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tv   Inside Politics With John King  CNN  October 27, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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everybody, welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king inside washington. the biden plan, and also the attorney general on capitol hill facing questions about a host of issues. we begin this hour in santa fe, new mexico where any moment from now we will hear from the sheriff and the district attorney holding a press briefing. you see them start to walk out of the building. today is the first time we hear from both since the shooting on the set of that alec baldwin-produced film "rust." killed there the cinematographer, halyna hutchins, and the director, joel
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souza. this is new mexico. >> good morning, everybody, and welcome to the sheriff's office. first and foremost, i'd like to offer our condolences to the hutchins family. a speedy recovery to mr. souza and our concern for the safety of all the men and women in the film industry. on thursday, october 21st, 2001, at 1:48 p.m., we were dispatched to bonanza creek ranch in reference to a 911 call advising that two people had been shot on a movie set. the first deputy arrived at 2:00 p.m. and ems arrived at 2:01 p.m. it was later determined that halyna hutchins, the director of cinematography, and joel souza, the director, had been shot
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while rehearsing a scene on the movie "rust." during the initial investigation, it was determined that actor-producer alec baldwin was the person that fired the weapon. we identified two other people that handled and/or inspected the loaded firearm prior to baldwin firing the weapon. these two individuals are armor hanna reed gutierrez and assistant director david halls. all three individuals have been cooperative in the investigation and have provided statements. over the last few days, our investigative team has been working diligently to conduct interviews, execute search warrants and collect and process evidence from the scene. during this process, we determined that there were a limited amount of movie staff present in the area where the actual incident took place.
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although there were approximately 100 people on set. through the execution of search warrants, we have collected about 600 items of evidence. these include, but are not limited to, three firearms, approximately 500 rounds of ammunition and several pieces of clothing and accessories. we believe that we have in our possession the firearm that was fired by mr. baldwin. this is the firearm we believe discharged the bullet. we also believe that we evhave e spent shell casing from the bullet that was fired from the gun. the actual lead projectile that was fired has been recovered from the shoulder of mr. souza. the projectile was recovered by medical personnel where he was being treated and turned over to the sheriff's office as evidence. we regard this specific spent
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casing and recovered projectile to be the live round that was fired from the revolver by mr. baldwin. we have recovered what we believe to be possible, additional live rounds on set. all the previous mentioned items, along with other items of evidence, will be submitted to the fbi crime lab in quantico, virginia for analysis. we are working thoroughly to gather all the facts of the investigation, continue interviews and further analyze and process the evidence. i want to ensure the victims, their families and the public that we are conducting a thorough and objective investigation. in reference to possible charges, it's too early right now in the investigation to comment on charges at this
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point. the investigation will continue, and if the sheriff's office determines during our investigation a crime has occurred and probable cause exists, an arrest or arrests will be made and charges will be filed. otherwise we will complete our investigation and forward the full investigation and evidence to the district attorney for review. before turning it over to the district attorney, i'd like to thank our investigations division for all their hard work and diligence in this case, the santa fe county public safety department, ems and recc, and the local fbi office for their support and assistance in this case. also the district attorney's office staff that has been working side by side with us in this case. i'd like to introduce first judicial district attorney mary
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carmichael tweece. >> good morning. my name is mary carmichael tweece and i am the district attorney. my district includes santa fe county. i want to thank sheriff mendoza and i want to send my condolences to family and friends of victims of this tragedy. we mourn halyna hutchins and joel souza. i also want to thank the investigators for thoroughly investigating this incident. our office appreciates your hard work and we will make sure this investigation is held to the highest standards. i speak to the prosecutorial perspective here, and i must emphasize that a complete and thorough investigation is critical to d.a. review. we take the corroborated facts and evidence and connect it to new mexico law, and we are not at that juncture yet. if the facts in evidence and law
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support charges, then i will initiate prosecution at that time. i'm a prosecutor that was elected in part because i do not make rash decisions and i do not rush to judgment. i rely on facts supported by evidence, cooperative and credible witnesses, and i cannot stress the importance of allowing the santa fe county sheriff's office to continue with their quality investigation that is both serious and complex. so at this point we will open it up to questions. >> sheriff, can we ask you, so you said that a live round was recovered. based on the witness interviews that you've done, can you tell us what you've learned about how live ammunition was on the set and how it made its way into that firearm? we learned there was possible target practice earlier in the day. what have you learned on that front? >> we suspect there were other live rounds found on set. i won't comment further on how they got there.
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this investigation is active, so i won't comment on how they got there, but we suspect they are there. that will be determined when testing is done by the crime lab in reference to whether or not thery ry are officially live ro or not. >> sheriff, how did people inspect this gun and not notice there was a live round in it? >> that's what we're trying to determine. the people that inspected or handled the firearm when it was loaded before it got to mr. baldwin we're interviewing. there is some follow-up questions that we need to do. there is further investigation, further interviews, and we're going to try to determine exactly how that happened and if they should have known that there was a live round in that firearm. [ inaudible question ] >> no, i said there was a total of 500 rounds of ammunition. that is a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are
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suspecting, live rounds. >> what was found in director's shoulder that was recovered at the hospital? >> we know it was a lead projectile. it's still to be determined by the ballistics analysis, by the fbi crime lab exactly what the weight of that bullet is, whether or not it was fired from that actual firearm. there will be things tested and compared. there is a lot of testing that needs to be done to ensure that that projectile left that firearm. so that's what we suspect. >> sir, is the man who pulled the trigger and as a producer on the movie, does alec baldwin himself face the potential of criminal charges? >> that may be a question better answered by the district attorney. >> all options are on the table at this point. i'm not commenting on charges, whether they will be filed or not or on whom.
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so the answer is we cannot answer that question yet until we complete a more thorough investigation. >> but there is potential for alec baldwin himself to face charges because you haven't ruled him out? >> no one has been ruled out at this point. >> did you find other live rounds on the set? >> he's obviously the person that fired the weapon. we're going to continue interviewing and getting the facts of his statements and the evidence and the case and possible witnesses or anybody that has any information. so right now he is an active part of this investigation. >> is he likely to be interviewed? >> we hope so. as of now, everybody is cooperating with statements and interviews. >> you mentioned this was an ongoing investigation. for your department, what does that mean specifically?
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what else do you have to do? >> basically there are a lot of interviews that have to be done. we determined that there were a limited amount of people or movie staff that were actually in the vicinity of the incident. so there also was approximately 90 people on the movie set itself, so there are a lot of interviews that need to be done still in this case, and that's going to be important. there is a lot of facts that are floating around. i wouldn't say facts, maybe facts and rumors that are floating around, and it's our job to figure out if they are facts or rumors. >> do you have the actual bullet that was fired? it was not a dummy. what do you people think of when you say live bullet? >> we consider it a live bullet because it was fired from the weapon and actually caused the death of ms. hutchins and injured mr. souza? >> were other guns found on set? >> how much do you take into
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account the previous investigations on other sets? there is word of other dangers on other sets. how much will that weigh? >> that's up to the district attorney how much that weighs, but we'll weigh that there was other incidents. we'll talk to anybody who has issues on other sets or if there were other issues. we would encurrently them to call the sheriff's office with any information they may have so we can get a good idea of what the totality of the circumstances are on this set and what's happening in the industry. >> can you comment on other previous movie productions? >> that's something that will play into our legal analysis when we get our completed investigation from the sheriff's department. it obviously could play into whether charges get fired or
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not. >> i know you said anyone could be charged, but can you talk about what your office specifically looks at when we get to that point? >> when we get to that point, yes, i will speak to it. i don't know that we are at that point yet, because, again, we can't say that it was negligence by whom, how many people were involved. we can't say that with any certainty at this point. so when we get to that point, yes, i will speak to that. >> can you tell us, madam district attorney -- sheriff and district attorney, you're obviously -- >> many can you talk about what caliber of weapon was used and there's been a lot of chatter about -- >> i will talk in reference to
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the caliber of the actual weapon that was fired by mr. baldwin. that firearm was an f. lee pierra, long colt .45 revolver. >> was there other ammunition in the gun? >> there was other ammunition in the gun that we believe was fired by mr. baldwin. >> and were there any other live bullets in any of the other guns, including the one that you recovered from alec baldwin? >> as of right now, there were three firearms that are located on the set within close proximity to the incident. we're still going to determine -- we'll send the firearm that was fired by mr. baldwin to the crime lab and do a functionality test. obviously it did fire a live round. the other weapon is a single action .45 revolver. that up with looks like there is some modification to the
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cylinder. it may not be functioning but that will be determined by the crime lab. the other firearm is a plastic, n non-functioning revolver. >> can you talk about tensions on the set? obviously there were people who were around the accident, members who may have been drinking the night before. can you talk about that and was there tension around that? >> i won't talk about specifics, but we are aware of today rumors or those statements that have been made, and we're going to do the best to track those down. >> you're obviously responsible, sheriff -- sheriff! [ inaudible question ] >> there was a search warrant that was issued in reference to any camera footage. there was camera footage, but i can say that there was no footage of the actual incident.
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>> how does alec baldwin's role as a producer play into the situation? how much of a responsibility did he have as a producer? >> i think once we gather all the statements of fabct, once w do all the interviews, that will be weighed by the district attorney to see exactly what weight that's going to give in reference to a decision of making charges. >> are there locations other than the movie set being pursued or executed? >> not at this time. >> please give us an update on alec baldwin how he's been so far. >> generally, he has been cooperative in this investigation. >> how is he doing? z >> i won't comment on my perception of his demeanor. >> for clarity, was it a live round or a suspected live round? >> until it's proven by the crime lab, it's a suspected live
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round that was fired, but it did fire from the weapon and it did cause injury, so that would lead us to believe it was a live round. >> sheriff, can you speak skprus -- just to the idea of safety around movie sets, the idea of having weapons on sets of movies? >> obviously, i think the industry has had a record recently of being safe. i think there was some c complacency on this set, and i think there are issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly the state, but i'll leave that to the industry and the state what that should be. >> is there precedence for a case like this in santa fe county where other people loaded that gun, not the person who actually fired it, but could be held liable? is there any kind of precedent for a case like this in your
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county? >> no. no, there's no precedent whatsoever. >> this is a tricky legal battle. >> it is a very complex case. it will require lots of legal research and analysis and review. that's what my team is here for, and that's how beer we're assis the sheriffs at this point. that said, we don't know how that will play in until we get the completed investigation. >> was the projectile removed from the director's shoulder, is that the same one that killed halyna hutchins? >> we will know more later, but it appears it's the same round. >> were you investigating whether people were shooting on the ranch property earlier? >> we are aware of those statements, and we are investigating whether or not that is true or it isn't true.
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i would encourage anybody that has any information that any target practicing or any firearm was discharged away from the movie set or for practice or for whatever reason to contact the sheriff's office. >> sheriff, two of the three guns were non-functioning. what do you think happened here? >> i'm sorry? >> you said two of the three guns appeared to be non-functioning on that table. what do you think unfolded that afternoon? >> i think the facts are clear. a weapon was handed to mr. baldwin. the weapon was functional and fired a live round, killing ms. hutchins and injuring mr. souza. >> hanna gutierrez reed and the agent who handled the gun said there should never be live rounds on set, yet there was clearly live rounds on set. this seems like a false statement if the armorer is going to say there should never be a live round on set, yet
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there was, what is your next step as an investigator. >> we know there was one live round, as far as we are concerned, on set. we're going to look at whether we suspect there were other live rounds, but that's up to testing. we'll investigate why they were there, because they shouldn't be there. >> do you know if alec baldwin is still in new mexico or if he left the state? >> i'm sorry, who are you asking about? >> is alec baldwin still in new mexico or has he left the state? >> he's been cooperative. i'm not sure about his present whereabouts. [ inaudible question ] >> i won't talk about the specifics of that. that's still being investigated. >> just for clarity, was there multiple rounds in that weapon?
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>> cando you have more informat about when charges will be filed? >> i'll stay away from a timeline. there are several individuals who need to be interviewed, and from those interviews comes new information that can be used, so i don't want to put a timeline on it. we're working diligently, our investigative team is, to wrap this up thoroughly and completely, so there is no timeline. we want to get all the facts, get all the statements and present that to the district attorney's office for review. >> can you confirm you've interviewed hanna gutierrez reed and the assistant director dave halls? >> we have. >> do you expect to bring in either of those two? >> as questions come up, other information comes to light, there may be follow-up interviews, so i would suspect that we would want to re-interview them. >> sheriff, you said there was a small number of people inside the area where this happened. how come it took you so long, almost a week now, to get all those interviews.
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>> well, there was a small number of people within the set area where the interviews took place. those people had been interviewed. i'm talking about 100 people on scene in different areas. so those people that were in close proximity to the incident, they've been interviewed. z >> just for clarity, were there other live rounds inside the chamber? >> not that we're aware of. >> the sheriff used the word complacency on set. how much do you have to go beyond complacency to get to criminal negligence, hypothetically speaking? >> i'm not going to answer hypotheticals today. i will say there is a bridge and it will take many more facts, corroborated facts, before we can get to that criminal negligent standard. again, they're gathering that as we speak. >> complacency in itself does not demand criminal behavior.
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>> i cannot say that without specifically legally researching that, but my off-the-cuff answer is no. >> and sheriff, your experience with firearms, what is your view of such complacency on the set of a movie? z >> any time firearms are involved, safety is paramount. any time a firearm is around or about, safety is paramount. >> does it bother you that live rounds were being used on that set? >> i don't let my emotions get involved. this is an investigation. we rely on the facts. thank you. >> you said a small number of people. what is a small number? >> the information that i received from the detectives, there were 16 people in the vicinity of where the diinciden took place. thank you for all your questions, but i think that's all the questions we're taking today. unless the d.a. would like to entertain more. >> no. we're good.
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>> thank you. i'm john king in washington. you've been listening to authorities in santa fe, new mexico, the sheriff, menendez, and also the district attorney, ms. altweiss, talking about the tragedy on the movie "rust." the sheriff talking about 600 pieces of evidence taken from the scene, including as many as 500 rounds of ammunition. the sheriff says he believes more of the rounds they received from the scene are live rounds, and confirming that a live round fired by alec baldwin that killed the cinematographer and injured the director was a live round. i want to bring in people to discuss this. i want to start with larry zanoff who has worked on many movies where firearms are used, potential weapons are used. larry, i want to walk through the things we heard from the sheriff and the district attorney, and you tell me
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whether they match up with acceptable protocols in hollywood. number one was three firearms taken from the scene. two, the sheriff believed to be inoperative, one a plastic revolver and wayne .45-caliber weapon in which the barrel had been altered that it couldn't fire a live round. then the third one, he called a colt .45 revolver that alec baldwin fired. obviously a woman is dead and a man injured from that bullet. he said other live rounds were found as well. is there any protocol that allows for live rounds on a movie set when you're shooting a scene like this? >> well, the industry standards and guidelines governing firearms and blank ammunition, which are clearly laid out in safety bulletin number 1, clearly state that no live ammunition is to be brought onto any stage or set or location of
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a television or film project. so when we have actors and cameras and things like that around, we only use blanks. live ammunition is not permissible. >> you heard him talk about what he called some complacency on the set. obviously, in your view of listening to him, they did not follow protocol. other things he said, there was a limited staff, about 16 people in the immediate proximity of where this happened, but also as many as 90 people on-site. again, when you're going to be using firearms, are there clear protocols about how many people can be in close proximity and how many people should be in the general area of distractions. >> the numbers that the sheriff was implying probably included the entire filming crew, which sometimes can be several hundred people. they, of course, were not actually on the set, which i understand was inside some kind
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of structure, but the general guidelines in our industry is if you are required for the shot, i.e., you're the cameraman, you're the director, you're the first assistant director, you're the armorer, coordinator, whoever the personnel that is required to film the specific sequence, they will be on set. other personnel that are not required for that particular sequence, they don't really need to be on set. >> larry is going to stand by with us. i want to get to our cnn law enforcement correspondent, josh campbell, who was right there asking some of the questions. josh, the sheriff was going through with the d.a. this partial investigation. he said alec baldwin has been cooperating and has been interviewed on several occasions. he also said they have spoken to dave halls, the assistant director, and hanna gutierrez who was the armorer on this set. they, in addition to alec baldwin, were two people that handled the colt revolver right
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around the time of this shooting. give some context on that and other takeaways you got from watching that news conference. >> reporter: john, we learned a lot of information about this weapon. there was a question about what type of projectile was used, whether it was some type of blank round. the sheriff said right from the top that this was live ammunition that went through halyna hutchins and hit the shoulder of joel souza. we hear a lot of times we need to wait for the autopsy, wait for the coroner's report. the sheriff describing at the end of that press conference this bullet shooting and killing halyna hutchins. he himself described that as killing her, so obviously key pieces of information there. there is still a lot that investigators have to do as it relates to assigning reliability and culpability. that will be the purview of the
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district attorney here. again, the question of liability could be the person bhowho load that weapon, the person who handed it to alec baldwin. it also could include a liability for alec baldwin himself as the person who pulled the trigger. this is obviously a tragedy but up to investigators to determine what happened in the run-up to this tragic event and prosecutors for bringing charges. >> you just heard our armor expert saying there should not be live ammunition on set. there are reports and rumors of others taking live target practice on that set in and around the shooting six days ago. the sheriff said that they were still investigating that, josh, but did i hear them right, they had no confirmation of that yet? >> reporter: that's right, that's under investigation. i asked them that question, based on your witness interviews, have you learned anything about the live rounds, how they made it onto the set, how they made it into that weapon? he said he heard those reports
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but they're still conducting the investigation. we know they're going to do the witness interviews, but they're not just going to rely on people in and around the set, they'll likely be interviewing shooting ranges, other places around this area, in order to determine whether some of these cast members were out conducting target practice or if they were out in one of these many remote fields. but it gets to the larger question, john, which is obviously unfathomable, is a live movie set filming a western type film, it's hard to believe that a set like that would find at the scene large rounds of ammunition. it obviously has so many questions of concern and how that could have taken place. the sheriff described complacency, the death of one, injury of another. they went through all this evidence, 100 rounds of ammunition, to determine how
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many live rounds were present on the day of the shooting. >> you said diplomatic. i agree. i think i would use the word cautious, the sheriff being careful in the early stages of what he said would be a lengthy investigation. caroline pleecy is with us. the sheriff said a precedent on the set. the d.a. says she knows of no precedence and needs to study new mexico law. how would you try to construct that bridge, yea and nay, and how much did you seek of legal consistency? >> you're right, there is a question between civil liability and criminal liability here. no question, no question there
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will be civil liability here and the reproductions will be grave. as you noted, with respect to criminality and criminal charges being brought is still on the table. i think they narrowed the landscape pretty clearly today to those three people who were in the chain of custody and had ak s access to the weapon, which is hanna gutierrez reed, david halls and alec baldwin. he did not say whether either or any of those individuals knew the gun was hot, as it were, that there were actually bullets in the firearm. he said they should have known. and that isn' a legal term indicating a degree of potential criminal negligence. there is a statute that a criminal case could be brought in a manslaughter case. if the negligence was so severe
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that it evidenced an indifference to human life, and somebody is, unfortunately, dead here. and i think that all options are still on the table. >> anything, caroline, from your experience as a criminal defense attorney in the sense that the sheriff made clear, you mentioned the three people in the chain of possession of the weapon, the armorer on the set. he said all three have been interviewing, and so far in the investigation, cooperating. anything from that or anything else about interviews or cooperation that struck you from an investigative standpoint. the sheriff seemed to indicate so far they've run into no roadblocks to get the information that he needs. >> yeah, and that's a great sign for all three of them. obviously they are cooperating with authorities. i think there was a very small chance that there was the potential for actual malice involved in this case. i think we clearly ruled that out. if any criminal charges are going to be brought, it seems pretty clear to me that they're going to be brought under a
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negligent standard, meaning nobody actually had the intent to cause anyone harm. but always a good idea to cooperate with authorities. it never looks good to not cooperate in these types of investigations. i still think that there is real liability there, criminal liability, for all three of these individuals, you know, regardless of how much they cooperate. >> we'll watch if that plays out going forward. let's bring in a reporter chloe moss. chloe, one of the questions, there was turnover on this set. one of the questions for the industry, who was in charge? who was running the show and how did this fall through the cracks? >> exactly. there is a chain of command, john. i talked to prop masters, h armorers in place. you heard the sheriff talk about
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why they got there, because they should not have been there. if they were doing target practice and somehow something got into that gun, that is up to the armorer, hanna gutierrez reed, to be checking the gun, then it goes to the assistant director, dave halls. he's supposed to check it. then it goes to alec baldwin. many seasoned actors like alec baldwin, they check those guns themselves before they handle it. there is very strict protocol. you are heard the armorer you were speaking to just now, the props master, there there should never be live ammunition on the set. so how did it get there? the sheriff saying today we are going to try to determine if they should have known. john, they should have known, so how did it get there and why? this is negligence, in my opinion, so it will be interesting to see what the d.a. does next. >> to that point, let me bring
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larry zanoff back into the conversation. he were hearing the sheriff and the d.a. lay it out. let me ask you, as someone with so much expertise in this area here. a, what are your biggest questions? did the sheriff raise a question you would have asked, or is there something he didn't raise that you think is key to this? >> first off, i would like to applaud the professionalism of the sheriff in the information that he gave and the way he gave it. clearly we have already stated that live ammunition should not be on set. he himself pointed out that the film and television industry has an extremely good record of safety, and we have extremely stringent guidelines that govern the use of firearms and blank ammunition on set. there is never to be live ammunition on set. this idea that, you know, they may have been plinking over the
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weekend, i can't comment whether that happened or not, but we as an industry keep live activity and blank activity in parallel universes. there are some very, very limited situations where there might be some training involved for actors, but you're not dealing with the same firearms that are brought onto set. what you have on a film set is a firearm specifically set up to fire these blanks, and never shall the two meet up. how a live round got onto that set is probably the key of the investigation, and i'm sure the professional law enforcement officials there will figure that out in the end. >> larry zanoff, thankful for your opinions. on the scene, again, a very complicated situation. the sheriff said it will proceed in a methodical way. the very big question, larry just touched on it, what does the crime lab say about the
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rounds, including the fatal round, and the other question, how were live rounds found on the set and how did it get there? back in washington, critical details coming together for president biden's painfrastructe package. can he get it together before he goes overseas? that's tomorrow. safelite replace. ♪e repa, america! after the past year-ish, everyone deserves something new! so at&t is giving everyone our best deals on every iphone - including the iphone 13 pro with its amazing camera. like everyone that worked from home. or welcomed a new family member. they were all out of dogs. our deals are for everyone!
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one. >> when it's ready, it will be ready. you'll understand when you understand. pretty clear there from the speaker. with me to share their reporting and insights, shelly zinona from the "washington post." often i ask you to translate. that was pretty clear. when we're done, we'll tell you. >> we're tired of answering over and over again. it's almost ready, it's almost ready. they are still very far from an agreement on everything from expansion of medicare, drug pricing, how they're going to pay for the bill. these are really big issues. manchin is expressing optimism. he has been negotiating with sinema. all the energy are with those two. you see democratic lawmakers trying to personally lobby them,
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trying to tailor proposals with them. it's still really, really hard. >> lawmakers sometimes try to be funny just to pass the tension. this is boyle to bloomberg yesterday. we're just missing two things. what exactly is going to be in the bill and how we're going to pay for it. other than that, we're ready to go. i think that's humor. one of the other things that's come up, paul, is sinema is funny about taxing it. who would be taxed? people who have a billion dollars' plus in assets or $100 million income for three consecutive years. that was the proposal. a lot of grumbling about it, but that was the alternative proposal. senator manchin today was indicating he doesn't like that, right? if manchin doesn't want it,
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there's no deal. >> irish catholics in philadelphia, i know them well. he was kidding but there was a lot of seriousness in his bite. this is a rubik's cube, and there are two pieces of the cube they can never solve on any issue. at one time the cube comes together. sinema is okay, manchin is not. on the other, manchin is okay and sinema is not. >> or they're both okay and the progressives are not. >> yes. they're struggling with this. we keep covering the process of it, this deadline or that deadline, but they're the ones that keep setting up these false deadlines. they and the white house said he must have this bill by the time he goes off to glasgow for the climate summit. now he's there, he's leaving tomorrow and the bill is just not ready. they keep setting up these false deadlines and that's why we end up shouting these questions to nancy pelosi that she's tired of
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answering. >> i'll give them some grace in the sense that as we go through the process, we should remind people at home what's at stake for you. here's what's in it. child tax credit, universal pre-k, affordable housing fund, child tax credit extension, whether you allow the government to negotiate drug pricing, paid leave, taxes. you get it good from one senator and another senator complains. there is also a question of what the president hoped for. if they at least get a framework, 90% there, the progressives said, okay, we'll give you something as you head overseas, and as soon as you get back we'll finish the rest of this. the progressives in the house, even though the speaker would prefer, they say yes.
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>> we're counting on both bills at the same time, so hopefully by next week we'll get them both. >> senator jayapal sis one that says next week. they are not going to vote on the reconciliation bill until they get the infrastructure figured out. >> he suggested that if they passed that, then the president would have something to go to glasgow with, he would have some climate provisions there. but as you're saying, it doesn't look possible. but how do you make this all work when you have joe manchin also saying he doesn't. want to essentially pass the bill to find out what's in it, he wants taxed on all these things. it puts the president in a bind as he prepares to leave tomorrow morning.
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>> puts him in a bind, and i understand some of the complaints about the process. the democrats are on their own here. we're having this conversation because we'll get no republican votes in the senate or the house, but they've known that for some time. as you watch this play out, in terms of the rubik's cube, who should we be watching at this moment or what should we be watching at this moment? >> the senate hold the keys, the progressives as well. 40% said they would not vote for infrastructure without a vote on the reconciliation bill. however, i think if they were able to reach an agreement and biden came to the hill and said, i need you to vote on this, i promise you we'll get re reconciliation done, something he hasn't done yet, i think it would be hard for them not to vote for it. >> key to that is senator sanders. if senator sanders went there
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and said, i am comfortable, this is good. but senator sanders yesterday was quite annoyed because some of his signature issues seemed to be getting shoved aside at the end. >> yeah. if you get to the point where you have manchin, sanders and sinema all together in front of the cameras saying this is a deal, i think the house progressives would be for it. but sanders really, really, really wants some expansion of medicare as a down payment of medicare for all, which has been his issue for many years now. manchin is against it. manchin has been against this for months now, and that is just a huge sticking point. if sanders doesn't get anything out of medicare expansion, i don't know where he stands and then that leads to the progressive. >> it makes him no less important. sanders' point consistently has been, i've given a lot. i'm not anywhere close to where i'd like, but i'm part of a family. to that point as they go through how to pay for this, i want you
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to listen to senator chris murphy here. this is on the subject of the billionaires' tax, and we're not sure that will survive. that was plan b or plan c that came up yesterday. he said, we'll have to get to the finish line so all of us have to eat our peas. >> we have to thread a very narrow needle in the senate. i think any of us would do this differently. if it were me, i would go back and repeal the trump tax cuts where the vast majority of the benefit went to the top income earners. >> that's what most democrats campaigned on in the last election, whether we're talking about 2018 or 2020, repealing the tax cuts. i'm not sure where i am in the alphabet. plan b was the billionaires' tax, now you might need a plan a, b, c, d, f, g? >> when you look at what they want to spend on the bill, every time you cut something in terms of the pay-for, then you have to
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find another program to sunset or cut. that's where they are now. how do you pay for it definitely affects what's in the bill. you asked what to watch. one thing i would also be wau watching tomorrow is the president's schedule. if they're close, potentially he could delay. >> and what's the president doing with one of these in the hours ahead. maybe it's a land line. attorney general merrick garland facing some very tough questions right now on top of the hill. i'm just here because subway has so much new, they bought time in this press conference to talk about it. if you're on medicare, remember, the annual enrollment period is here.
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ongoing and important testimony this hour from the attorney general up on capitol hill. merrick garland before the senate judiciary committee face ag -- facing a wide variety of issues, on the nassar probe, and on the violence among school officials and parents. >> those who argue that school board meetings across america is not more dangerous or more violent than in the past are ignoring reality. >> mothers and fathers have a vested interest in how schools educate their children. they are not, as the biden justice department apparently believes them to be, national
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security threats. >> let's go straight to cnn's jessica snyder. you heard them there. how did the a.g. respond? >> the a.g. is defending them more forcefully than we've seen him do when he was questioned by the house committee. they've falsely been portraying it as parents who speak out at board meetings, and this is a memo to discuss strategies to stop threats. we've seen throughout this hearing that started at 10:00 a a.m., merrick garland has repeated that this is not targtarget ing parents, and in fact, parents are protected by the first amendment to have these vigorous debates. he said as long as there are no threats of violence, they are
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fully protected. but he also noted there's been a major rise in threats in recent months, not just from school board members and parents, but also judges, election officials. it's something we've been reporting on, and merrick garland saying the justice department, in his view, had to step in here. here's what else he said. >> the only thing the justice department is concerned about are violence and threats of violence. the memo which you referred to as one page, it responds to concerns about violence, threats of violence, other criminal conduct. that's all it's about. and all it asks is for federal law enforcement to consult with, meet with local law enforcement to assess the circumstances, strategize about what may or may not be necessary, to provide federal assistance if it is necessary. >> and the attorney general also talked about the fact that he directly wrote this memo, and he rejected allegations from republican senators including
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john kennedy that he was acting under the directive of the white house to issue this memo. he made clear that he wrote the memo himself, that he's completely independent from the white house, and john, garland has also faced repeated calls from republicans to rescind this memo that was out october 4. he has specifically said he will not rescind it, but these questions keep coming as republicans are seizing on this issue, john. >> among the other issues that came up is the january 6 insurrection and the investigations. there are republicans who think the senate is being too tough, and there are democrats wanting to know, are you going after the organizers, are you going after mr. trump? any news there? >> he was asked, are you following the money? merrick garland did not comment on this investigation, but he did reiterate that followers throughout the country that are looking into this are not restrained in any way, basically saying all doors are open, what avenues investigators will look
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at and who potentially might be prosecuted here, john. >> jessica snyder, grateful for the hustle on the important news there, and we'll bring you more tomorrow. i appreciate your time on "inside politics." don't go anywhere. ana cabrera picking up our kovrn coverage right now. have a good day. hello and thank you for being with us. i'm ana cabrera with breaking news. we now know it was a live round fired from the gun alec baldwin was holding when cinematographer halyna hutchins was killed and director joel souza was injured. >> we believe we have in our possession the firearm fired by mr. baldwin. this is the firearm we believe discharged the bullet. we also believe that we have the spent shell casing from the bullet that was fired from


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