tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN October 18, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
to block them from getting his records, claiming executive privilege to keep the records secret. and senators bernie sanders and joe manchin meeting today to work out their differences. sanders says he hopes for positive action in the next week. let's bring in john harwood and senior legal and last laura coates. good to see both of you. john, the committee is releasing information on steve bannon, who is refusing to comply with the subpoena. what are you learning here? >> steve bannon is playing a lot of games to try to avoid testifying. steve bannon was not an employee of the white house here in the relevant period so executive privilege doesn't apply. steve bannon was relying on and
invoking letters from a lawyer from trump instructing him not to apply. this is plainly a situation where steve bannon and the rest of the trump team is doing everything they can to stall, delay, to obstruct this january 6th committee and the committee's had enough of it and that's why they're moving toward criminal contempt proceedings that are likely to clear the house and then the house is what does justice department do about it? >> that is a good question. the committee is saying bannon's own public words are damning and have nothing to do with executive privilege. it says "statements publicly made by mr. bannon suggest he had some foreknowledge about extreme events that would occur the next day. mr. bannon you noted that the next day the country would face a constitutional crisis and that it was about to go up about five orders of magnitude tomorrow. he can't just claim some blanket
privilege, am i correct? >> correct. and of course even if there were a valid privilege that he wanted to assert, if he made the information public, he loses the ability to assert the privilege. imagine if it was an attorney/client privilege where it would be preserved and you could not be able to disclose it. however, if you go out go out and say things, you can now put the jeannie back in the bottle. even more so, you can't just assert as a get out of subpoena free card. you have to actually still show up. you could choose to try to argue that you have a valid privilege that allows you to not answer certain questions but you can't just not appear. more importantly, remember, every conversation with a president or an attorney is not going to be automatically privileged. it has to actually have -- be under the umbrella has to why we even have executive privilege, in an advisory capacity, having candid conversation with the president of the united states to get some sort of advice or
counsel. here, even if there was an exchange of information, there's not an automatic assignment of privilege. i remind, everyone, of course, that the holder of the executive privilege is the holder of the office, the president of the united states. there is some argument to be made about how successor presidents could notably try to enforce, here this one is not inclined to do so because there seems to be the allegations of course of dereliction of duty, of behavior that is not constitutional or not in the interest of executive branch. so all these things go to show you that he does not have a valid claim of executive privilege. he'll try to assert, it try to get into the courts and prolong it but ultimately there is no privilege to be had. >> we shouldn't be surprised by this, donald trump suing the january 6th committee to stop them from getting information. the white house is saying no.
>> that's exactly what they're saying, as laura just indicated. they're not invoking executive privilege in support of their predecessor. and the white house spokesman put out a very blunt statement tonight saying that president trump abused his power in an incidents that posed an existential threat to democracy. what it shows you is that even though the biden administration has been concerned from the beginning about not appearing to be politically vengeful against president trump, joe biden's tried to bring the country together and turn down the partisan temperature. when we get down to the efforts that have gone on by the republican party within the congress and the entire trump team to obstruct this inquiry, they're simply not going to go along with that. and the president, you know, joe biden said last week he thought that the justice department should prosecute criminally
people who defied valid subpoenas. now, the white house walked in a back a little bit today. jen psaki said the president said he's not going to tell the justice department what to do, but it's pretty clear that this justice department does not have unlimited patience or deference to its predecessor and given the gravity of what happened on january 6th, even if they don't independently pursue legal action apart from what's going on with the committee, they're not going to block the january 6th committee from getting this information. they're going to facilitate that and that's a problem for president trump, although you could run out the clock and we don't know how long democrats are going to control the congress and running out the clock has worked legally for donald trump before. >> yeah, i don't know if it will this time. listen, i want to ask you something that happened today, something pretty big on capitol hill, one would think.
check this out. >> we're talking. >> we're talking. >> so we're talking. okay. these two, you know, they've been at each other's throats, they stand on opposite sides, so we know that they have been fighting over climate change provisions in this spending bill. could this be a sign of a breakthrough, john? >> yes. and i don't want to oversell the idea of a breakthrough, just as i wouldn't oversell the idea that they were at each other's throats. they disagree. they come from very different places politically, but both of politicians who know how to make deals. and now we're getting to the last chapter of this negotiation on the hill. the gears are clicking, they are getting closer to a deal, closer -- they're more able to deal with joe manchin of west virginia, who is a traditional politician, though a much more conservative one than other
democrats. it's easier to deal with him than it is to deal with kirsten sinema of arizona because the other members of congress know less about where she's coming from so she's a little more mysterious and harder to make a deal with. but they're getting closer and i think there's suggest optimism within the white house and among the democratic leadership that before too long, maybe this week, next week, they're going to get some kind of agreement that will allow them to move forward on a reconciliation bill, not nearly as big as president biden and democratic leaders wanted but something fairly substantial. >> we'll see what happens. thank you both. i appreciate it. the nation tonight mourning colin powell, the first secretary of state and first and only black chairman of chiefs. he died while fighting cancer. he had a huge impact on the country and quite frankly the
entire world. joining me is the former ground commander in iraq and co-author of identify hunting the caliphate." thank you and i'm so sorry for your los. i appreciate you joining us. so colin how will was the first black secretary of state for george w. bush. so many firsts. what impact did he had on the institutions and the country he served? >> he had a huge impact. he was a towering figure. i remember just meeting him as a young captain in germany and he was the fifth core commander and even then, his presence was inspiring. he inspired young officers like myself and multiple generations of soldiers. not just by his leadership but by the way he could connect and
communicate with everyone, anyone from the most junior soldier all the way to prime ministers and presidents of countries. he was an amazing man. >> he called himself a reluctant warrior. explain what he meant by that. >> i think that's fair. in fact, so many of us who have been through combat multiple times realize that war kills people that we know and wounds people that we know. so war isn't something that a warrior i think really seeks. so, in fact, he understood how terrible war is and to avoid at all costs unless it was a last resort. he believed in diplomacy first and then if you actually had to go to war, make sure you win. that's where the powell doctrine came from, the use of overwhelming force to win. >> look, his tenure included the
1991 gulf war, his efforts in securing him a congressional gold medal and the presidential medal of freedom. he later developed a rivalry with donald rumsfeld during the w. bush years. talk to me about his leadership style and how it evolved and affected decades of u.s. military strategy. look, they say the sign of a great person is to be able to evolve and change over time and he certainly did that. >> yeah, i believe he did. in fact, he was very good as a staff officer certainly in the pentagon, but he also could lead. and he led large organizations such as the fifth core when i met him in germany in the 1980s. and then forces command, which is the largest army command that the army has. it's in charge of all army forces in the continental united states. he had that, a more directive type of leadership. and then as national security adviser for president reagan,
that was more of a soft power because that was an adviser, coming up with plans and advising then president reagan. and then as secretary of state, a whole different kind of leadership is needed. one is certainly as an adviser to president bush on foreign policy but also being a representative throughout the world and representing the united states. so many facets of his leadership and his amazing abilities. >> you know, general powell admitted when she was wrong, most notably for the support of the iraq war on the basis of alleged weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be inaccurate. >> i turned the dial. >> you regret it. >> i regret it now because the information is wrong, of course i do. but there wasn't a word in that speech was that not vetted or approved by the intelligence
community. that's neither here nor there. >> are you ticked? >> yeah. >> i regret it, he said. what did it mean for him to say that? >> that's the mark of i think a trusted leader, which is you own it when you make a mistake. and he admitted that he was wrong based on flawed intelligence and if he had to do it over again, he would have done something different obviously. but he owned that. and, again, a respected leader does that. >> also, look, he's talking about how he evolved over time. who could forget the long-time republican endorsed then senator and endorsed not his long time friend john mccain. watch this. >> he's a new figure coming on to the world stage and for that reason i'll be voting for senator barack obama. >> the former president barack obama said in a statement today he appreciated the manner in which powell endorsed him by
squashing the conspiracy surrounding his faith. why was his endorsement you think so meaningful? >> i think it was important because general colin powell was a part of kind of the old guard in government and certainly republican circles. he was a moderate republican but he was well respected beyond the republican party. he was respected as an american throughout the country. so that was a very important endorsement for president obama at that time. >> i had the honor of sitting down and speaking with colin powell. this was in 2009 about the former president barack obama's election and what it meant to race in this country. listen to this. >> many people in the world thought americans aren't ready for this, they won't do it. >> you're emotional about it now. you're almost crying. why? >> i don't know why. maybe it's because i remember the days when a young black kid growing up in the brox could only look to a joe lewis or a
ralph waffle bunch or jackie robinson for inspiration. maybe because i grew up in an integrated neighborhood in new york city, i was a second class citizen. >> do you think the role model he became to black kids in this country and race relations in this country? >> absolutely. he never forgot really where he came from. he benefited from others also. let's remember, it was the carter administration in 1977 when the first black secretary of the army, clifford alexander, was there. and in 1977 the army's one star list of brigadier generals came out and clifford alexander asked the question is there no one of color who could possibly be a general officer? he really pushed that. so the very next year a colonel colin powell were on that list
and three other minority officers were on that list. if it hadn't been for that, we might not have even been able to benefit from the great talent and leadership of colin powell later on in life. he might have retired as a colonel at that time. but he was given an opportunity by someone who looked at diversity inclusion as a part of talent management. and so that was very special. and he never forgot that. he looked for others. he looked beyond what a person's gender, color or other affiliations, for talent. and he always pushed that. >> even through the last presidential election, powell had been very open about his politics. he came out strongly against former president trump. he said the gop did not represent him anymore. why was he so disappointed if his -- in his former party and really the direction the party
was going in, specifically in the trump direction? >> well, remember with general powell, the republican party to him was the party of reagan. and he had served there as national security adviser. so many people who supported him in those days were in fact republican leaders. he went on to serve with president george h.w. bush sr. as well as george w. bush. so that was the republican party to colin powell. and obviously the republican party has morphed since then and has taken a different turn. >> well, general, we thank you so much for joining us to share your knowledge about the person you knew, colin powell. our hearts go out to his lovely wife, alma and the entire family, and i think will you agree with that. thank you. >> absolutely. thank you, don. >> and up next, we're going to set the record straight on colin powell's death and what it tells
us about why vaccinating everyone is important to protect cancer patients. >> i have multiple myeloma. and i've had it for almost two years now and i think august, and i have taken all the medication and exams they want me to and i have never given up a day of work. go bowling. did you know some deodorants may not last all day? secret works immediately! and is designed to last for up to 48 hours. with secret, keep it fresh. available in over 10 amazing scents and aluminum free. secret.
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i've taken lots of exams and i get there on my own. i drive up in my corvette, get out of the corvette and go in the hospital the i have multiple myeloma. i've taken all the exams they want me to and i've never given up a day of work. >> joining me is dr. richard besser. i appreciate you joining us, especially on this subject. general powell was fully vaccinated but also battling both mutt many myeloma, a blood cancers, and parkinson's disease. please set the record straight. he was very fragile and his death has nothing to do with vaccine efficacy, correct? >> what a loss for our country and what a life he led. and it would be a shame, don, if people took the wrong message away from this in terms of
vaccines. the general was fully vaccinated, but one thing that's very important for people to know is that even for people who are fully vaccinated, the vaccine is not 100%. and for someone like general powell, who had a type of blood cancer that affects the immune system, the likelihood that he had a good immune response was low. so it really supports the value in vaccination even further because we vaccinate to protect ourselves and those around us and we vaccinate to protect those people who may have medical conditions where the vaccines won't work very well. and you can't tell who those people are just walking down the street. but being part of a community, being part of society is that we do things to protect not just ourselves but to protect those around us. >> as i understand here, doctor, colin powell was scheduled to get his booster shot this week, but he got sick and he wasn't
able to receive it. how much protection do you think booster shots offer people who are living with compromised immune systems? >> well, clearly now the feeling is that three doses is the way to go for people who have conditions that lower their immune system. there's no guarantee even with a booster shot that your level of protection will be as high if your immune system is not responding to the first two shots. maybe you'll get a better boost. there are studies it show that it will but there's no guarantee. that's why it's so important that people around him were vaccinated as well. >> "new york times" is reporting tonight the fda is planning to allow americans to receive a different covid vaccine booster than the one they initially received. according to the "times," the fa fda might suggest using the same booster as the vaccine is preferably but won't represent one over another.
how significant is significant? >> i want to wait and see what they say because the sigcience limited. a study from the national ins stults of health demonstrated moderna or pfizer, regardless of what they got for the first one got the best boost. those who got j & j, giving them the pfizer got a better boost than from the j & j. we have stock in the country but the data are saying mrna boosters do a better job. there is limited data and it's very confusing right now for people who want to get boosters, having them available for some but not for everybody. >> the former nda commissioner, scott gottlieb, is calling for urgent research into a mutation of the delta variant known as delta plus, following a surge of
cases in the u.k. when i first read this, i say oh my gosh, here we go again. covid numbers in the u.s. have been improving recently. how worried are you that this could throw us off course again? >> we need to remain vigilant. whether this variant will turn out to be a problem or not, until this is controlled everywhere in the world, we all remain at risk. the vaccine numbers are improving but they're not as high as they should be and not uniformly high. some communities have vaccine coverage rates above 80% and some are down closer to 50%. we need to get everybody the information they need so they can make decisions and get vaccinated. and we need to do more to provide vaccines globally or we all remain at significant risk. >> the former acting director of the cdc, i was glancing down at a piece that you wrote in "the hill" about the impact of the child tax credit on health equity. this is a quote, "the budget reconciliation measure is the best chance in decades to help
create an american in which skin color, income level, neighborhood, disability, occupation and immigration status no longer determine how long and how well people live." can you talk to me -- talk to us about what those good pfederal s have meant to struggling families? >> if you think back to the beginning of the pandemic and the economy was just tanking and you look at who was hit the hardest, it was not a pain that was felt uniformly. black americans, latino americans, indigenous americans, rural people, lower income people were hit the hardest. but even with the loss of 10 million jobs, what we saw in america was a decline in the rate of poverty. and you have to wonder why did that happen? well, the reason for that was that the federal government put money in people's pockets, they increased the unemployment insurance benefits and now with the child tax credit, we expect that child poverty in america could decline by 40%.
40% just with that measure. and we have the opportunity now or congress does in reconciliation to say we want this to be permanent. we want to be an america where the color of your skin doesn't determine your chances for a healthy life and for opportunity. and that can be done with simple measures, things like putting a few dollars in people's pockets will reduce hunger and will reduce poverty. >> dr. besser, always a pleasure. thank you for the information and thank you for appearing. >> thanks so much, don. >> he was the 25-year-old shot while jogging. now three men who said that they were trying to perform a citizen's arrest are on trial, the murder trial for the killing of ahmaud ashbury starts today. >> we expect for justice for
after suspecting that arbery was committing a burglary. i asked his mother if she thought the trial would be fair. >> this is the same community that stood outside today as i entered the court today rallying for justice for ahmaud. i do feel comfortable we'll have success in this. >> i want to bring in ben crumb, t crump. the mother says concerns about the jury being fair and unbiased. you were at the jury selection today. give us your impression, please. >> well, as attorney meritt and
i tell ahmaud's family, they're going to deflate and assassinate the character ahmaud, talk about a citizen's arrest, just like ten years ago with trayvon, they talked about stand your ground and it was self-defense. unlike trayvon martin, we have video, don lemon, and it's very different from when you chase a young man for over two miles who is running for his life and you're on the back of a pickup truck with a shotgun. >> how important has it been that the jury reflect the diverse community of brunswick near where the incident took place? >> well, what we learned, don lemon, from george floyd is that you want a diverse jury because you want people who can
understand the life experiences of ahmaud arbery, understand the culture of ahmaud arbery and not just identify with his killers. there's an old saying we're first amongst the legal profession, the verdict based on the make-up of the jury. >> the three men accused of killing ahmaud arbery weren't even arrested until cell phone video of the confrontation was leaked. hey, look you you have video this time unlike in trayvon martin. several lawyers have had to recuse themselves, the original d.a. was disqualified for showing favoritism. do you think there is a problem in the justice system there, the
fact it wasn't immediately investigated? >> i think there's a systemic problem not only in georgia but in america. we have to -- it was as much a tragedy the coverup by the d.a. trying to say what she saw on that video was not a crime. and so we have to speak truth to power every chance we get and say that worse than how they kill ahmad, worse than how they killed trayvon is how they use the laws to kill us. it is a systemic problem, don lemon. >> what you saw on the video was not a crime? okay, all right then. i got to move on and talk about another case. this is case of christine nantz, whose family you're representing. police found her body in an unoccupied police van in a busy parking lot. this happened on october 7th. her family had reported her missing on october 2nd but she
hadn't been seen since september 25th. what do you know about so far -- what happened? >> you know, it boggles the mind, don lemon, the unbelievable ways that they find black people are dead and are being killed in america. this is a young black woman who is hmysteriously found dead in police van in the police parking lot in huntsville, alabama and the police say they don't know anything about it. her family isn't accepting it. our law firm is demanding answers. we're investigating. they released a video that gave us more questions than answers. and all we can say is when you think about what happened to jelani who went missing, turned up dead and now christina nants
turned up dead. how many black people are going to go missing and turn up dead in these suspicious manners until they say there's something we have to do to pay more attention to black people who go missing, like we do our white brothers and sisters. >> ben, we'll be following both of these cases. please come back and update us. thank you so much. >> thank you, don. >> so covid is the leading cause of death among police officers. so why are so many officers refusing to get the shot? we'll look into that next. resor. one of the many reasons you're with amex platinum. you could email an urgent question to lisa in marketing. and a follow up. and a “did you see my email?” text. orrrr... you could see her status in slack. and give lisa a break while you find someone online who can help. slack. where the future works. of death among police officers.
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covid vaccine mandates going into effect in states and cities across the country, and while the vast majority of workers are getting their shots, some police officers and unions are calling for defiance against the mandates, setting up possible showdowns with staff shortages already causing headaches. joining me, correspondent dan simon. good evening. this is a big story. why is this such an issue with officers leaving their jobs over this? >> well, don, we've seen this for a while now with police officers reluctant to get vaccinated, but now it's really coming to a head with these vaccine mandates and some officers have decided that they would rather resign, sometimes in dramatic fashion, instead of getting the shot. take a look at what somebody did in washington state. this is a police sergeant.
>> it is my personal choice to take a moral stand against poor medical freedom and personal choice. i will be signing out of service for the last time today, after nearly 17 years of serving citizens of the state of washington, it has been my honor and privilege to work alongside of all of you. >> whatever you think of vaccine mandates, that's tough to see, right? this is somebody who had been on the force for 17 years, by all accounts had a distinguished career and made sergeant last year, but obviously that's a choice that he made, don. >> cities like chicago are seeing a large part of their force defying the vaccine mandates. look, they need these officers, they need as many officers as they can, so what are cities facing right now, dan? >> well, chicago is really the place where this is coming to a head. take a look at these numbers. 35% of the force does not want
to provide their vaccination status, and that means -- and this is a scary number -- about 4,500 officers could be placed on a no-pay status in the foreseeable future. for those that don't comply, we are told according to a memo obtained by cnn that those officers could actually be fired. up you know, that could have huge ramifications for staffing and policing that city. look at baltimore. the city police union sending a letter to members on friday, do not disclose your vaccine nation status due to collective bargaining agreements and as of last week, only 64% of the department's 3,000 employees were vaccinated. and let's looks on the west coast, seattle. officers are being told that if you are not vaccinated or do not have an exemption, do not bother showing up to work tomorrow and that the city will begin the process of termination. but the reality is is that the numbers in seattle look better
than in some other places. we know that 98% of the officers there have been vaccinated or got an exemption. 23 police officers have not reported their status. that said, officers are being told, any sworn officer, is being told you may have to respond to a 911 call in the event of short staffing. finally, massachusetts, the state police experiencing a lack of near live 600 uniformed members due to the vaccine mandate and that is below a safe and manageable level. don? >> dan simon, thank you, sir. i appreciate it. we'll be right back. have you ever sat here and wondered: "couldn't i do this from home?" with letsgetchecked, you can. it's virtual care with home health testing and more. all from the comfort of... here.
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an update tonight on the case of gabby petito. the funeral director in jackson, wyoming, telling cnn that petito's body picked up her cremated remains over the weekend. the whereabouts of brian l laundrie still unknown. he has not been charged with gabby mepetito's mother. her mother telling "60 minutes australia" this weekend what she wants to see happen to him. >> just want to get him in a cell for the rest of his life. >> gabby me toe toe's step-father saying that her life was stolen from her and they want vengevengeance. before we go tonight, i want to remember the life of colin powell, a true american hero who
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country mourns the loss of soldier, statesman and pioneering american colin powell. we will bring you only on cnn what's believed to be the final interview that he did. a 42-minute long conversation with bob woodward. he joins us. so does former secretary of state madeleine albright. we begin, though, with breaking news in the former president's fight to keep documents from his administration out of the hands of the house select committee investigating him. just a day before the committee meets perhaps to take action against one of his former cronies, steve bannon, for d defying a subpoena. the man who's expressed contempt for the entire concept of being held accountable by anyone for anything he did, something -- well, he did something else to come -- come to know from him. he went to court to try to get his way. cnn senior legal affairs correspondent paula reid joins us now with the latest. so, what -- talk about this lawsuit. what is going on? >> so, here, anderson, trump is asking the court for, at most, granting his request to block lawmakers from actually obtaining these materials. and at the very least, he is asking them to delay lawmakers