tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN October 2, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
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hill today to try to break the stalemate in his own party over his agenda. but at this hour, still no deal on the massive spending package, and there was no vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. tonight the house speaker nancy pelosi telling her colleagues more time is needed. plus there's possible sightings of brian laundrie in north carolina. we have the details on where some people say they have spotted gabby petito's fiance. and the postal service is slowing down certain mail service starting today, so will your mail be delayed? i want to bring in now cnn's senior political commentator david axelrod. david, good evening to you. man, for a friday night, we've got a lot to talk about. >> yeah. >> president biden vowing to get his agenda through. listen, and then we'll talk. >> i'm telling you we're going to get this done. it doesn't matter when. it doesn't matter whether it's in six minutes, six days, or six
weeks. we're going to get it done. >> so democrats got this far because they had a deadline. now they don't have one. so what happens if this drags on? >> well, they don't have an immediate deadline. time is pressing in on them, and i think they all understand that they have to come to an agreement, don. he's not wrong. i mean we tend to judge things in the moment. if he gets a deal, people aren't going to grade him on style points or speed. they're going to grade him on the deal itself and the fact that he got one. so he's not wrong about that. but this is like kind of maneuvering an 18-wheeler into a loading dock. i mean you have to go to the left, a little to the right. if you go too fast, if you turn the wheel too much, you know, you can have a kind of a wreck. so, you know, that's the process they're engaged in now. i continue to believe that every
democrat there, whether they're moderates or progressives, understand that. walking away with nothing is -- is just a disaster for everyone involved, and so they'll find -- >> you think they understand that? >> i'm sorry? >> you think everybody understands that? >> i -- by and large, i think yes. i think they do. everybody has skin in this game. you know, what we've seen -- and i've said this to you before -- manchin and sinema have taught a lesson in leverage, and everybody is trying to use their leverage to get priorities in these packages, particularly in the reconciliation package. some of the moderates are fighting hard for this infrastructure package. but i think all of them understand that if they -- i mean it would be a catastrophic failure for democrats if they walked away with nothing when they have a chance to do something historic. whether that is at $2 trillion
or $3.5 trillion. and of course the priorities matter, and that's what people are fighting over, and that's a longer discussion than they could probably have this week. >> yeah. >> but, yeah, i think biden is right to be confident, but it's going to be a very arduous process because people do feel a sense of urgency about particular priorities, and they're using that leverage to get them in this package. >> but don't they stand a chance of losing support on the other side if they let this drag on from people who are saying, democrats aren't really going for this, i as a republican, why am i? a few house republicans that were previously planning to support this bill, the infrastructure bill, are now rethinking their votes after biden's visit to capitol hill. i think it's now clear as ever that the bill will be linked to reconciliation. what happens if the gop pulls support for infrastructure? >> well, that puts more pressure on democrats to be unified on
the infrastructure bill, and the progressives have said they'll vote for the infrastructure bill once they have an assurance that there's going to be a reconciliation bill. and i think that's really where we're at right now. they need hard assurance that there is a bill. this is what the bill's going to look like. the senate's going to vote on it. the house is going to vote on it. 50 democratic senators in the senate are going to vote for this reconciliation bill. these are the insurances that they're looking for, and then that -- you know, they will vote for the infrastructure bill. but, yes, there is risk. remember when biden linked these bills in the first place, there was a tremendous hue and cry among republicans. and on the senate side, it threatened the bill. but i don't think house -- i mean i think they'd love to have house republicans on that bill, but they shouldn't be necessary if democrats ultimately are unified. >> thank you, david. i'll see you next time. appreciate it. >> all right.
thanks. >> joining me now, democratic congresswoman and vice chair of the progressive caucus sheila jackson lee. she was in the meeting with president biden today. so good to see you. long time no see, as they say. thank you for joining us on this friday. when i don't see you, i know it's busy and you're getting things done. it sounds like progressives what they needed to hear from the president, that he wants to pass both bills together, but he is also saying according to lawmakers, the reconciliation package will need to be somewhere between $1.9 trillion and $2 trillion. how does all that sound? >> well, thank you so very much for having me. it is long time no see, and i would simply say that progressives got a victory tonight. members of the black caucus and other caucuses that are focused on the needs of vulnerable people, we got a victory tonight because in essence we stood fast so that the president's agenda could move forward. the very agenda that you know,
don, that he campaigned on and the very agenda that really speaks to a seismic amount of vulnerable people in the united states. what he wants to do is life-changing. i think what i heard today in the meeting was an affirmation of the work that was done by all of those who insisted on the two bills being one and as well the president's commitment to work with us. and i love that phrase. six minutes, six days, or six weeks. it will be before that, but frankly this gives us the opportunity to focus on the priorities, to get the build back better bill right and really his work in the senate for all senators, democratic and if there's ever one republican, we welcome them, to get it right for the american people. that's our job. >> i want to put up this graphic showing what the wish list is for biden's build back better plan. things like universal pre-k, community college, paid
maternity leave, measures to address the climate crisis. what are you willing to trim to get the cost down? >> well, here's what i think has to happen. first of all, we need to see what programs the senate are going to offer. we can't do a percentage cut. we can't do an across the board cut. programs don't work that way. so we're not prepared to slice and dice. we want to hear what the senate has. but i will tell you our priorities include housing, lowering the drug costs, and creating the care economy. congressional black caucus is concerned with the federal medicaid, what was dropped off for 12 states when we did the affordable care act. historically black colleges, and of course all of us are focusing on the crisis in the climate. so i frankly believe that we're closer than we think, that we have the opportunity to look programmatically and get the gist of what we're trying to change lives with. one of the elements in the congressional black caucus is,
of course, the maternal health, black maternal health mortality, and we're improving that. so with the leadership of what we've done in the progressive caucus, holding the line, having the votes that would not move until we put these two bills together, and the president was, in fact, i believe, welcoming where we are today and ready to roll up his sleeves and get this done. someone said do your job. we did our job. now we've got to continue to get the bills passed and hand it off to the american people. >> just to be clear because, listen, i think you said this. maybe i just didn't hear it. i don't hear so well all the time. sometimes i talk too much. but just to be clear about one thing, are progressives still only willing to pass infrastructure as long as the social safety net plan passes the senate, or will seeing a framework be enough? >> we want to do what the president indicated, and the president indicated the two bills are together. we believe we can do that.
that means as the infrastructure bill is already ready, don -- you know that -- we can get the build back better bill ready. the senate can pass it. then we can pass it in the house, and we'll be able to pass both bills at the same time. and we will not be delayed so much so that the american people will be at a disadvantage. i think that should be very clear. we're getting our job done, but we're doing it the right way. >> thank you so much. as they say, don't be a stranger. it's good to see you. >> thank you for having me. have a wonderful weekend. >> you as well. >> we're working hard. >> i want to bring in now presidential historian jon meacham. he is the writer and narrator of the podcast "it was said." jon meacham, good to see you, sir. doing okay? >> i'm in one piece. how are you? >> what a week politically. i'm doing very well. thank you very much. president biden is vowing to get these deals done and says that the timeline isn't important, you know, as important as the folks in the media are making it
out to be. when it comes to his legacy, will anyone remember all this wrangling if these bills ultimately get passed? someone just mentioned that before. i think it was -- who mentioned it? it may have been ron brownstein. david axelrod. there's my memory. david axelrod just mentioned it. i remember the affordable care act. there was a lot of wrangling, but i was also on the anchor desk the night that it passed. does anybody remember that? they just remember it's obamacare and the affordable care act, and it's the law of the land. >> no, that's exactly right. president clinton used to always say that presidents usually get one sentence, and if they're lucky, they get two. lin lincoln -- no, i don't think a couple of days, weeks, whatever the president said today matters very much. i think what does matter is that the democratic party and the president need to prove, as they
put it, that democracy can deliver. and i think that this is an enormously consequential moment. i think one of the things i'd urge all of us to do is try to resist an analog instinct for analysis. that is, who's up, who's down, who won the week, who lost the week. that defined our ethos for a long time, but that was before 2017. >> it's like sports reporting, right? 50 yard line and they did this and these are the stats. but go on. >> it's understandable. it's entertaining, you know, and we should be honest about that, that when you follow these things as closely as you and i do and so many other people, then there's an instinct to do that. after january 6th, in an era where 55% to 60% of republicans believe a free, full, and fair election was stolen, then this
is not an analog era. and i do believe that it's hugely important that washington show that they can deliver for the 81 million people who decided that joe biden should be at the pinnacle of power and not his predecessor. >> so, jon, representative david cicilline told reporters that president biden talked about how his paintings of lincoln and fdr hung up in the oval office with cicilline saying that a deeply divided country and the biggest economic transformation, which is the kind of moment that we're in right now, what do you think of that? >> well, you know, president biden was generous enough to ask me back during the transition what i thought should hang -- make recommendations for what should be in the oval office. and fdr is there over the mantel not least because the argument is that in 1933, democracy was
in peril. there were authoritarian movements on the move around the world. there was a question about whether democratic capitalism would survive that decade. over his left shoulder as he sits there, you see hamilton and jefferson, and that's to remind people that we've been fighting like this from the very beginning. hamilton once said -- or jefferson said that he and hamilton were like two cocks in a pit in the first cabinet, always fighting. and washington and lincoln are on the other side. washington helped found that union. lincoln helped save it. rosa parks is in there. cesar chavez is in there. eleanor roosevelt is in there. harry truman is in there. it's hopefully a space that looked like the country and reminds us of what our best parts are, the best elements of who we are. so i think that it's hyperbole
is very seductive, but remember an armed mob tried to stop the constitutional processes from unfolding on january 6th in this calendar year. and one of the great things about america is that we move on quickly, and one of the worst things about america is we move on too quickly. >> democratic congressman mike quigley described biden's hill meeting as an olive branch that he wasn't telling people what to do. but how does biden's negotiating style compare to other presidents? >> well, no president's ever had as much legislative experience, 36 years in the senate, the 8 years in the vice presidency. >> none. >> sorry? >> no one? >> we've never had a -- >> wow. >> no one with that legislative experience, no. you know, he's our oldest
president. he's our most experienced legislator, been in public life since 1972, and so he's been around a lot of these things. and i can't think of anybody with comparable experience who's been there. experience doesn't necessarily translate into success, but, you know, he knows where the men's room is on capitol hill. >> okay. jon, what about the optics of the president on capitol hill, meeting with all these different groups within his party? does he look like he is in control or losing it to progr progressives? look, i like seeing the president on capitol hill talking to people. i think it's really important, so i don't -- you know, maybe i characterize that wrong. i'm not sure if you see it as losing to progressives. >> i suspect people in america today, we read into things what we want to read into them.
i think people who like president biden see that as a wise thing to do, go up and look folks in the eye. as we know in our own lives, it's hardest, particularly if you're a politician, to tell somebody no when you're looking at them. it gets easier when you're writing or on the phone. and so a politician's unity of commerce is to create an appearance of a bond of affection and respect that manifests itself in a vote. that's what politicians do. they like the notion of fighting, but when they're in a room, you know, it's very hard to be in a room with a lot of politicians because everyone's embracing, right? it's the most uncovid think you can imagine. and i think having him there was a signal of the significance that he ascribes to this moment, and if it makes a difference, we'll see it in the vote. >> jon, thank you.
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so tonight a north carolina sheriff tells cnn that they are monitoring tips about alleged sightings of gabby petito's fiance brian laundrie. the alleged sightings coming just miles away from a major hiking trail. that as new questions are cropping up over his family's camping trip days before he went missing. jean casares has the latest. >> reporter: new questions tonight about brian laundrie and his interactions with family in the days around the disappearance of gabby petito. brian and his parents visited the fort desoto campground the weekend of september 6th according to their attorney, who now tells cnn brian's sister, cassie, was also with them for a day.
cassie spoke to abc news in an interview that aired september 17th. >> we haven't been able to talk to him. i wish i could talk to him. i've cooperated every way that i can. >> reporter: cnn obtained records showing laundrie's mother canceled a camping reservation made for two people on august 31st, the day before brian returned home without gabby. later that week, she made a new reservation for three people. this is new body cam footage providing insight into the strained relationship between gabby petito and brian laundrie. officers in utah caught up with the couple in mid-august after a witness called police to report a domestic dispute. >> so there's two people that came to us and told us that they saw him hit you. >> reporter: in the back of the police car, 22-year-old petito tearfully claims she is the one who initiated that fight after a few quick questions about her injuries -- >> kind of looks someone hit you
in the face and over on your arm, your shoulder, right here. that's new, huh? that's kind of a new mark. >> yeah, i don't know. >> reporter: the officers turned their focus on petito's actions instead. >> were you attempting to cause him physical pain or physical impairment? what was the reason behind the slapping and stuff? >> i was trying to [ inaudible ]. >> for nearly an hour, the police questioned the couple about their relationship separately and determined laundrie is the victim. >> so at this point, you're the victim of domestic assault. >> reporter: it is something even laundrie finds surprising. >> she's my fiancee. i love her. it's just a little squabble. >> reporter: ultimately laundrie is sent to a hotel for the night, and the police deem the interaction a mental health crisis. >> i want to be separated. >> you have anxiety?
>> yeah. >> reporter: what everyone wants to know is when will the autopsy be complete? what is the official cause of death? and will that help give investigators answers to their many questions.casares, thank y much. joining me now, palm beach county state attorney dave aro aronberg. the watauga county sheriff in north carolina has received tips about alleged sightings of brian laundrie in the area. they are taking them seriously. they have to. how important are tips like these from the public, and how do you decide which ones to pursue, which ones are legit, so on? >> yeah, good evening, don. they're really important because, remember, we have only about 850,000 law enforcement agents throughout the country with a population of over 300 million. so we depend upon tips from civilians. law enforcement can't do it themselves, and that even
includes tips from dog the bounty hunter, which i think shows he's now involved. maybe we are really living in a computer simulation that someone is just inserting a reality star in the mix. it just has a whole 2020 vibe to it. but i think we depend and we need civilians to speak up. that's why we always say if you see something, say something. but the one drawback to that is that it really will keep law enforcement busy because as many good tips you get, you get that many more bad tips. so it could send the limits resources on wild goose chases in some instances. >> i want to play some of the new body cam footage that was released where gabby admits that brian did hit her. here it is. >> did he hit you, though? it's okay if you're saying you hit him, and i understand if he hit you. but we want to know the truth if he actually hit you. >> i guess. i guess, yeah, but i hit him first. >> where did he hit you? don't worry. just be honest. >> he scratched my face, i guess. he didn't hit me in the face.
he didn't like punch me in the face or anything. >> did he slap your face or what? >> well, he grabbed me like with his nail. i have a little cut right here. >> she admitted that he grabbed her face and then scratched her. what goes through your mind when you watch that? do police officers appear to be trained to look for signs of domestic violence? in their questioning, to me it seems so, but i wonder what you think. >> yeah, that was a troubling video because throughout the video, it does seem like they were closer to arresting gabby than brian. now that you see gabby admitting that, yes, brian did grab my face. he put his nail in her cheek and left a mark, and yet still they had to be talked out of arresting gabby because brian was like, hey, i don't want anyone arrested. they made him out to be more the victim. you can't even look at this
separately. what you have to do, don is know the fact that there was also a report that brian was locking gabby out of the van, a van that she owned in part or in whole. plus there was a report that he was trying to grab her phone. these are things he's not allowed to do. so you combine that with the fact that he apparently grabbed her face, and there were two witnesses that said he slapped her. and you have to wonder why he wasn't arrested. at the very least, i think there was probable cause to arrest him that day. >> we continue to learn more about the actions of brian's parents after he returned home from this trip without gabby. are the laundries doing a pretty good job of implicating themselves here? >> oh, they're doing a great job of incriminating themselves in the court of public opinion. but in a court of law, you need more. it's not just enough that they lawyered up or they are staying silent. that's not enough to charge them with a crime. but if they knew that brian committed a crime they tried to
prevent his arrest or punishment in some way, then they could be charged with accessory after the fact. so if they tried to sanitize the van or destroy evidence or if they bought him a plane ticket to get out of dodge, yeah, then the law enforcement officers can be showing up in their driveway with a shiny pair of handcuffs. >> thank you, dave. i appreciate it. school boards say that the threats against them are getting so bad that they need help from the fbi. stay with us. might find the perfect bag for a weekend getaway. or a hand forged damascus steel blade. a cocktail smoking kit. or a fire powered siphon for brewing your morning coffee. whatever you're into, bespoke has tons of boxes and handpicks one just for you each month. head to bespokepost.com and get a free gift with your first box when you enter code free.
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a threat so serious a school board group is asking the fbi, homeland security, and the justice department for help. the national school boards association sending president biden a letter saying -- and i quote here -- as these acts of malice, violence and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes. terrorism and hate crimes? that's what our school boards are facing. let's listen to just some of it. >> calm down. calm down. >> we know who you are. we know who you are. >> you can leave freely, but we remind you and we know who you are. >> and i'm going to come for everybody that comes at my kid
with this stupid, ridiculous mandate. >> we are the storm, and we are here already. and when this whole thing crumbles to the ground, we will be here to hold your accountable for your crimes against humanity. >> no more masks! no more masks! >> okay, right here. look right here. as you can see, fists are now flying. all of this on live television. fists are flying. >> you are allowing child abuse. you are allowing child abuse. you are allowing child abuse. you are allowing child abuse. you with your snotty little face, you're allowing it as well. >> parents. joining me now to discuss, the interim executive director and chief executive officer of the national school boards association. also nikki hudson, a member of the worthington, ohio, school
board. good evening. i'm so glad both of you could join us this evening. have parents always acted that way? i have no idea, but this just seems just beyond. nikki, you personally have been on the receiving end of some of these threats. in the letter to biden, the nsba referenced that you got this mail, and i quote here. we are coming after you and all the members on the board of education. you are forcing them to wear masks for no reason in this world other than control and for what you will -- for that you will pay dearly. i mean what is it like getting this letter as someone who's trying to take care of kids, help kids? >> it's deeply disturbing, don. you know, in part because of the fact that it's, you know, a threat against, like you said, individuals who are trying to make decisions, decisions that are in the best interest of our
students and public health. it's being directed as us who are members of this community, who have children in our school district, and it also -- i mean there were other things in that letter, and so it's also because of the amount of, you know, hate and intimidation and racism that are woven within these threats. >> yeah. chip, did this all start with the pandemic? i said, you know, parents always acted this way, but did this start with the pandemic, or has your group seen an uptick in these threats before 2020? >> well, i really think there were three things. you already were in a volatile national election prior to the pandemic. then the pandemic hit. it shut the buildings down, obviously changed schools, you know, dramatically. and then you had, i think, the economic impact of that. that also affected many people's lives. i would say that this isn't necessarily parents. i think it's rogue individuals who are showing up at these meetings with a set agenda.
they're creating all of these problems. the clips you just showed are so disturbing, but there are so many other incidents like that that haven't even been reported. what we want to do is try and get the nation to take a step back, to take a deep breath, to get back to that concept that we can -- you know, we can disagree, but then the meeting ends, we can go away agreeably. we've got to get back to that civil discourse. whatever your position is on masks, whether you're pro-mask or anti-mask, we can't have these disruptions. our children are watching all of this, and frankly they're the ones that are being the good influence right now. we need to follow their lead to get us through this pandemic. >> yeah. chip, it's not just covid. safety measures, right? you've seen a lot of threats coming because of critical race theory. tell us what you're seeing, please. >> we're seeing a lot of things. for example, critical race theory is not even something that's actually taught in k-12 schools. it's a subject taught at the high level in law school and graduate schools. so we're combating that
misinformation around things like that, around, you know, various things related to the pandemic and trying to protect students when they're in school, to protect the teachers, and to make sure importantly that, you know, there's a positive environment for students. when we have schools being locked down in washington state because protesters have showed up while the students are inside trying to learn, that is a real problem. and they're not isolated incidents. and we simply need to do something about it. that's why we sent the letter was in part to just call attention. you know, we cited about 20 incidents in this letter. we could have cited a lot more. we also do believe there is a proper role to support local and state law enforcement in public schools from the federal government to make sure we're getting the best information, we have resources available, and that we're all following this issue closely and staying in coordination with each other. >> you know, nikki, beyond the threats, this has to be, you know, a very stressful time for you and for your colleagues. the pandemic has been stressful
for everyone. you had to make a lot of decisions with, you know, little and often changing information to keep students safe and staff safe as a matter of fact and your community. >> mm-hmm. >> so what has that been like? what do you want people out there to know about what you guys have been doing and what you're dealing with? >> i want people to understand that, you know, we're humans who are doing our best, right, to understand that we have been through the pandemic as well. and we make the best decisions we can with the information that we have. like you said, for the best interest of our students and our teachers and our community because what happens in the school then impacts the families at the home and vice versa. and, you know, in the words of my 12-year-old, we were talking about this tonight. she said, it's as if people don't understand there's an actual human on the other end of their actions or their words. so i agree with chip. it is a time to remember that we
need to engage civilly and with respect and decency and that it's okay that we disagree. we need to do that and model for our children that we can do that in a productive manner and in a manner which we can actually hear each other. and you can't hear people would are screaming at school board meetings. you can't hear people who are doing the nazi salute at school board meetings and equating you to nazis because you have a mask mandate for public health. i don't feel like that is an attempt actually to be heard. i think it's an attempt to make a show. and the letter -- the letter says, like it's not just a show. it's, you know, we're going to come after you and get rid of you one way or the other, and then we're going to run people against you. and it's across the nation. >> yeah. nikki, chip, thank you for your time. please keep us updated, okay? please be safe. >> thank you. >> thanks so much, don.
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u.s. district judge said he took unique, purposeful, independent actions to reach in and grab at fanone's equipment. officer fanone has talked on this show about how horrible that day was. >> i experienced the most brutal, savage, hand-to-hand combat of my entire life, let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades. it was nothing that -- that i had ever thought would be a part my law enforcement career, nor was i prepared to experience. >> officer fanone was tased. he had a heart attack and a traumatic brain injury. he was left on the ground before a fellow officer could save him. but the attacker has argued in court that he tried to help fanone in all the chaos. well, the judge not buying it, though. she says -- and i quote here -- he may be a helpful human being
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general's plan to modernize the usps. cnn's kristen holmes has all the details. >> reporter: after more than a year of complaints nationwide about the snail-like pace of mail delivery -- >> they should figure out a way to get it there on time. >> reporter: -- it's about to get worse. >> i feel like we already wait so much. >> reporter: the cause, trump-era most master general louis dejoy's ten-year plan starts today, and it promises to increase the delivery time for first-class mail from three days to five. experts say this will mostly f affect mail traveling long distances, the postal service relying more on ground transportation than planes. western states will experience the brunt of these changes. 70% of first class mail sent to nevada will be delayed. 58% delayed to washington state. and 57% to montana. florida will also see massive delays with 60% of deliveries. dejoy says the plan will save
money. >> it is a path to financial sustainability and service excellence. >> reporter: lawmakers pushing back. >> medical shipments have gone missing. many small businesses cannot get their products to customers. i've gotten complaints from just families who didn't get birthday cards from grandma to their grandchild or notices about things that they needed to get to on time. >> reporter: as well as members of the postal service board of governors. >> intention al slowing first-class mail and package delivery by changing service standards is strategically ill conceived, creates dangerous risks that are not justified by the relatively low financial return, and doesn't meet our responsibility as an essential part of america's critical infrastructure. >> reporter: dejoy remains mired in controversy, a staple of his tenure. the trump holdover and republican mega donor came under fire during the 2020 election as democrats accused him of intention al sabotaging the
postal service and slowing down delivery amid unprecedented mail-in voting. dejoy denies all accusations. democrats have called for president biden to get rid of dejoy. while biden doesn't have the power to fire him, he can replace the board that does, but the president has shown no interest in doing that. earlier this year, he nominated three people to vacant seats on the postal service board of governors, but the majority installed on the board under former president trump standing behind dejoy. the postmaster general telling lawmakers he's not going anywhere. >> well, how much longer are you planning to stay? >> a long time. get used to me. >> reporter: kristen holmes, cnn, washington. >> and thank you for watching. our coverage continues. - [narrat ready for what's next, custom gear from custom ink can help make the most of these moments.
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president biden has a message for democratic lawmakers feuding over key pieces of his agenda. details as well as the response from the chair of the progressive caucus. plus, as the u.s. passes another milestone in covid deaths, a new pill could be a game changer. and in taipei, they say they have witnessed the largest air incursion by chinese military airport. welcome to all of you watching us here in the united states, canada and around the wo