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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 25, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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my lungs need protection against flare-ups. so it's time to get real. because in the real world our lungs deserves the real protection of breztri. breztri gives you better breathing symptom improvement, and flare-up protection. it's the first and only copd medicine proven to reduce flare-ups by 52% breztri won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. it is not for asthma. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. don't take breztri more than prescribed. breztri may increase your risk of thrush, pneumonia, and osteoporosis. call your doctor if worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain occur. for real protection ask your doctor about breztri. good evening. chris cuomo is off tonight. we begin with breaking news. some of the nation's voter restrictions are now law, signed into law in georgia under
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protest and not without drama. >> like you're going to do something. >> are you serious? >> no, you are not. >> she's not under arrest. >> for what? under arrest for what? >> that is a democratic state lawmaker arrested outside the governor's office. the legislation is so draconian, it makes bringing a snack or even water to an elderly woman in a long waiting long a criminal act. the justification for that is essentially the big lie about the last election. a defeated former president's law affecting new legislation. in addition, there is the fear among his fellow republicans which he himself said out loud that without these new voting laws that. >> don't stand a chance. all cnn's dianne gallagher is in atlanta and joins us now. so what changes are in store for
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g's elections? >> anderson, this new law changes georgia's elections from top to bottom. but the part that you heard democrats and activists sort of zoning in on, the fact that many of the components of this might make it harder for some people to vote, specifically voters of color. some of them are requiring id for absentee voting, limiting drop boxes. you mentioned not being allowed to give food or drinks to people waiting in line. that's a misdemeanor now. but perhaps the component that is most concerning to the critics is the fact that it gives this broad power to state officials over local election management. so far, as to potentially be able to replace local election officials, which you know, partisan politics at play, when there are blue pockets like here in fulton county, and in other places across the state, and republicans control the house, the senate, and the governorship. >> the moment the arrest of that state representative, what more
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do we know about that? >> so we're still trying to learn quite a bit about what happened there. but i did speak with representative park canon, an atlanta democratic's attorney, gerald griggs. we have not been able to confirm this, but griggs tells me that she was arrested, that she's being charged with obstruction and he is working on getting her out of jail at this very moment. cnn has reached out to state police, and we have not received any sort of response. we have also reached out to the governor's office and not been able to get response. at this point, what happened was basically, representative canon was trying to get in, knocking on the door with other protesters. there were other representatives there, so the people could see the signing of sb-202 into law. she had been a very vocal critic of it, and what it would do to voting rights, she believed, and at that point, as he was signing, we kind of hear something on that live stream. it appears that is what this was.
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you can see in the video those officers sort of taking her and carrying her out of the capitol, and at this point, according to her attorney gerald griggs, she is still down at the jail. they're still going through paperwork, attempting to get her out, he says. >> dianne gallagher, appreciate it. thanks. we'll be joined shortly by texas congresswoman sheila jackson lee to talk about the voting rights bill which she helped pass in the house but is now stalled in the senate. right now, president biden's first solo press conference, which made a lot oaf news today, including on covid. >> on december 8th, i indicated that i hoped to get 100 million shots in people's arms in my first 100 days. we met that goal last week by day 58. 42 days ahead of schedule. now today, i'm setting a second goal, and that is we will by my 100th day in office have administered 200 million shots in people's arms. that's right, 200 million shots in 100 days.
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i know it's ambitious. twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close, not even close, to what we're doing. >> again, just one highlight for more on the rest, we're joined by cnn chief national affairs correspondent jeff zeleny. what other themes did the president try to hit and what did reporters press him on? >> anderson, president biden hit on voting rights, particularly about cases like georgia where we were just hearing from dianne there. the president really commenting for the first time, calling these un-american, calling them sick, calling them pernicious, really raising the question of why republican legislators across this country are trying to roll back voting laws. so he was very animated on that. he also talked about the border. and he rejected the notion that this surge of migrants is coming because he's a nice guy. he said that, look, there are a cyclical surges that happen during the obama administration, it happened during the trump
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administration, but he did talk again and again about his predecessor, saying his policies are different than the trump administration's, and he took aim at him for that. also, he talked about afghanistan. he said he's nearing a decision on whether to pull out u.s. troops. that was supposed to be a deadline by may 1st. he said it may not happen by then, but he said a year from now u.s. troops will not be there. and he also talked specifically about infrastructure, talking about how he wants to build this big plan to improve the economy. so he was a very forward-looking message there, and about politics, anderson. he said, look, he's tried to be bipartisan, but essentially he has the upper hand and invited republicans to come along but said he would not be slowed by gridlock or opposition. or obstruction. he is doing what the people elected him to do. and he cast bipartisanship in a bit of a different way today. >> so how does -- in terms of pushing an agenda through on something like infrastructure, so many of his allies in
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continue want to get something passed on voting rights, which we're obviously seeing play out tonight in georgia. >> right. >> an issue that's fiercely partisan up against the filibuster in the senate. >> look, he said successful presidents time issues out specifically. so he is moving forward with intention and with purpose on to this next infrastructure bill. it's build back better. he talked about it during his campaign. it's infrastructure, rebuilding airports and roads, and also physical infrastructure, but changing a lot of things about the education system here. so this is a big sweeping domestic policy that he's talking about. he says that can be done at the same time as everything else. but it was on the question of the filibuster specifically, should it be abolished, the reality is, and he acknowledged this without saying so directly, that he can't do it even if he wanted to. they do not simply have the votes to do it. so this is something that must come along as a process. when some big bills fail like gun control, perhaps, or voting rights, if they fail, that is an
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argument that he can use to sort of change the filibuster. so the filibuster, of course, is getting 60 votes on big pieces of legislation. he opened the door to getting rid of it. he said it's a relic from the jim crow era, but he was pretty blunt in the fact that he can't do anything about it specifically because there are a lot of democratic senators who don't agree with it. >> jeff zeleny, stay with us. i want to bring in senior political analyst, david gergen. also katherine lucy, white house report were "the wall street journal." david, i'm wondering what stood out to you from the press conference today. >> i thought it was extremely interesting press conference, anderson. and joe biden did the same thing here he's being doon with the vaccines. that is he undersold it going in and he overdelivered it coming out. i think that helped him a great deal. the bar was set low. a lot of people asking in a commentary, especially on the right, whether he still has the political mental sharpness to be president. does he have the mental acuity. i think he answered that question dramatically today.
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yes, he had some moments when he seemed to lose his train of thought, but he had a basic grasp of very complex issues. a dozen different issues which came up during all of this. which i think was encouraging. he's very relatable. i came away from this with, i know it sounds outlandish at this point, but i must tell you y think he has the potential to be one of our really good presidents. >> katherine, just in terms of tone, it was obviously much different than the former president. i mean, anybody would be. not only in style and how traditional the press conference was. did he meet expectations or what stood out to you? >> well, certainly, it was different than the former president, as you remember, anderson, and jeff remembers. we were in the room for many of those press conferences where former president trump fought with reporters or, you know, insulted them or questioned, tried to push their questions back on them. i was at that press conference around this time last year where he sort of mused about whether people could use bleach or
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disinfectants as a treatment for the coronavirus. so i think what we saw with this press conference today is what we have seen with the biden presidency throughout. which is that president biden has tried to set a different kind of tone. he has really tried to stay focused and sort of laser focused on his agenda. he spent the first part of this very focused on the covid aid bill. he has really tried to be disciplined in his public statements. and this today was a continuation of that. he was -- it was a somber tone. he opened with remarks about his vaccination goal on covid. he took questions from reporters in the room. he listened to the questions. he did not engage in any kind of back and forth with reporters in terms of insults or fighting. it was a very different kind of scene, and it was certainly a sort of return to norms for a white house press conference. >> jeff, the president said today, quote, i have not been able to unite congress, but i have united the country.
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certainly true the covid relief bill, for example, was popular, i think 61%, but how problematic is it for the president that the republicans on capitol hill are so intransigent, to say nothing of his fellow democrat joe manchin. >> no doubt president biden has the upper hand with the senate at this moment because democrats have a narrow majority, and one thing was clear throughout, that the president as he has been meeting with historians and others, he knows his time is pretty short. he talked about 2024, and said yes, it's his intention to run again, but he doesn't necessarily have that long. that is, you know, an undercurrent to everything he's trying to do. he knows that his majority could only run through the 2022 midterms. every president in modern history except george w. bush has lost seats in their midterm elections in their own party. we'll see if he's the same as that. he knows time is short. the bipartisan thing is interesting. we heard him throughout the caaign and the transition saying he's going to work with republicans, reach across the aisle. he's not gotten much response
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back. he's still having meetings with them. he is still opening the door to doing infrastructure with republicans, but making clear that he's not going to slow down if they do not want to join him. he's going to move on without them through reconciliation, and the budget process to get democrats on board. there are going to be some gymnastics here over the next several months about getting all the democrats onboard. but at the end of the day, president biden had an air of confidence about him today that you really only see by someone who -- it almost seemed like a second-term president, in my mind, someone who understands the office, the levers of power on both sides of pennsylvania avenue. and it's why he was elected, because of experience. so we'll see how it goes from here. >> yeah, david, when the president says he agrees with former president obama that filibuster is a relic of the jim crow era, does he now have to do more to get the senate to either reform it or do away with it together? clearly, that's not on his
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timeline. >> anderson, i think he made it clear today maintain the status quo with regard to the filibuster is unacceptable to him. he really wants to change something. i think he will break out of the filibuster if he doesn't. i don't think he's going to simply go whimpering home and move on to other things. i think he feels that the filibuster, resolution of filibuster holds the key to almost everything he wants to do. domestically. >> catherine, the president was asked repeatedly about the crisis on the border. he basically said he would allow full media access to federal facilities after his administration resolves the situation. that doesn't at all square with his pledge of transparency. >> well, yes, he said he would provide access. he did not provide a timeline on that. he also, though, he did really try to defend his response to the border. and he cast some blame on his predecessor. he said he's inherited this situation from former president trump. he said he's building back up the capacity that should have been maintained under trump. and basically said that this is going to take some time.
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>> david gergen, jeff zeleny, katherine lucy, thanks for joining us. next, reaction to the breaking news to the other voting restriction bills now in the works. and later, david gergen's assessment of president biden's potential. we'll talk with documentary filmmaker ken burns who chronicled the public lives of teddy and franklin roosevelt, this moment in history and the new president's place in it. not all plastic is the same. we're carefully designing our bottles to be one hundred percent recyclable, including the caps. they're collected and separated from other plastics, so they can be turned back into material that we use to make new bottles. that completes the circle, and reduces plastic waste. please help us get every bottle back.
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they may be signs of an allergic skin condition that needs treatment. don't wait. talk to your veterinarian and learn more at the breaking news tonight, georgia passing tough new voter restrictions is not unique, according to the brennan center for justice which tracks voting and voter access. lawmakers in 43 states are pushing these kinds of measures. joining us, sheila jackson lee, democrat of texas. what impact do you see this bill having on voters? >> i have walked across the edmund pettus bridge in alabama, famous bridge that john lewis walked across and was bloodied in 1965 with president clinton, president obama, and president
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george w. bush. it is sad what we have come to, simply because people voted. not just people of color in 2020, the masses of people voted. and many of them voted for, in my instance, the opponent, as they did for now president joe biden and kamala harris. we should applaud voting. this rage of voting suppression across america is not american. and the republican head of sissa and homeland security, which i'm a senior member, reported that there was minuscule or no voter fraud in the 2020 election. so my answer is, i am appalled and shocked at the rage of voting that even includes not being able to feed people who are standing on line. and harsh laws with voter i.d. and a variety of what i would call voter suppression.
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the question has to be, how is america flipped? no matter what party we're in, from voter empowerment, no matter what party votes, to now voter suppression and oppression. that's what i think the georgia law speaks to today. and how harsh the city and state of which martin luther king lived a good part of his life, the place where john robert lewis lived a good part of his life. and the civil rights movement was born and continued to have life in georgia. it's shameful. >> you know, the georgia law, i mean, they actually are saying the reason it's needed is because, you know, the electorate doesn't trust the system. is concerned. if, a, the electorate is wrong
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to be concerned because there is not widespread voter fraud and there hasn't been, but if they are concerned, it's largely because the former president was lying about it and they are believing the former president. he continues to lie about it. the fact legislation is being passed and proposed across the country, eve in your home state of taxexas debating a similar bill, legislation is being passed because of a lie and based on a lie and concern that's wholly been invented because of a lie is unbelievable. i mean it's not unbelievable, but it's ridiculous. >> it is a figment of their imagination, and it has turned into a lie. as i'm sitting here today, 200 people were blocked from speaking in texas with the same twin bills that are being used all over the nation by republicans, sadly, inaccurately, representing that
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because young people voted, disabled people voted, a multicultural people voted, that there was something wrong with this election. and all of the lawsuits that the past president, i'll say his name, president trump, filed, he barely won one small smidgen of an initiative with respect to i think poll observers in the state of pennsylvania. all of the courts that were not led by republican or democratic judges, they were head by federal judges that should be ruling on the law for what the law is, they threw his cases out. and the count officially done even though the insurrectionists anderson, tried to stop the count on january 6, i was there, it was ruled a legitimate election and that president joe biden and kamala harris were elected. we don't mind the idea of voting reform that enhances the right of the voter to be heard. we're now in the united states house of representatives writing
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a renewed voting rights act of 1965 that john robert lewis, john lewis, was bloodied on the selma bridge, the edmund pettus bridge for that, but to deny people the right to vote on lies where we have no facts is a sad commentary of the democracy of this nation. >> yeah. congresswoman sheila jackson lee, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you for having me. >> up next, the change in the white house we saw between these presidential news conference and the future that president biden hopes to secure. discussion about the presidency with documentary filmmaker ken burns when we continue. tots fo. ( doorbell ) thanks boo. ( piano glissando ) i think you better double them tots. no, this me was last year. i didn't get my madness last year, so we're doing double the madness this year. psst! psst! i didn't get my madness last year, allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily
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president biden's first news conference wasn't just an important moment for the white house that sets a reset after the previous four years. it comes as the country reaches an inflection point for a number of events that have dominated and will continue to dominate our life. coronavirus, gun control, our immigration, our relation with allies and the rest of the world, just to name a few. we wanted to get perspective from documentary filmmaker ken burns. ken, you see and hear where president biden is putting his focus, meeting with historian, championing the covid relief bill, balancing sweeping infrastructure changes. what does it tell you about how he sees the first few months of his presidency? >> well, i think he knew -- he knows as franklin roosevelt knew, that the first few days, few months are going to be
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critical to what happens. and what's so impressive is that he has inherited a franklin delano roosevelt. we talked a few months ago with urgency and it's only gotten worse with the border, with the shootings, with the republican opposition. and i think he's got the discipline of a classic politician in the roosevelt mold, but like roosevelt, he has the extra added dimension of empathy. both men suffered, you know, unspeakable loss. at 39 years old, fdr was stricken with infantile paralysis but was able to lift us up as he could not stand unaided. and so too we are all familiar with joe biden's losses. i think they sort of settle into cliche and we forget what a decent person he is, but also how disciplined. we're all certain that he would go off the rails on the press conference, and he didn't. >> the fact that republicans are trying to make it more difficult for people to vote, i mean, they say it's about security of the
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ballots. it's really based on the lie that the president told. it's a continuation of that lie. you know, that may not have been the fight that joe biden expected or wanted, but presidents don't really get to, you know, always determine how their administration is defined. he may want to focus on things like infrastructure and big picture economic populism, but he's facing, you know, this and all sorts of crises and controversies. >> that's exactly right. i remember john chancellor, who was the narrator of our baseball series back in the early '90s said if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans. and i think joe's been around enough in the senate enough, having suffered so much as a husband and father, that he knows that as my ancestor the poet robert burns said, the best laid plans of mice and men gain left. and i can only imagine what the direct translation of that old
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scottish is, really screw up. it puts him in a position to be more present. handy will have to deal with these things. he does have all of that going on. you do have the durability of the big lie. you do have a republican party unable to even listen to the polling of their own constituents about what they want. they're trapped. and joe understands that. i think he wants to give them room and to let them figure some stuff out before he starts pulling the nuclear option of the filibuster. >> even with the former president largely absent from public view, politics is as divisive as ever. >> it is, but i think there is, as people sometimes say, a kind of bad news bias. that is to say we focus on that stuff. >> that is definitely true. >> i think joe biden -- >> excuse me, i also think bad news resonates with all of us
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more strongly. >> exactly. >> if you are on twitter and get 100 nice messages and someone says one bad thing about you, that's the thing that you ruminate about all night. not that i'm speaking from experience. >> of course not. but that's exactly true. and i think what biden understands is the soul of us is essentially good. you know, you read the reports of the boulder shooting, and then if you dig deeper into long form news and things, you find out all the people who took shelter in other businesses and then those people protected them and then drove them home, complete strangers. he knows the country is knitted together by that on a day-to-day basis. he understands the inhalation and exhalation of us, and he knows as i feel in my bones there is only us and no them. it is true forces have been unleashed in the last several years which are the darkest aspects of us. they have been up before. they'll go down again. but he's somebody who has a steadier hand on the wheel, and he also has an attention span.
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he is not just thinking about this moment but for the moments to come. and that's hugely important if it's just reactive, nothing actually happens. it just is the next cycle of stuff. so you get the lie with impunity and then lie again, and then lie that you even lied, and joe isn't like that. >> he's been shaped and whittled by loss. you talk about us and them. i think it was james baldwin talked about when you see someone else see yourself. >> that's right. >> you're looking at yourself, and if you do it that way, you could be anybody and you're capable of anything. >> you know, this is it, franklin roosevelt was born a patrician. joe biden is a blue collar guy from scranton, pennsylvania. he spends the rest of his life in delaware. but they had that ability to understand how the mechanics of daily life work for people. >> ken burns, thank you, as always. >> thank you.
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up next, breaking news. deadly tornado touching down in alabama. many still remain in danger in the south. live update on the storm threats ahead. will there be justice for the families in the ten murdered in the colorado massacre? why the suspect's next hearing could be delayed for quite a while. rapid grass. rapid grass is a revolutionary mix of seed and fertilizer that will change the way you grow grass. it grows two times faster than seed alone for full, green grass in just weeks. after growing grass this fast, everything else just seems... slow. it's lawn season. let's get to the yard. download the scotts my lawn app today for your personalized lawn plan. when we found out our son had autism, his future became my focus. lavender baths calmed him. so we made a plan to turn bath time into a business. ♪ ♪ find a northwestern mutual advisor at
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- [narrator] grubhub perks give you deals on all the food that makes you boogie. ♪ ♪ (upbeat music) get the food you love with perks from- - [crowd] grubhub. as we continue to return to classrooms... parents like me want to make sure we're doing it safely. especially in the underserved communities hardest hit by covid. trust me, no one wants to get back to classroom learning more than teachers like me.
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using common sense safety measures like masks, physical distancing, and proper ventilation. safety is why we're prioritizing vaccinations for educators. because working with our local communities... we will all get through this together, safely. there's breaking news this hour. at least five deaths reported after a tornado touches down in
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alabama. search and rescue efforts are under way tonight. we're getting an up close look at the destruction. here it is. >> [ bleep ]. >> oh, no. [ bleep ] [ bleep ]. >> oh [ bleep ]. >> look. oh, my god. what. >> a carpenter and his boss in a vehicle captured the footage. thankfully, they made it out okay. we want to get the latest from derek van dam live in birmingham, alabama. so what are you seeing, derek? >> yeah, good evening, anderson. this was a very heartbreaking scene for my crew and i to approach this evening, as we came to the columbiana region southeast of birmingham. the same footage you saw a
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moment ago was part of the tornado that tore the house you see behind me completely off of its foundation, ripped it 100 feet from where it was originally located, and deposited it in shambles behind me. now, what you're seeing is a rescue operation from the individuals that live in this community. this is an animal rescue center, where we're located. they house over 50 horses, 50 stallions, in fact. several dozen goats as well as sheep. these animals all need to be rescued. there's no more fences. all of the trees have been obliterated around the area, including homes that you see behind me. so there's a massive effort to try to save the animals from this particular rescue center as well. the two individuals that lived here, two elderly people, they have been transported with unknown injuries to a local veterans hospital. we're waiting to hear how they are doing, but just coming up across this scene, we heard a lot of confusion, babies crying in the distance, and animals crying for help as well.
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kind of tugging at my heart strings as a father. i know, anderson, you are as well. so hearing those noises in a destruction zone like this is tough to hear. but this is the scene on the ground, southeast of birmingham, alabama. reporting live. back to you. >> in areas like shelby county where there has been severe damage already, are communities preparing for potentially more bad weather as this moves through the state? >> you know, we are still in shelby county where i'm located now. and earlier, the temperature dropped while we were doing live shots for other shows. and it actually got cold. and i was convinced as a meteorologist, my training and my background told me the severe weather threat was done, but now, the humidity has increased. the temperature has increased. and this is a tall tale sign that the atmosphere is becoming more unstable. severe weather is still a possibility here. a possibility. we're still in that high risk of severe weather, 5 out of 5
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threat from a storm prediction center until later this evening. a lot of the severe storms have moved into northern georgia, including the atlanta metro region, but here in alabama, there's still a few cells that could produce tornadoes tonight. >> wow. those drone shots really see some of the damage there. derek van dam, appreciate it. now to the tragedy in boulder. the suspect in the grocery store mass shooting will remain in jail without bail after appearing in court for the first time. defense attorneys are asking for more time to assess the state of her client's mental health before the next hearing is set. a short while ago, i spoke with the daughter and wife of kevin mahoney, one of the ten people killed at king soopers on monday. >> one thing that makes this harder is being pregnant, but at the same time, it also gives you strength because this is such devastating news. and it's so hurtful, but you
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know, my dad would just want me to be, you know, the mom i will be. and to carry on. and so we're going to do that for him. >> thank you to everyone who has shown love and support. it means so much to me and to our family. >> we do live now to national correspondent kyung lah who is standing by in boulder. so what happened in court today? >> well, it's the first time that those families and this community got to see this gunman as a defendant. he was -- the charges were read in court. there are ten murder charges for the ten lives who were tragically cut short here. there's also an 11th charge, an attempted murder charge for the suspect shooting at a police officer, not striking that police officer, so an attempted murder charge. the prosecutors say that the collection of evidence is continuing here at the grocery store, and they anticipate that
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when that's done, they will be looking at additional charges, and that they anticipate in the next couple weeks. and anderson, you did mention the public defender. the public defender had argued for a little more time before the next hearing. the judge granted them that the hearing would be between 60 and 90 days. the public defender saying, quote, they wanted to assess the nature or depth of his mental illness. the defendant here did not enter a plea, anderson. >> the boulder police department released new information on how the alleged gunman was taken into custody. what did we learn? >> yeah, i was really struck by this. the boulder police department tweeted this photo, and this is a photo of officer talley's handcuffs. as they transported the suspect who was in the hospital for a through and through thigh wound, we don't have details on how and why, but as he was transported from the hospital to the jail, the boulder police department
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used the fallen officer's handcuffs and then told the suspect we are using the fallen officer's handcuffs. and they tweeted that it was a distinct honor to use them. that it was, quote, a small gesture to help start the healing process. anderson? >> kyung lah, appreciate you being there. thank you. >> president biden today talked a lot about jobs that he hopes to create with an infrastructure package if it gets passed. one move early in his presidency caused jobs when he revoked permits for the keystone pipeline. we asked martin savidge to tell the people's stories in the towns most affected. his report is next. a landscaper. a hunter. because you didn't settle for ordinary. same goes for your equipment. versatile, powerful, durable kubota equipment.
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president biden told reporters he is on the verge of announcing a massive infrastructure plan that according to some estimates could cost in the range of there $3 trillion. jobs the president says will be the key. >> if you think about it, it's the place where we will be able to significantly increase american productivity. at the same time providing really good jobs for people.
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but we can't build back to what they used to be. >> we have to build -- the environment is already -- global warming has already done significant damage. >> those concerns about the environment were the main reason behind one of his first decisions as president to cancel the permits for the planned keystone pipeline which was to carry oil from the tar sands of canada to the united states. but the canadian company behind the pipeline said thousands of jobs would be lost. here in the united states, the ripple effects were almost felt almost instantly, especially in south dakota. that's where martin savidge went to examine the aftermath. >> i'm going to sign it while you're all here. >> reporter: when president biden revoked the construction permit of the keystone lx pipeline, environmentalists celebrated. 1500 miles from washington, in south dakota, jerk burkland had a different reaction. how did you feel? >> like i got kicked in the
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stomach. honestly, i didn't feel good at all. >> he's the ceo of a tiny electric cooperative, with a big opportunity, providing electric to the substations. >> each one would generate how much financially for you? >> roughly half a million a month. >> reporter: this for a company that has only seen 99 new customers in 30 years. the profits would have all gone back to the co-op's 3700 members. >> roughly our members on average would have received about a $325 credit annually. that would be theirs. >> reporter: additionally, he says tens of thousands of tax dollars would have trickled down to the local school district and its 190 students, but all that vanished with the stroke of a presidential pen. in phillip, south dakota, population 779, tricia burns and her husband had just invested their own money, expanding ignite, a fitness center, hoping to make a little extra from the pipeline workers coming to town. >> so the old saying, you have to make hay when the sun shines. we felt like the sun was going to be shining and we needed to take advantage.
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>> she watched biden's inauguration on television. >> and then, the executive orders starting coming in. and, um, when he signed the bill to pull the permit, it was a tough, tough moment here at ignite. >> by midnight, she says, 45 members had called to cancel by midnight, she says, 45 members had called to cancel memberships. >> in the big city, that doesn't matter. here, that's over half our memberships. here, that's over $3,000 in reoccurring, monthly income. that matters. >> reporter: tc energy, the pipeline owner, contributed money towards a new fire truck, new sidewalks, even local sports. construction crews spent money at local stores. biden's opposition to the project wasn't a surprise. how fast everything stopped was. >> everything had been sign, sealed, delivered, and that was all taken away, in an instant.
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>> tc energy estimates nearly a thousand employees have been laid off. >> there is all this money invested into this and all these jobs, that people are basically promised. and then, the president can just sign an executive order and shut it all down? you know? >> reporter: no one we talked to seems to know what comes next. tc energy hasn't replied to our request for comment, but has said it was disappointed by president biden's decision. environmentalists had argued the pipeline and the oil would have added to climate change, and feared damage to water and wildlife when the pipeline went through. but stopping the pipeline has problems of its own. like, what happens to the land that was already bought? another concern, what do you do with all this stuff? pipeline assets are spread across hundreds of miles. much of it, now just stranded. pumping stations, construction camps, and piles of pipe sit
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vacant. many here saw the pipeline as a chance to do better. now, its remnants litter the landscape. haunting reminders of what might have been. >> joins us now from south dakota, is there any hope among the people you spoke to that this project could be revived? or i mean, what are they -- what are they hoping's going to happen? >> yeah. it depends who you talk to, anderson. some people actually are holding out hope about a fraul ederal lt that's now been filed on behalf of 21 republican states. it's alleging biden didn't have the authority to cancel the permit, as he did. court cases take a long time. other people are actually hoping president biden has a change of heart. they would love to be able to plead their case. and then, there are those who are hoping for a change of politics. maybe, midterm elections, a change of power leadership in both the house and senate, more favorable to the pipeline. some even hold out to 2024. and maybe a change of administration. anderson. >> martin savidge, appreciate
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it. still to come, in an exclusive interview, response from china's ambassador to the u.s. in response to a story we aired last night about uyghur children in china separated from their parents. david culver, who brought us that report, will join us, when we continue.
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in an exclusive interview with cnn today, china's ambassador to the u.s. sporespod to this network's reporting on uyghur children separated from their family. last night, we aired an in-depth report on the search for some of those children. a maheartbreaking look at paren who haven't seen their children in years. david culver joins us now, from beijing. david, i'm wondering what the ra reaction has been, in china, to your report? >> we expected them to be unhappy with how this went out and how it's being portrayed. and that certainly has been the case so far, anderson. and i want to play a little bit of sound from the chinese ambassador to the u.s. he spoke with christiane amanpour just a few hours ago, and she played for him a portion of our report. asking for his comment. here is their exchange. take a listen. >> so, ambassador, it turned
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out, later, that the children were interrogated in this orphanage, for hours, about a conversation that they had had with our reporter. what is your reaction? and i guess, why not let these children go? why detain children in an orphanage? what can be the political reason for stopping them, leaving the country, and sending them back to xinjiang from -- from shanghai? >> there has been so much fabrication, so far. so i cannot just trust -- >> you know that's not fabricated, ambassador, right? you know that's not fabricated. >> i think it's very unfortunate. it's immoral to take advantage of any particular situation and manipulate. this is not true journalism. it's very unfortunate for cnn. >> the two words, anderson, that stand out to me from that interview in response from the
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chinese ambassador, immoral. and that he goes on to say that this is not true journalism. that it's unfortunate. well, i think a lot of folks would apply the same adjectives to what's happening to these kids. >> yeah. i mean, it's -- it's attacking report. i mean, it's a classic move. it's the most obvious thing. it's what oppressive regimes do all the time. they attack reporters for telling the truth. that's -- i mean, that's -- that's how the governments respond. what about regular people? what kind of response have you gotten? >> yeah, you're right. they are calling this fake news and that's what's been put out there over and over. it's interesting because every day folks here for the past year plus that this has really started to surface even though it's been going on for several years, really. they have kind of bought into the narrative and it's been overshadowed a great deal, for good reason, because of the pandemic. no n however, despite all the reporting from the chinese side,
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is you look at a very simple story. at the core, you have got parents separated from their kids. they want to be together, and it's really tough to discredit the authenticity of innocence. and that is a child who breaks down, very genuinely, in front of us to say they want to be with their mom and dad. it is really tough to push back against that, anderson. >> yeah. david culver, really remarkable work. thank you for you and your team. the news continues. want to hand things over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." this is "cnn tonight." i am don lemon. thank you so much for joining, and i just want you to, whatever you're doing, i know, sometimes, you sit at home and you watch this. and you may be falling half asleep in the bathroom, taking off your makeup. with the kids. but i want to make sure that you are in front of the television right now because what i am act to show you and tell you, very important. very important for the country. because what you are about to see, right now, is the face of