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tv   CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta  CNN  October 31, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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opec to some degree and just the, look, i would love to do this. i understand that it's ironic we would like more production coming out of the middle east right now, however, people need to get to work, at $3.35, that is really bad for the average american person who is trying to fill up their car and go to work. that's not necessarily in their messaging documents. >> no, but gas prices can affect an election more than -- >> he called out russia and saudi arabia explicitly on that. >> i think to be honest, whether it will be viewed as a great press conference or a bad press conference, i think it's an illuminating press conference because you get a better sense what he's thinking. he was asked why haven't more people gone back to work? we get a sense of what he's thinking. getting his thought process on it. i think the other one too is when he was asked about his poll numbers and he made clear, you know, they've been high, they've been low, they've been in the middle. they're back low again. he knows what his poll numbers
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are. but when you talk to his officials, they're concerned about the poll numbers. they recognize where the poll numbers are. he has been, my understanding according to many officials, pretty steadfast of keep going. this is the right plan. this is going to work. it might take some time, but it will work eventually. i think you saw that from the president. he's a politician. he's keenly aware of where his numbers are and where that might be problematic. >> big problem with his poll numbers right now because of his fellow democrats, and that's not lost on people either. what they're assuming is when these things get passed, that factor will go away. i'm going to finish with you, nic. bill, i want to hop over to you quickly. give us a quick take on whether or not you think he said the right things heading into the next phase of these meetings where you are in scotland. >> yeah. i mean what's most striking is we didn't talk about it before the press conference, but it really hit me during, especially as's got emotional at the end, is he's not donald trump, and he does have relationships with some of these leaders.
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you saw how he patched things over with macron of france after the submarine kerfuffle there. as nic pointed out, he called out russia and saudi arabia specifically as, you know, bad actors in this space, acting in bad faith. saudi arabia says they're going to match china and go net-zero by 2060 but only within the kingdom. that doesn't count all the massive amounts of crude oil they'll be shipping out between now and then. now, not to be too cynical, if saudi arabia manages to decarbonize, it will be huge for innovation. they have, you know, indoor ski hills in the desert there. they run everything on oil. and if they can have that, that would be a boon for the planet. but it is a matter of not just being pollyannaish about this and looking for the kumbaya. you got to call out those you think need prodding to come along. even the australias of the world. scott morrison, who came here sort of begrudgingly and refuses to sign on to some of these ambitions. so it's not just the foes, it's
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the allies as well that need nudging along. but, sure, you know, that's the thing. you got to sort of walk this edge of being a realist and being so hopeful because the alternative is too dire to think about. >> and you got to find your friends. australia stepped away from the agreement today. new zealand leaned into it. so, you know, we'll see how that influences america's attention with each of those players. so, nic, a final thought from you about where this leaves the president moving forward. >> i was interested -- i just want to follow up on what phil said. it's illuminating when you get to listen to the president speaking because it was illuminating what he had to say about iran. what was he in that room for with his allies and partners, to make sure they stay with us if we have to put sanctions on iran. they walk the line with us. that on an international perspective was key because we didn't really fully understand. now we know. >> the president took a bunch of questions, went way beyond the scope of the g20, and now we move forward. phil mattingly, nic robertson,
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bill weir, thank you each and all for your perspective on these very important issues of the day. i want to thank you for joining us for this conversation. "cnn newsroom" continues with jim acosta right now. you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington. we begin with president biden on the world stage and under pressure overseas and here at home. biden wrapping up a press conference just a few moments ago in rome following his first g20 summit where today he and world leaders tackled some of the biggest issues facing the world like climate change, the pandemic, and the global economy. but biden's trip abroad so far has been overshadowed by his stalled agenda here in washington. democrats in congress have yet to reach a compromise on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and that larger economic and climate plan. but as his agenda hangs in the balance, biden dismissed
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concerns that poll numbers posed a significant problem for his administration's priorities. let's take a listen. >> the polls are going to go up and down and up and down. they were high early. then they got medium, then went back up. now they're low. look at every other president. the same thing as happened. but that's not why i ran. i didn't run to determine how well i'm going to do in the polls. i ran to make sure that i followed through on what i said i would do as president of the united states. and i said that i would make sure that we were in a position where we dealt with climate change, where we moved in a direction that would significantly improve the prospects of american workers to be able to have good jobs and good pay. and further we would deal with the crisis caused by covid. we've done all of those. we continue to do that and we'll see what happens. but i'm not running because of the polls. >> let's bring in cnn senior political commentator and former adviser to president obama david
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axelrod. david, you've seen poll numbers go up and down over the years. you were in the thick of it in the obama white house when that happened. you saw the congress change hands over to the republicans, and that was a shellacking as i recall barack obama describing it as at one point during his presidency. should president biden be more concerned about these sliding poll numbers, or do you think he's taking some of that experience you both had into consideration? >> well, i'm sure he is concerned. i'm not sure he should say how concerned he is about polls. i think he gave the right answer, which is my job isn't to watch polls. my job is to follow through on the commitments that i've made. the one difference i would say, jim, between what we faced in 2009 and 2010 and what he's looking at here is that we knew that the economic recovery was going to be slow and arduous. that was the nature of the kind of crisis we faced, which was the collapse of the financial system globally, and we were
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warned even before the president took office that this was going to take a very long time to unwind. there is still the prospect here that if the president passes his two keystone pieces of economic legislation, which he said he thinks will pass by the end of next week, if the virus is contained and the economy stabilizes and begins to grow at a good clip, if they can unwind these supply chain problems, you know, then perhaps by the time next fall rolls around, the outlook will be a lot different. so that, i think, is what he has to hope for. but right now obviously there's a great deal of concern. i was struck by the fact that earlier this week, former prime minister rasmussen, the former secretary-general of nato, told "the washington post" that all the world's leaders were going to be watching the virginia
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governor's race for signs as to what the future might hold because their concern is that whatever -- they like biden. they respect biden. their concern is that whatever happens might get turned back in 2024 if donald trump returns to the white house. >> david, there's no question about this. i spoke with a key ambassador for a major u.s. ally in recent days who indicated the very same thing to me, that world leaders around the globe are watching what's happening in our politics right now because they are so very concerned about donald trump returning to power. trumpism resurfacing in some major way, more so than it is right now. but this summit, as you know, has been about re-establishing bonds and strengthening alliances. today the president commented on two countries that he thinks aren't meeting the moment. let's watch that. >> with regard to the disappointment, the disappointment relates to the fact that russia and --
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including not only russia but china basically didn't show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change. and there's a reason why people should be disappointed in that. i found it disappointing myself. >> what do you think about that, david? why do you think he called out russia and china in that fashion? i mean i know that sort of is, you know, i think a typical presidential response there to sort of, you know, point these things out from time to time when you're disappointed. but that was pointed. that was very pointed. >> it was, and i think -- well, first of all, there is a great deal of disappointment, and you hear it from climate activists, that this particular meeting was long on identifying the problem but short on specifics about what will happen. and of course they're headed next to the climate conference and people are hoping for more specifics and commitments there. but china wasn't at this meeting. russia wasn't at this meeting.
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and so there -- and they are a big part of the problem. russia is an energy producer, relies very much on their oil. china has a great reliance on coal to fuel their industrial growth. and so they are -- they have to be part of the solution. china is a big contributor to the problem globally, the number one contributor. so that's why he called them out. i think he was right to do it. but it's also a way of saying, you know, we are doing what we can do, and we need to compel others to do what they can do. the question's going to be, what is he willing to do? what levers is he willing to use to try to compel russia and china to do more? >> and i think maybe the most remarkable moment during that press conference, david, came when the president was sharing some heartfelt feelings about his meeting with pope francis, and, you know, what pope francis means to joe biden and his
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catholicism. let's take a listen. >> before he left and got on the plane, the pope asked whether or not he could meet with my family, and we met in a hangar at the philadelphia airport. and he came in, and he talked to my family for a considerable amount of time, 10, 15 minutes, about my son beau. and he didn't just generically talk about him. he knew about him. he knew what he did. he knew who he was. he knew where he went to school. he knew what a man he was, and it had such a cathartic impact on his children and my wife and our family that it -- it meant a great deal. and as i meant what i said.
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>> yeah, david. i think of all the meetings that the president had at the g20, i think his meeting with pope francis on this trip, i should say, maybe meant the most to joe biden. i remember when i was in the rose garden covering then-vice president joe biden saying he wasn't going to run for president and the death of beau was just hanging over everything. it was just a devastating blow to his family obviously. and i think it was important that he conveyed that to the american people and talked about what pope francis meant to him during that difficult period, what he's meant to him ever since. what were your thoughts on that, david? >> well, look, anybody who knows joe biden knows how much his faith means to him. he's been through such extraordinary trials in his life, losing his wife and daughter, baby daughter, and then losing his beloved son. and it's faith that has gotten
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him through. there's no question about it. the rosary beads are never far from his hand. and i'm sure that the pope playing the pastoral role that he describes at his time of great vulnerability and the time of great vulnerability for his family left a lasting impression on the president. so, you know, i think this was a really interesting insight into their relationship, but it's not a surprise. you know, as i said, i think faith has been his bulwark against tragedy. >> it certainly has been. but, you know, david, i also think he has -- the president has a way, i think, to connect with people when he talks about his faith that we haven't really seen from a president in quite some time. i mean obviously not donald trump. we heard it from time to time from barack obama, and after so many americans have lost so many loved ones during this pandemic, i do think that, you know, people should not think this was
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political. i think it serves a higher purpose than that to hear the president talk about his faith. >> there's no doubt. there's no doubt. look, this is someone once described this as his superpower, his power of empathy, and it's tied to faith. so we saw it again there. that was very, very genuine. i don't think that was contrived in any way. >> right. >> this is something that he carries deeply with him. >> absolutely. all right. david axelrod, thanks so much. we'll talk to you a little bit later on. let me bring in my colleague kaitlan collins who is there in rome. you were at that press conference, kaitlan. you have some insight into this indication from the president on progress on his economic agenda. what did you pick up on there? >> reporter: yeah, jim. it was a small moment. you might have missed it if you weren't paying close attention or in the room like we were. but it was as president biden was leaving the room, and we were asking if he has gotten commitments from, of course, his
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two key moderate holdouts, senator manchin and senator sinema, on that $1.75 trillion bill that he said he believes they could vote on potentially as soon as this week, which he said he does believe it's going to get passed because neither of them, jim, have explicitly said yes publicly, that they do endorse that framework and will be a yes vote on it. they've kind of talked around it publicly. but as the president was leaving the room, he did flash a thumb's up saying he believes they have committed to signing on to that. it's something significant. reporters on the hill will follow up on it this week because they want to know explicitly from them. that is something house progressives have said they need to have before they can vote yes on that bill. senator bernie sanders said this morning they need to get a commitment from all 50 democratic senators that they are all a yes on that bill, he believes, before the house votes on it. of course we're still trying to figure out exactly what the final text of that bill is going to look like because senator sanders, who is the chairman of the senate budget committee, also said he's been on the phone all weekend trying to get some
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of his big priorities that right now are not in there inside the bill before that vote does happen. that includes that medicare expansion to include dental and vision and hearing, not just one of the three. also that drug, negotiating the prices, he'd like that to be there as well. whether or not that makes it in there remains to be seen, but it does speak to the level of what the president is walking into these global summits with and the drama back at home over his agenda and what kind of position democrats said they believed to have put him in if they did not get that passed by the time he left here. the president seemed to play that down today saying he doesn't believe it's an issue, talking about going into this summit without that. the president said he believes it will pass. >> kaitlan, we've been through this exercise so many times where democrats have expressed
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optimism only to see another delay on in the process. i know on these trips you get a chance to talk to white house advisers, people close to the president. when you talk to them behind the scenes during your travels, are you getting the sense from them that they're also optimistic that they're close, or is it sort of hands in the air, gosh, we don't know at this point, we hope so, fingers crossed? what's your sense? >> reporter: i think they are optimistic. as you noted, there is a lot of day to day, hour to hour drama when it comes to getting that passed. the big focus here has been on these meetings with world leaders. of course tomorrow the president is going to head to that climate summit. that's going to be significant, but i think a big question that people have with the climate summit is what the concrete takeaways are going to be, of course, given as we all know, russia and china are not going to be there. and china is the world's biggest polluter. so i think a big question and a big debate even inside the administration is how to actually get china to the table on that when it comes to climate. of course that becomes amid a
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lot of other drama in the u.s./china relationship, when it comes to taiwan, when it comes to human rights and trade and several other issues. so i think walking into the climate summit, it's a big que question. that's going to be something for the president, as he is meeting with more world leaders, continuing this, but very soon he will be back in the united states. hopefully the white house believes they are going to get his agenda passed. but whether or not that actually comes to fruition, it does raise questions for the climate summit because the president wants to be able to make the point the united states can lead when it comes to climate. but of course his provision in this climate agenda is incredibly significant. it is hundreds of billions of dollars, but it's not what he initially wanted and what he initially proposed and what he's hoping other nations will follow suit at this climate summit. >> yeah, that climate agenda is such a huge part of that package that's lingering here in washington. the president will be working on that, i'm sure, over in
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scotland. kaitlan collins, safe travels. thank you very much for that report. we appreciate it. final days until polls close in the virginia governor's race. we'll take you on the trail next. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." (birds chirping) ♪ (upbeat music) ♪ (phone beep) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (music quieter) ♪ (phone clicks) ♪ ♪
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it's go time in virginia where the highly competitive race for governor is neck and neck. democratic candidate terry mcauliffe and republican glenn youngkin are pulling out all the stops ahead of tuesday's election in the commonwealth. the most competitive major election since donald trump left the white house and it's all hinging on voter turnout. cnn's arlette saenz is following the mcauliffe campaign today. arlette, things are definitely heating up with two days to go. what are you seeing out there? >> reporter: well, jim, it's clear these candidates are trying to leave it all out on the field as they are heading into tuesday night's election with that race right now being a toss-up. and today you saw both glenn youngkin and terry mcauliffe,
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the democratic candidate, fanning out across the state trying to take their message directly to voters. now, mcauliffe has been touting his former record, his experience as a former governor here in the state, particularly honing in on his job-creating record, and he's also been using some personal language to talk about glenn youngkin, his gop opponent. today at this event, mcauliffe referring to him as clueless and dangerous. and mcauliffe has also repeatedly, over the course of the day, continued to make former president donald trump a central figure in this campaign, linking youngkin with trump. take a listen to what he had to tell voters a bit earlier today in manassas. >> trump wants to win here so he can announce for president for 2024. that's the stakes of this election. he's trying to get himself off the mat. he wants to win here tuesday, and wednesday donald trump announces he's running in 2024. are we going to allow that to go
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on here? >> reporter: so mcauliffe is really hoping that invoking trump will serve as a motivator for democrats to head out to the polls on tuesday. now, mcauliffe campaigned here an an area where democrats have made gains in recent years but it's still a very competitive district. so mcauliffe is trying to drive up some turnout here. he's heading up north to a halloween parade in leesburg and tomorrow he will be hitting some of the biggest cities in the state ahead of that tuesday election. jim. >> arlette, thanks so much. back with me for some analysis is david axelrod. david, terry mcauliffe was banking on congress passing those two major biden agenda bills. here's a question i've been dying to ask. why does terry mcauliffe need those bills to pass to win? shouldn't he be able to win this race without those bills passing? >> well, jim, as to whether he should be able to win, you know,
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nine out of the last ten times they've elected a governor in virginia, they've elected someone opposite the party that just won the presidential election. terry mcauliffe was the only one who defied that in 2013 and only narrowly. obviously virginia has been trending democratic, but one of the questions is how much has that been driven by trump, and what does it mean when trump isn't on the ballot and isn't in the white house? and we're going to find out tomorrow will this be more of a referendum on biden or a referendum on trump. but national politics have shaped these virginia governors races, and that's why the passage of these bills last week would have been helpful. we're talking about a marginal race here, so every bit helps. and the idea that democrats had delivered a big -- particularly the infrastructure bill was something that mcauliffe was touting -- would have been presumably helpful to him.
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he's not going to get that now. i think one of the reasons frankly in addition to sending the president off to europe with these bills in hand so he could go to the climate conference with them, i think that speaker pelosi probably also wanted to give a hand to mcauliffe on this. but as for should he have been able to win without it, this was going to be a tough race from the beginning, and youngkin has proven an elusive target. he was endorsed by trump, won the primary, and then has kept his distance from trump while invoking some of the cultural warrior themes of trump to try and energize the trump base. and he's been pretty artful. you know, it's like mr. -- >> absolutely. >> it's like mister rogers and dr. trump. it's quite a story. >> in a fleece vest. >> yes. the democrats would describe him as a wolf in sheep's clothing there. >> yeah. >> but i do think that this -- you know, that is the reason
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this race is close, and it is going to be, as you describe it, a turnout question and, you know, in every poll we've seen, republican enthusiasm has been greater than democratic enthusiasm. mcauliffe is going to go into tuesday with a big lead off of the early vote, maybe 150,000 votes. but he needs to hold his own. he doesn't have to win on tuesday, but he can't get beaten so badly, that it erases that early vote lead. >> and the other question i've been, you know, thinking about and that's been on my mind is if glenn youngkin wins this race on tuesday, does that mean that the republican party doesn't need donald trump anymore? >> well, i think trump would argue otherwise. i mean, look, here's the paradox for republicans. you need trump to be nominated, but in competitive states like this, he's not helpful in a general election. what youngkin -- you know, what i think you'll see republicans
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do is use this as a template, you know, where you snuggle up to trump in the primary and then try and walk away from him in a general and use some of the trump issues, you know, critical race theory and transgender politics and so on, to try and excite the republican base. >> yeah. >> that's the formula that's being tested here. >> yeah, david. i just wonder if glenn youngkin wins this thing on tuesday, if there are going to be some republicans out there who are going to be tempted to say, you can do a teletown hall for us. just don't step foot in the district or the state. >> i said the other day, it's like youngkin has drones up and probably border guards trying to make sure that donald trump doesn't cross the border between now and tuesday night because he knows that with these key suburban voters who he is counting on, who democrats have been winning in the last few
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elections, he's hoping to grab those voters back. he can't do that if he's too closely associated with donald trump. and so he's keeping his distance. >> yeah. youngkin has all but put a monitoring bracelet on donald trump. david axelrod, transhanks so mu coming up, a shocking new investigation by "the washington post" revealing an astounding number of red flags missed prior to january 6th. the investigative reporter who wrote this very important piece, he joins me live next.
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for residents and businesses. but it all starts with you. let's keep making a differene together. an explosive new investigation by "the washington post" lays out in painstaking detail a host of missed warning signs and intelligence failures leading up to the january 6th insurrection. the missteps run the gamut from law enforcement to counterterrorism. the investigation also found some pentagon leaders feared
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then-president trump would misuse the national guard to stay in power and it chronicles how trump sat on his hands for over three hours as violence escalated at the capitol. with me now to talk about this is one of the lead reporters on this story, "the washington post's" investigative reporter aaron davis. aaron, thank you very much for coming on and talking about this important story and great work to all of you on your team. i want to highlight this bit about trump and the national guard. put this up on-screen. it says, quote, at the pentagon, leaders had acute fears about widespread violence and some feared trump could misuse the national guard to remain in power. general mark milley and army secretary ryan mccarthy sought to require that only senior pentagon leaders could approve changes to missions for national guard soldiers. in the end, that posture contributed to the hours-long delay in getting the guard to the capitol to help restore power. so the measures taken to protect this system from trump, did that ultimately worsen the situation? i mean in some cases, it sounds
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like officials weren't cautious enough. it almost sounds like damned if you do, damned if you don't. >> well, thank you. on this particular point on the pentagon side of things and the national guard, you know, they had previously said that they were worried about a repeat of june 1st of last year in lafayette square and the protesters there that were racial justice protesters who clashed with national guard and law enforcement, and they just didn't want to end up in a situation like that again. they feared that. but in fact, in speaking in much more greater detail with many senior folks at the pentagon, there was another concern animating their decision to pull back, and it helps explain one of the points that was so confounding on january 6th was why did it take the national guard so long to get to the capitol. and we did find that in part to insulate the pentagon from becoming a factor that day, from
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having military soldiers somehow involved with helping the president stay in office, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the army secretary, they did put restrictions on the guard. and these were very specific. they couldn't have any weapons of course, no shields. they didn't even have humvees. they were driven in vans, carpooled to traffic positions. there was even a demarcation line in d.c. where they were not allowed to go east of ninth street, essentially no closer than a mile to the capitol. they were basically in support of the local d.c. government, which had requested them because the d.c. government felt they needed all their officers available for this protest. so they put them out doing traffic control, and then when things turned bad, it took a long time to get those folks back to the armory to get them situated and get to the capitol. >> and the report also details a very telling exchange involving republican senator lindsey graham as the senate was evacuated. this is pretty startling stuff. graham, according to your
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report, yelled at the senate sergeant at arms, what are you doing? take back the senate. you've got guns. use them. the south carolina senator was adamant. we give you guns for a reason, he repeated. use them. another stark contrast to show how the republican party -- you know, they've been whitewashing january 6th ever since that day, but at that time, somebody like lindsey graham was obviously very afraid of what was going on and was calling on law enforcement there to resort to some very extreme measures. >> yes. lindsey graham, kevin mccarthy. there were a lot of very strongly worded statements that day, very strongly worded statements directly to the president by some of those lawmakers that day as we understand it. and, yes, the positions that they've taken since then are wholly different than everything we understand about that day, of course. in fact, the pentagon -- you know, that the capitol was being overrun, that these lawmakers were in some cases fearing for
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their lives. and, you know, we've kind of took a little bit different turn in this story where we look more at the 187 minutes in between when the capitol was breached and when trump said anything to call off the supporters of his that were raiding the capitol. and so many things happened in those couple hours. people died. people had heart attacks. you know, there was obviously the ashli babbitt shooting. there was just numerous tragedies in the course of those hours when he was doing nothing. >> one of the things i picked up on in the story is there seems to have been a sense among law enforcement officials, folks over at the pentagon in dealing with this situation, that they didn't want this to turn into a boston massacre-like moment. going back to what lindsey graham was saying is if you had officers, if you had people opening fire on the insurrectionists, that this could have just gotten completely out of control and been much more ugly than obviously it was on that day, which was very ugly.
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>> right. and, you know, you really have to -- with everything we've looked at, you have to question why this crowd was allowed to get that close to the capitol that day. we are able to document, i think, in greater detail than has been done before that there were warning signs of this violence dating back not just hours or days but weeks in advance. the fbi had in their possession tips that came from informants, from social media companies, from former national security officials, from researchers that all pointed to a violent situation on january 6th. one particularly striking one was december 20th. they received a warning that trump supporters wanted to not only overthrow the d.c. police but to arrest members of congress, take them, and put them on trial publicly for not bowing to president trump's belief that he won the election. and so then, you know, fast-forward to the actual day on january 6th.
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there were signs of violence in the hours leading up to the breach as well. there were numerous firearms taken off members of the crowd after they left the ellipse where president trump was speaking, and they even surrounded at one point in time park police officers around the washington monument and started beating on the doors there. there were violent signs all the way down the mall as this crowd moved, and yet they basically were allowed to walk straight into the capitol. >> just unbelievable. and that scene at the washington monument, again, folks should go and read this very extensive report that you guys have put together. but the scene at the washington monument is one i don't think a lot of americans have focused on. that there was big trouble at the washington monument in addition to what was about to take place at the capitol. aaron davis, thanks to you and your team for this terrific reporting. we appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. joining me now is former defense secretary and former cia director leon panetta. secretary panetta, thanks very
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much for being with us. there's so much to unpack. it's been hard to get our heads around what happened on january 6th to begin with, but this very explosive "washington post" report, i think we have to take some time to talk about this. it included this online posting that referenced the killing of capitol police. we put this up on screen. please be in d.c. armed on the 6th. you might have to kill the palace guards. are you okay with that, read one comment. another one said, drop a handful. the rest will flee. you know, this is some of the chatter that was picked up and put in an fbi memo that was shared with some in law enforcement. what is your sense of this, secretary panetta? did we miss kind of some 9/11-style warning signs here before january 6th? i know january 6th and 9/11 very different days, but the intelligence that was missed prior to that fateful day, there do appear to be some parallels.
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>> jim, i don't think there's any question that there was a total breakdown in terms of preparing for that day, and it happened in a number of areas. it happened with the capitol police. it happened with the fbi. it happened with the pentagon. i mean all of these areas just were not planning for the terrible contingency that we saw happen even though there was intelligence, even though there was clear evidence that trouble could erupt, even though they knew that the capitol was in danger. they just did not take the steps necessary to prepare for what happened. and so as a result of that, in trying to then react and be able to respond, they made a lot of mistakes. >> and according to the "post," there were real concerns that trump would use the national guard to stay in power, that troops would be baited into a
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boston massacre type of situation. ultimately those fears meant the national guard wasn't standing there at the capitol ready that day. is that a decision that you would have made? >> well, i don't think there's any question that the national guard should have been pre-positioned up on capitol hill. they should have been working with the capitol police to basically surround the capitol and protect the capitol, and there just was none of that. and as a result of that, the crowd almost had its way in terms of going through the barriers and then attacking the capitol. why those steps were not taken, why there wasn't greater preparation, why there wasn't at least the steps taken to try to send a message to the mob that they would not be able to reach the capitol -- all of that obviously needs to be
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investigated. i'm glad the reporters are looking at the situation, but i think the american people are entitled to find out why there was a collapse of authority at the very moment when we needed it to protect the capitol. >> i mean something that is just so disgraceful, "the post" says trump stood by and did nothing for 187 minutes as the attack unfolded. this man could very well be the republican nominee in 2024. last night he was doing the tomahawk chop down at the world series in atlanta. mr. secretary, isn't there something about this that just stinks to high heaven, that donald trump was allowed to get away with this? >> i -- i think that as more and more evidence comes out as to how irresponsible he was in trying to protect our constitution and protect our
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system of government, i really do think that at some point, as more evidence unfolds, that there has to be serious consideration given to whether or not there is -- there is a step that needs to be taken to hold this former president of ours accountable for what happened. >> yeah. and another just sickening detail is that while then-vice president mike pence was hiding from the mob that wanted to hang him, trump's lawyer john eastman sent an email blaming pence for the violence because he refused to block the certification of the votes. you have seen and heard just about everything, mr. secretary. i mean what did you think about that? i mean it's not just trump. it's his henchmen too, it seems. >> well, there's no question here that there was a cabal of individuals that were working with the president to try to basically steal the election,
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and, you know, there are a lot of people involved here, lawyers, advisers, others who i think were searching for any kind of rationale to be able to justify the attack on the u.s. capitol. and to now use vice president pence as somehow the excuse for what happened is basically all of these individuals trying to scapegoat what they were responsible for. they're the ones that were responsible for what happened on january 6th. and what you're going to continue to hear are a bunch of very poor excuses about why they should not be held accountable. >> all right. secretary leon panetta, let's hope there is some is kind of accountability. it's very difficult to see how the country moves on if there
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isn't any accountability in all of this for people at the top, not just the folks who were there that day. obviously they need to pay a price. but the people at the top, i mean just to get off scot-free, i mean it's just -- it just stinks. all right. secretary, thanks so much. we appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, halloween weather, trick-or-treat. the forecast for your night of fright is next. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ exclusive ticket access to unmissable events. that's the real music to your ears.
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happy halloween, everybody. so will tonight's weather be spooky enough to keep you indoors with a bag of candy and a scary movie or will it be less frightful? cnn's tom sater joins me now with the forecast from the cnn weather center. are you going to ruin the night for all those trick-or-treaters out there? the map looks pretty good there. what do you think, tom? >> yeah, it looks great, jim. after last year and getting canceled for the most part, expect a lot of the ghouls and goblins out there. really good, though. exception a few clouds in some areas, some bone-chilling temperatures in the north. we do have rain in upstate new york. parts of vermont into new hampshire. other than that, it looks pretty good. in the mid-atlantic area we still have flood watches. in some of those neighborhoods, it's going to be a little flooding. southeastern u.s., get ready. get the lights on. get out there and enjoy it. i'm sure many parents will be kind of picnicking on the end of their driveways.
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it looks good until you get to the north. this is where the teeth-chattering cold kicks in. we have a freeze warning that didn't kick in until midnight from rockford all the way back toward davenport. then we have winter weather advisories in part of the intermountain west. you're pretty much used to that by the time of october if some areas. out west, a lot of sunshine. 80s. in phoenix, 85. 60s on the east coast. 60s on the west. absolutely fantastic. we can break it down and have a little fun with some of the names here. how about for all those witches out there in salem? we're looking at some good weather although a little bit cloudy. then of course you've got areas such as bat cave. you've got casper, wyoming, near those warnings with the snowfall. you've got areas such as death valley. really this is going to be nice, jim. make sure the kids have a trick to get the treat. one of my favorite jokes of all time, what's a zombie's favorite halloween candy? that would be butterfingers.
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get out there. absolutely perfect after last year's misery. >> mine was always kit kats. i always loved the kit kats. thanks for not putting the bad apple in the bag for us. we appreciate it. quick programming note. an all new episode of this is life coming up tonight. lisa ling investigates private militias. here's a preview. >> once upon a time, the colonists saw the government after the british were kicked out as their friend. as history progressed, though, and the government became bigger, it came to be seen more and more as an enemy. >> over the course of the next 200 years, the government would abolish slavery and promote policies for racial equality that inflamed elements on the far right. then tech jobs and globalization decimated blue collar manufacturing jobs and for white men without a college degree, average wages have been dropping for the past four decades. the majority of militia members
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in the united states are white men, who seem to have a lot of grievances. do you think those grievances are valid? >> while most people in the militia movement probably don't explicitly talk about it, behind it all is the idea that whites in this country are going to lose their majority. today they're about 62%, and in the next 25 years, they're going to be simply one more minority in a genuinely multicultural country. >> be sure to tune in. a brand-new episode of "this is life" airs tonight at 10:00 on cnn. cnn is proud to announce the top ten cnn heroes of 2021. each honoree will win a cash prize and viewers will select the cnn hero of the year who will earn an additional $100,000 for their cause. you good et to help decide who that person will be. here's cnn's anderson cooper to show you how. >> now that we've announced the top ten cnn heroes of 2021, it's
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time to show you how you can help decide who should be cnn hero of the year and receive $100,000 to continue their work. just go to where you can learn much more about each hero and when you're ready, just click on "vote." you get ten votes every day to help support your heroes. that means you can cast all your votes for one hero or divide them among your favorites. to confirm your vote, just log in using either your email address or facebook account. this year, you can even double your votes by rallying your friends on social media. then on sunday, december 12th, join me and my friend and co-host kelly ripa as we reveal the 2021 cnn hero of the year. live during the 15th annual cnn heroes all-star tribute. >> meet all this year's top ten heroes and vote ten times a day if you'd like every day at on who should be our cnn hero of the year. and we'll be right back.
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you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington. we have breaking news. a brand-new investigation by "the washington post" is revealing in chilling detail all the missed warning signs before the january 6th insurrection. here's just one part, and we have this on-screen. one of the most striking flares came when


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