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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 21, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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i'm pamela brown in for jake tapper. you can follow me on twitter or tweet the show @thelead cnn. happening now, new turmoil surrounding the january 6th committee. the house gop leader pulling all of his picks after speaker pelosi rejected two of them. this as president biden takes part in cnn's exclusive town hall. he'll take questions on the growing challenges he's facing. that includes the spike in covid-19 cases. tonight there is disturbing new information on the deadly impact of the delta variant in the weeks ahead. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim acosta. and you're in "the situation room." ♪ you're looking at live pictures
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out of cincinnati, ohio, as we prepare for cnn's exclusive town hall with president biden. c cnn's jeff zeleny is standing by. but first let's go to our congressional correspondent ryan nobles up on capitol hill. let's talk about today's meltdown in the january 6th investigation. why did republicans pull out three other members as well? >> this was a response by the house minority leader kevin mccarthy, jim, to the house speaker nancy pelosi vetoing two of his selections, those five selections that he had for the january 6th select committee. those two members jim banks, the chair of the republican study committee, and jim jordan of ohio. pelosi saying that she did not want them on the committee because of statements that they had made in the days after the announcement was made that made them disqualifying in her mind from being able to conduct the thorough investigation that she was looking for. now, kevin mccarthy responded by saying that none of the five picks that he had initially chosen for this committee were
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going to participate any longer and that he would not send any picks unless pelosi accepted banks and jordan on the committee. and then he went even further, saying that pelosi had just turned this entire situation into a partisan side show. >> it's an egregious abuse of power. pelosi has broken this institution. this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility. and it shows exactly what i warned back at the beginning of january that pelosi would play politics with this. no committee in congress will work if one person is picking all who can serve. >> now, mccarthy described the situation as being all political, despite the fact that it was he and his fellow republicans that blocked plans for an independent bipartisan commission that was going to be made up of people not part of the congress and have an equal number of republicans and democrats. i pressed him on that during this press conference, and he
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complained that pelosi had created too broad or not broad enough of a scope for that independent commission. and that's why republicans voted against it. now, there is a key player in all of this, liz cheney, the republican member of congress from wyoming. she was asked to sit on this committee by nancy pelosi. and after what kevin mccarthy did today, she reiterated that she still intends to be a part of this committee in its search for the truth. take a listen. >> i think that any person who would be third in line to the presidency must demonstrate a commitment to the constitution and a commitment to the rule of law. and minority leader mccarthy has not done that. at every opportunity the minority leader has attempted to prevent the american people from understanding what happened to block this investigation. today, the speaker objected to two republican members. she accepted three others. she objected to two, one of whom may well be a material witness
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to events that led to that day, that led to january 6th. the other who disqualified himself by his comments in particular over the last 24 hours demonstrating that he is not taking this seriously, he is not dealing with the facts of this investigation but rather viewed it as a political platform. this investigation must go forward. the idea that anybody would be playing politics with an attack on the united states capitol is despicable and is disgraceful. >> and cheney's decision to side with the democratic house speaker nancy pelosi as opposed to the republican leader of the house of representatives when just a few short months ago she was the third-ranking member of the republican house of representatives before she was pushed out of that leadership post by kevin mccarthy is pretty stunning, but it allows pelosi and the select committee to still call this investigation bipartisan even though there will only be one republican and seven democrats. the committee reiterated their
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plans to move forward with or without the picks that mccarthy has selected. and jim, of course, they have a hearing skelded for next week. >> okay, ryan nobles, stand by. we'll come back to you in just a moment. let's check in with our chief affairs correspondent. jeff, the white house says the president strongly supports speaker pelosi's investigation into the capitol riot. that has not changed. >> jim, as president biden was flying here to cincinnati, white house press secretary jen psaki said aboard air force one that the president does indeed strongly support house speaker nancy pelosi's decision today on the commission to investigate the attack on the capitol. but clearly the white house and the president came to ohio for a different reason. the president just a few moments will be arriving at a union training center here in cincinnati trying to sell his jobs plan, sell his infrastructure plan. of course, all those topics are top of mind of ohio voters who
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will be questioning the president here tonight. president biden arriving in cincinnati tonight for a cnn town hall meeting. as the white house urgently tries to sell its domestic agenda. >> there's nothing that america is unable to do when we do it together. >> but it congress, both sides are far from together. that divide was on full display again today as senate republicans voted against the president's bipartisan infrastructure plan in a key test vote. >> so who's playing games? >> raising questions about whether a deal can still be reached before democrats try passing a bill on their own. which is complicated in its own right. >> we all want the same thing here, to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. but in order to finish the bill, we first need to start. >> reporter: at the six-month mark of biden's presidency, the list of challenges facing the administration is daunting. covid cases are spiking with the delta variant. inflation is up. border crossings are rising. the taliban is taking over
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afghanistan. and the signature piece of the domestic agenda, the jobs and infrastructure plan is teetering. white house officials concede the coming weeks hold the cards to the future of the president's agenda before the midterm elections consume washington and make deals even harder to reach. a senior biden adviser telling cnn the clock is running, we all know that, the president certainly knows that. tonight biden will appear on stage at mount st. joseph university taking questions from ohio voters on those topics and more. here in cincinnati, like many parts of the country, infrastructure is a critical issue. this bridge which crosses the ohio river on one of the busiest trucking routes in the country, has long been labeled functionally obsolete. it's an unfilled promise of the obama and trump administrations. biden hopes not to fall short. >> i think we're on the verge of maybe being able to get something really done. rebuilding roads and bridges. >> reporter: protecting voting rights likely by eliminating the
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sus senate filibuster, is something democrats say they would like to hear biden speak more forcefully. >> it is the foundation of who we are. this is what makes us america. >> so far biden has largely kept democrats united behind him in the face of stiff republican opposition. but the white house selected ohio, a state biden lost, to show he's making his case to a far bigger cross section of the country. and the infrastructure piece is exactly at the center of the white house's argument. they do believe that there is still room for negotiation on capitol hill for a few more days for republicans and democrats to work together. that of course an open question. another one is can democrats stay unified if they go it alone on infrastructure here? so many questions of course on the minds of ohio voters. but one thing that's also clear, these town meetings can also be unpredictable. voters can have their own questions on their mind what to ask the president. >> that's right. they can be full of surprises. all right, jeff, thank you so
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much. let's discuss with cnn white house reporter natasha bertrand, cnn political commentator bakari sellers, and our political director david chalian. we know david was not going to be able to be kept far away from that. and ryan nobles is still with us. with republicans, you know, pulling out of this january 6th committee, how incredible is it to see this united front between republican congresswoman liz cheney and the house speaker nancy pelosi? it's pretty extraordinary. they are working together on this. you can't break them apart. >> yeah, it's really a classic case of strange bedfellows. obviously there's no love lost, jim, between liz cheney and kevin mccarthy. there's been a rift there for a couple months now. but to see liz cheney take on her former partner in the leadership of the republican conference and congress today calling him unqualified to be
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speaker because he has not shown a commitment to the constitution or democracy. this is hard-hitting stuff from the former number three in the house republican leadership who is doing nancy pelosi's work of pushing back on kevin mccarthy and what he's trying to pull here by taking all of the republican members out of this select committee. >> and, bakari, what did house minority leader kevin mccarthy think was going to happen when he named people to this committee who rejected the 2020 election results? he was getting pretty, you know, apoplectic earlier today. but this shouldn't be a surprise to him. >> it shouldn't be a surprise. and i'm just glad that he was actually pressed on the fact that he turned down an opportunity to have a bipartisan independent commission that would have an equal number of democrats and republicans on it. he literally turned that down. i think his excuse was the scope of such. but, regardless, what we're seeing again and again and again
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is the skill of nancy pelosi. kevin mccarthy backed himself into a corner. so there was absolutely nothing left for him to do today other than to pull the plug. usually in circumstances like this, and chalian and nobles can correct me if i'm wrong. but in circumstances like this you'll have a committee come out and issue a report, and the republicans and the minority leader would issue their own report. that now won't happen. you will have this what appears to be a bipartisan committee going forward doing the work, issuing the report. and i'm assuming that jim jordan and others are going to have to go out and do their own thing, create their own committee and play in their own sand box. but, again, you have to give praise to the skill of nancy pelosi as she navigates a very fragile majority in the united states congress. >> and, natasha, what do you make of this republican effort to argue the house speaker is to blame for the security and intelligence failures of january 6th? that was a clear talking point earlier today that was said over and over again at that news conference.
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>> yeah, jim. we at cnn had actually reported that this was going to be a gop strategy moving forward into the committee even before kevin mccarthy decided to pull all of his picks off of the panel. that they are really going to try to shift the blame from the former president's aides to the house speaker. of course, that is pretty nonsensical because this was a failure across the board of the previous administration. the president, former president is the one who got his supporters to come to the capitol who incited arguably this violence and who riled people up to the extent that they felt like they were actually defending donald trump by being there. and of course the senate report that was issued last month made clear that there were a number of security and intelligence failures that contributed to the violence and the chaos on january 6th. but nowhere in that report was nancy pelosi faulted. this was really placed at the heels of the former administration of capitol police, and that's why there were so many reforms that were
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recommended to the security apparatus that protects the capitol. because the intelligence failures leading up to this and the delays that we saw from the pentagon in sending the national guard to the capitol were really unacceptable. that is something that the people that were reviewing the situation after january 6th said just really needs to change moving forward. >> and, ryan, six months into the presidency of joe biden, is this a distraction from the many items on his legislative agenda to the point that he's going to have things that he can't get passed? are you hearing from lawmakers that, well, they can't work on these items on the biden agenda because of this january 6th investigation? >> you know, jim, i really do think they're on two different tracks. and the big reason for that is because this is all playing out in the house of representatives. in the house of representatives democrats really don't need republicans in order to pass the legislation that they need to pass. it's really in the senate where you need some bipartisan support for a certain number of pieces of legislation. for instance, that bipartisan
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infrastructure package that they're currently negotiating. that big reconciliation package, the $3.5 trillion jobs plan, that can be passed without any republican support whatsoever. so even if there is some bleeding into the conversations between republicans and democrats over this partisan rancor over january 6th, it really doesn't have anything to do with the broader biden agenda. could it hang over the conversation? is it something that a lot of these members are going to be forced to answer questions about because it's going to dominate a lot of the headlines? that's for sure. but there's no reason that the democrats can't get the work they need to get done whether or not this committee moves forward as planned. >> and president biden just faced a setback on infrastructure. it may be temporary, but other efforts on the hill are stalled. he's facing this covid resurgence. how do you expect him to address all of these hurtles tonight at the town hall? he has a lot to answer for at this town hall. >> he certainly does. but i don't think we've seen in the biden presidency thus far,
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jim, that he gets frazzled by the challenges. i fully expect that we're going to hear the president urge every american to get a vaccination, that that is going to be the way to stem this surge that we are seeing with the delta variant across the country. and, as you noted on infrastructure, i don't think you're going to hear the sound of a president who thinks his bipartisan effort is dead despite the vote that took place in the senate today. it sounds like the white house is reading hopeful signs from what republican senators are saying in hopes of getting a deal done by early next week. >> it sounds like that may still be on track. you're right, david chalian. thank you so much to all of you. and a reminder to our viewers we're closing in on cnn's exclusive town hall with president biden tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. cnn's don lemon will moderate. coming up, will americans need to mask up now that the delta variant is driving a huge surge in new covid cases? and later we're getting reaction from general mark
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about rybelsus® today. a sobering new forecast from the cdc projects rising hospitalization rates, deaths as the delta variant takes a heavy toll on unvaccinated americans. i want to bring in dr. paul offit, he's a member of the fda vaccines advisory committee. dr. offit, great to see you, as always. i'm sure you've seen this. the cdc now predicting that by mid-august there will be up to 625,000 covid-19 deaths reported in the u.s. and as many as 14,000 new hospitalizations, that's disturbing. that paints a picture of a very challenging month ahead. how did we wind up back in this
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position? >> it's the delta variant. it's just much more contagious. it has a so-called contagious index of six, which means it's more contagious than influenza. it's still spreading and still causing hospitalizations and deaths in the summer. this basically is a winter respiratory virus. it's much more easily spread typically in cool, dry climates. and now here you see it spreading and causing a lot of suffering. it just speaks to the contagiousness of this virus. >> and i hear this question time and again. i'm going to ask you, i'm sure you've heard it over and over. but it bears repeating. if you are fully vaccinated, just how protected are you against this variant, and should vaccinated people be taking precautions like wearing masks again? >> you're highly protected. look at what's happened. we've gone from sort of primarily initially the so-called d.6.14g variant. the delta variant, 99% of people
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who are killed by this virus and 97% who are hospitalized by this virus are unvaccinated if this delta variant was not being covered by vaccine-induced immunity, then you would have seen a greater percentage of people who were vaccinated hospitalized or killed. and that hasn't happened. so this protects you against severe disease but it doesn't work if you don't get it. so get vaccinated. >> that is such an important message and it bears repeating. we'll just keep asking that question. in the meantime, starting next month, new york mayor bill de blasio is mandating that healthcare workers either get vaccinated or be tested for the coronavirus weekly. what do you think about that? is it time for more local officials to start mandating vaccinations so this just keeps spreading? >> yes. i think we've hit a wall. we've made the vaccine.
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everyone over 12 in this country. there's a critical percentage of this population that doesn't want to be vaccinated. and that's what they're saying. they don't want the vaccine, which means the virus will continue to reproduce itself, continue to cause suffering and hospitalization. and continue to have the chance to make variants that are much more resistant to vaccine-induced immunity. it's not your right to do that. it is not your right as an american citizen to catch and transmit a potentially fatal infection which affects everybody. this is a contagious disease. so i think that's where the rubber is about to meet the road is mandates. the war against this vaccine i think is becoming a war against ourselves. >> and a cdc study finds us life expectancy has fallen -- u.s. life expectancy has fallen by more than a year as a result of this pandemic. just how concerning is that trend, do you think? >> nobody, unless you're 130 years old, has lived through a pandemic like this. the last one was the 1920
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influenza pandemic. and this is what it means to have a pandemic. it shortens our lives. it's brought us to our knees. apparently not so much so that there's still a critical percentage of the population that either denies the existence of this problem or just chooses to deny the science that shows the vaccine can save their lives. >> all right, dr. paul offit, thank you so much for that critical message. people need to get vaxxed. and let's get an update on the covid situation looming over the olympic games with the opening ceremonies just two days away. cnn's will ripley has the latest. >> reporter: the olympic games are underway, the host city on edge under a covid-19 state of emergency. new infections dashing the dreams of olympic hopefuls, including team usa beach volleyball player taylor crabb, the fourth u.s. athlete to test positive for the virus. cases on the rise inside the
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olympic bubble. a chilean taekwondo athlete and dutch skateboarder also out after testing positive. one british athlete posting her routine, showing daily covid testing for athletes, temperature checks, mask wearing, and other covid protocols in place meant to keep them safe. usa gymnastics deciding to forego the olympic village all together, housing the team at a hotel instead. their coach tweeting, it was also a decision that we all made together. we know it isn't ideal during a pandemic. we feel like we can control the athletes in our safety better in a hotel setting. infections spiking outside the bubble as well. roughly two-thirds of the japanese population are already opposed to the games even moving forward. more than 1,800 new cases on wednesday, the highest number in more than six months. tokyo's governor telling japanese to avoid going out during the games, to stay home and watch them on tv. after pouring billions into supporting tokyo 2020, some key
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olympic sponsors like toyota backing away from advertisements, canceling special events surrounding the games. >> translator: they call it a recovery olympics. but in the midst of this situation, i don't really feel it's any sort of recovery olympics. i feel the olympics itself isn't really in the mood for the olympics. >> in the mood or not, the first competitions, softball and soccer, kicking off wednesday with women's world cup reigning champions team usa suffering a stinging defeat in their match against sweden falling 3-0, snapping a 44-game winning streak and making their quest for gold a much tougher climb. a surreal scene at the olympic venues. no fans to cheer, virtually empty. crowd noise piped in. athletes adjusting to the new normal as best they can. >> it was difficult because i wanted it to be a normal olympics. i wanted to have the atmosphere, the roar of the crowd when
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someone hits a big dive, but also it gives off less pressure to a lot of the athletes. >> a group of us attended one of the soccer games yesterday, and the mood described as absolutely bizarre. basically the journalists were the only ones there. nobody in the stands. and we know that around us in japan, the case numbers are exploding to some of their highest levels since january. so there are big questions about the safety of athletes, at least five team usa athletes now forced out of the summer olympics due to covid. and the opening ceremonies haven't even begun. and we don't even know what they're going to look like because all those details are being kept secret. >> will ripley, thank you so much. we're keeping an eye on preparations for tonight's exclusive cnn town hall with president biden. we'll also look at what's ahead for the house committee investigating the january 6th attack with all the political turmoil, can it reach any useful
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we're following today's extraordinary political maneuvering and namecalling up on capitol hill surrounding the house select committee investigation of the january 6th insurrection. speaker nancy pelosi rejected two of house republican leader's mccarthy's picks. he then pulled his other three picks off the committee. and the only republican left on it, liz cheney, blasted mccarthy earlier today. >> the rhetoric around this from the minority leader and from those two members has been disgraceful. this must be an investigation that is focused on facts. and the idea that any of this
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has become politicized is really unworthy of the office that we all hold and unworthy of our republic. and we cannot allow those voices who are attempting to prevent the american people from getting the truth to prevail. >> and we're joined now by an experienced investigator, former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe. he's the author of "the threat, how the fbi protects america in the age of terror and trump." thanks so much, andrew, for being with us. are you concerned these developments that we saw today up on capitol hill might interfere with the law enforcement investigations into what happened on january 6th? >> deeply concerned, jim. it's a well-known theory. politics is the enemy of any good investigation. and politics from either side. right now with the kind of -- all we're talking about is the politics around the committee and who's going to be on the
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committee. and we're all anticipating that there will be, you know, moves to obstruct different areas of investigations. that is exactly what we don't need here. what we do need is a panel of dedicated folks who are committed to pursuing the facts wherever they go into whatever agency, into whatever group or entity or white supremacist organization. wherever they go, that's what we need to find out to figure out how this happened and how we prevent it from happening again. >> and some disturbing new information. we're also learning a judge has forced one of the capitol rioters to unlock a laptop seized by the fbi that is believed to contain valuable video evidence. how significant is that decision as this investigation progresses? i mean, that's a pretty remarkable step for the system to take. >> it is, jim. but i think it's a good sign
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that the fbi and the justice department are continuing to pursue each one of these individual investigations with great intensity and aggression. and, again, that's what we need to completely peel back the onion on who was involved here, what kind of planning went into this, what sort of violent acts were involved in this attack, and who should be held responsible for each of those acts, as many as we can possibly figure out. so i think it's a good sign that the prosecutors are pushing in that direction and that the courts are giving them the access they need. >> congresswoman cheney said he is trying to, quote, prevent the american people from understanding what happened on january 6th. how important do you think it is to see at least one republican speaking out in learning the root cause of this attack? would you like to see much more of a bipartisan display in this regard? >> i would have preferred to see
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a completely independent commission filled with republicans and democrats, but no political people, no people who are currently holding office or running for office. i think that would have been our best chance at really finding out what's happening here. but having said that, i have utmost respect for representative cheney in the position that she's taken. she is really committed to getting to the bottom of this attack on our democracy regardless of the repercussions it has politically for her party, for her personally or for anyone else. i think she's being courageous. and it's a shame that we haven't seen more of that out of republicans. >> you do agree that the speaker is right to be moving forward with this committee. you can't have a situation, i suppose, where republicans say no to a bipartisan commission, and then say no to putting members on this select committee. >> that's absolutely right. an independent committee would have been better, in my opinion. but the republicans shut that option down.
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so, now speaker pelosi is doing the next best thing, which is putting together a committee of responsible, serious people who will approach the task well. i think representative cheney is a great addition to that committee. i don't blame her for excluding representatives banks and jordan today. it seems those two were, you know, intent on obstructing the progress and the investigation rather than assisting it and trying to get to the bottom of this. so i think she's doing the right thing. >> all right, andrew mccabe, thank you so much. stay with us. we're keeping an eye on preparations for ton the's exclusive town hall with president biden. also ahead, the joint chiefs chairman has asked about revelations he was concerned then president trump might be planning a coup. at morgan stanley, a global collective of thought leaders offers investors a broader view. ♪ we see companies protecting the bottom line by putting people first.
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anywhere in the u.s. who accepts medicare patients. so if you have this... consider adding this. call unitedhealthcare today for your free decision guide. ♪ you've been taking mental health meds, and your mind is finally in a better place. except now you have uncontrollable body movements called tardive dyskinesia - td. and it can seem like that's all people see. some meds for mental health can cause abnormal dopamine signaling in the brain. while how it works is not fully understood, ingrezza is thought to reduce that signaling. ingrezza is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with td movements in the face and body. people taking ingrezza can stay on their current dose of most mental health meds. don't take ingrezza if you're allergic to any of its ingredients. ingrezza may cause serious side effects, including sleepiness. don't drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how ingrezza affects you. other serious side effects include potential
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heart rhythm problems and abnormal movements. shift the focus more on you. ask your doctor about ingrezza. it's simple. one pill, once-daily. #1 prescribed for td. learn how you could pay as little as $0 at ingrezza.com and you're looking at some live pictures right now of president biden in cincinnati, ohio. he's touring a training
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facility, union training facility just ahead of tonight's town hall here on cnn. and this is part of his build back better agenda. you're seeing one of the union members there talking to president biden about what they do in that facility. and we're monitoring these comments from the president. in just a few moments we'll see if he has anything to say to the press. we'll bring you those comments as they come in. president biden there in ohio. also tonight, there's new pentagon reaction to a stack of new books about the closing months of the trump administration. general mark milley was asked about reporting he was concerned that then president trump would attempt a coup. let's listen. >> i am not going to comment on any of the books. but i want you to know, and i want everyone to know, i want america to know, that the united states military is an apolitical institution. we were then, we are now. and our oath is to the constitution, not to any individual at all. and the military did not and will not and should not ever get
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involved in domestic politics. we don't arbitrate elections. that's the job of the judiciary and the legislature and the american people. it's not the job of the u.s. military. we stay out of politics. we're an alitical institution. >> with us now is the former defense secretary william cohen here in "the situation room." thank you so much as always for being with us. the chairman of the joint chiefs reportedly fear that former president trump would try to use the military to cling to power. you heard some of general milley's comments there. what do you think of the significance of what he had to say? he didn't comment directly on what's being reported in these books. but he did make a point of saying that our duty is to protect the constitution. >> i think he was wise to be concerned about a possible coup because there were suggestions being made by the former lieutenant general michael flynn saying that perhaps they should invoke the insurrection act in order to put troops on the
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street in order to overturn the election. and, as i mentioned earlier a short time ago, that's why ten former secretaries of defense all signed a letter addressing the pentagon saying, under no circumstances should you ever allow the military to become involved in suppressing, overturning the election, stay out of politics. and we were worried about it because of the talk that was emanating. some of it in the white house itself having been reported coming out of the white house. so i think that they were wise to be concerned about it. and i think he has made it very clear that the one institution that the former president has been unable to date to politicize has been the military. he tried to do it with general milley, obviously. he's tried to do it with james mattis, jim mattis. he tried to do it i think with general kelly. i think he also tried to do it with general mcmaster. >> he tried to do it every step of the way. and you're not only the former defense secretary, you're also a
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former republican senator. >> right. >> does congress need to respond with more guardrails around the presidency, do you think? is this something that should be taken seriously? >> just how close, as you were just saying former president trump came to politicize the military and trying to use the military to suppress protests and all of these other sorts of things that would have been constitutional violations. >> well, i think there's enough that we should do to try to make sure we don't get another president like president trump. it was known from the beginning who he was, what his character was, what his temperament was or lack thereof. so the american people have to look more carefully at the power that we entrust to the president of the united states. it's the most powerful position in our government, maybe the world. but to put a person in that position with potentially his finger on a nuclear weapon or any other type of weapon i think calls into question the judgment of the american people. is this someone you really want
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to entrust our security, our safety and that of the rest of the free world and beyond with a man who is so impettuous, so subject to rage in a moment's notice? i don't think we want to entrust that. but there are things that we can do. there are thaefrts we can make to make sure that the chain of command really remains intact, that no one president has the sole authority to put in place a command that could be carried out to the world's detriment. >> right. that is the concern, that is the fear is that trump could have put generals that he wanted in place to try to control the military. and that is how close we got. but that is all the time we have. so we'll continue this discussion. >> all right. coming up you're looking at live pictures of president biden on the ground in cincinnati, ohio, as he sells his agenda ahead of his exclusive cnn town hall. plus, we're seeing a remarkable shift toward the covid vaccine from influential conservatives.
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why are some republicans finally coming around and endorsing vaccination? at carvana, we treat every customer like we would treat our own moms, with care and respect. to us, the little things are the big things. which is why we do everything in our power to make buying a car an unforgettable experience. happy birthday. thank you. we treat every customer like we would treat our own moms. because that's what they deserve.
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♪ ♪ know this about the jungle, everything that you see wants to kill you and can. ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ ♪ ♪ see disney's jungle cruise. applebee's and a movie, now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. (man) i've made progress with my mental health. so when i started having unintentional body movements called tardive dyskinesia... ... i ignored them. but when the movements in my hands and feet started throwing me off at work... i finally had to say, 'it's not ok.' it was time to talk to my doctor about austedo. she said that austedo helps reduce td movements in adults... ...while i continue with most of my mental health medications. (vo) austedo can cause depression, suicidal thoughts, or actions in
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patients with huntington's disease. pay close attention to and call your doctor if you become depressed, have sudden changes in mood, behaviors, feelings, or have suicidal thoughts. common side effects include inflammation of the nose and throat, insomnia and sleepiness. don't take austedo if you have liver problems, are taking reserpine, tetrabenazine, or valbenazine. austedo may cause irregular or fast heartbeat, restlessness, movements mimicking parkinson's disease, fever, stiff muscles, problems thinking, and sweating. (man) talk to your doctor about austedo... it's time to treat td. td is not ok. visit askforaustedo.com
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pictures out of the of cincinnati ohio where americans are selling on his infrastructure plan. much more on that in just a moment. first, we are following a growing number of fluntsshl conservatives coming around on the covid vaccine. bryan todd is working the story for us. this is remarkable shift but could be a big boost for these declining vaccination rates. >> could be a really big boost
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and with the threat of the delta variant, it could not come at a much more crucial time. it's that variant that's caused some leading conservatives to change their tune. congressman steve scalise waiting for months to get coronavirus vaccine. he believed he had the antibodies for the virus but became worried about spikes caused by the delta variant. this past weekend he finally got the vaccine. now, he sounds like he's trying to get others to follow suit. >> it's safe and effective. i took it. i wanted to show the picture to just encourage people. >> reporter: he joins what appears to be a growing chorus of politicians who are touting the vaccine. christopher ruddy, a staunch trump ally and founder of news max wrote an op-ed saying he had gotten the vaccine. the bottom line, the vaccines are safe and effective and sean hannity earlier this year voiced
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doubts pleaded this week for his viewers to take the virus seriously and said this about the vaccine. >> it makes sense for many americans to get vaccinated. i believe in science. i believe in the science of vaccination. >> reporter: what's behind the shift for those that have been skeptical. >> if you're a politician in state facing re-election in 2022 or perhaps a very strong candidate for the republican nomination for president in 2024, it is imperative you're on the right side of this issue. >> reporter: could it help president biden in his quest to get more americans vaccinated. >> if you're trying to reach american who is take their cues from different political leaders, republican political leaders and that message is consistently take the vaccine, it can save your life, it could have an impact. >> reporter: not every conservative have gotten the memo. this week twitter briefly suspended the account of marjorie taylor greene for misinformation about the dangers of coronavirus vaccine.
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the congresswoman responded. >> i didn't spread misleading information. >> reporter: one analyst says a certain level of exhaustion has been reached regarding misinformation put out by some conservatives over the pandemic. >> it seemed two months or so ago that the pandemic was on the way to being licked. people were getting vaccinated and we reached this ceiling where there are millions of people who are resisting getting vaccinated for reasons that seem to be as much political as they are genuine concerns about the medical implications. >> reporter: one possible reason for the shift in vaccine rhetoric among conservative, cnn reported earlier there's been regular high level conversations between the white house and fox news regarding that network's coverage of the pan ddemic and e vaccine. fox and the white house have denied the conversations were at
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high levels. we go to the site of the town hall. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." i'm so glad you're ok, sgt. houston. this is sam with usaa. do you see the tow truck? yes, thank you, that was fast. sgt. houston never expected this to happen. or that her grandpa's dog tags would be left behind. but that one call got her a tow and rental... ...paid her claim... ...and we even pulled a few strings. making it easy to make things right: that's what we're made for. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for.
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president biden confronts threats to the nation and his agenda when he takes stage for an exclusive cnn town hall just two hours from now. republican divisions are on display. liz cheney blasting kevin meas mccarthy. 91 million americans are at risk. i'll discuss the danger from the
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delta variant with the director of the national institutes of health. welcome to our viewers in united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim aacosta. you're in "the situation room." president biden will take part in exclusive town hall. we go to cnn congressional correspondent lauren fox covering the republican exodus from the january 6th committee. tell us what happened. >> reporter: there's been a quick succession of events up here on capitol hill today. we always knew the house speaker nancy pelosi had the ability to block key republicans who kevin mccarthy selected for the select committee. today she made the decision that's exactly what she was going to do. she argued in statement earlier today that there were two me

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