pay for this, ashly. every time they scan a badge this is $200, $300 and main focus was getting him home and getting him better and we can figure out the rest. my friends and family urged me to do that to help pay the medical expenses. life still goes on so i didn't have that link -- i do have that link on my facebook page. >> ashley, thank you for having the strength to talk with us today and share with us about -- about your husband as you are, you know, trying to kind of walk through his legacy here with your girls.>> thank you. >> we'll be right back. (upbeat music)
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a texas woman accused of participating in the capitol riot is asking a court to let her leave the country. jenny cudd was charged with two misdemeanors, entering a restricted billing and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds for her actions on january 6th and her lawyer says she plans to plead not guilty but take a look at the facebook video that she posted that day. >> we didn't knock down any statues. were didn't vandalize anything, but we did, we did, as i say that, we did break down the nancy pelosi's office door and somebody stole her gavel and -- and took a picture sitting in the chair flipping off the
camera and that was on fox news. >> now cudd, who owns a flower shop on what she is calling a work-related bonding retreat in mexico. let's talk about this with cnn analyst and civil rights attorney areva martin. what the heck here, because i know people are looking at especially what she said on her facebook page and they said this is someone who invaded the capitol, you know, in a group of people trying to overthrow the government. the why are they being allowed out of jail and certainly why would a request like this perhaps be considered? >> you know, brianna, this is outrageous and anyone that believes in the rule of law should be appalled, not only by her comments, her post on facebook but her brazen attitude. she's laughing and chuckling and is saying we did knock down the door of nancy pelosi's office. this isn't someone that crashed their neighbor's party. this is someone that broke into the nation's capitol, breached
our capitol while the votes were being certified for our presidential election. the fact that these individuals like her, these insurrectionists are being charged with misdemeanors and being let out of jail and having the unmitigated gall to want to go on vacation is upsetting and i don't see why there are not more individuals being charged with things tied to insurrection, more serious charges that could, you know, lead to them being detained for longer periods of time and facing more serious consequences. we've got to end this entitlement mentality, the entitlement that allowed her to go into the capitol, post about it on facebook and now to ask a judge to allow her to go on vacation. that has to stop, and it needs to stop now. >> yeah. it is very bizarre, very tone deaf request. areva martin, thank you so much for being with us. right now a house rules committee is discussing whether to strip congresswoman marjorie
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here we go. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. right now we know that the house rules committee is currently discussing a motion to strip republican congresswoman marjorie taylor greene of her committee assignments. a vote is set for tomorrow. she's really a known qanon conspiracy and theorist and under fire for both endorsing violence against her democratic colleagues and chronically peddling conspiracy theories. there is a chance we could be hearing from this woman during this meeting this hour. obviously we've got our eyes on that, and we will bring it to you as soon as we see her. another critical