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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  October 21, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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why do we have age gaps shrinking and people getting married older in age. this is why. more people are going to college, they get out of college at a later age. second, women rely less on men for financial security, right. if you're someone not going to college, you may need a breadwinner to be able to provide for you. more than that, this is really interesting, polling shows that people date for longer to make sure that they're compatible with their partner. not like we're going in after five months and getting married. some people date for years and years and years and years before they get married and get older. the rule says the older you get, the -- you're more acceptable for large age gaps. >> why take a chance? >> yeah. >> why take a chance. this rule was everywhere over time. >> yeah. so, you know, i mentioned before how you take the half plus 7 rule, the idea of the socially minimal age, socially acceptable minimum age. before the late 1990s, it was the ideal age. it was the ideal age. it was even mentioned in malcolm x's autobiography.
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i looked at articles around the time of the monica lewinsky/bill clinton scandal t, it was mentioned there as well. this is what it is. it was started by men in the 1800s, the late 1800s, playing into the norms back then of men as the sole breadwinner. they were playing on the tropes of an older man providing for a younger woman. >> what are you seeing in terms of same sex marriage? >> the last thing i'll point out here is what is interesting and what we cover in the podcast is it turns out that men in same sex marriages are far more likely to break the rule than anybody else. we asked dan savage why this is on the podcast. you are to listen in to figure out why. >> really it is an interesting discussion and digging into the numbers tells a really interesting story. >> yes, and we also even cover whether or not age gaps truly do matter, whether or not the divorce rates are important. >> can't wait for the answers. thank you very much. if you want to know whether these do matter, tune into the latest episode of harry's podcast, "margins of error ."
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thank you very much. "new day" continues right now. for viewers here in the united states of all ages and also around the world, i'm john berman, with brianna keilar. it is thursday, october 21st. a critical moment in the biden presidency. just when it looked like democrats were coming together on a social spending deal, arizona senator kyrsten sinema apparently has raised a new objection. or maybe it is an old objection just coming to a head now. she doesn't like how it is going to be paid for. this could be a setback with so much on the line. >> so tonight the president is traveling to baltimore. he's making the case for his legislative hopes in a live cnn town hall. and he still has some selling to
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do. let's talk about that with cai caic kaitlan collins and dana bash, co-anchor of "state of the union." what can biden do that is going to put a kyrsten sinema on the same page as an aoc? >> it is really difficult for him. when i asked him a version of that question recently, how do you get bernie sanders and joe manchin to reconcile their differences when it comes to this, he just laughed. he didn't say anything. it really is a challenge obviously to overcome. that's why they have been deadlocked in these talks for several weeks trying to come to an agreement and now we're seeing it start to take shape, it is a scaled back version. how they solve this issue with kyrsten sinema is an interesting one. because, of course, this is something she's been opposed to, raising the corporate tax rate, raising the tax rates -- tax increases on high earners. but now they need to figure out what they're going to do about it. are they going to have time to figure out a tax structure to pay for it. by the time they want the
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framework, friday and next week when he leaves to go on his next foreign trip, they see this as a little winner, raising taxes on corporations. that's something the president talked about almost every time he's out on the trail, out speaking to voters like he was yesterday in pennsylvania. if they scrap that, how do you message that, that is something that has polled really well and the white house knows that. >> i think the question that john asked about is this something that has been there and just coming to light, is probably the right one. we know what happens with these negotiations, as the differences narrow, and as they come to agreement, the things that they are not yet agreed upon they become very big issues. and when you're somebody with leverage, kyrsten sinema, you take those issues, and you highlight them because that is how you get what you want. my understanding in talking to people around these negotiations is that they genuinely are way closer than they were. not to say that they're there,
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not to say that the notion of not raising taxes on the highest earners or not raising taxes in corporate america is something that they're going to scrap, but it is workable. and you said, kaitlan, well, that the president laughed when you said how do you get joe manchin and bernie sanders in a room together. he kind of did it. you saw the two of them after they were going back and forth with op-eds getting together. the president wasn't there, but they did get together. there is no question that the president encouraged that. and guess what happened? they started to talk to each other and have a better understanding of one another. >> it is feeling like yesterday was a false summit. yes, they have climbed the mountain, but they're not quite there. and there is still a ways to go. i wonder if kyrsten sinema, is she really cool with being a black fly in the chardonnay to quote alanis morissette. you don't even know what we're talking about. >> yes, i do. >> is she really --
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>> isn't that ironic. >> is she fine with being the spoiler? >> yes, because she doesn't consider herself a spoiler necessarily on this. i have to tell you, this is funny, maybe not funny. i was talking to an arizona republican yesterday, and arizona republican who said, you know who the best republican we have right now is in arizona, kyrsten sinema. and it was a joke, but not. because the point was is that she is holding up from their perspective the democratic agenda. having said that, from her perspective, she is -- she is using the leverage that she knows she has. the challenge and i know you hear this from the white house is what exactly does she want? how do they get her to whatever that place is, and still come up with a compromise. >> are they confident they can? >> they do feel really confident. you actually talk to people, they seem much more confident this week and like they're in a better place than they were last week. a lot of dynamics are changing here. the bill you're looking at now, the way it is taking shape,
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looks different than the way they proposed it. that's the challenge facing the president, which is when he's in scranton, pennsylvania, as he was last night with us, when he's doing the cnn town hall tonight, what he's talking about, what he's selling isn't fully formed yet. so one thing that he talked about a lot was the two years of free community college. that was a big priority of his. i don't imagine he would let it go easily, but he did tell democrats this week, i don't think it is going to be in there. >> the third attempt last night in the senate to pass a voting rights bill as we see big lie after big lie bill passed in the state, what is this for? what is the point of this as the white house sees it? >> i have seen -- i've never heard so much criticism of the white house except for when it comes to voting rights. that's been a big issue you hear from allies of the president, democratic allies who say they don't necessarily think that the white house is doing enough here. you talk to the us who, they say, okay, our hands are tied. not much we can do. look, we got joe manchin coming out and introducing this bill he put his muscle behind, it didn't get any more votes than the last one did. when it comes to the votes that were needed.
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so i think that they feel that they're in this situation where they have the president issuing strong public statements as he did yesterday. but when it comes to actual movement on this issue, that's still a really big concern for voting rights act visits and what the white house is actually doing. >> exactly. and the expectation is that after this negotiation over the social safety net bill and infrastructure actually gets done, that the president has to focus on that. because i've been working on a project on voting rights and whether it is texas or more importantly the states that went for joe biden, arizona, georgia, the laws are different enough, particularly in georgia that democrats feel that it might be actually hard to win. and we're talking about the short-term, like, in senate seat -- in the senate seat, in congressional seats because of the changes in the law and this voting rights legislation, it used to be so hugely bipartisan. the last time it was signed into law, it was a republican
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president, george w. bush, and there were democrats and republicans standing behind them. it was overwhelmingly supported. and things have changed with the idea that the federal government is involved. and that's why this has to be from the democrats' point of view one of those issues that you have to pull the fire alarm on and say, if -- we have to do this with only democrats, we have to find a way. >> seems like they're resigned to the fact that this may just be a campaign issue and that is perhaps a very sad thing for the country overall. dana and kaitlan, lovely to hang out with you this morning. president biden taking some questions from the american people in a cnn exclusive anderson cooper is moderating this cnn presidential town hall. and that will start tonight at 8:00 eastern. i got to say, i'm on team kaitlan there. i didn't know the black fly in the chardonnay reference at first. took me a second to catch up to you all. >> you know, alanis morissette lyrics are an essential part of this show.
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>> yeah. >> as essential as loyalty to the movie armageddon and the red sox. so we'll work on it, berman. >> armageddon, red sox and more data four or five is alanis morissette. >> not a child of the '90s. new developments overnight in the hunt for brian laundrie, the fiance of gabby petito. here is what the laundrie family lawyer tells cnn about remains found yesterday near a florida nature preserve. >> the probability is strong that it is brian's remains. but we're going to wait for forensic results come in and verify that. >> police canine teams are back on the scene there this morning. the area had been underwater until recently. and a source close to the investigation tells cnn the remains appear to have been there a while. authorities also found what they believe to be laundrie's backpack and a notebook. joining me now, a board
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certified forensic pathologist. thank you for being with us. when do you think there will be answers? >> thank you for having me. this is obviously an extremely difficult case. you know, decomposition there like you said, underwater and it is partial remains they found. i think first we can expect within hopefully a few days that actual identification of the body and then the autopsy results can take a lot longer in this case. >> and what would the difference there be? >> sure. identification would just be who is this, right, where it is a presumption that it is brian laundrie, but by no means is that proven yet. and so depending on what features of the body are there, the head and the teeth are present, they can use dental records to identify him. otherwise they probably have to use dna. dna can take a little bit more
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time. in contrast, the actual reason why he died, that's going to be quite challenging, especially if you don't have the whole body. i know that there is quite a search going on today in that same area. >> i want to ask about the other belongings that were found there, including, according to the father, brian laundrie's father, he was someone who came upon a bag of brian laundrie's there. what chain of custody issues does that present if brian laundrie's own father was in possession of what could be key evidence? >> sure. i mean, that's a great question. i think, you know, they're going to just have to believe him. i guess he found it in that area. he didn't take it away. hopefully he turned it right over to authorities, you know. a short exchange would mean that, you know, he didn't have time to really tamper with it. let's say. and i don't know the conditions
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in which these pieces were found, you know. if they were still underwater, even what condition they're in to begin with. >> as i said, and as you've been saying, so many questions still remain, major developments. i appreciate your insight this morning. thank you very much. >> thank you so much. so jelani day's mother still doesn't know what led to her son's disappearance and death. we'll speak to her live ahead. and steve bannon about to be held in criminal contempt for defying the january 6th committee. bob woodward will join us next. and later the prosecutors targeting a trump golf course, could they uncover a potential tax scheme? find your rhythm. your happy place. find your breaking point. then break it. every emergen-c gives you a potent blend of nutrients so you can emerge your best with emergen-c. as someone who resembles someone else... i appreciate that liberty mutual
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later today, the full house is set to vote on whether to hold steve bannon in contempt for defying a subpoena for the committee investigating the january 6th insurrection. ranking member liz cheney laid out what they believe to be bannon's role in this. >> it appears that mr. bannon had substantial advance knowledge of the plans for january 6th and likely had an important role in formulating those plans. mr. bannon was in the war room at the willard on january 6th, he also appears to have detailed
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knowledge regarding the president's efforts to sell millions of americans the fraud that the election was stolen. >> joining us now, bob woodward, associate editor of "the r washington post" and co-author of "peril." it is in "peril" we first learned of the existence of this so-called war room being used on january 5th. what more can you tell us about this? >> i just looked back at what we have in the book, and quite directly have -- we did -- we have the dots. we didn't connect them. though they're there. and they're seven conspiratorial actions by trump and bannon, essentially to subvert and destroy the process of certifying who the next president is going to be. and when you think about it, it's just like watergate.
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it's a destruction of the process that we want to trust, and the -- i'm sorry, my memory is not great on this, can i go through some of those conspiratorial actions? >> yes, of course. >> first of all, on december 30th, bannon talks to trump and says you got to make a dramatic return to washington. trump is in mar-a-lago, he's going to have the new year's eve party down there. but he -- he comes back and bannon says to trump, you've got to call vice president pence off the ski slopes where they -- pence's staff and advisers have stashed him away because they know in a week he's going to have to certify or decide what he's going to do about who the next president is, and then bannon says to trump, january
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6th is the moment of reckoning here. and if we can challenge the legit imacy of biden, it casts shadow over the biden presidency and then he says we are going to kill the biden presidency in the crib. the violent language, of course, it was manifest, the violence itself, on january 6th. then on january 5th as liz cheney was pointing out, bannon meets with others, including rudy giuliani and their phony republicans to block the certification of biden, and then you put all this in and trump put out a phony statement at the time. this is on the public record
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saying he and pence agreed that pence has the power to walk away and essentially get trump certified as president. but that's totally untrue. so, anyway, we have a very clear cut case, i would suspect it is quite possible that attorney general merrick garland will appoint a special counsel to look at this. because the evidence is so clear for a massive watergate style attempt to destroy the process of electing a president. >> a massive watergate style attempt to destroy the process of electing a president. how deep does it go? because one of the things liz cheney suggested yesterday was that the president's assertion of executive privilege in and of
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itself was some kind of an indication that he had either knowledge of or was involved in the planning of the insurrection itself. >> well, when you string it all out, and you just look at his tweets, i mean, he says, you know, in his tweet on december 30th, january 6th, see you in d.c. he is actually talking about january 6th. and then he tweets in a -- there is no ambiguity in this, he says in a tweet, just hours before. i mean, this is 1:00 a.m. on january 6th, the day of the insurrection, if vice president mike pence comes through for us, we will win the presidency. many states want to direct --
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believe they want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying biden incorrectly. there is no evidence of that. and he says mike can send it back. otherward words pence can do th and maybe theoretically he can, but it is -- i've done this for 50 years. this is a cold case of conspiracy. there are other people involved which are laid out in the book and if we're going to have this delicate process of selecting a president and you have one of the candidates who wants to claim it's stolen without any evidence, what have we got, and to pence's credit, it was a wobbly course to get there, he did certify biden as president.
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>> stay with us, bob, if you will. we have much more to ask you, including congressman jim jordan who can't seem to keep his story straight about when and how much he talked to trump on january 6th. >> and new this morning, pfizer releasing new data on its booster shot. we'll see how well they work. the sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now. it helps keep you effortlessly comfortable by sensing your movements and automatically responding to both of you. and, it's temperature balancing to help you stay comfortable all night. it e even tracks your circadin rhythm, so you know when you're a at your best. in other words, it's the most energy-building, wellness-boosting, parent-powering, proven quality night's sleep we've ever made. and now, save up to $1,000 on select sleep number 360 smart beds and adjustable bases. only for a limited time. to learn more, go to sleepnumber.com.
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today the full house will vote on whether to hold trump ally steve bannon in criminal contempt for defying subpoenas for the january 6th committee for his role in the insurrection. republicans telling their members vote no and that includes congressman jim jordan who defended trump at a contentious hearing yesterday even though he himself may be called as a witness. the reason he spoke to trump on january 6th, except jim jordan can't quite seem to get his story straight. >> when did you speak with former president on january 6th? did you talk to the former president before, during or after the attack on the capitol? >> of course i talked to the president.
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i've been clear about that. i talked to him all the time. of course i talked to the president. i talked to him that day. i've been clear about that. i don't recall the number of times. >> was it before, during or after -- >> i talked to the president after the attack. >> so no before or during? >> right. >> and you -- >> i've been clear about that. >> but he hasn't been clear at all. jordan seems just as flustered to answer that question now as he was in july when he said he would look into it. >> did you talk to the former president that day? >> i talked to the former president countless times. i talked to the president -- i never talk about what we talk about. i don't think that's appropriate. i don't talk about what happens in republican conferences. i talked to the president numerous times. i continue to talk to the president. >> i mean on january 6th, c congressman. >> i talked to the president -- i can't remember all the days i talked to him. but i certainly talked to the president. >> a day later after having time
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to consider it, this is what happened when jordan was asked again. >> did you speak with president trump on january 6th? >> yeah, i mean, i spoke with the president last week. i speak with the president all the time. i spoke with him on january 6th. i talked with president trump all the time. i don't think that's unusual. i would expect members of congress to talk with the president of the united states when they're trying to get done the things they told the voters in their district to do. i'm actually kind of amazed sometimes people keep asking. i talk to the president all the time. i talked to him last week. >> on january 6th, did you speak with him before, during or after the capitol was attacked? >> i would have to go -- i -- i spoke with him that day after. i think after. i don't know if i spoke with him in the morning or not. i just don't know. i would have to go back and -- i don't know that -- when those conversations happened. but what i know is i spoke with him all the time.
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>> a month later after having even more time to consider his answer, the infamous i don't recall made an appearance twice. quote, look, i definitely spoke to the president that day. i don't recall. i know it was more than once. i just don't recall the times. let's talk about this with bob woodward, co-author of "peril." why, bob, is this such a hard question for jim jordan to answer? >> because the whole goal here was -- is steve bannon is quoted in our book saying to strangle the biden presidency in the crib, to subvert the process of certifying the biden election. remember, at this time, trump is president. he's talking to bannon. he's talking to jordan. he's talking to giuliani. he's talking to people we probably don't know about. he had come back from mar-a-lago, avoiding reluctantly that new year's eve party.
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so he can work the phones, so he can make -- we report in our book about his meeting with pence and saying don't you think it would be cool if you had this power to decide who is going to be the next president? and pence says to his credit, at that point, no. i don't think one person should have that power. and the constitution and the law make that very clear. but trump is pushing it, bannon is pushing it, giuliani is pushing it. there are others involved in this, and if somebody really looks at it as i think you almost are required to do, as a criminal conspiracy, just like nixon, to destroy a process of, oh, this is going to be the next president. >> and do you think that if jim jordan is pinned down on those conversations, that his
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conversations will reveal that he knew that and that trump was clear about it? >> no. i wouldn't speculate. but, again, trump is really working hard on this. this -- you know, this is his weak project. he's going to retain the presidency. it turns out it is a project that is going on to this day where he says, oh, the election was stolen, and i -- robert costa and i think he -- there is a lot of evidence that he's going to run again. he's running -- his rational for the candidacy is they stole the election from me and so i'll run in 2024 and get elected, in his words, three times. that time he should -- he thinks he was elected in 2020, and he was, in fact, elected in 2016.
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but that's the only -- there is a lot of work for reporters, the committee in the house, the january 6th committee is making a big effort there. they don't, as ben bradley the editor of the post used to say, they have a low pair. but the justice department could take the high pair in this. >> so speak to that a little bit. during your history changing coverage of watergate, you covered obviously what the doj did and you covered what congress did. and they were able to achieve quite a lot. i know your expectations are a little lower for what this house committee can achieve. >> well, and nixon made mistakes. he thought he first would invoke executive privilege before the senate watergate committee and then thought his top aides, attorney general john mitchell, bob holderman, chief of staff, could testify and rebut john
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dean who had turned prosecution witness and he was john dean of course was nixon's counsel in the white house. and dean laid out this devastating case and then we discovered that they had a secret taping system and there was a one-year battle on that. so and that was disclosed by alexander butterfield, top nixon a aide and i think everyone now is in search of the alexander butterfield who -- is there evidence, are there tapes? a lot of work to do. >> a lot of work to do. bob, always wonderful to have you. bob woodward, thank you. coming up, the trump golf course is now the target of a criminal investigation. and the demand for answers in the mysterious disappearance and death of jelani day. his mother joins us live.
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mounting legal trouble for
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former president trump as his family business is under yet another criminal investigation. the westchester county new york district attorney's office is investigating whether the trump organization misled local tax officials about the property value of a trump golf course. this is the third known probe of trump's business dealings by prosecutors in trump's home state of new york. and joining us now to discuss is cnn contributor an donald trump biographer michael dan tonio. thank you so much for being with us. this new probe is obviously not welcome by the former president. you say the public office has been very bad for his fortunes. can you explain this? >> sure, you might remember that michael cohen said that donald trump originally ran for president as a publicity stunt. that he thought that this would benefit his companies, but he never imagined winning. so he wins, and he finds himself in office and during that period
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of time from 2016 to 2020 his fortunes decline precipitously. so this is a man who always said that he measured himself in dollars and cents and that his self-worth was really all tied up in how rich he was. and during that time period he went from claiming 10 to $12 billion net worth to terming he's at 2.5 million. so he's fallen off the forbes list of richest americans and he's now facing in westchester county another assault on his claims to his wealth. in that case, he's -- when he likes having a lot of money, he says the golf course is worth $50 million. when he doesn't want to pay his taxes, he says it is worth $1.4 million. wouldn't it be nice if we could all inflate our assets when we want to claim to be very rich, and deflate them when it comes
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to paying our taxes? >> yeah, it would be lovely. my house is worth $10. how is the financial industry viewing trump properties? >> well, his properties have actually been on a watch list among lenders who are concerned that the revenues have fallen so fast that he won't be able to make payments on the loans he's taken out. and earlier this year, his partner in the two most effective developments he's ever made are saying they're considering getting out of this partnership. so that would drain him of the remaining cash flow that is keeping him afloat. so the presidency has been very bad for donald trump's businesses in the same way that it has been pretty bad for the rest of the world. >> very fascinating. michael, thank you so much for taking us through this. >> thank you.
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>> and here's what else to watch today. new details on the fate of the biden agenda, he's set to answer questions tonight in a cnn town hall. plus, jelani day's mother joins me live, just days after burying her son. how she's demanding answers in his mysterious death. >> tech: when you get a chip in your windshield... trust safelite. this couple was headed to the farmers market... when they got a chip. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair. and with their insurance, it was no cost to them. >> woman: really? >> tech: that's service the way you need it. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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it still unknown. joining me now is the mother of jelani day, carmen bolden day and the attorney haley bessner. we're so sorry for your loss. i know the last two months they have to be excruciating for you. and tuesday had to be a painful day as well. what was that like for you? >> indescribable what that was like for me. i just had to lower into the ground one of the best things that god has blessed me with. so i can't tell you what that was like. i can tell you this, if you have children, it is something i wouldn't wish upon anyone. >> i do have children. i can't imagine it. i just can't imagine what you've gone through after all this time. and now you're calling for an
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fbi investigation into the death of your son. why? >> because i need answers. i don't know why i lowered jelani into that ground or what happened to him to cause him to be -- for me to have to lower him to the ground. now i need answers. i need answers because the police departments that were involved in searching for my son and looking for my son and finding answers for my son failed me. they failed my child. and so now because of my lack of trust, i can't trust them. i need an agency that can come in and help us, which i was pleading for, before we even got to this point. >> what are the local investigators telling you? how much contact do they have with you now? >> now?
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let's say they have done 25% better than what they were doing initially. they said they were going to make daily contact with me. they have not made daily contact with me. i do find out sometimes they have spoken to my attorney. my attorney is not me. i need to know what happened with my son. i need them to do more than what they have done and now it appears that they are doing things that they should have done from the onset, and now i have to also do things to check behind them because i don't trust what they did and since they have to go back and check themselves, i now have to check them. which resulted in to me not only getting a second autopsy, independent autopsy, but also a third. and me also wanting my own dna test done. so i had to do those things
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because i don't trust anything that they have said to me or told me because nothing makes sense. >> you called your son jelani the best thing that ever happened to you. one of the best things that ever happened to you. just tell us -- tell us about your son. >> jelani, if you would have met him, anybody under the sound of my voice that heamet him, you wd have loved jelani. he was outspoken, but also he was the most caring, compassionate, protective son, grandson, brother, friend, cousin, nephew that you would have wanted to have. jelani was one of a kind. and like i said, i have god blessed me to have five children. those are my five gifts. and now one of them has been
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taken away from me. one of them was robbed. i was robbed of one of them. and so now i need to know why, why somebody thought it was a good idea to take my son away from me. >> we're so sorry. i just can't say it enough. i'm so sorry for your loss. and also for the lack of answers that you're getting here. haley, if i can ask you, carmen said that you're hearing from local authorities. what are they telling you? >> yeah, i am. i have been in communication with several of the officers. the investigation is ongoing. there is new developments coming every day. but like carmen said, it has been 59 days now. and we're still asking questions every day. and we don't have any answers. we asked more and more questions
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and seems like every question that we ask leads to three more questions. >> well, i hope at some point -- go ahead, carmen. >> i want to interject. we -- it is ongoing. there's new developments -- there's not new developments every day. there is new developments, but th there's not new developments daily. so i can't agree with what haley is saying -- when she says there is new developments daily. however, they are finding -- they have just recently gave her some new information, but we still don't have answers. we still haven't had what we're looking for. so i need them to come in. i need the fbi to come in and do what bloomington and lasalle have not done for that. that is to find the answers. >> i hope you get the answers, carmen. carmen bolden day, haley
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bessner, thank you for being with us. we're back in a moment. ♪ if i could be you and you could be me ♪ ♪ for just one hour ♪ ♪ if we could find a way to get inside each other's mind ♪ ♪ walk a mile in my shoes ♪ ♪ walk a mile in my shoes ♪ ♪ well before you abuse, criticize and accuse ♪ ♪ walk a mile in my shoes ♪
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for the most part, debbie blunt is like your average college undergrad. she is a member of her school's golf team. she carries a 4.0 gpa, and was nominated homecoming queen. but did i mention she is 63
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years old. cnn's martin savidge has her remarkable story. >> 50 to 55 minutes to get here. >> reporter: as a sophomore at ryanhart university in georgia, debbie blunt is living the dream. >> you're the first person in your family to go to college. >> yeah. yeah. >> that's a tremendous achievement. >> reporter: so is how debbie got to college, as a student athlete. do you mind if i ask how old you are? >> 63. >> reporter: back in 1976, after high school, there was no money for college. she became an x-ray technician, the ski instructor, a wife. one love introduced her to another, the game of golf. so you got good at it. >> i was a little driven. >> reporter: life was great. until the heart breaking death of her husband, followed by her father, leaving debbie for the first time in her life, she says, feeling lost.
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then the idea, why not join a college golf team as a full time student? when you first heard that, there must have been a bit of a pause. >> probably just a second. >> reporter: she tried out and got accepted on the eagles women's golf team. but would her much younger teammates accept her? you think there may have been doubts in their mind initially? >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: 21-year-old lauren wells said she thought it was a joke. >> i thought, oh, no, i was so against it. i feel so bad saying that. but i really was. >> reporter: then came a difficult day on the course, just lauren and debbie, lugging their golf bags on foot around 18 holes in the pouring rain. >> just being able to talk to her and hear her story and just see how incredible she is a person, that really changed everything. >> reporter: it is not just her story. how good is she? >> she's awesome. she hits it the straightest out of all of us. >> she's committed to doing the best she can through and through
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until there is no more holes to play. >> oh, yeah. so you get to pick. >> reporter: debbie's rell contrreal contribution is something her teammates are too young to have, so she passes it along. wisdom. what is it that draws us to this story of hers? >> well, isn't the american story about renewal and about reinventing yourself and seeing new ways of being who you are? >> reporter: debbie blunt is living her dream. and teaching others they can too. >> you made an impact on people's lives. that's why we're here. you're an inspiration. >> well, just doing what i want to do. if that's the case, then awesome. >> reporter: as the student athlete on a golf scholarship, debbie has a simple plan, keep her scores down, keep her grades
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up. on the course, she's pretty consistent. in the classroom, she's got a 4.0. and she has been nominated homecoming queen. martin savidge, cnn, waleska, georgia. >> what would debbie blunt do? that's what i'm going to ask myself from now on. >> he's telling her story in her own time. i love it. cnn's coverage continues right now. very good thursday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm erica hill. it is crunch time for president joe biden's agenda. hours from now he's set to take questions from voters at a cnn town hall hosted by anderson cooper. the president is sure to be pressed on his ambitious yet unfinished agenda. as he works to bridge the divide within his own party and secure a deal on his sweeping economic package. >> right now progressives and moderates still debating that multitrillion dollar spending

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