tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 5, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
their families. you can find all the items at ebay.com/hfot, homes for our troops. bidding closes november 14th. be sure to tune into "state of the union" sunday. among the guest, eric adams, maryland governor larry hogan. that's at 9:00 and noon eastern. our coverage continues with wolf blitzer in "the situation room." see you next week. happening now, breaking news. house democratic leaders say a long-awaited final vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill will happen tonight. we'll break down their new strategy, what it means for the broader biden agenda and whether dually progressives and moderates are onboard. this comes as president biden is kb getting a boost on the economic front. he's touting a stronger than expected jobs report, claiming it shows his plans are working as stock prices hit record
highs. and a former trump justice department official who pushed bogus election fraud claims stonewalls the january 6th select committee. jeffrey clarke refusing to answer questions for 90 minutes. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room". >> we're standing by a house infrastructure vote promised by house speaker nancy pelosi tonight after weeks and weeks of false starts and infighting. final passage of the bipartisan bill would be a huge and hard-fought victory for president biden. but there is still uncertainty hanging over the vote and there is more work to do on the other -- the broader piece of the biden agenda. our senior white house correspondent phil mattingly and our congressional correspondent, jessica dean, are working this
break historic for us. jessica, things have been moving very fast. give us the very latest on speaker pelosi's plan to actually hold an infrastructure vote tonight, despite serious objections from progressives in her own party. >> reporter: that's exactly right, wolf. this was supposed to be the day when there was going to be a vote both on the infrastructure bill and build back better, but that is not what we are seeing. instead, right now, democratic leadership says that they want to move forward with a vote on the infrastructure bill, and a rule which is a procedural vote on the build back better act. now, as you noted, that is not what progressives want. they have said from the get-go, they see these as linked. and now progressives are threatening to tank the infrastructure vote. we're told, as many as 20 could be prepared to say "no." and my colleagues, phil mattingly and manu raju are saying that he did call the chair of the progressive caucus and she told him she is a "no" right now on the infrastructure bill. listen to democratic leadership from just a little bit ago.
>> we had hoped to be able to bring both bills to the floor today. some members want more clarification or validation of numbers that have been put forth, that it's topline, that it is fully paid for. and we honor that request. so today, we hope to pass the biff and also the rule on build back better, with the idea that before thanksgiving, it should take another week or so, to get the numbers that they're requesting. i do believe that there are a large number of members of the progressive caucus who will vote for the bill. that is my understanding. is i'm with the members all the time. mr. clyburn has the official whip count. i have speaker's secret whip count. >> reporter: and she said there that she has a good feeling for this, but wolf, the fact remains that we do not know if they have enough votes to pass this
infrastructure bill. and the hang up here, the reason they're not going forward with the original plan for today is that a small handful of moderates, you heard pelosi talking about it there, wanted a cbo score, which takes days, perhaps even weeks to get back. that's not coming today. and they said they would not vote until that got back to them. progressives said, fine, wait on that and let's vote on both of them together. but instead, house leadership pushing forward, wolf, and now we will see if progressives will vote for the president's agenda or if they will hold the line and let this bill fail on the floor? >> unless some republicans in the house decide to go ahead and vote in favor of it. there were 19 republicans in the senate who voted for it. we'll see if republicans bail out nancy pelosi and the democrats this time around. stand by. you know, phil, the president started the day with strong economic news. and tonight, he's involved in some serious, as we just heard, back channel efforts to try to get this basic bipartisan
infrastructure bill that already passed the senate over the finish line and let him sign it into law. give us the latest. >> yeah, wolf, if you flash back to 8:30 a.m., when the jobs numbers came out, the white house had all the makings for a monumental day for this administration. beating estimates on the jobs number, the real possibility that both pieces of president biden's dual $3 trillion domestic agenda could pass through the house. one of those pieces, the infrastructure bill would end up on his desk, signing a bipartisan and significant proposal into law. and what transpired in the hours that followed was intensive work from white house officials, first trying to get that group of six moderates to be okay, to some degree, with the white house's own internal estimates about the cost of the bill and how it would be paid for. that ended up not bearing fruit. therefore, they shifted over with speaker pelosi to this idea of trying to get progressives to let the infrastructure bill through. there have been calls throughout the day by president biden, including, as just mentioned, to
pramila jayapal. those calls have not, at least to nothis point, unlocked the ph forward on the votes. the president's advisers have been both physically on capitol hill and working the phones at the white house. speaker pelosi and her leadership team's effort to try to get things in order. and when you look at what's going on right now, compared to where they were just a few hours before, 531,000 jobs, the unemployment rate dropping down to 4.6%. the message the white house has wanted to get out amidst talk about rising prices and concerns about the economy. and instead, they're back here once again just trying to unlock the path forward for his legislative agenda, wolf. >> the dow jones, wall street up another 2 hur00 points today, rd high. both of you stand by. if there are breaking news developments, we'll get back to you. but let's discuss what's going on with a key player in this push and pull over the biden agenda, representative stephanie murphy of florida is the
democrats' key first deputy whi. the house speaker says the plan is to move ahead tonight with votes, but right now, about 20 of your democratic progressive colleagues say they won't vote for the infrastructure bill without the bigger spending bill at the same time. democrats could only afford to lose three votes, unless republicans come in and vote in favor of the legislation. what do you think? how do you get there? >> great to be with you, wolf. and i am so grateful to see that speaker pelosi is putting forward a path forward, so that we can continue to work towards achieving president biden's agenda. first, we get an opportunity to vote on the infrastructure bill, which has been sitting in the house to august 11th, when it was sent over from the senate, after achieving a bipartisan vote, including a vote from senator mcconnell. i think it is an historic bill that makes significantly investments and it's long
overdew. let's not keep the american people waiting any longer on that piece of legislation and those investments. and then, we will take a vote on the rule, which enables us to proceed on the path to review and consider the build back better agenda, when that bill is ready. and i hope that we have success there, as well. >> you think these 20 progressives, the democratic progressives are bluffing right now when they say they're not going to vote in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill? >> i can't say what they're thinking, but i would think that it would be a missed opportunity, not to be a part of a historic investment into broadband, ensuring that communities have clean water, that people's commutes are safer, that there is public transportation. so many things that are so important for the american economy, as we try to pull out of the recession that was a part of the pandemic. >> as i pointed out, 19 republican senators voted in favor of the bill and it's already passed the senate.
do you think republicans in the house are going street in favor of the legislation if it comes up tonight for a vote? >> i think there will be some republicans that will vote in favor of this historic bill, because they, too, have constituents who need this investment into their roads and bridges and broadband and clean water. >> you say that you want to actually see a score, an accounting from what's called the congressional budget office on the bigger $1.75 trillion spending bill before a vote. but progressives had been ready to vote for both bills, they say, at the same time, and put their trust in moderates. why couldn't you do the same right now? >> i know it might seem like a really radical idea to want to know how much money that you are spending when you vote for a bill, but that's all that we're asking for. we want a sense from an independent budget office to provide with us a little bit more information about the bill. you may not know this, but the bill text came out -- the final
bill text came out at midnight this morning, basically. and so, when we're talking about investments in the american economy that touches people's lives, from the time they're born until the time they die, it really is important for us to understand exactly how much taxpayer dollars we're spending and what good things can come out of that and also what exactly is in the bill. this is good governance. and i think it's what the american people expect out of their legislators. >> text, i take it, correct me if i'm wrong, is at least 2,000 pages. is that right? >> yes, it's 2,130-some pages. so we're working through all of it. and i look forward to getting additional information so that i can make an informed decision on behalf of my constituents and deliver for them the incredible climate change provisions that are in this bill, as well as the provisions that are supporting working families. but it's a responsible way forward from a government perspective. and that's all we're asking for,
is a little more information and a bit more time. >> before i let you go, congressman, you're also a key member of the january 6th select committee. you were supposed to hear directly from the former trump justice department official, jeffrey clark today, but he showed up, but he didn't answer any questions. the chair of your committee says contempt is certainly on the table. how soon will you decide that? >> well, we were deeply disappointed that somebody who so recently held an office of public trust to uphold the constitution willfully tried to obstruct justice. and refused to provide information, so we will have a short amount of time before we take our next step, but we don't have a ton of patience, and we are willing to use contempt. >> i suspect that will happen. representative stephanie murphy, good luck to you. thank you so much for joining us. just ahead, we'll have more on that former trump justice department official before the january 6th committee and his refusal to answer any questions.
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the house select committee investigating the january 6th insurrection heard from one of its most highly anticipated witnesses today, was didn't hear much. our congressional correspondent, ryan nobles, is joining us. this witness is a former high-ranking justice department official who pushed then president trump's lies about the 2020 election, calling them fraud. tell us what happened. >> yeah, that's right, wolf. and the committee chairman, bennie thompson, said that he refused to answer any questions about the substance of the events leading up to january 6th. and the committee is reacting pretty harshly to that. the committee chairman putting
out a statement in just the past few minutes that reads in part, it's astounding that someone who recently held a position of public trust to uphold the constitution would now hide behind vague claims of privilege by a former president, refuse to answer questions about an attack on our democracy, and continue to an assault on the rule of law. as prescribed by the house rules, i consider mr. clark's claim of privilege and rejected it. he has a very short time to reconsider and cooperate fully. and the question tonight, wolf, will the committee take the step of criminal contempt against jeffrey clark? >> for weeks, the january 6th select committee has been trying to talk to this man. >> good morning. i'm jeff clark. i'm the head of the civil division. >> reporter: jeffrey clark, a former trump-era department of justice official, was seen in this exclusive video friday morning entering a house office building to answer questions from the committee. the meeting did not last long.
committee chairman bennie thompson said clark did not answer any questions. >> my understanding is he did not cooperate. and we will look forward after our meeting this afternoon as to next steps. i have as chair the ability to rule on some of the issues that were raised. >> reporter: one of those steps could be a criminal contempt referral of congress. clark is a key figure in the january 6th probe. a trump loyalist, who peddled false claims about election fraud within the department, with the goal of getting the v agency to investigate the claims. clark had a lot to do with this plan and he was apparently making a play to become the attorney general. >> reporter: clark's efforts were rebuffed by the two men running the doj at the time. acting attorney general, jeffrey rosen and his deputy, richard donohue. both men had already sat before the committee for lengthy interviews.
clark's current attorney is harry mcdougal, a georgia-based lawyer with connections to sidney powell. powell and former new york city mayor rudy giuliani were part of the public push by trump allies to spread the big lie and sow doubt in the 2020 election results. new video obtained by cnn shows powell and giuliani testifying under oath in a deposition as part of a lawsuit filed by dominion voting systems in august. at one point, giuliani concedes that he often had no proof to back up his wild claims about the election. >> it's not my job, in a fast-moving case, to go out and investigate every piece of evidence that's given to me. otherwise, you're never going to write a story, you'll never come to a conclusion. >> and another big focus of the january 6th select committee, the intelligence failures that led up to the chaos on that day. cnn learning that the committee interested in the roles of two individuals brought in to the department just two months before january 6th, who implemented changes that some
capitol police officers said led to all the confusion on january 6th. wolf? >> ryan nobles, thank you very much. let's get more on all of this. joining us now, cnn's jake tapper, the anchor of "the lead." thanks very much for doing this, and thanks for your reporting. we'll do about it in a moment. but this obstruction that's going on by jeffrey clark, it seems to be write out of the trump playbook. >> that's exactly right. you have nothing to hide, why not answer questions. it seems very clear that other trump justice department officials, including former acting attorney general, jeffrey rosen and others, have answered questions. why not answer questions? when you work for the government, this isn't an opportunity to advance yourself. these are acts for the american people. now, obviously, there is such a thing as executive privilege and obviously, there's such a thing as not wanting to share everything you do. but if jeffrey clark had nothing to hide, why not answer the questions. >> and you would think a former high-ranking justice department official would be willing to do so. >> unless he, of course, was proposing something that was
unconstitutional, potentially even against the law, then, of course, i could understand why he wouldn't want to share that. but trump still wields so much power when it comes to former officials of his and republicans in general and people are afraid of him. >> you have a really important, very powerful documentary that will air later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn, and you spoke to a whole bunch of republicans, republicans who are deeply concerned about what trump was doing, what's going on right now. i want to play this clip. this is from one former trump official, former trump official, who is terrified that trump could potentially run again and maybe even win. >> do you think he'll try to perform some type of autocracy. >> i think he absolutely would. there are things he wanted to do when he was in power the first time that were well beyond the scope of what the u.s. president should be able to do. but you haven't times, it was simply like the motivation of hoping to win re-election that kept him from doing things.
it's very different in the second term, and that's what scares me the most. >> strong words from her. in your documentary tonight, you highlight the fear that the effort to undermine democracy is going on right now. >> right. we talk to -- other than a few journalists, the people in our report tonight, our documentary, are all conservative republicans. alyssa farrah, we just saw in that clip, the former trump white house communications director, a very conservative republican. she used to be the spokesperson for the house freedom caucus. they are all worried. not that donald trump will come into office and enact conservative policies. they support conservative policies. they are worried that because, "a," they see him as having tried to subvert democracy, steal an election, disenfranchise millions of legal american voters, they think he's going to do it again, and will be better situated, and as you just heard in that clip, what will he then do once you undermine american democracy, what other parts of what make this country great will he
undermine. >> is merrick garland, the attorney general, working fast enough to make sure that these witnesses actually testify. steve bannon, now jeffrey clark, for example. >> i think there is a legitimate question, as to whether anyone in the biden administration or anyone in congress, including democrats and republicans, is as aware and acting with the sense of urgency that they need to act to make sure that it never happens again, that we come that close to democracy being completely undermined. whether it has to do with merrick garland holding individuals in criminal contempt of congress or whether it has to do with working across the aisle to have some sort of bipartisan protection for votes, sfrfor voters. i think that you could argue that no one in power is acting with the urgency that they need to. >> and what's really interesting, some of these republicans you spoke to breaking their silence in your documentary tonight, and we'll hear from them really for the first time. this is really important. jake, good work.
thanks very much. >> thanks, wolf. >> appreciate it very much. >> and to our viewers, be sure to watch jake's cnn special report, trumping democracy, an american coup. it premieres later tonight 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. coming up, a surprisingly strong october jobs report. so what does it mean for new york city? i'll ask the mayor-elect, eric adams. he's standing by live. he'll join us when we come back. hey google. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ at pnc bank, we believe in the power of taking steps forward. whatever the pace. and whatever the size. that's why we set out to help make it easier for everyone to move forward financially.
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whether or not democrats have the votes to pass it in the house. let's bring in cnn's brian todd. he's working this story for us. brian, as this drama plays out on capitol hill, the president today had some very good economic news. >> some news he may have been desperate to get, wolf. we have new information tonight on the american job market, which seems finally to be getting its mojo back. >> there's been a lot of different options. >> reporter: at a job fair in charlotte this week, dustin jones was looking for a position requiring a commercial driver's license or in a office. jones said he wanted a job that could hold if there's another shutdown due to covid, and he was optimistic. >> this is the best job. people are very desperate to hire. as far as like qualifying, there's a lot of paid training on the job. >> reporter: the u.s. labor department wholeheartedly agrees with dustin jones. it says the u.s. economy added a whopping $531,000 new jobs last month. about 80,000 more than economists had predicted. >> what this says to me is that the delta variant is ebbing,
more people have been vaccinated and there is a lot of pent-up demand in the system, post-covid. people want to spend. and people are getting back to work. >> 22 million jobs were lost when the pandemic hit in march of last year. but since then, 18 million have been gained. a rebound of about 80%. the leisure and hospitality sector of the u.s. economy, which was hit hardest during the pandemic recession, is still about 1.5 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level. but analysts say the latest job numbers indicate a healthy rebound for that sector. >> leisure and hospitality, that's where obviously we saw some really big gains, but, you know, construction, manufacturing, professional services, health care, all added very significantly. all very encouraging. the only part of the economy that didn't end was government. >> and analysts say, certain demographics of people who reentered the workforce recently are fueling this surge. >> women were hurt especially badly early on in the pandemic,
as you can imagine, because of the child care crunch. and i think we're finally seeing women catch up. >> reporter: but overall, the american academy is not free and clear of the pandemic. >> you have supply chain problems that are leading to inflation and shortages. you have consumers worried about the price of gas or about the price of groceries. >> reporter: and tonight, at least one analyst is warning of what he calls a potential hard landing in the housing market, wolf. mark zandi of moody's says housing prices could really drop in the next few months. >> we shall see. brian todd, thank you very much. let's discuss with the mayor-elect of new york city, democrat eric adams. mayor-elect, thank you so much for joining us, congratulations on your win. as new york city and indeed the entire nation right now seems to be recovering from this pandemic, you write in a new piece for cnn.com, and i'm quoting you now, you write, when our cities succeed, america prospers. do you think lawmakers here in
washington have forgotten that fact? >> no, i just think from time to time, we don't stay focused on the core of the success of our cou country. our national government, the lawmakers will make decisions, so really on is a city level, we have to carry out those decisions with and i think it's imperative that we keep our eyes, ears, and focus on the cities. >> let's get to some of the specifics that you'll have to deal with. during the campaign, mayor-elect, you said you supported mayor de blasio's coronavirus vaccine mandate. now you say the city needs to in your word revisit how to address vaccine mandates. what exactly does that mean. what specific parts of the mandate do you want to revisit? >> i was extremely clear and have been consistent on this, that we need to make sure that we speak with the credible messengers on the ground. those are the union leaders. and we saw today that the mayor was successful in coming to an
agreement with union leaders after having a conversation. that is how we get this resolved. and i'm consistent about that. it's imperative that we speak to those who are impacted. one area i would look at. if you have a parent who has had the ability not to have a vaccine for any of their children, because of religious observations, we cannot all of a sudden change that rule. if that is the consistency that this parent had for over 20-something years, we have to respect that now, even with the vaccine now. and those are the areas i want to drill in and make sure that we continue with the success that we have witnessed. >> as a result of the mandate, though, right now, we're told 92% of the new york city employees are vaccinated, so the question a lot of people are asking, why restlingt that seems to be clearly working and is keeping new yorkers safe? >> because we are successful in it. and that's why we can revisit
and make sure that we get 100%. what's stopping the next 8%? let's find out. if we don't sit down and really dig into what is stopping that last 8%, we're not going to reach our goal. one of the problems i'm finding in our country right now is no one is willing to talk anymore, to communicate with each other. let's seek to understand so we can be understood, and we can get that last 8%, even if we get 6% of the 8%. there are 2% or more who are saying under no circumstances would they do it. that's fine. let's deal with as much as as we can, and it comes with understanding better. >> i'm a basketball fan. let me ask you this question. as you know, some sports fans in new york city are hoping that you lift the vaccine mandate, which would allow superstar kyrie irving to return to the team. should new yorkers expect to see unvaccinated nba players return to the court? >> let me tell you something. i'm a nets fan, brooklyn nets, and i love kyrie.
i think he's a piece we need for the championship. this is something that the nba has made an agreement, if they are going to perform in the city, this is the agreement that they made. i believe that it's up to the nba and kyrie to come to an understanding of how they're going to get through this. and i believe they can come to a resolution. >> the nba says it's the rule in new york city and they're simply obeying what new york city has ruled? >> right. and new york city is not going to change their rule, and again, it's up to the nba and kyrie to come to a full understanding on how to keep them on the nets and continue to look at all of our athletes that are coming here. and again, i think the nba and kyrie will come to a conclusion on this. >> do you want kyrie to get the shot? >> it's up to kyrie. that is his determination. i don't want to dictate for him. it's his body. he has to make that determination on what he wants to do. >> well, congratulations again, mayor-elect. you're the winner and you've got a lot going on. we appreciate your taking some time and joining us. thank you very much.
>> thank you. take care. >> the mayor-elect of new york city, eric adams. just ahead, the murder trial of three white men charged with killing black jogger ahmaud arbery begins with a nearly all-white jury. we have details of opening statements when we come back. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™ (naj) at fisher investments, our clients know we have their backs. (other money manager) how do your clients know that? (naj) because as a fiduciary, it's our responsibility to always put clients first. (other money manager) so you do it because you have to? (naj) no, we do it because it's the right thing to do. we help clients enjoy a comfortable retirement. (other money manager) sounds like a big responsibility. (naj) one that we don't take lightly. it's why our fees are structured so we do better when our clients do better. fisher investments is clearly different.
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craft? yes! heartiness? yes! living life to the flavor-fullest? heck yes. panera. live your yes. now $1 delivery. opening statements have begun in the trial of trhree white men in the murder of ahmaud arbery. let's discuss with ben crump, the lead attorney for ahmaud arbery's father. thanks very much, ben, for joining us. on this first day of the trial, jurors saw the video of the shooting of ahmaud arbery and his mother decided to stay in the courtroom as well. let me play what she had to say about that choice. listen. >> i just started to remain there so we can get familiar with what happened to ahmaud for the last minutes of his life. i avoided the video for the last
18 months and i thought it was time to get familiar to what happened with ahmaud, in the last minutes of his life. i'm glad i was able to stay strong and stay in there. that's the first time i saw the video in the entirety. >> ahmaud's father, as you know, decided not to watch that video. how heavy a day was this for ahmaud arbery's family? >> it was extremely heavy, wolf. as attorney merritt and i talked, it is so hard when you watch the video and then when you watch the police show up on the scene, and even though ahmaud is down there on the ground with his fingers shot off, bullet holes in his body, the police officers are more concerned about the killers. are you okay? everything fine? never given an audience of consideration or humanity to this young unarmed black man who
was wanda and marcus' son lying dying on the ground. >> the defense attorney, as you know, argued today that the shooting was in self-defense. does that give you a sense of what the family is bracing for with these arguments? >> absolutely. as we told our clients, this is going to be trayvon martin all over again. trayvon 2.0 almost ten years later, where they are going to try to justify this unjustifiable killing, wolf blitzer, by saying, it is self-defense from the scary black person, even though ahmaud was running away from them. and if they were in such fear, all they had to do, wolf, is stop chasing him and call 911 and let the police do their job. i cringed when i heard the defense lawyer say travis mcmichaels was chasing ahmaud arbery because he was concerned
about the safety for him and his 5-year-old son. well, if you're that concerned about safety, why would you go confront the person? call the police and let the police do their job. it is insulting. it is just aggravating. it -- it makes us feel like they can say anything after they kill us and think that we're going to accept it. >> ben crump, we'll stay in close touch with quyou as we wah this trial unfold. ben crump, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. new developments tonight in the case against the former new york governor, andrew cuomo. cnn's mj lee is working the story for us. mj, the albany district attorney is now calling the charge against him, and i'm quoeting now, potentially defective. how serious is this? >> yeah, wolf, this is a significant development in the sex crime case against the former governor.
the albany county's district attorney, david suarez, writing in a new letter to a judge that the filing that was made by the albany sheriff's office last week is potentially defective. for one, he says that it did not include a sworn statement from the alleged victim. this is former cuomo aide brittany commisso, and it left out some testimony from her that could be potentially exculpatory in court. this is according to the d.a. he also says that the complaint misstates the relevant law and one other significant problem that the d.a.'s office is raising, he said that the albany sheriff's complaint last week was unilaterally and inexplicably filed. in other words, the d.a.'s office didn't know this complaint was coming. the slheriff's office acted without coordination, which i should note, cnn reported at the time was very unusual and noteworthy. so what all of this means now is that cuomo's arraignment has been postponed until january of 2022. the d.a. is going to continue on
with his own investigation before deciding whether to move forward with the charges. but all of this basically raises some serious questions and even doubt about the viability of this complaint. i should also note, of course, that cuomo himself has denied the sexual misconduct allegations that came from multiple women. wolf. >> we'll watch it with you, as well. mj lee, thank you very very much. coming up, an historic election win has one state poised to see a woman of color assume a statewide office for the first time. move to sofi and feel what it's like to get your money right. (phone chimes) ♪ ♪ ♪ i jump up on the stage ♪ ♪ and do my money dance ♪ ♪ i throw some money up ♪ ♪ and watch the money land ♪ ♪ i do my, i do my i do my money dance ♪ move your student loan debt to sofi - you could save with low rates and no fees. earn a $500 bonus when you refi... and get your money right. ♪ i do my money dance ♪
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this week's election saw some historic wins, including in virginia. here's cnn's senior washington correspondent, joe johns. >> reporter: winsome sears' victory this week was nothing short of historic. >> i didn't run to make history. i just wanted to leave it better than i found it. >> reporter: with her win in the virginia lieutenant governor's race, sears became the first woman of color lektded to statewide office in the commonwealth. >> are you ready to rumble? >> reporter: the 57-year-old sears was part of a republican sweep of statewide races in virginia running alongside governor-elect glenn youngkin. >> we're going to have parental school choice now. we're not defunding the police. [ cheers and applause ] >> let me tell you about me. >> reporter: sears, has pointedly criticized critical-race theory even though it's not part of virginia
standard of learning and voices fierce opposition to covid vaccine mandates, even refusing to publicly disclose her own vaccination status. >> we are not going to care what the media says because the media doesn't like us. >> reporter: born in jamaica, saers first came to the u.s. as a child. >> my father brought me here when i was 6 years old and here i am. running for the second-highest office in virginia. only in america. >> reporter: on the campaign trail, she often recounted her immigrant story, touting her family's bootstrap success and blasting a so-called victim mentality. >> and so, i say to you, i am not a victim. my father is not a victim. this is not 1963. we can live where we want. we can eat where we want. >> reporter: sears served in the marine corps before graduating from virginia's old dominion university. she's also been director of a homeless shelter and ran a bible study ministry in a prison. in 2001, sears became the first
alabama woman republican in the virginia state assembly. after serving just one term, she ran for congress, and lost. >> as my name says, you win some. >> reporter: after that defeat, she went on to start up a small business. and last year, sears led an effort to re-elect president donald trump. while youngkin kept trump at arm's length during the campaign, sears did not shy away from her embrace of the former president. >> i became the national chairman of black americans to re-elect president trump. >> reporter: but that loyalty to trump did not cost sears in tuesday's election. emerging as a leading voice of the republican party in virginia. >> and they say someone like me should not be a republican. i'm destroying their narrative because, you know, they say republicans are racist. well, i have been black all my life. >> reporter: joe johns, cnn, washington. >> just ahead, an emotional farewell to general colin powell by his family and some of the
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father and the bond they shared. >> one of my most powerful memories comes from holding my dad's hand. i was hurt very badly and lying in an icu bed following a bad accident. it was the middle of the night. yet, father was by my side after a long day of work. i was squirming in pain and anguish. without a word, he just took my hand, and squeezed it with a father's love. it instantly relaxed and put me at peace. the last night of his life, i walked in to see him. n now, he was the one lying in an icu bed. he could not see or speak to me. so, i took his hand, just as he had taken mine decades before.
i knew everything was not going to be okay. i wanted him to be at peace. but again, i felt my father ace l father's love in that hand. that hand that took my mother's hand in matrimony. that hand that held me as a baby. that hand that signed report cards, tossed baseballs, and fixed old cars. that hand that signed treaties and war orders, saluted service members, and just joyfully whilst telling a story. that hand is still, now. but it left a deep imprint on the lives of family and dear friends, soldiers and sailors, presidents and prime ministers, and a generation of aspiring young people. >> i had the great privilege of knowing general colin powell and covering him going back to the first gulf war in 1991.
a great, great man. my deepest, deepest condolences to his loving wife alma, a very special woman. and the entire family. may he arrest in peace, and may his memory be a blessing. outfront next, breaking news. democrats in disarray tonight. the chair of the progressive caucus dealing president biden a blow. refusing to back his agenda. as pelosi is still pushing forward with a vote. plus, breaking news. the albany district attorney calling the criminal complaint filed against former-new york governor andrew cuomo, quote, potentially defective. so, what does this say about cuomo's fate? and green bay packers' quarterback, aaron rodgers, tonight admit