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tv   Inside Politics With Abby Phillip  CNN  July 25, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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covid summer surge fueled by the delta variant. >> stop blaming the unvaccinated. plus a capitol hill storm is brewing. the breakdown over the january 6th commission picks. >> this is deadly serious. it was an assault on our capitol. >> pelosi has broken this institution. midterm message preview, president biden on the campaign trail in virginia. >> i ran against donald trump and so has terry.
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i whipped donald trump in virginia and so will terry. inside politics, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters now. >> good morning. and welcome to "inside politics sunday." i'm abby phillip. two issues are still dividing america, the pandemic and the 2020 election and its aftermath, special house committee investigating the attack on the capitol january 6th there hold its first hearing tuesday but that is not without drama. kevin mccarthy has already pulled his picks from the panel after nancy pelosi rejected two of his selections. his close ally, jim jordan and also jim banks. >> with respect for the integrity of the investigation, with concern that the american
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people want to know the truth, and in light of statements and actions taken by them, i could not appoint them. >> pelosi has committed a sham process. no committee in congress will work if one person is pick ing everyone. >> the speaker picked liz cheney and may appoint a second anti-trump republican, congressman adam kinzinger. joining me now with reporting, lisa lair of "the new york times," melanie zanona and sung kim from "the washington post." for mccarthy, he has decided he won't participate in this all together. what's the politics here? what's the play? will it potentially back fire?
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>> the whole process is in the eyes of the public trying to delegitimize this process, which is why he's calling the process sham, putting all the blame on house speaker nancy pelosi. but the thing to remember is for what all of kevin mccarthy is saying, to pull these two republicans off the table, the republican party had an opportunity to make this a very even process for a split commission down the middle in terms of a limited scope and timetable, republicans, particularly republicans in the senate, rejected that process. republicans should have known some sort of investigative panel was coming. but yet they decided to go down this path and try to delinlth miez delegitimize it all
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together. >> this is coming days before this first hearing in which we're going to hear from some capitol police officers who are part of the january 6th commission but also metropolitan police officers who are part of that commission. what can we expect tuesday? >> i asked liz cheney, what are you trying to get out of this commission? she said obviously we want to hear from the police officers, this brave testimony. body camera footage but cheney made the point, they want to put facts on the table and counter the whitewash that's going on in the republican party. they may get to investigate why this happened but right now they're trying to establish what happened and that's important for the historical record. >> it's hard to see how this ends up being the process that is able to do that. i spent a lot of time interviewing republican voters and listened to focus groups of
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republican voters last week and the week before. you hear the sense that it wasn't all that bad. it was just a protest. this revisionist history has seeped into the party. >> we have some of the quotes from this focus group you were part of. 100% orchestrated by antifa and the left. and another says i think it goes to george soros. i third voter says it wasn't an insurrection. washington, d.c. on january 6th what is a protest. how do you even begin to address that? >> certainly that comes from a lot of what they're hearing on conservative media or not hearing. we know that conservative media covers this incident less than on cnn, other cable news or news outlets. some of it comes from what they're hearing from most republican leaders, with representative cheney being the exception. if what one needs the country
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needs, one could argue, is a thorough investigation, it's hard to see how any outcome that comes out of this committee is broadly accepted by the american public. >> that is why speaker pelosi not only added cheney, she's already considering adding adam kinzinger, another republican, and a republican adviser to work behind the scenes. while democrats feel comfortable with the decision to veto jim banks and jim jordan they also want to shore up the crediblity as much as possible. >> who is that credibility for at this point? there's a chunk of the republican party that we all witnessed, i would say, what happened and there's footage of what happened and people are still seeing different realities, even based on the fact that we had video footage or have seen video footage of what transpired. >> to that point, not that we want to dwell on this, but last night the former president was
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in arizona. and he basically told that crowd that there is no moving on from the election conspiracies and the january 6th conspiracies, frankly. >> they say, well, sir, we have to get on to the future. let me tell you, you're not going to have a future. first of all, our nation is being destroyed. you're not going to have a future in '22 or '24 if you don't find out how they cheated. >> that sound you hear is republicans being like, great. this again? haven't we been down this road? >> it's the last thing that mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy want. right now in the house they're in a very good position to win back the majority. and all of their message ing is focusing on the biden agenda and why, in their view, the biden agenda is not beneficial for the
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republic. and because this january 6th commission is going to keep that and president trump in the h headlines but then president trump is trying to constantly relitigate. >> there's also a thing where republican leaders and people in the party with the exception of cheney don't stand and up sort of put down these conspiracy theories in a forceful way because they're worried that the former president has more control over their voters than they do. it allows them to flourish and take hold. you look at the polling on views in the republican party january 6th, people have become more skeptical of it. >> of course. >> there was an opportunity for the republican party to push out a message but that would involve standing up and saying no to conservative media and again and again they let those fringe elements take over. >> and saying no to these republican groups.
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you mentioned liz cheney. she has been one of the only people willing to stand up. she sharply criticized mccarthy this week. the tension is building. the club for growth put out this ad this week about cheney. >> she sided with nancy pelosi and attacked president trump when he was in office. she supported impeachment. and she continues to attack president trump today. hillary clinton? no. liz cheney. >> yes, can you believe your eyes. they are really comparing liz cheney and hillary clinton. >> liberal liz cheney. i did some reporting on this. republicans in the house. kicking her off house armed services or expeling her from the conference entirely. her political future is probably doomed anyway, they feel they don't necessarily to take another whack at her. at the same time you see efforts to chip away at her credibility
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because she is so instrumental to pelosi's strategy with making this a bipartisan, credible investigation. >> lots of questions about her political future. no matter what, she is not backing down from this fight with kevin mccarthy at all. >> uh-uh. we'll have more coming up. next for us, president biden insists he can get bipartisan things done. this week, though, may be his last chance to prove it.
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here. and by democrats as well. sort of the venom get sort of leak out of a lot of it. >> let's be honest, so far there is not a whole lot of evidence that he's right. look no further than the breakdown at the january 6th committee senate negotiators say they're almost there and these next few days will be their final shot. this is their last chance poe tepgsly, melly, to get this done. what are their prospects as we sit here on a sunday morning? >> i think we say this all the time. it's a make or break weekend for the infrastructure bills. they're trying to nail down these final details. there's still a lot of challenges and road bumps that could bump up.
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this bill is holding up the budget deal. if it holds up they'll want to stick that into the larger partisan bill. seri seriously, this week will be the make or break moment. >> there's not a lot of room for error here. they have potentially 11 senators. even if this works, success on the package would not foreshadow a shift back to an earlier era in which biden is familiar and wishes to re-create but simply would be one moment of cross-party goodwill and temporary truce in a raging war. a temporary truce that involves millions or billions of dollars that go to people's district, so it makes sense that republicans might want to sign on for that. but is biden still a little bit
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kind of polly annish about the future of politics in washington? >> we heard this eternal optimism that he has. that is why when you talk to administration officials and hear from the white house, there's such a conviction that this bipartisan deal does need to occur. that's not so much about the specifics. people will ask, what are red lines for the white house? i don't know that there are red lines. some bipartisan deal makes it through. >> right. >> specifics -- say transit doesn't make it. that will go in the separate partisan deal. anything that doesn't make it into this bill they can throw in the resolution bill. he can say i promised you democrats and republicans can get something done and here is evidence this is possible. >> if it doesn't happen on infrastructure it's really hard to see if it happens on anything else, like immigration, police reform, those things are far
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behind infrastructure in terms of any kind of compromise. and infrastructure, the parties have been talking that they could get a deal for literally years. this is his best shot to achieve something that was a major focus of his campaign, to bring back the sense of commonality of the senate where he spent the vast majority of his life, of his political career. >> meanwhile on the reconciliation package, $3.5 trillion of democratic prior priorities. >> jerry connelly also says they're eating up time, they being republicans, and having been burned in 2009 and 2010 by republicans in the senate on the affordable care act we are
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understandably wary. a little bit of wear ing thin o the democrat ic democratic. >> which is why they don't want to give republican negotiators all too long. people in the group -- not just republican negotiators in the group but democrats as well are saying publicly and telling chuck shchumer and others, look we are very close. we are almost there. this is going to be a major accomplishment for this de democratic congress and president joe biden. at the same time, though, certainly a lost impatience bubbling up with this $3.5 trillion package led by bernie sanders and will encompass all the party's priorities, expanded medicare coverage, dental and vision coverage. we're talking about potentially immigration. there are so many things in this. also we have such a short amount of time. chuck schumer wants to get not
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only the bipartisan package passed in the senate but this $3.5 trillion blueprint before the next session be. that's in two weeks. probably not going to happen. >> they said we're going to draw a red line on the debt ceiling and try to make this a political issue. here is chuck schumer's response to that. >> the leader's statements on debt ceiling are shameless, cynical and totally political. this debt is trump debt, republican debt. americans pay their debts. >> what type of potential bomb does this throw with the best-laid plans? >> right. now that joe biden is back in
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the white house, it seems they love their fiscal. it's all potentially going to be coming together at the same time. so this is a potential bomb for them. it's unclear whether they are going to include the debt ceiling in a reconciliation package. >> taking it off the table for mcconnell to use it as a political tool? >> yes. mcconnell have said we're not putting up the vote so you may as well put it in the reconciliation bill. there's also a timing question. they don't know whether they'll be able to pass that reconciliation bill in time for when the extraordinary measures run out. >> enjoy the rest of your summer. >> or lack thereof. >> coming up, who is to blame for this summer's covid surge? ah, there's no place like panera. enjoy the toasty, saucy chipotle chicken avocado melt on freshly b baked bread. panera. order on the app today.
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americans were hoping that this summer would mark the end of this pandemic but instead we are on the verge of another summer surge. cases have quadrupled, averaging more than 50,000 a day since april. if you are vaccinated your risk of being hospitalized and dying is still extremely low, but 40% of adults in america aren't. neither is anyone under the age of 12. and their risk has never been higher than before. >> whether you are vaccinated or
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not, please know we, together, are not out of the woods yet. >> growing frustration even among republicans about the millions of americans who refuse to get a shot. >> it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks not the regular foebs. i've done all i know how to do. i can encourage you to do something but i can't make you take care of yourself. >> cnn medical analyst is joining the conversation. i feel the frustration. i think we all do. that we thought we were out of the woods and we're not. what is your response to republican governors like kay ivey saying it bluntly? get vaccinated. >> what i really like that governor ivey said was she characterized the vaccinated as the regular folks and now the unvaccinated are clearly the irregular folks.
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what i didn't appreciate her was throwing her hands up in the air and say ing, i've done all thati can do. she vetoed a bill in alabama that would have allowed for vaccine passports. as governor, she could mandate that allstate workers get vaccinated. there's a lot that she can do to set the tone in her state. i don't think that she's helpless. but it is very frustrating right now. >> that is true, i think, in a lot of red states in this country. we're also learning this weekend, according to "the washington post" and some new reporting, that the white house is getting increasingly concerned about what could be this really strong summer surge. they write officials are looking at models that predict anywhere from a few thousand new covid cases to more than 200,000 every day in the fall. one new forecast estimates the united states could see three times the number of dayily deats from the coronavirus by october,
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compared to now. i mean, dr. reiner, is that real? real life we could be facing these kinds of numbers again? >> the number of cases will continue to rise. as you said we're up about 51,000 average cases per day. a lot of that is asymmetric in the united states, focused in florida, texas and california. but it's going to rise everywhere. it's much slower and to lower levels in place like the northeast, which have very high levels of vaccination. as for deaths, we'll have to see. the excellent thing in the united states is that we have vaccinated almost 90% of people over the age of 65. the most vulnerable. about 80% of the deaths came in the first three surges in this country. i do not expect to see deaths approach anything what we were seeing in january when we were seeing sometimes 2,000 to 3,000 deaths per day. we will not approach that. >> if there's any glimmer of hope, that some good news. we were discussing kay ivey, being this voice for republican
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frustration. there have been others. you saw steve scalise this week getting vaccinated. that's good. the florida governor ron desantis telling people get vaccinated. but, melanie, is this real? i mean, take a listen to joe biden. he characterized this as basically a come to jesus moment for republicans. >> what we have now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. and, by the way, you notice a lot of our very conservative friends have finally had an altar call. they've seen the lord, whether it's on fox news or whether it's the most conservative commentators. >> so, yes, in some corners of the republican party there has been a shift. house doctors caucus held a conference encouraging people to get vaccinated but at the same
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time they focused on origins of the virus, and tried to blame joe biden and skepticism of the vaccines. i talked to democrats who say too little, too late. it's great that steve scalise finally got vaccinated and some in fox news are moving in the right direction. but are they too late? >> we still don't have answers about many republicans in the house and whether they're vaccinated. 96 won't say. several in the senate won't say. it's a real problem. over at the white house they're looking at the big picture and trying to figure out what do they do about mask mandates and message this to the american people? you ask jen psaki, the press secretary, specifically this week about what's going on inside the white house, and this is that exchange. >> is the administration not mandating vaccines for white house staff? >> no, we have not mandated. >> and do you have a -- can you
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offer any percentage of employees who are vaccinated? >> i'm not going to provide that. >> what does that tell you about -- why? why would they not answer that? >> i think there is an assumption that the mantle of the white house staff is vaccinated but even as a journalist there's this honor system. you're told if you are vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask. so i would say the vast majority of journalists are not wearing masks. in her response, i interpreted it as a political reason in why they're not willing to engage in this question. i asked whether or not there's a mandate for white house staff and i think this administration is extremely reluctant to go anywhere near that word, mandate. it's become a very political football nechlt time they're asked questions about mandates, they'll throw it back to private companies, individual corporations can decide what they want to do. i was struck by the fact that they could, you would think in theory, mandate what folks are
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doing in the white house. >> my contacts have told me that while there's no official mandate for vaccination at the white house, if you will be in contact with the president or any of the principles, you must be be vaccinated. that's an unwritten law. of the vast majority of 97 members in congress who will not disclose their status have, indeed, been vaccinated, they just won't tell their status. >> the white house may not be able to continue to avoid if the numbers increase. the reality is that even though the unvaccinateed population is -- a higher percentage of them are republicans and in counties where trump won. if they get worse this is still a problem that biden administration will own t doesn't matter who gets sick. it will fall on their heads. >> one deliberation happening in the federal government about
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booster shots, some thinking people 65 and older might need the shot and people who are immuno compromised may need another shot if they got one of the mrnas. where do you come down on this? >> we should be hearing about this from the cdc not pfizer. all the information we're getting is from albert borla not rochelle walensky. pfizer is moving ahead with a plan to file for approval for booster shots because their six-month data seems to suggest that efficacy drops from 95% down to 84%. they're seeing some sort of mild waning of effectiveness. i expect we will start boosting people who are immuno compromised because when you measure their antibody response those folks don't have much. and then moving into the elderly, who have the most to
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lose from reinfection. >> we'll be on the lookout for that. dr. reiner, thanks. not on the ballot but democrats are still running against donald trump in a key governor's race. ne! and the world's best, and possibly only, schmelier. philadelphia. schmear perfection. (vo) nobody dreams in conventional thinking. it didn't get us to the moon. it doesn't ring the bell on wall street. or disrupt the status quo. t-mobile for business uses unconventional thinking to help you realize new possibilities on america's largest, fastest, and most reliable 5g network. plus customer experience that finds solutions in the moment. and first-class benefits, like 5g with every plan. network, support and value-- without any tradeoffs. that's t-mobile for business.
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it is an often year but democrats will face their real electoral test this november as virginia and new jersey choose their next governor. both states have a history of choosing the opposite party than the white house. in 2017, both states swung back, electing democrats. in virginia, democrats are hope ing to buck this trend. >> we share a lot in common.
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i ran against donald trump and so has terry. i whipped donald trump and so will terry. >> biden came out swinging against donald trump, which is not actually usually what he does. were you surprised by that? >> no. part of what you see is them test. running against donald trump remains a powerful message to motivate their base. there is some concern within democratic voters whether they're -- and democratic strategists whether their voters will show up in the same numbers they did in the trump administration. and keep states like virginia, which has trended basically democratic, i also think this was part of a strategy to try to bait former president trump to coming to virginia. >> nothing more motivating that are than trump showing up. >> voting is very powerful. >> what i thought was interesting, and so striking, is
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because president biden and this white house have so focused on not talking about the former pre. they call him the former guy. they insist over and over they are not paying attention to what he is doing out of office. to see joe biden come upswinging really grabs your attention and has more of an impact than perhaps if they were talking about him all the time. >> it's also a different vibe that you get from biden campaigning compared to when obama was in office. there was a sense of, mmm, i don't know. maybe we need to keep our distance. >> at this point in time, biden, you look at his approval numbers. he's pretty popular when you look at how he has handled covid, the economy. if you listen to the rest of that speech, he went on to say that voters will want to see that democrats have delivered. this is a pitch for folks to get behind his agenda. beyond the big covid relief package, the white house doesn't have a whole lot yet
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legislatively to offer voters as you're looking ahead to the 2022 midterms. >> to that point, we allude d t this. but going into the mid terms with the president being a democrat, virtually everyone believes this with one exception after 9/11. democrats gained 41 seats in 2018 under a republican president. republicans gained 63 seats under obama and so on and so forth. >> republicans could win back the house on redistricting alone. that's also factoring into this democrats are going into this. it's not just tying trump to all these republican candidates but talking about the economic policies. you've seen a very concerted effort on the hill to start talking up the child tax credits, for example, to sell
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what they're doing and trying to do because they know this will be an absolute dog fight. >> i had a democrat describe it to me as needles and checks. child tax credits, stimulus payments. if they don't get any other major accomplishments done, like you're talking about, do people still remember that in the mid term? those child tax credits will be long gone, probably long spent. we don't know what the will be in terms of the pandemic. >> it's barely a week old or so? >> yeah. >> there's a new abc news/ipsis poll showing perilous numbers for biden and democrats. optimism about where the country is headed has dropped about 20 points since april. pessimism risen by about the same amount since april. these kinds of right direction, wrong direction numbers, a little overstated in political
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punditry but do tell you about where the state of mind is for americans. >> i think a lot of that is tied to covid, though. when you have covid, covid trumps everything else. as we've begun to see cases and concerns over covid increase in the last couple of months, it seems to track with that polling. >> republicans see bad news on the horizon that they think they can run on, possibility of inflation, crime rates, other parts of life where people may not feel secure. it's just hard to say where the country is going to be, looking out over, what, a year and a half? >> right. there's also beyond the house of representatives, the senate landscape is one in which you are starting to see some young faces, some diverse faces showing up in the pool of candidates democrats are pulling from. here are just three of them. three young, black democrats who
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are running for senate seats in wisconsin, kentucky and pennsylvania. is this an opportunity, potentially, for there to be a fourth black senator? fewer than two handfuls since reconstruction. >> to your point, abby, right, it has been extremely rare to see african-americans win statewide. in the 2018 election cycle, i actually did some reporting on this. there were 50 states. there are 50 states and not a single black governor, kind of an astounding stat. that year we had three of the democratic gubernatorial nominees who are african-american. none of them won the general election. when i talk to folks, there's a whole host of reasons structurally that they'll talk about why there's a skepticism among largely white voters that black candidates can win statewide. that goes down to the democratic party apparatus support they feel they get. we'll see differences when you
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look at house and senate and gubernatorial races. >> one way the biden administration is approaching this is to boost up the dnc a little more than perhaps obama did in the years he was president. instead of creating a whole separate entity, the biden administration is saying they'll strengthen the dnc as opposed to the other way around. >> and part of this appearance in vnlg was to send a message to the democratic party that the biden administration will be heavily involved in these roadways and hoping to stave off the kinds of losses that the party saw at the state level during the obama years. >> exactly. coming up next for us, hunter biden's new job is sparking some ethics concerns over at the white house. that's why dove renews your skin's ceramides and strengthens it against dryness for softerer, smoother skin you can lovingly embrace. renew the love for your skin with dove body wash. ♪ ♪ oh, focaccia!
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hunter biden is a new artist but paintings are priced between 75,000 and $500,000 and he's planning to meet with potential buyers at art shows where his work will be sold. >> he is attending gallery events that have been prior planned and announced. >> there could be prospective buyers there. >> those discussions won't be happening but that's different
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than meeting with prospective buyer. he will not know, we will not know who purchases his art. >> can you find anyone other than a president's son who showed you on the scene and started selling for a house and a half? ideally hunter biden wouldn't be doing this. it sure looks like profiting off the presidency. >> i'm not an art critic. i don't know anything about art. >> you're not? >> these people do. one pulitzer prize winning art critic says that he thinks it's like a cafe painter. you wouldn't, unless you were related to the artist, spent more than $1,000 on it. another art critic, who actually likes hunter biden's work also says this. anybody who buys it would be guaranteed instant profit. he's the president's son. so, obviously, this is a problem, an ethical problem, of optics and from a practical perspective. why do this? >> the white house has been
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trying to defend this zirks saying it's a blind sale and that's how these interaction, transactions will occur. whether or not it's a blind sale, democrats, for the past few years, ripped into the trump family for trying to profit off the trump name. you think of ivanka trump and her fashion line that was shut down. now i think democrats are in this conundrum of trying to defend what hunter biden is doing when they spent the past few years very much criticizing president trump for profiting off that family name. >> to that point, here say taste of the headlines the last few years about the trump family. don and ivanka have profited off their dad's presidency. the trump children taking millions overseas as the president slams biden's son. just because they did it, does that mean you get to do it, too? >> how much do you want to bet that republicans will investigate this art deal if they win back the mantle?
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this is a huge ethics problem. making it more challenging is it is art. the value is assigned. that's why critics are saying different things. the white house is trying to get some sort of wrap around this, trying to come up with an arrangement that will make it look better but they're worried about it. >> there say model for doing it differently. look at former president bush. he is an artist. it's not a perfect comparison. he painted and donated the proceeds of those paintings to his nonprofit. there are other ways in which he could be an artist, be a professional artist that wouldn't necessarily -- might have an easier time through ethics regulations. >> for biden, hunter -- this is his son, obviously. he has been through a lot of different things, addiction and what have you. it seems for biden and now his staff, who has to kind of take the president's stance on this, hunter biden's ethical line crossing seems to be a bit of a blind spot. >> it certainly is a challenging
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point for the administration. and i think one other all alternative that has been proposed by ethics expert is perhaps making everything transparent, not making these blind sales but to tell people exactly who paid for this and how much. and i believe walter schwab was one of the people who proposed that option. but right now the white house seems to think that the blind sale is the best option. certainly these are questions they're going to be facing. >> i find it hard to believe there is any such thing as a blind sale when you're purchasing art from the president's son. that's it for us today on "inside politics." coming up next, "state of the union" with jake tapper and dana bash. jake's guests include anthony fauci, senator pat toomey and a arkansas governor asa hutchinson. thank you for sharing your sunday with us. this is my last sunday before i go on maternity leave for the big breaking news event, the birth of our daughter.
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we will be back next weekend with the guest host manu raju. and i will see you later this year. have a great rest of your day. ♪ someone once told me, that i should get used to people staring. so i did. it's okay, you can stare. when you're a two-time gold medalist, it comes with the territory. xxxx. when i get a migraine, i shut out the world. but with nurtec odt that's all behind me now. nurtec is the first and only option
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avoidable surge. the deadly delta variant spreads further with unvaccinated americans bearing the brunt. >> we have the tools to end this epidemic. >> will enough americans get the message that vaccines save lives? i'll speak to dr. anthony fauci and the governor of a state battling one of the lowest vaccination rates, arkansas governor asa hutchinson, next. senators are struggling to come together on a much-needed infrastructure plan. can they reach a deal? senator pat toomey joins me exclusivel

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