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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  April 30, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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graets writes gaetz paid for sex with multiple women including a minor, 17 years old at the time. we should note cnn has not seen the letter and cannot verify the details. a spokesperson for gaetz is denying those allegations and joe greenberg's attorney declined to comment. gaetz is at the center of a known justice department investigation over allegations involving both sex trafficking and prostitution. we will have much more on that in a moment. rudy guiliani speaking out. he is denying wrongdoing after federal agents executed search warrants on his manhattan residence and office, this as the "washington post" has learned the fbi directly warned guiliani he was the target of a russian influence operation, disinformation. cnn is following the latest on
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congressman matt gaetz and joel greenberg. walk us through what this letter pro-ports to show. >> good morning. joel greenberg wrote a letter that he and gaetz paid for sex including a minor just 17 at the time. and that he asked roger stone, a friend of president trump, to help obtain a pardon in the final months of the trump administration. in a letter obtained by the daily beast. greenberg claims they thought one woman was 19 years old but actually under-age. greenberg says when he learned of this he called the congressman and warned him to steer clear. cnn has not seen the letter and can't verify the details. we have spoken to several women involved with these men and warned greenberg paid on behalf of gaetz after some as well matters. chris cuomo spoke to roger stone last night. stone says he doesn't recall any
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letter and never heard greenberg implicate gaetz and never tried to get greenberg a pardon and stone said he never asked for received any money from greenberg. >> tell us at ga-- about the response? >> he said he never had sex with a 17-year-old as an adult. evidence for the wild and false claims about representative gaetz. in fact, it goes in some way to show gaetz was long out of touch with mr. greenberg and has no interest in involving himself in mr. greenberg's affairs. but a reminder, greenberg is currently in jail. he's facing 33 federal charges including sex trafficking and sources tell cnn greenberg has been cooperating with federal investigators since last year and has shared with them information about encounters he and the congressman had with women who were given cash and gifts in exchange for sex. mr. greenberg is expected to finalize a plea deal with in the coming weeks.
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>> paula, thanks very much. former personal attorney rudy guiliani is speaking out after federal agents raided both his manhattan home and office. the "washington post" responding the fbi directly warned him he is the target of a russian influence operation. kara is following this. first, what is guiliani's response to this search? it's difficult for judges to approve warrants like this one. they need some sort of evidence or potential for evidence. what's guiliani's response? >> reporter: good morning, jim. rudy guilliani gave his first interview since the search warrant on the apartment just behind me occurred on wednesday morning. this investigation has been going on for two years. prosecutors are investigating guiliani's efforts in ukraine including his push to remove the u.s. ambassador to ukraine. she is someone people have been
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critical of in ukraine including ukrainian government officials because of her strong anti-corruption stance. prosecutors here are examining whether guiliani was acting on behalf of his then client then president trump or ukrainian officials. d dwl -- guiliani denying he ever worked for ukrainian officials. >> i never ever represented a foreign national. the search warrant is purportedly based on one single failure to file for representing a ukrainian national or official that i never represented. >> reporter: now, guiliani also is teeing up the possibility for a long fight over the electronic dev devices seized. he told fox he believes his constitutional rights were violated because they obtained
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his i-cloud account in impeachment events. >> a broader part of this store, the "washington post" reporting the fbi warned guiliani personally russia was attempting to meddle in the 2020 presidential election. through him, in effect, and yet as we know, he went on to meet with a ukrainian known to be tied to russian intelligence. what details are you learning and is there legal exposure here? >> reporter: jim, you're right. the "washington post" reporting last night, rudy guilliani was warned by the fbi counter intelligence agents in 2019 he could be part in receiving information from a russian disinformation campaign. that debriefing came in 2019. after that briefing guiliani continued to travel to ukraine and meet with a number of officials he was warned about. this is not part of the current criminal investigation. it is something that the intelligence community flagged recently in a recent briefing
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where they outlined a number of efforts by the russians to push for disinformation about joe biden during the 2020 election. at this point, it is not part of this investigation. there is no evidence guiliani was working and part of the conspiracy, something we had seen in some other investigations. jim. >> understood. in new york, thanks very much. let's speak to former ferrell prosecutor, jennifer rogers. to understand all of this. always good to have you. i want to begin with the "washington post" reporting, just in terms of the fbi giving guiliani warning in 2019. listen, russians will interfere again and they will try to use you. after that, guiliani still goes ahead and meets with the ukrainian quote-unquote politician and accepts a bunch of disinformation targeting biden. is there potential legal exposure for that? >> jim, in theory, there could be. the reason intelligence officers
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warned targets like guiliani to change their behavior, to get guiliani to stop meeting with these people, report to u.s. intelligence agencies, if he does so, to work on the intel side. it puts guiliani on notice. if in fact they propose something to guiliani that guiliani understands is proposing criminal conspiracy criminal agreement, in theory, if he joins that conspiracy he could be liable. >> i understand. let's talk to the subject of a current ongoing investigation they've now searched his apartment and his office for. it appears the focus here based on guiliani's own description what was in the warrant this is based on a violation of an act where if you're working for a foreign national for folks at home that don't understand, lobbying, et cetera, you have to report that. it seems he did not report that. based on what you're looking at here, does that appear to be the scope of this investigation?
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the real focus? >> that's what we're hearing. that's what guiliani's lawyer also said and some reporting said. there are other potential crimes for guiliani including bribery, around the ukrainian scandal. it does seem like the farah violation is what they're looking at serving two bosses, there at the president's behalf to get rid of the ambassador and working for the ukrainians who had the same goal in mind. >> youshe was someone who stood to trump as someone trying to withhold aid to ukraine to force them to investigate biden running up to the election. there are many layers folks have to understand. guiliani goes on television last night, a friendly network, and says the warrant was illegal because to get a warrant like this you would have to have evidence he might destroy the evidence, e-mails, et cetera.
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he says, i had them for two years, didn't destroy them. what do you think of that argument he's making? >> i think it's been a long time since rudy guilliani has actually practiced law if you're trying to forget his entree into the courtroom this fall about this past election. he doesn't know the legal standards or he's misrepresenting them. you don't have to show him nent destruction of evidence. all you have to show is what you're seeking contains evidence of a crime. they do that by showing the court what their probable cause is. to the fact they obtained other information from third party service providers and e-mail providers they would have used that to demonstrate to the court there were likely other device this is a were seeking from rudy guilliani. >> one more investigation, this involving possibly republican congressman, involves matt
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gaetz. we now have this daily beast with this letter that he is cooperating with federal investigators, that gaetz paid for sex with women including a minor 17 at the time. how troublesome is that development, if it proves to be true, for gaetz? >> this all falls under the category of guiliani, if you're under criminal investigation or certainly facing criminal charges as joel greenberg was at that time, do not speak or write except through your lawyer. matt gaetz -- this letter cannot come in as evidence against matt gaetz at least until and unless in certain circumstances joel greenberg actually testifies against him but it can be used against joel greenberg. even if he was trying to get himself a pardon, you don't have to phrase it that way, you can
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say, i want to be pardoned for everything alleged in my diameter and other investigations. there's no reason to write out this confession. by the way, the notion he was trying to buy a pardon is yet another potential defense i don't know whether or not federal authorities he's now allegedly cooperating with knew about. this could come back to bite matt gaetz if in fact joel greenberg does end up taking the stand against him. >> to your point in case folks at home aren't aware he wrote this letter trying to get a pardon from the president. the detail by mentioning gaetz, was that part of the sales pitch by saying, hey, mr. president, your pal here is involved, you better come to my aid. is that how you read that? >> it's a very interesting part of the reporting because the reporting also said gaetz declined to support the pardon. apparently greenberg got close to getting it and the white house counsel took him off the list. you wonder whether in fact gaetz
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by not taking part in the pardon ended up hurting himself in the end. >> interesting. jennifer, lots to throw your way, thanks so much. >> still to come this hour, president biden speaking out this morning about his big plans for the country and big price tag. do any republicans get on board? does he have all democrats lined up. news from moderna, a vaccine for teenagers lined up this summer and what it means for opening up schools this fall. we spoke to former supporters of president trump who don't accept proven science of all evacueeses but go along with debunked election conspiracies, happening in 2021. trust me, it will alarm you.
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president biden certainly has a big legislative vision for the country but that big vision carries a big price tag. so far his plans total cost would be $6 trillion. that's a thousand billion for each of those trillions. soon, he leaves the white house again to take his sales pitch directly to the american people. today's stop, philadelphia. jeremy diamond is at the white house. more americans support means more leverage with congress and negotiating. it strikes me not only do you have a unified republican front againsts the plans but folks
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like joe manchin and other democrats getting sticker shot. >> reporter: yes, joe manchin and jeanne shaheen having sticker stock in the wake of that speech you talked about. as president biden heads to philadelphia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of amtrak he will be looking to tout this infrastructure plan and try to build on the public support the white house believes they already have from much of the public on this. the president making the case this morning, these are the kinds of thing only government can do. listen to him this morning in an interview with nbc. >> i don't have any inordinate faith in government. there's certain things only the government can do. we rank number 8 in terms of infrastructure. and building billions of dollars of highways, airports, bridges, will they do that? these are things only the
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government can really do. >> as for sticker shock, the president also responded in that interview, talked about the fact, listen, even though republicans and even some democrats are saying this economy rebounding back to life undermine his case for trillions of dollars in spending the president argues it is the investment from the corona relief bill is responsible for that economy coming back to life and if we want to it continue we need to continue investing. he sees an opportunity for the economy to rebound and come back better and stronger than ever before. we will see the president make that case today. most of this happens in congress and negotiations between republicans and democrats to continue weeks if not months. >> jeremy diamond, thanks very much. with me to talk about president biden's push for bipartisanship, if that still exists is a man who knows how to
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compromise on republican hill, charlie danielle, good to have you back this morning. >> good to be with you. >> you're not alone with this, biden is overestimating his mandate. dent. when you look at the expanse of these plans these are popular, people like getting stimulus checks. people like childcare benefits and child tax cuts, that kind of thing. how do you square those two? >> i think the president needs to move in a more incremental nature on some of these plans. many of these things he's advocating are popular. this sticker shock is real not just for republicans, as you pointed out in the previous segment. it's imperative he enter into a bipartisan agreement. capital is key. he should enter into a deal smaller than $2 trillion paid
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for by user fees. the best thing to help democrats in the mid-terms coming up is bipartisan. it's hard to republicans to savage the democrats on policies many of their own members would have voted for. biden has to become much more incremental. this election we just went through, people voted for joe biden and went for a check of republicans down ballot. you have to keep that in mind. biden's tone was moderate the other night but his program not so moderate. >> let me play devil's advocate. you know republicans incentives as i do, in most districts, republicans not only not get a benefit not working nicely with democrats, they get punished if they do. mcconnell said, i will make this guy a one time president. is there genuine public interest in effect helping the biden allegation here.
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even if you compromise and get a bipartisan deal they're voting a joe biden opportunity. is there actual republican interest in compromise? >> you're absolutely right the political incentives make members of both parties tack hard to their base in seeking consensus and compromise. there are voices there. the problem solvers caucus is working right now on an infrastructure plan like they did last year on covid relief that became the foundation for ultimate agreement. they need to do the same thing now. there are people who want to do infrastructure on both sides. they should let the centers, the manchins, fitzpatricks and others, let them negotiate a deal. the leaders should embrace it. the leaders are also very afraid of their own bases in many respects. they get a lot of pressure from their caucuses and the senate has to really drive this thing.
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if they do, i think we could see some results. >> chuck schumer, he has his own challenge within his party in 2022. he has to be conscious of the base as he's making these deals. we will see. it may be a necessity for biden because he may not have the democratic caucus in line and may have to reduce. i want to ask you about mike pence. we heard from him for the first time in a while sense according to the president's own aides, the president ignored him january 6th. he was upset and there with his daughter when that happened. the president didn't seem to care. from his speech we had him touting the trump-penn administration. in 48 months they achieved the lowest unemployment and highest household income and most energy production and most pro american trade. we fact checked several of those because frankly not all of them are true. he's basically tying himself to
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trump. do you respect that? >> i really don't. i think mike pence learned the hard way donald trump loyalty is a one way street. mike pence couldn't have been more loyal, to have the president turn on him and sic a mob on him and trying to hang him. to still turn around and try to ingratiate yourself to the president i don't think it was very helpful to mike pence, a good man i searched with and trying to attach theirselves to a twice impeached seriously flawed individual i believe will become a diminishing figure in a general election i think is a real political error. >> charlie dent, always good to get your experience from the hill. >> thanks. parents if you're wondering when your children can get a coronavirus vaccine coming soon.
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this morning, some good news again on the covid pandemic, promising new data from johns hopkins university which tracks this shows the weekly average for covid-19 deaths in the u.s. has hit an all time low for 2021. the 7-day average is around 680 deaths per day. that is due in part to the effect of vaccinations, mass vaccinations around the country. joining us now senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen. when is the timeline for when teens might be authorized to get
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the vaccine? >> this is a timeline i am following closely as the mother of a 14-year-old, i want to know when she can get her vaccination. those trials are under way and far along and have actually applied for permission for their vaccine to be used on children ages 12-15. that could happen very very soon. one off the reasons it could happen quickly because the fda told cnn we don't need a secondary external review by a panel of outside experts. that's what they did when authorized in december for 16 and up. for 12-15 we don't need a separate review and will make things go faster. moderna said they expect their vaccine to be authorized in the summer. for under 12, for that group of children that will take longer and will need an external review. moderna said they don't expect that authorization to happen the end of this year or beginning of
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next. >> it's already approved for 16 and up. elizabeth cohen, good news. a lot of parents are eager. while there is good news in the u.s., the pandemic is far from over especially as it wreaks havoc especially in india. that country reports 386,000 new infections in a single day today. that is another record. you can see it jumping there and they reported nearly 3500 deaths on thursday. chief cnn senior correspondent clarissa ward is in new delhi today. you have been seeing horrific things there, people struggling to breathe. tell us about the scene and the scale of this. >> reporter: we are standing in a very long line, people waiting for oxygen. it goes all the way around the block over there and all the way up this way. if you walk with me, let me tell you, some of the people have
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been waiting in this line since 5:00 this morning and since late last night. they still haven't managed to get to the end of the line because it isn't moving and trying to get oxygen for loved ones and people collecting it for their grandparents and people who can't get into the hospitals who don't have the luxury of affording a private hospital. they come here everyday and they wait in this long line, in this chaos, for their opportunity to get life-saving oxygen. a lot of them are telling us the same thing, jim, which is that they're frustrated. they're frustrated with the government. they feel a profound sense of despair. how long can this keep going? as far as we know from scientists, the peak of this wave could still be two or three weeks away. how long can these people come out here day in day out and stand in the baking heat just to help their loved ones breathe,
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jim. >> is the government accepting responsibility for having flowt a lot of the medical guidance on this until 2 weeks ago? are they accepting responsibility for that? flouting. >> reporter: today, we did hear from a government spokesperson who said, listen, yes, we are the ruling party and the government and we bear responsibility. that doesn't give people here a lot of satisfaction to hear that because it doesn't change anything on the ground and doesn't mean more hospital beds immediately. the government announced a big program called operation express operation putting liquid oxygen on india's railways to try to deploy it where it's most need aid cross the country. from what we're seeing on the ground, that's not having an impact yet. as i said before with this
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crisis getting worse and worse, talking 8 out of the last 9 days, new record set, that is not going to be any comfort to people here. they want to see meaningful results and a real sense this problem is being dealt with. >> and end to the suffering, so clear right behind you, clarissa ward in new delhi, thanks very much. florida is now the latest of numerous gop led states that are ready to implement new voting restrictions, make it harder to vote. all that's needed is a signature now from the governor to make it official.
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it harder to vote there. the republican-led state legislature, that's been consistent, the republican led state legislature doing this around the country pushed the bill after a purely party line vote after a contentious amendment. at the florida state capitol, you know the details of this. can you describe how this new law puts up new barriers to voting? >> reporter: it's important governor ron desantis was asked late last night if he was going to sign this. he said of course. it's interesting because he mentioned voter, like fixing voting laws in florida as a priority. he also during his state of the state address florida had the most transparent and efficient election in the nation in 2020. as far as what's in this bill, what it does is it adds new identification requirements for
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voting by mail. it limits who can return a completed mail-in ballot. it used to be every two years, expands partisan observation power during the ballot tabulation process. it also creates additional restrictions on dropboxes. perhaps where it most sets limitations for voters is those dropboxes. instead of being available 24/7 you drop them off like a few months ago, they can only be used during early voting hours unless they're at a supervisor's office. regardless, it can only be used if it is staff in person and election worker. there's no money included in this for election offices to handle that staffing. the debate was very emotional, leading up to this over the past couple of days. take a listen. >> >> we found zero cases of voter fraud. so what's the problem we're
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trying to fix? here's the problem. florida democrats cast 600,000 more vote by mail ballots in florida. i take some issue with the fact that we're trying to somehow restrict the vote. there are more ways to vote in florida and a longer opportunity than just about any state in the nation. you all know that. >> reporter: now, of course, this bill actually was a lot more restrictive in the original language since watered down. there will be impact if this is signed and see florida likely join the ranks of florida, montana and georgia in signing these restrictions into law this year. >> in florida, thanks very much. joining me now to discuss the restriction issues, mr. brown was democrat from the state and congressional black caucus.
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congressman, thanks so much for taking the time this morning. >> good morning, jim. thanks for having me on. >> you know well there's science behind these voting restrictions, political science. there are particular kinds of voting looked at and judgments made about what kind of voting advantages one party versus another party and there's a history of both parties doing this. tell me what specifically, not just in the florida law but other laws you've seen, is designed in your view, to reduce the number of democrats? what do you find most impactful? is it dropboxes? is it bailin voting. >> first of all, jim, let me say mail in voting. >> it's less about restricting democratic voters or republican voters, that it restricts american voters, all voters, although it does have a disparate impact i believe on democratic voters. >> does the data show that? does the data show by
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restricting box offices, mail-in, that it will impact democratic voters more? >> what we know is when you limit access to the ballot, you reduce the number of hours, the voting locations, the ease at which you can register, that that has a disparate impact in totality. to be able to point to one specific provision may be difficult but we know when you limit access to the ballot, to registration it has the effect of impacting brown and black communities, senior citizens and even first time voters. when you discourage or make it more difficult to vote it has proven to be more impactful on those communities. we should be looking at ways to expand access to the ballot. we saw last year in the pandemic, states across the country, mail-in ballot on demand, expanded early voting locations, drive-through voting, same day registration and we saw record turnouts at ballots -- at
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precincts across the country. that's the direction we should be moving. >> okay. senator tim scott, republican senator, like you, african-american, he has said it is absurd, that's the word he used, to compare these voting laws to jim crow as the president and other democrats have done. is tim scott wrong? >> whether you want to use the label, "jim crow" or not, what we are seeing in florida, georgia, iowa and montana, an effort, concerted effort by state legislatures and in some cases governors to limit access to the ballot. that certainly was a feature of jim crow laws. there is certainly a comparison to be made. this is 2021. we should be finding ways people can reg secure on the same day and vote from home by dropping a ballot in the mail and be able to drive-through and vote. we should not be looking at ways to limit. that's why i think it's
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important in the house we do pass the john luis voting lewis act coming up in a few days. >> i wanted to address that. you don't have any support for this, zero and unified opposition and you have democrats, joe manchin opposing busting the filibuster to get this passed with democratic votes. in light of those two things, are these voting bills as a matter of fact in practicality dead? >> no. we just have to work a lot harder. in 2006, president george w. bush signed the reauthorization of the voting rights act with support of republicans and house and the senate. it can be done. republicans understand the value of the right to vote. we are in a very partisan. on capitol hill. we have to breakthrough that. i want to encourage senators who
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want to cling to the filibuster to consider at least a narrow interception for vote rights and civil rights legislation. we can't let the filibuster successfully block civil rights legislation in the 1960s, to do the same thing today. >> that's right. it was a powerful weapon during that time period. given your position on the infrastructure committee we hear a lot about bipartisan. and what the president and republicans have publicly offered are so wide apart at this point. do you see room for compromise here? there are democrats who said, listen, maybe we could parcel out the hard infrastructure, roads, bridges, broadband for the larger picture here? is there room for compromise and will it happen? >> i think there's room for compromise and it will happen. i point out to the fact president trump proposed a 1$1. trillion infrastructure package.
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he didn't have the will to see that through and identify resources to fund that package. it does demonstrate republicans are willing do go higher than the amount they're proposing and go closer to the 2.2 trillion president biden is proposing. it's about creating jobs. whether you want to consider it an expansive infrastructure or not, i think we can all agree we need to create jobs in this country, invest in innovation and invest in the workforce. that's what the american jobs plan does. >> congressman anthony brown, always welcome on the program. >> thanks, jim. the era of disinformation is alive and well in this country, not just coming from outside. supporters of former president trump fueling everything from false claims about vaccinations to those continuing election conspiracy lives.
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for five months after donald trump lost the 2020 election, he did by the way, president joe biden, the former president and many of the supporters, while still pushing the big lie that election was stolen, is fixated on republican led private audit in the county. you know the persistence of the big lie is just remarkable. and by the way, you know, some folks not only stoking it or standing by silently, what effect is that having on voters?
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>> yeah, jim, the big lie really lives on. the election results in arizona have been checked and checked and checked again. they're calling this so-called audit a farce, basically. but despite all of that, it is giving some believers of the big lie the belief, the hope that maybe somehow the election could still be overturned. have a listen. >> were you dus pinted? >> i was disappointed in the lack of truth and the election fraud that took place within it. it's coming out right now in arizona. it's going to be a domino infect of the truth is moving forward. what happens after that, i don't know. i know the truth is there is only so many voters that are in one county that can vote. and the numbers far exceed that. it's common sense mathematics. >> jim, look, i mean this is silly stuff. unfortunately, it cannot be ignored. these are conspiracy theories.
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these are the big lies undermining american democracy and the same sort of stuff, jim, that really fuels the january 6 6th insurrection. >> it does. folks in the justice department, the fbi talk specifically about how this fuels domestic terrorism. you spoke to trump supporters about another big lie. call it that. on the vaccine. you know, why many of them are hesitant to take it and what do they tell you? >> i want to show you this new polling data. it is really remarkable. and concerning. 44%, almost half of republicans, say they will not get the vaccine. of that is compared to 8% of democrats. the i've been speaking to some of those republicans and here's what they have to say. are you getting vaccinated? >> no. i don't have a vaccine. i had covid-19 last march. sick for all of five hours. i don't need a vaccine for that. >> the cdc recommends even if you have covid-19 you should get
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vaccinated. >> they can recommend stuff. >> emergency approval, right? >> who determines the mnl approval? >> do you think trump is wrong on this one? >> you know, i don't know what the situation is on that. i know i'm not wrong. and we're the independent freedom people of america. we make our own decisions. >> jim, i think what is interesting here is obviously, you know, trump could be doing a lot more to push this vaccine. we've seen reporting over the past week that even some of his advisors want him to go out there and do a psa. you see there, some of the most passionate supporters even if they say even if trump pleads with them, they will not take the vaccine. i think that's leading to a bit of a catch 22 situation here where trump knows that. and he knows if he pushes the vaccine too hard, it could alienate his base. >> to their health, to the detriment of their health and the country's health, that's the consequence. it's a fact. thank you very much. >> all right, jim. there is more legal trouble now for matt gaetz, reported letter further implicating the
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very good friday morning. i'm jim sciutto. rudy giuliani and matt gaetz, two of president trump's former trump's close al closal h. -- c allies, joan greenberg into the federal investigation into gaetz wrote a letter stating that gaetz paid for sex with multiple women, note this including minor who was just 17 years old at the time. cnn has not seen that letter. we have not verified the details as reported by the daily beast. a spokes


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