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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  October 21, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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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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plan. those negotiations also critical to the fate of the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. there does appear to be progress. the president is working closely with moderate senators manchin and sinema. their votes key. both of whom, though, have wildly different sticking points. despite all this, he struck an optimistic tone as he pitched the plan to his hometown. >> somewhere along the way we stopped investing in ourselves. america is still the largest economy in the world. we still have the most productive workers in the world and most innovative minds, but we risk losing our edge as a nation. >> cnn white house correspondent jeremy diamond joins us now live from baltimore. that, of course, the site of tonight's town hall. melanie zanona on capitol hill. jeremy, in public comments here, it does appear that progress is being made. i wonder does the white house believe they're close to getting a deal here, granted one much
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smaller than the president initially saw. and how does he plan to frame that tonight? >> reporter: yeah, look, they certainly believe that they are nearing that point. that is one of the reasons why what we're seeing this week is president biden ramping up his public salesmanship of his domestic legislative agenda. even as those negotiations with congress are still ongoing. they see this town hall tonight as an opportunity for the president to reframe some of the debate about this legislative agenda, not focusing so much on the tug of war within the democratic party, but more about what is at stake here for the president to get his agenda across the finish line. and also talking about giving middle class and working class people a little bit more breathing room, as he did yesterday in scranton, for example. listen. >> these bills are not about left versus right. or about moderate versus progressive. or anything that pits one american against another. these bills are about competitiveness versus complacency.
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they're about expanding opportunity, not having opportunity denied. >> reporter: and the white house also believes that this town hall format really does play to president biden's strengths as a politician. having those one on one conversations, being able to bring in some personal anecdotes as we have seen him do during previous town howl halls. and this is about having a conf conversation directly with the american people. make no mistake, this is not the be all, end all. a lot of the work is happening in washington where we have seen president biden this week deeply engaged in conversations with lawmakers and that's going to continue right up until a week from today, when president biden leaves abroad for his second foreign trip as president. >> speaking of that work that is continuing in washington, look, it is sort of a full court press. let's be honest when it comes to senators manchin and sinema. the reality is they have wildly different sticking points here. i'm wondering this morning,
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melanie, is this a full court press where you're going after -- where lawmakers are going after both of these senators to try to drill down? or is the focus starting to shift? >> reporter: well, manchin and sinema hold the keys in a 50/50 senate. as you mensetioned, erica, theye not always alined on policy issues. it makes unlocking a deal that much trickier. for manchin, he's firmly opposed to a clean energy program. the white house is determined to meet the goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the year 2030. for sinema, she is really opposed to drug pricing provisions which are widely popular in both the party and the country, and they also would be a source of revenue for the bill. sinema is also opposed to raising taxes on corporations and high income earners. that could be a huge problem for democrats because that is a chief source of revenue for the bill. and taxing the rich and making people pay their fair share is also a rallying cry on the left.
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so there is some frustration building among democrats, but they're also trying to be careful in the way they message this. take a listen to what barbara lee had to say on our air earlier today. >> when you talk about reducing the investment in terms of the pay force, you're talking about cutting back on some of these investments that people desperately need. and so this has got to be a tough negotiation, no one said it was going to be easy. i think we'll get there. but at least there is some issues now on the table that we know that she is willing to negotiate around. >> reporter: so the question now is whether negotiators can come up with an alternative or work around for these provisions that would appease sinema and manchin without losing support on the left. that is the tricky seesaw that negotiators are gaining behind the scenes. erica, jim? >> we're still on the tricky seesaw. we'll see if they can get off it successfully. jeremy diamond, nemelanie zanon
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thank you very much. joining me is the chair of the new democrat coalition and was in the meetings with the president on tuesday. congresswoman, good to have you with us. i know you have three top priorities. one of those is the expanded child tax credit. this is now expected to be capped at a year. there could be significant income requirements. you have pointed out, you expressed concern this could shut out millions of families, especially those where parents are full time students. you were in the room with president biden on tuesday. is there any wiggle room there? >> well, i talked to the president about how important it is that we are focused on the needs of families and workers as we build back better. and the president is a big believer in the child tax credit. we know it is already lifted 3 million people out of poverty, helped 3 million families put food on the table. so i believe we should expand
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this for -- i believe we should expand this permanently because kids don't grow up in a year. but i told the president we need to make sure this program is in place for as long as possible. i think through 2025, we need to make sure it continues to be refundable, so that people who don't make enough money to have their taxes offset still get the value -- the full value of the credit. those conversations continue. i'm going to continue to push. we have broad support throughout the caucus and in the senate for the child tax credit. >> do you think there is enough broad support, though, to your point, to extend this, whether it is to 2025, but certainly to more than a year? did you get a positive sense there? >> he understands how important this is. and we are going to continue to push to 2025. but we know that we have got to get 50 votes in the senate and 218 votes in the house. and the end, we have to pass strong legislation to help our communities. and that's the goal is to work
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with everyone to get that across the finish line. we don't help anyone if we don't get policy across the finish line. >> one of your goals, one of your top three is to go big on climate. the details are a bit murky. we have some of the details on the child tax credit had it comes to climate. it is a little bit fuzzier as melanie zanona pointed out. joe manchin made it clear where he stands on clean energy. this is really important to you, though. where do we stand right now in terms of specifics when it comes to climate? are we just looking at tax incentives? and if so, is that enough for you? >> well, this has got to be a huge priority for all of us. we have seen the impact of wildfires, floods, droughts, heat dome up to 120 degrees fahrenheit out in the pacific northwest where i am from. so everyone is feeling the impact of climate, not only across our country, but around the world. we have strong legislation that came out of the ways and means
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committee i sit off, strong incentives, we look at every form of decarbonization we can use. so all of this has got to be part of strong policy and the president is working hard again to get those 50 votes. so we need to meet our climate goals, that's key priority. we're trying to be creative in how we get there. we get those 50 votes and the 218 in the house. >> so i've been hearing this language of trying to be creative. can you give us a specific, something you are look at that could make it into that final bill that you think would appease the broadest swath of your caucus? >> well, i think we have different opportunities on decarbonization, we have different work again in terms of financial incentives to help move towards clean renewable energy. so those are the ideas. there is many pieces of the legislation that members of congress have introduced that new dems have introduced to address climate from a variety of different angles. we're looking at all of those,
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how we can pull those together as part of the package. >> there has been a lot of talk about the messaging of the bill from the beginning. it was rough. it was lacking. and i found this take interesting. yesterday on cnn from tom friedman, take a listen. >> this is so exciting what they're trying to sell. and they have so poorly sold it. and that is what really democrats should be asking themselves how the hell could we be losing when we have a big plan and all they have is a big lie? >> there was a noticeable shift, i think, yesterday after the meetings with the president in tone from democrats. it was far more optimistic. we weren't hearing about infighting in public. there was more talk of compromise. but what has been missing for a lot of folks are the specifics in this bill was that a focus in your meeting with the president, that there would be more specifics that are offered? >> absolutely.
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in fact, one of the very, very positive signs of our meeting was that we were talking specifics. and i think that's always been critical to getting to the place where we land the plane on this policy. >> do you think that was missing actually? >> i actually think folks were very focused on a number and i think the number was a distraction. a number doesn't help people. what helps people is policy. and that's why as new dems we put out specific policy priorities on the child tax credit, on climate, on healthcare and the aca premiums and expansion of medicaid because that's what resonates with people. not a number. and so i think it is very, very important that everyone follow that lead and make sure we talk about the transformative policy we have been working on because it really is about what we can do that has an immediate impact for families, for workers, for our communities. >> congressman delbene, appreciate your time this morning. thank you. >> thank you. be sure to join us tonight right here on cnn.
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president biden will discuss his ambitious legislative agenda. he's taking questions from you, the american people. it all happens right here on cnn tonight, that town hall moderated by anderson cooper 8:00 p.m. eastern. up next, big new for the vaccinated. the fda gives the green light for moderna and johnson & johnson to offer booster shots for their vaccines. we're going to speak to a doctor who just got her own. what is known as mix and match shot. plus, vice president harris is headed to virginia today to lend support to terry mcauliffe who is locked in a dead even race for governor with his republican opponent. why this race is getting like so many national attention. we're live also in florida this hour after brian laundrie's parents helped law enforcement back to a nature preserve that officials have been searching for a month now. this time, human remains were found. ♪
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pfizer has just announced booster doses of its vaccine show a 95.6% efficacy against covid-19. the company says that number was consistent regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity or pre-existing conditions. co-morbidities. this also comes as the fda has authorized booster shots of both moderna and johnson & johnson's vaccines. and also saying that mix and match approach for boosters is fine. >> yeah. >> today's currently available data suggests waning immunity in some populations of fully vaccinated people. and the availability of these boosters is important for continued protection against covid-19 disease. >> the cdc's independent panel of vaccine advisers is set to
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vote on the fda's recommendations today. joining us now to discuss, dr. lena wen, cnn medical analyst and emergency physician and former baltimore city health commissioner. good to have you back. it seems to me when you look at the data across the board, pfizer showing remarkable efficacy, 95.6%. you have approval for boosters for moderna and johnson & johnson shots and you have the ability to mix and match as it is called to take one vaccination and boost with another brand of vaccine. big picture, is that good news? right? it gives us all options going forward. >> i think it is great news. i think that there is growing recognition that the vaccines that we have are excellent. but they'll provide you with even better protection and longer lasting protection if you were to get a booster dose. the fda advisers met last week. the fda officially came out with their recommendations last night and now i hope that the cdc will
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fully endorse the fda recommendation as well. because otherwise we have a disconnect here because individuals who got the pfizer vaccine can already get their booster doses six months after. most of them in any case. we need to have the moderna sync up with that. the johnson & johnson recommendation is actually different because there is now this recognition that the j&j vaccine is inferior. the one dose of the j&j vaccine is inferior to two doses of pfizer and moderna. what the fda has said and what i hope the cdc will say too is that everyone who got the j&j vaccine needs to get a second dose because probably this should have been a two-dose vaccine from the start. >> and picking up on that, two things i want to pick up on, i want to remind our viewers you're part of the j&j trial, you got that johnson & johnson shot initially. when you say it is less effective, it doesn't mean for people who only had one dose of j&j that that does not work, correct? >> absolutely. thank you for clarifying. so the one dose of the j&j
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vaccine does protect you pretty well against hospitalization and death. however, it does not protect you as well as two doses of pfizer and moderna. and it also looks like there is an additional very protective effect if you end up getting a second dose of the j&j vaccine. or if you get a second dose that is an mrna vaccine. it is not saying that it doesn't work, but rather that you get additional protection with an additional dose of the vaccine. >> and that's what you chose to do. you chose to get a dose of a mrna vaccine of pfizer? >> that's right. and so i knew that i would need to get a second dose because the j&j vaccine probably should have been a two-dose vaccine. we didn't know that at the time when it was first being studied. now we know that probably get a second dose. i chose to get an mrna vaccine, because the j&j vaccine is associated with a very rare but very serious side effect of a blood clotting disorder that is predominantly seen in women
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under the age of 50. as a person in this category, i decided that the mrna vaccines do not have this potential side effect and i would rather do that. now, i realize that the cdc has not yet weighed in on this, they're weighing in on their meeting today, but i would expect they will also be allowing for this level of patient preference when it comes to mix and match approach following the fda already saying that this mix and match approach is allowed. >> next step will be the likely approval of the vaccine for children 5 to 11. tell us, we don't have much time here, i know the surgeon general is commenting on this earlier. and the plans are already out from the administration for how they're going to do this, but for parents listening at home, what is the most likely timing for emergency use authorization? >> october 26th which is next tuesday. the fda is going to be meeting on the question of safety and efficacy of these vaccines. november 2nd and 3rd, the following tuesday and wednesday, the cdc is going to be meeting and so that week, the first week
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of november, we might actually be able to see shots going into arms for kids 5 to 11. i think it is great that the biden administration is already working on plans for distribution because we're talking about a different dosage. this is a third of the dose of the -- for adults. and also children giving little kids shots is different. they need different size needles, for example, pharmacies may not be used to administering vaccines to little kids. so i would say to parents who there are so many parents who are eager to get their kids vaccinated, call your pediatrician's office, ask about the distribution plan. a lot of pediatricians may have a signup sheet anticipating it is going to be authorized. your pediatrician is the one that we trust for other advice about our children's health. so they are a really great resource for asking about the pediatric vaccines too. >> dr. lena wen, appreciate it, thank you. still ahead, a new revealing interview with a lawyer for brian laundrie's parents. what the attorney is saying
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to have a universal recycling and composting program for residents and businesses. but it all starts with you. let's keep making a differene together. major new developments in the manhunt for gabby petito's fiance brian laundrie. this is the reserve they have been searching for more than a month now. also found, human remains. not yet identified, but human remains found. >> the attorney for the family tells cnn those remains most likely belong to brian laundrie. his parents were on scene when investigators made that
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discovery. >> it is my understanding that they were followed closely by the two law enforcement personnel and when i say closely, certainly within eye shot. at some point chris locates what is called a dry bag. they looked at the contents of the bag. at that time law enforcement officers showed him a picture on the phone of a backpack that law enforcement had located also nearby and also some distance off the trail. at that point, the laundries were notified that there was also remains in the backpack and were asked to leave the preserve. >> cnn correspondent nick valencia is live from north port, florida. search crews back at the site this morning. nick, i wonder based on the developments, comments from the lawyer there, that they're close to some answers here. >> reporter: this exhaustive investigation is far from over, jim. and that is really evident this morning. we have seen several local law
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enforcement vehicles come into and out of the reserve as well as an fbi response unit. what we believe to be a canine unit as well. we're standing about two to three miles from where that grim discovery was made yesterday. those partial human remains on a trail that brian laundrie according to his parents is said to have frequented. those remains found, in all probability, according to the family attorney, they belong to brian laundrie. also a notebook found as well as a backpack. the family attorney addressing questions and suspicions about laundrie's parents saying that it was happenstance that they were with local law enforcement and the fbi when that discovery was made, indicating to law enforcement sometime tuesday night that when this park reopened after weeks of being closed for that search effort that they wanted to go back in, but their refusal to speak about this publicly raised a lot of suspicions about what they knew about their son's whereabouts and when they knew it. specifically for gabby petito's parents who say that they want
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answers. >> i believe they know probably, if not everything, they know most of the information. i would love to just face to face ask why are you doing this, and just tell me the truth. >> we want vengeance and -- >> justice. >> and justice. and for him to pay for his crimes and to spend it in a prison for the rest of his life. >> vengeance and justice. that's what gabby petito's parents say that they want. steve bertolino, the laundrie parents attorney say he has instructed not to speak, that more information will come out at the appropriate time. but, again, a lot of suspicions about what they knew and when they knew it. brian laundrie was for weeks the most wanted man in america. last seen in mid-september when he allegedly told his parents he was coming to this nature preserve to go on a hike.
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that manhunt may have come to an abrupt end yesterday. we're waiting on forensic analysis and the cause of death. >> nick valencia, appreciate the reporting, thank you. let's dig deeper now, discuss with former fbi assistant director for the criminal investigative division chris swecker and jean casarez who has been covering this story from the beginning. as i'm listening to nick's reporting, to where we're at this morning in this case, and how the laundrie parents have or have not been cooperating with law enforcement at different times during the investigation, if you were speaking with them this morning, what are the questions that you have for brian laundrie's parents? >> yeah, i think this is the first step towards closure here. the finding of the remains, which are high likelihood will be brian laundrie. question you ask the parents would be -- the approach to the parents would be you owe gabby petito's parents an explanation.
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we need answers now. if brian laundrie is deceased, there is nothing to protect except maybe themselves. so, you know, what happened when he got back, what did he tell them when he got back, did they ask questions? he returned with her van, and didn't report her missing to authorities. they had to have asked the question, where is your fiancee, the one that has been living with us for several months? they have to have some answers and they owe the answers to the parents. >> jean, what would this, and again i don't want to get ahead of things here because there can always be surprises, but if it does turn out this if these are his remains, which does that mean for the investigation into gabby petito's death, where does that stand? it doesn't close the issue, right? they still have many questions to answer. >> that's a great question. the fbi evidence response team is processing this scene. now, this is a death investigation, conceivably now, if these are human remains. and they're going to be looking for any type of evidence they
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can find. now, for example, steve bertolino told our own chris cuomo last night that his client, brian laundrie's father, happened upon this dry bag as we just heard. and the dry bag had brownbull around it. so he removed it, and took it to law enforcement. i have covered so many cases in florida and many of them have had to do with normally it is victims, but are found in the swa swampy areas and florida has such extreme environmental conditions and the casey anthony case is the most important one that i covered that brought in forensic botanists, forensic entomologists, because of the conditions in the wild in florida and the bramble and i've learned this through listening to this expert testimony in the courtroom time and time thiagai
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things like bramble that is wrapped around evidence, they can look at that and find out how the bramble grows in this season, in this time to denote at least a span of reference of when the last time the bag was touched. because steve bertolino said his understanding, the remains may have been there for a while. and remember, brian left on september 13th. so this is over a month that the remains could are been out there and it is important for the time of death to be established, if at all possible, and, of course, the manner and the cause of death. >> what could, in determining that, chris, the manner and the cause of death, what more does that tell you, right, about perhaps the state of this -- again, if this is determined, if it is determined these remains do belong to brian laundrie, how important is that manner and cause of death? >> well, it's important because,
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you know, we want to establish that if he is the killer, that he did this by himself, you know, and he died by his own hand, you have to -- you can't rule out any possibility. it also is important, i think, in terms of whether the parents aided and abetted, whether they obstructed justice, this is a federal case, there are severala fugitive, when he died, how much time elapsed from september when he got home and when he perished, how long was any the woods, how was he supplied, what was around him. i think it is unusual that the police allowed the suspect's parents to pick up evidence, retrieve evidence, put it in a bag, and actually search the area. they should have been pointing to the areas to search, and standing back because evidence retrieval is important. how you retrieve evidence, how you process it, what you store it in, is critical when it comes
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to trace evidence? >> that thought occurred to me as well, family members pick up evidence, remarkable, one of many questions to be answered. thanks so much. still ahead this hour, steve bannon likely to be held in criminal contempt for defying the january 6th committee, putting the u.s. attorney general merrick garland at the center of a legal and political firestorm. we'll have live team coverage next. [coins clinking in jar] ♪ you can get it if you really want it, by jimmy cliff ♪ [suitcase closing]
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today, the full house is expected to vote to hold steve bannon, a close ally of former president trump in criminal contempt of congress. this after bannon defied a subpoena from the house select committee investigating the january 6th insurrection. the vote would set up a referral on to the justice department which would then decide whether to prosecute bannon. the criminal contempt referral is expected to pass the democratic controlled house with the vast majority of republicans, however, expected to oppose it. joining us now, whitney wild and cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider. whitney, the committee is clearly fighting to enforce its subpoena power here. so what happens next? >> it is going to go to the house floor. it is very likely going to pass. and then it is going to go on to the department of justice, where merrick garland still has prosecutorial discretion here. however, this is meant to do two things. one, it is meant to show to steve bannon that it doesn't matter how much money you have,
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doesn't matter how much power, you arehave to abide by a subpo from congress. and it is meant as a warning shot for those considering not abiding by the subpoena and not complying. the dual functions here. tonight, we will know this is going on to the department of justice, jim. >> fair enough. but before i go on to exactly what they're looking for, it is fascinating. jessica, merrick garland, he's garnered some, you know, frustration from democrats for not pursuing other things aggressively, including voting rights prosecutions. is it clear here he's going to take up this referral. >> it is not clear at all. the department of justice has specifically said repeatedly that they will follow the facts and the law to make a decision and you can expect that is what the attorney general will stress repeatedly. he will not stray from that message during this testimony that is coming up in just a few minutes here. what was interesting is after the president said on friday to our kaitlan collins that, yes, he believes people who defy
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congressional subpoenas should be prosecuted, within minutes the spokesperson for the attorney general came out with a very terse statement saying the doj would follow the independent -- would make an independent decision based on the facts and the law. at the end of the statement, they put period, full stop. this is an attorney general, every time we see him in public, he talks about the rule of law. and, in fact, in his opening statement that we have now, he will say in the first few sentences that he will -- he has to respect the rule of law. i'll read for you what he's going to say here. he said that there will not be one rule for democrats and another for republicans, one rule for friends and another for f foes, one rule for the rich, one for the poor, or different rules depending on one's race or ethnicity. the committee members will be peppering him with questions about what the doj will do when it comes to this contempt referral. but i don't think attorney general garland is going to give any indication. >> deliberate effort to take the politics out of this.
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i do want to ask about why congress and this committee are pursuing these particular conversations. the question is the president's role on the day of. what he was saying to his advisers, but even, you mentioned earlier what he said in the video messages. >> here is the challenge with the former president. we all know he puts next to nothing in writing. all of the evidence they have to get into his mind setting and intentions that day are coming from him, from people he was very close with, the conversations he was having and the committee hopes from the raw footage of the videos that he produced that day. so they are looking into everything, they think that these internal records will be illuminating, especially the outtakes from the video because what we know is that there -- he had to be convinced to put this video out. those are the things they're drilling down on. dan scavino, due to work with the committee in the coming days in some capacity and what
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they're look for from him, what he knew that day, what he saw that day, he's a confident of the president for more than ten years. they're also looking for a character analysis there. they want to get into the mind of the president, that's crucial to figure out was -- to answer the overarching question, which is was this meant to be a violent insurrection. >> good question. and, listen, we know the president was being begged by republicans and democrats to call off the rioters, didn't want to do it. the ultimate public message was not definitive. were those other messages in a different category? thanks so much to both of you. erica? democrats pulling out all the stops in virginia over the governor's race is now neck and neck. so will this plan a string of high profile surrogates have an impact?
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[coins clinking in jar] ♪ you can get it if you really want it, by jimmy cliff ♪ [suitcase closing] [gusts of wind] [ding]
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we are less than two weeks from election day in virginia. new polling, at least one of them, shows the governor's race in a dead heat. terry mcauliffe and glen youngkin both at 46%. now mcauliffe is bringing in democratic heavyweights to help, he hopes, in the home stretch. today vice president kamala harris set to visit prince william county. joining us now is tonya james, the chair for the prince william county democrats. good to have you with us this morning. this is a county that joe biden, the biden/harris ticket in 2021 with 62% of the vote. the fact that the vice president is focusing on prince william county today, how concerned are
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you that this county is at risk? >> good morning, thanks for having me, erica. i would say that it's not about concern, it's just about us being enthusiastic, us making sure that we don't take anything for granted. we talk to as many voters as we possibly can, all hands on deck to get out the vote and continue to push virginia forward. >> we've seen, we're seeing today kamala harris there. we've seen former president barack obama both campaigning there but also releasing a campaign ad. less prominent has been the president, joe biden. i wonder, is that deliberate? >> absolutely not. joe biden was one of the first surrogates here after our primary. we expect the president to be back before election day. >> do you know when? i know there's been a lot of talk about a date for when the
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president will be there? >> i do not know exactly. i just know that he will be here before election day on november 2nd. >> here's the thing, though, big picture. virginia was an easy win in the 2020 cycle, as was your county an easy win. now you've got the big guns coming there to try to drum up the vote. the president's approval rating is way down from just a couple of months ago. why is virginia closer than many expected? is this frustration with democrats? do republicans have a message here that you're concerned about? >> absolutely not, jim. i think with virginia being one of only two states that has elections every single year, what we are experiencing now, because virginia was an easy win, as someone who worked on that campaign for the president
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in 2020. so people are tired. voters are tired. volunteers are tired. but at the end of the day we have to fight hard every single year. the commonwealth has been trending blue and has been blue. overwhelmingly the last few years, we've just got to continue to make sure that voters understand just what's at stake. terry mcauliffe is the only candidate that has a winning message and a message to continue to push virginia forward, and that's just -- that's just where we're at. >> in terms of that messaging, the fact that your party, the democrats, hold, right, the power in washington. that should be a great thing to point to if you're running a democratic candidate for governor. but the reality is that there are not a lot of political wins, legislative wins that can be pointed to today.
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we've seen so much of the fighting that has gotten to this point where we're still waiting on those specifics for the reconciliation plan. is that hurting you? >> i don't believe it is. when we talk about wins, we can talk about the wins at the general assembly, who is -- we hold the majority, democrats hold the majority and what we have been able to accomplish within the commonwealth. and that's what we are focusing on now. we are focusing on protecting all of those progressive voting rights that were just passed by the democratic-led general assembly. we're focusing on protecting the women's right to choose. all of the good things that we are -- we can control here in the commonwealth and that's our message to voters as we still have a lot of work to do -- >> but to be fair, the candidate himself is worried about the lack of progress in washington. he said so much publicly.
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mcauliffe has said -- >> right. >> -- you've got to pass infrastructure and these things, in effect saying if you don't, i'm in trouble. >> absolutely. and, you know, i know that our democrats and our delegation are fighting hard every single day to get those things passed. i don't think that that's -- it's an either/or for us. i think we can focus on the good here in virginia while also making sure we support those democrats that we sent to congress. and that's what we're going to do. >> we'll see you very soon. tonya james, thank you for joining us this morning. >> have a good day. coming up next, a critical day for the biden presidency as democrats seem, seem on the verge of a breakthrough economic deal. could biden's agenda still be derailed by a single senator's opposition to raising taxes? more to come. want it, by jimmy cliff ♪ [suitcase closing] [gusts of wind] [ding]
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good thursday morning to you, i'm erica hill. >> and i'm jim sciutto. this morning president biden striking an optimistic tone ahead of tonight's cnn town hall event where he is expected to push his ambitious, yet unfinished agenda, while taking questions about that proposal. right now biden is working to bridge the ongoing divide within his own party amid a political tug of war. senators manchin and sinema are holding out for their priorities and both of them have different sticking points as they question in particular how to pay for this deal. >> the pay for is a big focus here, so is the final price tag. but what about what's actually in tha

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