tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN October 21, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
altering the filibuster on issues like voting rights and the debt limit increases. also tonight the house voting to hold steve bannon in criminal contempt of congress for defying a subpoena. late tonight the cdc director approving booster shots for the moderna and j&j vaccines, endorsing the recommendations from the agency's vaccine advisory committee. so, we've got a lot to talk about. let's bring in mr. david axle robi rod, and mr. bakar ri sellers. thanks for the tie. yeah. david, hello to you. so much at stake -- >> thanks for my tie? what's going on here? >> bakar ri is not wearing a necktie. i said tie, t-i-e.
>> should i take my tie off. >> i'm going fror the youthful sexy look at 11:00. >> it's 11:00 and it hasn't happened. >> i'm not going to attempt the youthful sexy look, so let's just keep going. >> back on the tracks. so, there is a lot at stake for the president tonight. he had to sell his domestic agenda, which still isn't over the finish line yet. so, how do you think you did, david? >> you know, i think he did pretty well. i think he did well -- you know, he's always good at expressing support for people who are struggling and working hard out there in middle class families. he did that. mostly what he did, don, was he really gave us a look at what is actually going on and where this bill is where it's likely to land. that was really useful. i thought he was incredibly candid about that. he said one thing i thought was instructive that framed the whole discussion. he said, when you have 50
democratic senators, every one is a president. >> is a president. >> and that was so true. and that is what he is dealing with. and therefore we learned what was in and we learned what was out. and we learned about some of the compromises that he's going to have to make in order to get this done. and so, you know, i thought that was very useful. >> so, bakari, president biden made big news on the full buster tonight. listen to this and then we'll talk. >> are you saying once you get this current agenda passed on spending and social programs that you would be open to fundamentally altering the filibuster, doing away with it? >> well, that remains to be seen. exactly what that means, in terms of fundamentally. whether or not we just end the filibuster straight up. there's certain things that are just sacred rights. one's a sacred obligation that
we're never going to-- you woul entertain the issue of the filibuster, is that correct. >> and maybe more. >> and maybe other issues. >> so, what does this mean for voting rights? what did you think of that? >> i'm excited. it took us a long time to get to this point. i thought david was right in the fact that tonight -- this is one of the things you have to love or dislike. if you're a campaign operative you dislike about joe biden. if you're somebody who voted for him like i did or support him like i do, you have to love he's so honest. he shows you all the sausage making. he shows you how things get done. tonight he did that. and tonight he talks about things that mattered to the american people. that's why these town halls are s
such a plus for him. i will tell you this. i've been disappointed with the fact we have not had results on issues that matter when you have a democratic house, a democratic senate and a democratic white house on things like criminal justice reform, on things like voting rights. sure the infrastructure bill, the reconciliation bill, these things are important. the work they've done on covid cannot go unnoticed, but the fact is there are a lot of people who voted for simple issues like justice. and the fact that he was able to say finally that he's coming around on eliminating, on narrowing, i think is even better -- narrowing the filibuster on an issue like voting rights is so important. the question though is can he get president sinema and president manchin on board? i mean, because, look, whatever the president of the united states said, i mean, he did say that, you know, we still have these two presidents out there that are just in the wind on these issues.
and my plea for manchin and sinema would be simply that the reason that you're in the majority, the reason that you have this leverage is because people fought and died for these rights that apparently don't ring that alarm for you but ring that alarm for me. and i would hope they would get on board. >> david, do you want to respond? >> no. look, that's absolutely right. i was a little actually confused by his answer on voting rights because his initial answer was i couldn't -- i can't -- i don't want to talk about this because i'll lose three votes on these other bills if i talk about this. then he said, i'm for a -- i would like to try a standing filibuster, which is something manchin said he would support, reinstating the rule where you have to stand on the floor and hold the floor in order to filibuster. and, you know, people were broken by that at times. but then he was asked would he consider a carveout for voting
rights. and he said that and other things. so, i don't know exactly where he is on this. and the key question is the one that bakari asked. bakari says, why haven't we gotten stuff done on criminal justice reform, on voting rights, on a whole range of things. the answer is the filibuster. and the question is, are the senators who have opposed changing the filibuster -- manchin and sinema are public about it. i think there are others who probably share their view. are there 50 votes to end the filibuster? >> i mean, but let's -- i mean, don, let's be extremely clear, i mean, our good friend the 44th president of the united states, somebody that david axelrod worked for called the filibuster what it is, which is a relic of a racist past. that is what the filibuster is. the question -- that is -- that's the frame that we have to look going forward. 2022 is not going to be easy for democrats. and i'm going to be out there campaigning across the country for democrats. what are you giving me to
campaign for? that's the question. >> you're not happy with democrats, what they're doing? >> no, i'm not. i'm not happy. i'm in the same boat as many other democrats. i am not happy. i'm not hot yet but i'm just not happy because i gave you a majority. you have to understand what people in georgia went through. people in georgia waited in line for four or five hours -- >> sometimes longer. >> sometimes longer. they overcame the person running for georgia, the governor of georgia being the secretary of state and dictating all of these things. they overcame so much. and just particularly in the state of georgia. we on the even talk about milwaukee, detroit, these other places. so, no, i'm not happy. democrats actually have to perform. and one of the things we've always said -- and i'll surmise here. i'll wrap up here. one of the things we've always said is when republicans get in leadership the reason they always suck is because they can
never govern and they can never produce. now we're doing the same thing over and over again. like, give me something. give me something to campaign on. >> well, i'm confused only because we began this discussion about biden talking about, you know, coming close to having a deal on two of the really large packages that we've seen in decades and decades and generations on both the social side and on infrastructure. that doesn't obviousiate the fact that fundamentals to democracy and criminal justice reform and others, that progress has been slow because of the filibuster. i'm sure biden would like to make progress on those things. i suspect that yes people stood in line in georgia to elect those senators and they want them to vote for those things. i'm not sure that the people who
voted for joe manchin in west virginia feel the same way. and that's the -- that is the challenge of democracy. joe manchin represents a state where trump won by 40 points. and so, you know, that makes it a little bit of a different conversation. i'm not defending him. i don't think that you should take a partisan stance on democracy. democracy should be something that's beyond party. and there are things that are happening in this country today that are going right to the heart of democracy. and i do think that congress and the senate should act. and i think manchin should act and sinema should act and they should all stand as one on this. but bakari is a very smart politician, and he understands, i'm sure, that manchin has a different set of political imperatives than someone from another kind of state. >> president manchin? >> no, i think that -- let me just say i -- ax is absolutely
correct. all of this is cal cunning hamm's fault. that is what axelrod said. if kyle cunningham wins in 2020 we don't have to deal with president manchin. for democrats to win elections they have to communicate ideas. and i think one of the lessons we can learn from the affordable care act is that people appreciated the affordable care act more after they knew what was in it. they didn't know what was in the affordable care act until the republican party tried to take it away. and this is the same thing over and over again with build back better, with the infrastructure bill. we need to communicate our ideas better. we need to tell them what is in the legislation. we need to go out on the road and do these things. and then we need to actually show up when elections matters. right now my only point is democrats have to do a better job in leadership of giving us something to vote for. i've been ringing that alarm for a long time. if people want to listen to that, that's fine. if they don't want to invite me
to the white house christmas party, that's fine as well. i'm just telling you -- >> if you heard me last night, i'm definitely not getting an invite. >> you have to wear a tie if they do. >> first of all, i am going for millennial sexy. i told you that already. that is what this is about. >> okay. i'm going to go. let me just say this, the reason bakari is dressed that way and i was very proud to be there with you and your lovely wife tonight, the american liver foundation, the 45th legacy gala. he and his wife were co-chairs because of the issues they've had with liver and their little girl. >> good work, good work. >> thank you, bakari. great to be there. as much as we can help, continue to let us know. anyway, we love you and we're glad you're here. i want to turn now to the full house voting to hold steve bannon in contempt for defying the january 6th committee. elliott williams is here, and he
is wearing a tie. >> good evening to you, don. i was born in this tie. you will get a necktie off my cold dead body. it ain't happening. >> baby, i was born this way. >> not going for sexy. but talk to me. talk to me. >> good evening. tonight the bannon contempt referral sits with the u.s. attorney. this is what attorney general merrick garland said about the decision of whether to prosecute. >> the department of justice will do what it always does in such circumstances, will apply the facts in the law and make a decision consistent with the principles of the constitution. >> what do you think will happen? zblipt to say a couple of things. when he made those comments, that was maybe six or eight hours before this case even existed. so, it would have been inappropriate for him to go further than that. i think they're going to take a close look at it and there's a basis for charging him with a crime. the committee put out a pretty long detailed report indicating all the ways in which steve
bannon sort of didn't respond to communications and was blowing off the committee. there's a basis for a charge to say he willfully violated a subpoena. we shall see. >> how long do you expect it's going to take ag garland to ultimately make a decision? >> i hesitate to impose timing on anybody. i think anybody is aware of how politically sensitive and how much public interest there is in this. i would think the justice department has probably been looking at it already and we'll get to a decision soon. whether it's hours, days or weeks, it's just hard to say, don. >> okay. i've got to ask you this. sometimes it's hard to find the truth. >> oh yeah, oh yeah. >> congresswoman liz cheney revealing today that congressman jim banks has been claiming in official letters that he is the ranking member of the january 6th committee, but he's not even
on the committee. >> yeah. >> so, how can he possibly make that claim? >> because it's a fabrication. look, jim banks was in the negotiations earlier on to be a part of the committee and chose not to. and his party chose not to. so, that's very unfortunate. the committee is clear. it is bipartisan. it has democrats and republicans on it. i don't know how he's able to make that claim but it's simply not true. it's a dually authorized committee of congress that the house of representatives have voted on. it seems odd for a republican member of the house to claim even membership on it, let alone being the head of it. >> thanks to elliott for your time this evening. the house voting to hold steve bannon in contempt for defying a subpoena from the january 6th committee, but more than 200 republicans refused to take the stand and voting no, coming down on the side of the former president and his big lie. >> that is what fear looks like. that is what fear of donald
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the house of representatives voting to hold steve bannon in criminal contempt. but if most republicans had their way, this referral would never have passed, okay? so, joining me now, cnn political commentator scott jennings and also anna navarro. scott, i'm going to start with you. this was the deadliest attack on the capitol in two centuries. republicans remain hell bent on whitewashing it all in the name of what? donald trump and his big lie? >> obviously the republicans would like to talk about something else and they didn't want this committee in the first place. it made sense that if you didn't want the committee in the first
place you wouldn't want to hold somebody in contempt for defying the committee. so, my suspicion is that the justice department takes it up. this is by the way how these things are adjudicated. he's not going to stand a very good chance. we'll see how it plays out. i was in a position once when i worked for president bush, i got subpoenaed by congress, and i actually had to show up and then say the president was asserting executive privilege over my testimony. but i had to show up and do it. in this case bannon is not only claiming privilege but he didn't show up to assert it. it's an interesting case, one in which i don't think the facts are are on his side, but i guess we'll see how it plays out. >> scott, you're like, i don't know what to say. you think about it, you said you can see why they didn't vote for it. but, you know, they are supposed to be setting an example. and for them to vote against
holding steve bannon accountable, you don't think that's irresponsible? >> well, they don't agree -- i'm just putting myself in their shoes. if they don't agree with the formation of the committee, which most of them didn't, then it makes sense to me logically why they wouldn't vote to hold someone in contempt who's defying the committee they didn't support in the first place. it doesn't necessarily make it responsible for right or proper, but to me the votes are congruent. if you voted for the committee in the first place, you might have voted for the contempt charge. >> and i see you shaking your head just before your response, the trump saying the insurrection was on november 3rd. he said the real insurrection was november 3rd and that january 6th was a protest. we know that's a lie. it was all on camera. what do you make of this? >> well, thank god you came to me because i've gotten to love scott jennings, and it's painful
to hear him bend himself into pretzel shapes trying to justify what's happening. it's unjustifiable. they are putting their loyalty to a cult leader that is donald trump above the law, above the constitution, above the country, above patriotism and above their jobs. they're trying to whitewash what happened on january 6th. they want the country to move on. so, for those of us who don't want to move on, who want to learn the truth, who want to know how it happened, why it happened, who funded, who was behind it, how it was organized, who participated, we need answers. and so, you know th, they don't want to get to those answers because they want to pretend that it didn't happen, that it was tourists touring the u.s. capitol. so, then they have to go along with this entire thing. and in this case steve bannon is a proxy for donald trump. and the bottom line is that but for these nine republicans who
still know what a backbone is, the rest are miracles of science walking about invert brates, without a backbone. they have no spine. it's a miracle they can walk on two legs. >> i want to taukt texas, what's happening in texas. let's talk about the new secretary of state there, john scott, a lawyer who briefly represented former president trump in his effort to challenge pennsylvania's election results. what do you think of that appointment, scott? >> i talked to some people i know in texas. i don't know mr. scott. but i'm told he's thought of as a qualified guy, somebody who had a number of different jobs in government, a well thought of person. the trump involvement here, though, makes the decision, you know, obviously a flash point. this is not an appointment that would normally draw that much attention except for the fact that he was briefly, i think,
for three days involved in the trump litigation in pennsylvania. so, on the one hand, seems like a qualified person. on the other hand, he's got this trump involvement which has everybody up in arms. we'll see how he acts thechlt gone through a number of secretaries of state there, so this is another in a line of appointments there. it's obvious the governor of texas is demanding an audit of a state he won, which i find strange frankly. but by putting somebody who had involvement with his legal team in his job, they're hoping to gain favor there. >> texas democrats are calling the new secretary of state one of the architects of the republicans' big lie. he represented the former president. what do you make of it? >> look, first i think i agree with scott and i think greg abbott is trying to curry favor with donald trump. i think he either wants to be on trump's ticket should trump run. if he doesn't you're going to see greg abbott along with ron
desantis running for the republican nomination. this is one more thing they are doing to impact voting in texas. we saw the legislature. we saw they just redrew the congressional districts, eliminating the hispanic districts and making them more easily won by republicans. and just one more item on the agenda to lock up the right to vote and if access to vote. a secretary of state can make many, many decisions. let's remember the influence of catherine harris in the 2000 election in florida when she was secretary of state. so, i think he's dotting the is and crossing the ts so that it benefits republican. >> thank you both. i'll see you soon. we have some breaking news to tell you about. it's really odd. there's an accident on a hollywood set that left a member
of the crew dead and another injured. this is after alec baldwin fires a prop gun. we have the details right after this. i always protect my voice. it's how i make my living. and you and i make a country with our voices. your vote is your voice. but more than ever, our freedom to vote is under attack. so please: call congress. tell them to pass the freedom to vote act. to protect our ability to have our say on the issues that matter most. so, let's pass the freedom to vote act and protect all our voices.
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during cnn's town hall tonight the president talking specifics as negotiations continue and admitting he is not getting a lot of the spending items he wants. how do americans feel about this? i want to bring in senior political writer and analyst. hey, harry. good to see you. so, biden was pitching his build back better agenda tonight. do people even know what's in these plans? >> not really no. some do, right? you know, obviously there are some people who pay more attention to the news than others. if you look at a cbs news poll that just came out, only 53% of americans know a lot or some of the specifics in this plan versus 57% who don't know anything or don't know specifics. so, i would argue that this has been a pretty poor sales job by the president and his administration on this plan. >> do you think build back better will help their families, or do they think, i should say because that's what really matters, if they think something
positive will happen for them and their families. >> it doesn't seem so. the poll sg split on this. this is a great way to phrase this question. what you see is only 36% of americans think it will help your family versus 33% say hurt. the broader picture it's 41% help versus 38% hurt. what we really see is this is quite divisive when it comes to this. even if they approve of a plan overall they don't think it's going to help them. >> listen, sometimes it's hard to quantify these things. it depends on the question, what you ask. >> sure. >> so, what are -- what's the concerns? what are americans concerned about? >> yeah, i think this is part of the reason why this hasn't picked up a lot of steam because if you look at the polling, the number one thing americans are extremely concerned about is inflation at 53%. i don't really hearing the president talking about that that that much. look at all way at the bottom of
that list, 27% on infrastructure. me and your producers are going back and forth how to get this many things on the list. that's how low infrastructure is here. you have to add the dot dot dot. it's all the way down at 10th or 11th. this gives you an idea that although the president is trying to pitch this and people think we need infrastructure reform, the fact is they're not really concerned about it. there are far more other things they're much more concerned about in their day-to-day lives at this point. >> can we put that back up, please? look at this, political divisions, very high up there. health care, very high up. migrants at the border, very high up there. as to what they're concerned about. >> yeah, that's exactly right. i think part of the issue is we've sort of seen this kind of build on top of each other, right? we've seen the president's approval rating decline over the past few months and people say is it one particular thing. i don't think it's one particular thing. i think it's a combination of a lot of thing. >> so, do you think biden is
concentrating on what's important to them? >> i don't believe that he necessarily is, and i think that's part of the reason why even if you believe this plan is popular, which most of the polling does suggest that more people approve of it than disapprove of it, the numbers really aren't moving. and i'm not sure passing this bill necessarily moves it. it may give the idea that biden is doing something. americans don't think he's accomplished that much so far. i'm on the doubtful side. i don't think the plan gets at what most americans are concerned about. >> you know all this biden stuff will be in the background, on the minds of people going to vote in virginia. that race is tightening. so, what's going on? show us the polls. what's going to happen? >> you and i have been talking about this. is terry mcauliffe actually going to win? i'm kind of maybe, more likely than not. but you could see the races tightening here. it was a five-point lead a few
months ago in august. then look at last month it was three points. now it's two points. that's well within any margin of error. when you see a lead like that, that race is just too close to call. that's the way i would describe it at this point, maybe a slight edge to mcauliffe. but i wouldn't bet on it. >> it's not over until the polls close and all the votes are counted. thank you, sir. >> bye, don. so, this terrible story coming out of hollywood, one dead, another injured, after alec baldwin fires a prop gun on a movie set. we're going to explain to you what's going on. ♪ (vo) subaru presents... the underdogs. they may have lost an eye, or their hearing, or their youthful good looks. but there's a lot of things
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but we'll take it from here. yasso audaciously delicious okay. so, here's the breaking news we've been telling you about. law enforcement officials confirming to want that one person is dead, another is injured after an accident on a movie set where alec baldwin fired a prop gun. the sheriff's office says it was an investigation and no charges have been filed. senior national correspondent is sara sidner is covering this story for us. what an awful story, sara. >> it is unreal that this has happened with a prop gun, according to the sheriff's department. what we know so far is sadly the director of photography, a woman who is in her early 40s,
42-year-old, her name i now have as halna hutchins. this prop gun that alec baldwin was apparently holding, it was obviously fired. they're trying to figure out what kind of projectile came out of the gun. but there was also the director of this film that he was working on called "rust" that they are filmed. 48-year-old director gerard soza has also been hit. we don't know what -- we don't know anything about any details about his condition. but we do know that the director of photographtyy has been kille on set in this seemingly freak accident. we are unsure exactly how this all happened and why it may have
been -- this prop gun may have been pointed at the director of photography. we don't know how exactly the director of the film was shot. but we do know that alec baldwin was really, really happy about being back on set in person. he posted on instagram a photo of himself working on the film. and almost disturbingly now because of what's happened there's a picture of him where he's got what looks like fake blood on his torso. he's saying, just happy to be back on the set. and that's sort of all we've heard from him. and that was way early on when they started filming. and now we know two people have been shot by this prop firearm, and one person has died. and, you know, the crew is reeling from this. it just -- it doesn't seem real. >> yeah. let me just -- this is a -- what
they're saying here, the sheriff said that the investigation remains open and active and that no charges have been filed. this is coming, as you see, sara sidner reporting from santa fe, new mexico. alec baldwin on a set of a movie called "rust," and they said witnesses continue to be interviewed. open and active investigation, no charges filed in regard to this incident. witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives. that's what the sheriff's office is saying. halana hutchins, transported to the hospital via helicopter, flounced dead at the university of mexico hospital. and joel souza, transported to the krista st. vincent hospital. sara's going to continue to dig
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allegations which include bigotry, racism, sexism and home phobia. the committee is requesting documents and information. also tonight an agreement to scrap race as a factor in nfl concussion settlements. "the new york times" purporting the league reaching the agreement. let's discuss now. also ken jenkins, a former player. good to have both of you on, to see both of you again. we wanted you to keep us updated on this story, and you all are, so thank you very much for that. so ken, it's been a long battle getting to this point. explain this policy of race norming and what the agreement will mean. >> sure. this started about a year ago, actually last august, so a little more than a year ago when two former players sued the league claiming that their claims for payouts for dementia under the concussion settlement
were denied in part because race was used as one of the categories to determine whether they were -- they had cognitive decline. and this was -- and there were two separate categories. one for black players, one for white players. and the assumptions made for the black players assumed a lower level of cognitive ability, and, therefore, they had to have a much steeper decline to get a payout. so this came to light more than a year ago. it is quite embarrassing for the league, especially when it is out their on the football field trying to say end racism. so this become an urgent matter to re-do or replace, and that's what happened yesterday. >> ken, i know you and your wife have been leading voices against the nfl's policy of race norming, but you say that it is not time to rejoice just yet. why do you say that? >> well, we have made some progress, but how much is really yet to be determined.
the devil is going to be in the detail, but we are cautiously optimistic. thank you, ken, for posting the entire settlement. i have been working my way through it, sort of word by word and paragraph by paragraph. but, again, it's hard to take a victory lap because policies have somehow been reversed. it is like setting your house on fire and saying, hey, i'm going to help you put it out. there is some good things in there. what i have read so far, i'm cautiously optimistic if they can pull it off. one thing they have it in writing. it is another thing in practice, right? >> ken jenkins, how much has this cost former players and their families? is the damage really already been done here? >> it depends on the family. there are a lot of men -- there is some men who have actually died during this process and their families actually get
nothing. right? and there have been families that are going through tremendous financial difficulty before their settlement gets reached or reviewed. and it's been tragic in some cases. you know, men going into bankruptcy and falling fur further -- their households into disarray, so it has been difficult. >> ken, in your reporting, you acknowledge that as a result of the new agreement, no party can feel claims based on the grounds of race or the use of race norms. i mean, what will happen to the hundreds of former players that have -- you know, had their claims denied already? >> well, this is one of the open questions that i think a lot of players will have. and more than 7,000 players took a kind of preliminary test that was given for fro as a baseline or a benchmark test.
and many of those players didn't know why their scores didn't qualify. and now they will have to chance to go back and get rescored and perhaps have a qualifying diagnosis that will allow them to get a payout. but as ken jenkins mentioned, years have gone by. the stress of waiting and appealing and having claims audited, you know, this was supposed to be a, quote, easy to use settlement. that's the way it was portrayed to the players four or five years ago, and it's been anything but. the second thing to add which is not relevant to the race norming issue, per se, is the guidelines or the reasons for players being disqualified. let's say a player can still drive or, you know, do a radio or tv interview. well, suddenly, the nfl might appeal that claim and say, well, he can't be -- he can't have dementia because he still drives a car. as we know, there is many grades of common sha and cognitive
decline. so there are many other things, nothing nothing to do with race that are still holding up claims. >> i just have a short time left here, ken jenkins. you within the the doj civil rights division to get involved? >> yeah. i think that's the only way we will get full transparency of what transpired here. i think if they do an inquiry and open discovery, then we're going to actually find out the democratic information of who has been paid and who has been denied and on what grounds. we will find out whether it was purposefully done. that's really important. we still -- we need a team of lawyers. he seems to be no match for the nfl. we need full transparency and we need full reporting on the progress as the new settlement takes hold. >> ken, thank you for your reporting. and my regards to your wife, please. she's not with you at this time. >> she says hello. >> thank you. and thank you for watching,
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and welcome. we are live in baltimore, maryland, baltimore center stage. it's a cnn presidential town hall with president joe biden. i'm anderson cooper. thanks very much for joining us. president biden is at a pivotal moment in his presidency, trying to pass legislation that could bring about the biggest change to america's socl