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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  October 22, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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all right. let's get right to "don lemon tonight" with its big star, d lemon. >> i can't imagine how this family feels. um, the lady who was killed on
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the set. how the -- the man's family feels who is in the hospital and alec baldwin. i mean, it's just a tragedy. a tragedy, all the way around. >> and it should have never happened. >> yeah. think about the history of the movie business and how, i mean, it's only happened -- this is the second time this way. there was a third one but john eric, remember, in the '80s? >> right but he put a gun up against his head and the blastability and burnability of a blank was enough to cause him a mortal wound. brandon lee. this is the same thing. >> i saw his sister on your show. >> somebody confused the ammo. now, look, let's start with what's obvious. there is no reason for bullets on a movie set. >> none. >> it's make believe. but they are real guns. and sometimes, people use them. um, and forget about murderous intentions. they use them. they target practice. they do whatever they do. now, you have an issue with the
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custody and the chain of custody and the responsibility of the ammunition. >> yeah. >> somehow, a real bullet got into a movie-set weapon. >> yeah. >> the other issue that i think people have to be careful about is, well, you're trained as our expert said who is also a former-homicide detective, you never point a weapon even in the movies at somebody else. you don't do it. well, we don't know that alec baldwin did that. >> and we don't know the circumstances, right? because they could have been blocking and said we want you too point here. >> we know it was blocking because he was rehearsing a scene. there was no other actor. he was working with the dp and the director setting up the shot. maybe, he was pointing it directly at the lens and who was standing behind the camera? so, that to me, there is a lot of people racing down the road of that degree of negligence about where he was pointing the gun. i don't think we have any reason to believe that, and we have a reason to not believe it. >> i don't think we have any reason to go there and we
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definitely don't have a reason for people to be trying to capitalize on it politically which i have seen. in this case, equally as awful as -- >> i didn't understand any reason in any of the early media accounts to talk about this guy gsh and by the way, it's not like he is my best buddy. it's not like he is don to me or something like that. i am actually friends with his brother, not him. >> i'm friends with alec and his wife. i know them. >> i am just saying the idea that in describing that this is alec baldwin like people don't know who he is. you had to talk about his run-ins with police and -- and the -- in 2014? >> you don't have to go there. >> why would you suggest that as a journalist? >> i agree. i agree. >> somehow, a real bullet got into that gun and they are going to have to figure out how. >> i got to get to it. we have a weapons expert, as well. a weapons master coming up to explain to us what could possibly have happened. thank you. i love you. i will see you this weekend. >> lord willing. this is "don lemon tonight."
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and of course, we have the breaking news that we are talking about. on the investigation of that horrible tragedy on alec baldwin's movie set where authorities say the actor fired a prop gun, killing the director of photography halyna hutchins. i mean -- and injuring the director, joel souza. but can you imagine how everyone involved here feels? everyone. no need right now to run down the road of what coulda, shoulda, and start to capitalize on it or make jokes about it. it's just awful. it's a tragedy so stop it if you are doing that. so as i said, we have the affidavit for a search warrant obtained by our affiliate, koat, and what it says really is stunning and i quote, one of the prop guns was then grabbed by the assistant director, dave halls, and he took it to the actor identified as alec baldwin who was inside of the structure. as the assistant director, dave halls, handed the gun to alec to actor alex baldwin, dave halls
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yelled cold gun indicating the prop gun did not have any live rounds. the prop gun was fired by the actor alec baldwin striking the cinematographer identified as halyna hutchins and joel souza, director who was behind cinematographer halyna hutchins. affiant later learned assistant director did not know live rounds were in the prop gun when he had given the prop gun to actor alec baldwin. and the chilling 911 hooicall it tonight as well and if reveals more details of what happened in the frantic moments right after that shooting. >> emergency? >> bonanza creek ranch, we have had two people accidentally shot on a movie set by a prop gun. we need help immediately. >> okay. >> bow nanza creek ranch, come . >> don't hang up okay.
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just one second. was it loaded with a real bullet? >> i cannot tell you that. we have two injuries from a movie gunshot. >> okay. we are getting them out there already. just stay on the phone with me. okay? >> okay. >> no, no, no, i am a script supervisor. >> how many people were injured? >> two that i know of. i was sitting -- we were rehearsing and it went off and i ran out. we all ran out. they were doubled over, the ad and the -- the camerawoman and the direct -- and the director. we are back on the -- we're back in the town. what's it called -- we're whack in back in the western town. >> is there any serious bleeding? >> i don't know. i ran out of the building. but we need -- >> i still have to go through these. okay? are they completely alert? >> we don't know. i can't tell. >> so investigators will search the property on a ranch in new mexico this weekend where the movie "rust" was being filmed
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the new mexico occupational health and safety bureau says it is also investigating this incident and the l.a. times and others reporting tonight that prior to the shooting, several crew members quit the movie due to concerns over conditions and safety issues including gun safety procedures. now, alec baldwin breaking his silence today saying he is shocked and saddened by the tragic accident and is fully cooperating with police. the da saying it is unclear whether charges will be filed but not the first incident someone has been killed by what were supposed to be harmless guns on a movie set. actor brandon lee. you have seen it chris's reported, he spoke with his sister, the son of bruce lee, was killed while filming the final scenes of the movie "the crow." that was in 1993 after being shot with a plrop gun that was later found to have been improperly loaded. his co-star talked about the gun training on the set of rust just last week. >> they were like all right. what -- what gun would you --
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would you like? and i was like i don't know. the armorer was like, you have gun experience? they're like what's a gun? and i was like, a little. and she is like, okay, well, this is how you load it. this is how we check it, make sure it's safe. so she is like okay i'm going to put some blanks in there, and i want you to go and just fire off a couple rounds towards the hill. i put the gun there and i walked out and she is like just make sure you pull the hammer all the way back and you aim at your target. >> so, there are really so many questions about what happened on that movie set and we are bringing in experts tonight to break it all down for you. you want to hear from -- the gentleman that we are going to hear from shortly is amazing when it comes to this. knows everything about this and what could have gone wrong. what -- what did go wrong? what's the safety protocol? what is supposed to happen? was there a live gun on set? who is responsible? i mean, we -- we have an expert
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coming up, again, going to show us how prop guns should be handled and in the face of this tragedy, all right because that's what it is, a terrible tragedy. why are some on the right tweeting about it so grotesquely? i am not going to give him the satisfaction of showing that tweet but jd vance is a republican senate candidate. used the death of halyna hutchins to suck up to the president. or the former president. calling for him to be let back on twitter because he says we need alec baldwin tweets. the last thing we need. and then, there is lauren boebert and her shameless tweet saying if alec baldwin were a conservative celebrity, people would be calling for his head. a woman is dead. the last thing we need is more disgusting, mean-spirited tweets. who does that, really? i mean, who -- who does that? no shame. no humanity. no empathy.
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just like what they did with colin powell, trying to use his death to raise questions about vaccines. capitalizing on tragedy. capitalizing on tragedy. capitalizing on tragedy. the faith and family values crowd. really? disgraceful. what ever happened to empathy? what ever happened to being a human being? so much for christians, right? as they say. family values. let's bring in now senior editor at variety. mark, thank you so much. i really appreciate you joining us this evening. so the circumstances here are just awful. shocking. our affiliate koat obtained the warrant. it describes how an assistant director handed alec baldwin that gun, one of three prop guns that had been outside on a gray cart and yelled cold gun which was meant to indicate that there were no live rounds in it. this assistant director says he didn't know live rounds were in the gun. that is part of an affidavit
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given as part of a search warrant. what else are you hearing here? what -- what went wrong? >> what went wrong was, you know, the -- the chain of who was responsible for this? for someone to say who is responsible for the gun, they didn't know that there was -- there was live ammunition in the gun? you have to check the gun before you hand it to the actor. the other question is why was there live ammunition in the gun? you know, the -- the big misnomer here is prop gun. i think a lot of people think that means a toy gun. that it doesn't actually work, that it can't actually hurt you or it only shoots rubber bullets. it's a real gun. what's prop about it is the gun powder that's in it. and the power that that gun powder gives the gun. so i think there are so many questions here of who was handling that gun? and where was that gun before it was handed to alec baldwin? >> you know, they are out in the desert and i mean is it possible -- i guess it is -- that some people -- listen, i don't want to speculate or go
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too far afield here but people were using it as target practice? or using it to -- as, you know, live rounds to shoot target practice and maybe forgot something in there? i don't know. >> i mean, obviously, someone put a live round in there for whatever reason. i don't know like you said. target practice. did they go hunting? were they, i know, rehearsing? why they'd be rehearsing with live ammunition, i don't know. but obviously, someone -- you know, a human being put live ammunition in a gun that should not have had live ammunition. and then, they told the actor, alec baldwin, it's safe. it's cold. you're okay shooting this prop gun. >> the los angeles times and other media reports that -- that crew members -- that they quit production due to conditions and safety concerns, including gun safety protocols and listen, everything is being investigated. you have these reports out there. if that is, indeed, so, does that sound like a red flag to you? is that a big red flag? >> that is -- there are a lot of red flags about this story,
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especially coming off of the tension that just happened between the guild that represents all of the people behind the camera, all of the production people whose job it is to take care of all these things. to hear that there were safety concerns right after this guild threatened to -- came very close to shutting down hollywood with a strike because of safety concerns. so right here is an example. now, what people also need to understand is that this was not a big production. this wasn't a disney movie. it's not paramount or warner brothers. this was a small, independent scrappy film that obviously had a lot of issues going into it. lot of issues just hours before this gun was fired. >> yeah. you talked about other groups. so unions reacting tonight? are they saying anything? >> unions reacted right away. they issued statements saying that they understand that the prop master, whomever was responsible for this gun, was not a union member. that there were issues on set
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between union members and the production. so, this is -- what we are going to see unfortunately in all of this tragedy, we're also going to see a lot of lawsuits. there is going to be a lot of legal issues here, insurance companies, all -- there is a lot of financiers on this movie because it is a small, independent production. you get a lot of different companies feeding money into it. you know, and of course, we know alec baldwin -- producer on the film. >> yeah. i want to put up these photographs of alec baldwin taken after the incident. appears, obviously, he is distraught. i mean, who wouldn't be? tell us more about what you are hearing from alec. >> you know, what we are hearing from him were his tweets that said he is in touch with her family. that he, you know, he -- there are no words to describe how he's feeling and let's be honest, like you said before, people are politicizing this. there's no politics in this. this is hollywood movie making. it was make believe. it is pretend that went really
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bad. i can't imagine what is going through his mind. i know that people on the set are in shock. they are -- the guilds are bringing in people to talk to the people who are on set who witnessed this. all they were going to was to witness a rehearsal. to see them block some shots and then they witnessed the most unthinkable tragedy. >> halyna hutchins. her agency described her as a ray of light. what more can you tell us about her -- um -- she has a husband and a son. >> and what's wonderful is, you know, this was a second career for her. she started off as a journalist, investigative journalist. she's from the ukraine. she was a graduate of afi. afi has set up a scholarship for other women cinematographers in her name, already. so you could start donating to that. and the thing that we are getting from her friends and her colleagues is that she loved what she did. that she'd do anything for that great shot. that she, you know, you look on
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her instagram, she is throw showing these beautiful photos of sunsets and all the actors in costumes. she obviously had this wonderful eye. it is all about visual for a cinematographer. all you are hearing are these warm wonderful memories of here and how dedicated she was to the profession. and again, i'd just keep going back to the words of unthinkable tragedy. >> yeah. she put on social media as a -- as i was going through her social media about the great thing about working in the desert is that you get to ride horses in your off time. and, um, it's just -- seems to be just an amazing personality and a great person according to everyone who knew her and worked with her. mark, thank you so much. i really appreciate you joining us. if you get any information, please let us know. okay? >> thanks, don. so here is the question that everybody is asking tonight. and that is, how could something like this happen? i know a lot of people in the movie business and they are stunned. they don't know how this could happen. on any set that they have been on, the protocols are so tight. how could this happen?
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well, i am going to bring in an expert who is going to demonstrate exactly how prop guns should be handled -- handled safely. you don't want to miss it. that's next. >> 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. ♪ age-related macular degeneration may lead to severe vision loss, so the national eye institute did 20 years of clinical studies on a formula found in preservision. if it were my vision, i'd ask my doctor about preservision. it's the most studied eye vitamin brand. if it were my vision, i'd look into preservision
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search warrant to investigate the movie set where alex baldwin fired a prop gun, killing the cinematographer, wounding the director. reports say several members of the film's crew quit before the incident happened, in part because they were concerned that gun safety rules were not being followed. those are reports now. so, what went tragically wrong here? brian carpenter is an armorer or weapons -- and, i should say, not or -- and weapons master in the film industry, and he joins me now. brian, did i get that right? >> that's correct. that's right. >> thank you so much for joining us. okay? i really appreciate it because everywhere i go, everyone wants to know whether it's online, whether it's, you know, however, they see me in person, how did this happen? how did this happen? how did a live round end up on set? how go a live round, you know, end up in a gun? now, i know that you have industry co-workers working on a movie set nearby who told you about this incident. they heard the rescue crews, sirens responding to the emergency. in your professional opinion,
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what do you believe could have happened on this movie set, brian? >> you know, from hearing what i've already, you know, been on news and through your reporting and whatnot, you know, it's really hard to sit back and armchair quarterback something like this. but obviously, a live round was fired. and if a live round was fired out of that weapon, then obviously it had to be introduced onto the set somehow. and there are multitude of safety protocols to prevent that from ever occurring. um, there shouldn't be but two types of rounds on the set at any given time. that is, a blank round. >> can you show us? >> sure. absolutely. this is a blank round and this is what one looks like. it has a crimped top, and it has gun powder in it. and this would probably be about the size of the caliber that was used on a period piece, a western right here. that is one type that should be on there. that's if the director wants to see the actual muzzle flash. they want to see the fire come out, hear the noise, et cetera, et cetera. and depending on what type of
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flash they want, a little one or a big one, depending on the type of that blank cartridge, how much powder it has in it. the other type of cartridge that you regularly find on a movie set is a dummy round. now, this is a dummy round. now, for all intended purposes, this looks identical to a real round. the only way that you tell the difference is you, number one, shake it. and when you shake it, it has bee bees in inside of it, and they put the bbs inside of it instead of gun powder so you can audibly and physically feel that that is a dummy round. any other time you look at that, it looks like a real bullet. you get those from reputable prop houses like iss, someone that makes them in house. they prep 'em. they make sure there is no propellant in them whatsoever which there's two types of propellant. one in the cartridge, itself. and the primer. both of those have to be removed so that there is no chance of any detonation. then, the projectile which is actually on the top of the bullet, that's what leaves the
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barrel in a real weapon. and fires out of the gun. that is put back in. and the bbs are inserted in it. you shake it, you can hear it, you can see it. those have to be checked. and that's for close camera work. when the director wants to see the weapon up close. or they want to see an actor loading a weapon. or in a period piece like this with the guns that they were probably using if it was pointing directly at camera, they want to see the realism of having the round in the cylinder because you can actually see it on those old guns. >> do you have one similar? or you think was -- >> we do. >> okay. can you -- and how was it -- can you show us that? >> absolutely. so -- >> and what usually happens with this type of -- or with the weapon before it gets to set? can you show us? and hold it up, please, higher if you can. >> sure. so this is a period piece. it's a weapon that would have been used in, you know, any western you would have probprobably ever seen right here. it is a very simple gun. the gentleman you had on
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earlier, when he was explaining and describing the fact that some of the modern guns have restricters in the barrel that keep gas pressure from escaping so that they can function semi-auto or fully auto. in modern movies, that's not present on these guns. these guns do not require any restricter because it's manually operated. in other words, when the actor wants to fire it, they take the hammer, they dcock it back, it rotates the cylinder and doesn't require any back pressure to fire. >> how do they check it, brian. >> >> okay. to check it, we would go on set. we would open the side of the latch on the cylinder. and because due to safety here, we are going to turn it down. we would have the weapon pointed down. we would take the flashlight, shine it up in the barrel inverted and through the cylinder. so you would see that there was no obstruction in the barrel. nothing in the barrel. all the cylinders would be checked. you would shine a flashlight in there. then, once we identify and confirm through two sources at
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least on set, which is usually always the actors. anyone that's -- this weapon's being pointed in the general direction of of and then the first ad, the director sometimes, key grip, dp, depends what set you are working on and what relationship you have but at least two sources of verification. the weapon's cold. and then, at that point in time, the armorer would hold onto the weapon until it's time for the scene to be shot. at that time, you would open it, you would load it with the charges, be it either a live -- when i say a live, i mean a blank round. or if it's not going to discharge, a dummy round. and then, at that point in time, right before the camera rolls, you walk over there, you hand off the weapon to the actor. and then, call, you know, hot weapon on set which is repeated on the radio. >> so -- but they said -- on this one, they said cold. what did that mean? they said they heard the -- >> well, and so, if you are using -- like, one of the
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misconceptions of most people is that these weapons are props. and, you know, sometimes i have been on set and they are handling the weapons like a prop. in other words, they are -- they treat them like they're a rubber gun or they're a toy gun but they're not. they're 100% a functional firearm. and if you load a round in, it will fire just like a regular weapon would. so, um, having said that, you know, we -- if it's a weapon that's cold, that means that it is the actual firing weapon with no rounds in it whatsoever. and sometimes, an actor wants to use those for rehearsals, you know, for the field. the weight. being able to use the mechanism of the gun and just general look of it. and that's okay and acceptable but again you have to make sure that the weapon is truly cold which means there should have been no -- no rounds in there period. and especially, if it's a rehearsal. there -- you know, again, i'm not by any means, you know, trying to second guess what happened because i -- the
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investigation's in the process and i'm sure they'll, you know, have a very detailed report. but for any professional armor, myself included, i would make sure any rehearsal, there is no sense in having anything in the weapon. not even a dummy round. >> you said you check it two sources. you look down the barrel with a flashlight. do you ever go out anywhere and clear it to make sure that it is -- it is clear? to shoot it. >> well, actually, there is no need to do that on this type of weapon. they are revolvers and they have got a very clear open cylinder. you can easily see inside of it and make sure there is nothing there and the chamber can be checked with a flashlight. there is very rarely that there is weapons that are incapable of being checked like that. they would have to be a very complex machine gun or a belt-fed weapon or something of that nature. that would be even difficult to check. otherwise, especially these revolvers, they are very simple. >> yeah. do they need to make changes here? because, you know, after brandon
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lee, there was supposedly -- supposedly many safety protocols that were upgraded and changed. do you think there still needs to be more? if you look at the history of the entire movie business, i mean, these two -- this is two out of a very long history. but still, a life is a life. >> right. of course. and -- and i would like to also say my heartfelt sympathies go out to everyone involved in this. from the -- you know, from alec baldwin to the -- the poor family of the people that -- the lady -- the dp that lost her life and the director and all the crew that was involved in it. it's such a tragedy. and, you know, something that you hope, like you said, could be avoided by making sure that safety's followed. having said that, yes. one of the things that i have always pushed for and other professional prop masters that i work with who, you know, know exactly how this all should go and they followed those protocols because, well, they have done it a long time and they're professional. and studios that understand that when you hire an armorer or a
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prop master and you do it the right way, you need to vet these people out. make sure they are certified to do this. that they just didn't work on one film two weeks ago, and then all of a sudden, they're an armorer and have, you know, the -- the knowledge and experience, wisdom most importantly, to handle a dangerous item on set. there's three departments that can cause loss of life quickly on set and that's stunts, effects, and armor services. and those three things need to be attended to and anytime you have a chance to educate someone or educate an actor on the proper use and handling of this, time needs to be taken to do that. doesn't need to be rushed through. it needs to be -- needs to be -- needs to be a thing that is implemented on all sets. >> well, brian carpenter, um, you have really educated us and we really appreciate you joining us. thank you for taking the time and to explain to our viewers what should -- how it should be handled. we appreciate it. >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> thank you. alec baldwin says that he is
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cooperating with police. is the actor in legal jeopardy? we are going to talk about that. that's next. no, he's not in his room. ♪ ♪ dad, why didn't you answer your phone? ♪ your mother loved this park. ♪ she did. ♪ - that moment you walk in the office and people are wearing the same gear, you feel a sense of connectedness and belonging right away. and our shirts from custom ink help bring us together. - [narrator] custom ink has hundreds of products to help you feel connected. upload your logo or start your design today at customink.com
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we built the recycling system from the ground up, helping san francisco become the first city in the country 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. so, alec baldwin firing a prop gun in a movie set in new mexico killing one, injuring another. no charges have been filed but investigators -- investigations are ongoing now. so joining me now is cnn legal analyst, areva martin. areva, good evening to you. you know, i spoke about this the affiliate koat receiving this affidavit. i mean, getting a look at the search warrant, i should say tonight. t says assistant director handed
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the prop gun to alec baldwin. the assistant director supposedly didn't know any live rounds were in that gun. they had been prepped by an armor. who is legally liable here? >> lots of questions, don. first of all, my just heart goes out to this young woman, her family, her son, her husband. can't imagine a tragedy like this. the reality is no one should die on a movie set. no one should have a live -- a gun with live ammunition and pointing it at someone unless there is some intention to harm that person. and we know alec baldwin had no intention to harm this young woman. but somebody made a mistake and somebody has to be held accountable for the assistant director to hand the gun to alec baldwin with live ammunition and to say he didn't know. well, it raises all kinds of questions about supervision and gun-handling procedures on the set. and some of the information that's coming out looks horrible. information that the whole process was rushed. that this was a low-budget film.
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that some of the union workers had walked off the set, that nonunion workers were on the set. that, you know, halyna, herself, had complained about or was standing in unity with some of the workers who felt safety protocols were not being followed on this set. so there were lots of issues that took place before this tragic accident occurred and i think as this investigation happens, i would not be surprised if there are not some criminal charges. and we definitely -- definitely can expect to see civil claims filed. >> yeah. you talk about civil claims, right? because you believe that's going to happen. alec baldwin is not just an actor, someone handed him the gun, which would lead us to believe -- he had no idea, right, that -- what was happening here. but he is also a producer on the movie. in a court of law, does that mean any more responsibility or liability here? >> well, definitely. as you are pointing out, he is not just an actor, he is a producer so that gives him responsibility for the
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operations of what happened on this set. so when we think about civil lawsuits, we can think of a list of people who may be named as defendants, including this assistant director that handed him the gun. the armorer on this set whose job it was to make sure that there were proper safety procedures in place. the producers, the directors. maybe, even the gun manufacturer. so, as we learn more about this tragedy, we can expect to see, i know, settlements, potentially early settlements but definitely, you know, some compensation paid to her family. and again, i don't want to rule out the possibility of criminal actions. in the state of new mexico, there is statutes that allow for excusable homicide. so, there is a possibility that when investigators look at it, they say there is no, you know, criminal culpability here but there is also in the state of new mexico something called a depraved indifferent homicide. so i would not be surprised if we didn't see some charges filed against someone that's responsible for this woman's death. >> again, it's still -- it's still early on and we have to
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wait to see how this investigation plays out but i mean, you can just see the anguish in alec baldwin's face. um, the -- the pictures that we have of -- he is doubled over. he is crying. i'm sure he is on the phone with someone, trying to explain. i mean, i can't even imagine. obviously, it's a tragedy for, you know, the young lady and her family. but also, you know, you are just doing your job and all the sudden, someone is dead for something that you've done over and over and over again. and as an actor, don, he is relying on the team. he is relying on the crew, the people who get paid to handle these matters to make sure these safety protocols are followed. so to think that someone hands you a loaded gun, you fire it and as a result, there is a death and someone else is injured has to be so horrific in terms of the emotional, you know, state of mind that alec baldwin is and everyone that witnessed this. not just alec. i mean, there were so many
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people on this set. >> yeah. >> so everyone has been impacted by this tragedy and -- and the trauma is unthinkable at this point. >> we appreciate having you. thank you, areva. thank you so much. >> thank, doreen. thank you. so, everyone is a president, that's what joe biden says about negotiating with democratic senators with another deadline coming up next week. can they finally make a deal? introducing fidelity income planning. we look at how much you've saved, how much you'll need, and build a straightforward plan to generate income, even when you're not working. a plan that gives you the chance to grow your savings and create cash flow that lasts. along the way, we'll give you ways to be tax efficient. and you can start, stop or adjust your plan at any time
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just ask the employee owners of recology. we built the recycling system from the ground up, helping san francisco become the first city in the country 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. the house speaker, nancy pelosi, saying that she is hopeful congress will vote next week on president biden's sweeping economic agenda. well, some thought that there could be a deal by monday but as the president laid out in cnn's town hall, they are still negotiating. >> so far, mr. manchin and one other person has indicated they
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will not support free community college. >> you are also proposing, for the first time ever, federal paid parental leave. at one point, you had talked about 12 weeks. now, there is reports it's down to maybe four weeks? >> it is down to four weeks. and the reason it's down to four weeks, they can't get 12 weeks. >> one of the other things that democrats are looking to do is to expand medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing. will all three of those still be covered? >> that's a reach. >> so, mark mckinnon joins me now. he is a former adviser to george w. bush and john mccain, and executive producer of "the circus." hello, sir. by the way, 100th episode. congratulations on that. >> thanks very much, don. >> this is a very critical moment for president biden. he needs to get these bills over the finish line, and was remarkably candid last night detailing what's in and what's out in -- in these bills. is that the right strategy to sell these plans? >> well, i think it was -- i think he needed too do somethin to change the equation and he
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was a lot more specific last night on individual items as you had in the clip there so i think that's encouraging but the problem all along here, don, is that this has been a -- a problem of great expectations that haven't been met. i mean, first of all on covid. second of all, the economy. third of all, on the great fdr-style, lbj-style legislative domestic agenda that would be -- was going to be so transformative. so, you just have these huge expectations from the -- the general public and democrats, specifically. on the legislation. first of all, what's in it. second of all, when it was going to happen. and so, we had all these artificial deadlines where people thought oh it's happening now, it is happening now, it's happening now. now, i understand you need the hammer sometimes to get people to move. but the problem is nobody's moved, yet. and -- and -- and from all that i can gather, are reading the tea leaves, i am not sure it's going to happen next week, either. so once again, i just think democrats in the country are -- are exhausted. and it's -- by the time this
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thing goes through, it's going to be late and damaged and not nearly what people thought it was going to be. >> yeah. >> and so, it's -- it's just -- tsa it's a tough road right now. >> senator kyrsten sinema has made it really clear she won't support any tax hike on corporations. so senate democrats are now looking at a billionaire's tax that would raise hundreds of billions of dollars off of the richest of the rich. about 700 people in this country and the source is telling cnn that sinema hasn't ruled out this idea, and it is optimistic about negotiations. does that show just how much pressure she is under? >> yeah. i mean, i -- i -- i'd -- i'm for that tax. be fine. i mean, it kind of gets back some of the money been giving away to them all these years, especially under the trump tax cut. but -- but the question that i ask is that, you know, she -- she seemed to have these sort of hard paid fors in mind and it just seems like why didn't we
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hear about it before? >> right. >> you know, it just seems like okay, you just figured this out now? i know you got your spreadsheet in front of you and you are supersmart and all of this but like, if you had a hard line, couldn't we have heard about that two or three months ago so that the democrats don't seem like they are being held hostage? >> right on. right on. president biden also told cnn that he is open to altering the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation. obviously, this is up to the senate and as of now, doesn't seem like manchin and sinema are on board with that. but that's a shot across the bow to republicans. >> well, i -- i -- i have some strong feelings about this, don. i think it's such an an ak nizm and doesn't have any practical value at this point. i mean, republicans are going to do what they do. they know how to use power and use it in a -- in a hardcore way and democrats need to learn that lesson. and i have -- in all my years -- 30-plus years of campaigning, i never heard one voter say i want my filibuster. they don't give a shit about the filibuster. and i think that biden -- what
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we saw last night was very encouraging. the most encouraging thing i've seen generally and specifically on the -- on the filibuster which the -- the hand that he showed was that he needs to keep it to get sinema and manchin on these -- on the two bills that are in front of him. needs to get that behind him but it looks pretty clear that once those are done -- i mean, he needs their votes on those -- then, he is going to go to the filibuster. and by the way, manchin is the one who said he wanted to on the voting rights stuff, said he didn't want to look at the filibuster because he thought he could get ten votes from republican. well, he didn't get one. so i think they can go back to manchin now after they get these other things done and say, okay, joe, listen, you said you could get tone votes, you got zero. and by the way, don, one last thing. we will talk about virginia in a minute but it looks really clear there's some big headwinds for democrats right now that joe biden's got about a year left before he can do anything. and after that, it's going to be republicans will be at least in control of the house. and -- and then -- and maybe the presidency after that.
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so there is a very tight window so i'd say get the filibuster the hell out of here. >> speaking of. you got new episode coming up and it has to do with virginia, terry >> need virginia to that be blue jewel to protect women's rights here. we're not letting him bring all his anti-women, anti-choice, all the trump stuff. trump wants to use this to launch his 2024 campaign. he's basically said that. he's endorsed youngkin six times. trump's looking for anything he can to lift himself up, and this would be a big win here in the commonwealth of virginia. >> so, mark, i just got to say it's a great episode. you should watch. it's your 100th episode. we're very proud of you. i can't let you respond because we're out of time. we'll see you soon here on cnn. thank you. he pushed a whole lot of conspiracies and lies, and now he is being called to testify. another trump ally heading to talk to the january 6th committee. stay with us.
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and a warm welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm paula newton. ahead right here on "cnn newsroom," how and why did actor alec baldwin fire a prop gun with fatal consequences? i'll discuss with my guest, a theatrical firearms safety expert. plus promising news for young children in the fight against covid. new data from pfizer shows its vax is more than 90% effective in children ages 5 to 11. and tension between the u.s. and china hitting a new high

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