tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN November 17, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PST
the jump in covid as millions plan to travel for thanksgiving. thank you for being here. we begin with these new developments in two high-profile trials gripping the nation. first in wisconsin, we're awaiting the verdict in the kyle rittenhouse homicide trial. the jury has just begun its second day of deliberations after spending more than eight hours behind closed doors yesterday. this morning we learned that the defense team filed a motion for m mistrial accusing the state of intentional prosecutorial over reach. in georgia, the defense is presenting its case in the trial of three men accusesed of killing ahmaud arbery while he was out jogging. prosecutors rested their case after calling 23 witnesses. the state's medical examiner, the last to testify, he conducted the autopsy on aubrey. jurors were shown graphic photos
of the gunshot wounds that killed arbery. let's begin with cnn's shimon prokupecz outside the courthouse in kenosha, wisconsin. shimon, what's happening there? >> reporter: the jury is back in their deliberation room, the jury room deliberating since about 9:00 this morning. so we're about an hour or so central time. about an hour into deliberations. no notes, no word on anything from the jury yet. the other thing that has happened here is we just learned today that the defense filed a motion, we heard about this, a motion for a mistrial with prejudice. this all steps from the fiery exchange between the judge and the prosecutor that occurred during the cross examination of kyle rittenhouse. the judge getting angry at the prosecutor, asking questions about the defendant, kyle rittenhouse's silence. what they say in this motion is
basically the prosecutors were acting in bad faith, that they were doing it intentionally because they were losing their case. they say there was overreach. of course, this all stems from the argument between the judge and the prosecutor, and the judge arguing that they were violating rittenhouse's rights by saying he didn't have a duty to remain silent or insinuating he didn't have the right to remain silent. that's what that is about. what i'm trying to figure out and the court has no answer for us, is why this hasn't been responded to by the judge. the judge has not addressed this at all. this was filed on monday. we're just learning about this today. the judge has not made a ruling. also, the prosecutors haven't responded to all of this. we don't know where this is going. the jury is continuing to deliberate. hopefully we'll get more answers. >> we get news of this filing and the jury is behind closed
doors deliberating on this. let's turn to the trial of the three men accused of killing ahmaud arbery. the defense began presenting their case today arguing those men acted in self-defense when they shot and killed arbery. cnn's martin savidge is live in brunswick with more on that. what's happening there? >> reporter: there's been a bit of a delay when it comes to the defense starting to make its presentation. what's happening before the jury is brought in has been arguments by the defense team for directed verdicts. this is essentially where the defense will get up and say, hey, look, the state did not make the case on the various charges that have been made against these defendants and, thereby, judge, we're asking you to acquit them on charges one, two, three, four, whatever. that's the example. that argument was supposed to take an hour. it's taken two hours. this is a clear example of what happens when you have three defense teams instead of just one and how it complicates
things, and going forward, how it could continue to complicate this case. there's still evidence issues they've got to debate before they bring the jury in. so again, some delays. one of the key questions is will any of the defendants take the witness stand? it's not only a question for those who monitor the case, but also a question for ahmaud arbery's mother. >> i would really like all three to get up and actually address the courts, because i really want to know their mindset on how they were thinking on that day. >> reporter: we have repeatedly asked the defense attorneys if they intend to put any of their clients on the stand. their answer has always been it's a moment-by-moment decision that they will make. >> martin, thanks so much for that. joining me cnn legal analyst paul callan and criminal defense attorney sarah azhari.
i want to ask you first about the rittenhouse trial. the defense asking for this mistrial with prejudice as shimon was laying out. this is about moments that we all saw play out between the prosecutor and the judge. what do you think about this filing. >> kate, i think we knew this was coming. the prosecutors' comments a week or so ago were highly i inappropriate and unconstitutional. the judge has made that very clear. this judge has always been very pro defense regardless. what's interesting to me is why there's been no response to this filed motion and the judge hasn't ruled on this. this is something that should be ruled on fairly quickly. the jury is already deliberating. i also think this prosecutor did such a poor job presenting this case. you saw what happened with the six count misdemeanor on possession of a gun. a lot of mishaps on the part of the da.
i'm not so surprised as to make a comment about rittenhouse's fifth amendment right. >> paul, your view on this. this was filed, i think shimon said, on monday. the judge hasn't weighed in or ruled on it yet, this motion for mistrial. >> kate, it's very surprising, the delay. this is a very important motion. the thing i was struck by in watching the exchange was, what happened was the prosecutor made a statement at the very end -- toward the end of his cross examination that this is the first time you're telling this story about what happened. now, the implication here is that you had an obligation to tell the story before. of course, you don't under the fifth amendment. you have an absolute right to remain silent. this is a major constitutional problem. the judge seemed to weigh in that he agreed with the defense. why hasn't he ruled on this important motion? sometimes what judges do is they
hold back the ruling until they get a verdict in the case, because if there's a verdict of acquittal, then it doesn't go to an appellate court and the judge doesn't have to worry about whether he ruled correctly or not. on the other hand, if the judge ruled he had to give a miss striel, the case would be taken away from the jury, and that would be the end of it. if it was due to prosecutorial misconduct, double jeopardy would apply and the defendant could never be tried again. i think that's why the judge is holding back. he's waiting to take the verdict and then he'll rule on the motion. by the way, he could set the verdict aside if there's a conviction and he says that that misconduct was of a constitutional nature and very prejudicial. >> very interesting. let's turn now to the trial of the men who are accused of killing ahmaud arbery, paul. the defense is going to begin, we assume, to present its case and its argument in this trial
at some point today. what do you expect the case is that they will be laying out to try, as they're going to prove that these men were acting in self-defense even though they were chasing ahmaud arbery down? >> their entire defense, kate, is going to be depending upon an 1863 law that was passed in the aftermath of the civil war, really to help round up slaves in the south. that law grants citizens the right to make arrests, citizens' arrests in georgia. it gives them the right in two situations. one if they actually observe a crime being committed, and the other is if they have it in their immediate knowledge that a crime was being committed. that's what the statute says. it's a vague statute. the defense, of course, is saying that they had the right to apprehend mr. arbery because he had been walking inside and was filmed inside a house under construction in the neighborhood. that law has since been thrown out by the georgia legislature,
by the way, but it does apply in this case. i think you're going to see a lot of focus on that, there's a secondary aspect of this, and that is when the three men on trial confronted mr. arbery, he resisted them and tried to grab the shotgun being aimed at him. they're going to try to say in some way that was a provocative action by him and he caused his own death. personally i think that's a real stretch and the defense is going to have an awfully difficult time prevailing on those theories. remember, this is a jury trial. there's only one african-american on this jury. all of the others were challenged off the array. you have to -- we have to wonder how local people in this particular georgia community would feel. it's a difficult case to predict what the outcome will be regardless of the facts. >> guys, i want to dip into this trial just for a second. the judge is addressing all three defendants as we speak.
let's listen in. >> no matter what you may have discussed with counsel. >> yes, sir. >> did you have a full opportunity to discuss with counsel your right to testify before this court? >> we have. >> you understand that, if you do testify before this court, you'd be treated as any other witness, which means the state will cross examine you. >> i understand. >> you also choose, if you choose not to testify, that that cannot be held against you in any way. >> yes, sir. >> do you need any additional time to speak with counsel about your right to testify in this court? >> no, sir. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> mr. gough, you indicated two matters before the panel comes back? >> yes, your honor. since we last broached the subject, i would note that an individual that matches the general height and build of pastor mark baker, a local
pastor -- i believe in jury selection he was referenced by one of the jurors or potential jurors as having had the attorney general chris carr as a guest at his church where the case was discussed. >> what we were listening to was the judge addressing all three of the defendants about their right to testify. sara, this gets to a question that martin savidge, our correspondent on the ground was speaking to, which is will these defendants testify in their own defense? we saw that in the rittenhouse trial. what do you think of that as a possibility, because the defense attorneys are not addressing that yet, in this trial? >> kate, i think it's very possible and very likely. it's very very, difficult to tell a story of self-defense without putting up your client. even though it's not ideal to put up your client, you may be digging a hole, you almost always have to put them up
because they can tell the story. you want to humanize your client. with rittenhouse, it was easy to do that, a 17-year-old, weeping, telling a story that he was in fear for his life. with these three defendants in a highly racially motivated case, i'm not sure they'll buy the same sympathy from the jury. the jury in that community might be quite aligned with them. it's necessary to put them up to tell the story of self-defense. to paul's point, it's a much more difficult analysis of self-defense in this case than it is in rittenhouse. in this case, the jury has to first get to that valid, justified citizens arrest before they can determine whether these gentlemen acted in self-defense. it will be interesting to see what they say. it will also be interesting to see if they can change the optics. to me they lack sympathy. it will be interesting to see if their story will buy them some sympathy. >> sara, thank you very much.
paul, thank you as well. much more to come uncovering both of those trials. up next, prosecutors are hoping to make an example of a key figure in the capitol insurrection. the so-called qanon shaman now in court awaiting sentencing. that's next. collagen peptide new vitamin c and the iconic red jar can't top this skin shop now at olay.com
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qanon shaman whose actually name is jacob chansley. he's in court and about to be sentenced for his role in the insurrection on january 6th. cnn's whitney wild is outside the court following all of this. whitney, what are you hearing? what's happening right now? >> reporter: at this very moment, jacob chansley is addressing the court. i can give you a brief summary of what he said. he said he was in solitary confinement because of himself, because of his own decisions. he says i broke the law, i should do what gandhi would do and take responsibility. the defense for jacob chansley throughout this hearing has been that he's simply someone with a lot of mental health issues who was largely mixed up for a long time. he was not violent, not threatening, but instead really intended to show a love for his government by his actions that day. obviously the doj has a very different perspective. they argue he was a threat, that he left a note that was threatening in nature. this note that he left on the
senate dias, which minutes before he left this note in which he said, kate, justice is coming, vice president mike pence had basically run away from that very spot. that's the perspective doj is bringing, they're requesting 51 months behind boors. that is significant, kate, because just last week we saw someone sentenced for actually punching a cop, a crime of violence on the police defending the capitol, that request from doj was for 44 months. jacob chansley not charged with a violent crime, but doj saying he was the flag-bearer so asking for 51 months. >> we'll bring you back. whitney will stay close. the congressional investigation into the insurrection is also ramping up. the house select committee investigating the capitol siege sent a new warning to trump white house chief of staff mark meadows who is still refusing to
cooperate with their investigation. the chairman of the panel expects more subpoenas could be issued this week. let's get over to cnn's jessica schneider who has been tracking this one. what is the panel still considering when it comes to mark meadows, jessica? >> kate, contempt is not off the table just yet. they did send that new letter to meadows last night to reiterate that they need him to engage, they need to provide him with information. what are they looking for? the key question they want answered by meadows is whether he used apply vat cell phone to communicate on january 6th and where the text messages from that number now are. the committee believes the number is no longer in service and they don't know if meadows is still in possession of the phone. meadows didn't show up to his deposition last week. his attorney saying he won't testify until the court rules on executive privilege issues. the committee shot back saying if meadows is using a private cell phone, executive privilege
wouldn't apply. the committee going back to meadows with this letter, hoping to secure some degree of cooperation. that comes at the same time the committee says it will issue more subpoenas, all as committee members are saying they have gotten a lot of info so far. >> the reality is we've had over 200 interviews with witnesses. we've looked at over 25,000 documents. we continue to make significant progress irrespective of this fight that some of this small group of advisers continue to put forward, to seek and find the truth will continue. >> all of this comes at the same time the executive privilege case at the appeals court is moving forward. trump's lawyers filed their brief last night. they argued if the contested documents are handed over, it could give congress in their words lopsided power. they said it would change the dynamics between the executive
and legislative branches. the decision not likely until at least the beginning of deese. kate. >> jessica, thank you so much for that. also developing on capitol hill, the house is getting ready to vote to publish republican congressman paul gosar. lawmakers are considering censuring gosar and stripping him of two committee assignments over a violent anime video that depicts him killing democratic congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez and attacking president biden. gosar took down the post of the video but is not apologizing. censure requires the member to stand before the clhamber as th resolution is red. we'll see if gosar follows that rule this afternoon if it happens. coming up, a record number of americans are dying over drug overdoses. the startling new numbers are next. ♪ light 'em up, up, up ♪
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in a 12-month period ending in april of this year, meaning the drug problem in america is the deadliest it's ever been. not just a record high, but jumped nearly 30% since last year. opioids are still the leading cause, synthetic opioids, namely sentinel accounting for over two-thirds of the deaths. up 49% from the year before. it's amazing and terrifying. president biden issued a statement moments ago saying, quote, we cannot overlook this epidemic of loss. so true, so true. let's turn to the other major health story in america still. covid cases are on the rise once again. 22 states are seeing increases in new infections of more than 10% in the last week. it comes as the fda is considering whether to expand authorization of pfizer's booster shots to all adults. that could happen by the end of the week.
joining me is dr. paul offett. you've been clear and we talked about this times all along that the focus shouldn't be here necessarily. what then do you think of the move that the fda could be making to expand access to boosters this week? >> so the question is what do we want from this vaccine. if what we want is protection from serious illness, meaning the kind of illness that causes you to seek medical attention or go to the hospital or icu, these vaccines seem to be holding up, so that's good. if, on the other hand, we want the vaccine to treat mild illness or asymptomatic infections. that's not true with these vaccines. that's what you would expect. you'd expect a decline in neutralizing antibodies. whereas for serious illness all you need is immunological
memory. that's likely to be long lived, meaning years. we have to define what it is. when you see the infections increase, the critical question becomes, associated with those infections, which may be mild and moderate, is there an increase in deaths? if we start to see a separation between infections as compared to hospitalizations and deaths, then the vaccine largely is working to work against serious illness. that's what we need to focus on. what will be interesting about this move by the fda is what the advisory committee at the cdc will do. previously confronted with, are we going to allow this vaccine to be given to everyone over 18, they've said no. we'll see what they say here. >> let me ask you this, as you're talking about cases and hospitalizations and death and what the goal is. now i'm starting to wonder, you've got new cases up 16% in the last two weeks.
that is concerning health officials. anthony fauci saying he's worried what this all means as it's heading into the winter. with vaccines and boosters now widespread especially amongst the most vulnerable, is new infection still the right measure, if you will, when we want to know where we stand in the fight against the pandemic? >> i think the important measure is hospitalization and death. i think dr. fauci is right. as you head into winter, knowing you have a susceptible population of children that are 5 to 11 gathering in one place, even the 12 to 15-year-olds who are gathering or generally undervaccinated or there are communities undervaccinated, it's likely we'll see a rise of not only infections, but hospitalizations and deaths this winter. you're right. you need to set what the goal is of this vaccine. if you're vaccinated, even with just two doses, all the evidence is that you are protected
against serious illness. we'll see how this plays out over the next few months. >> yeah. and the white house's covid response team is holding a briefing that started at the beginning of the hour. they just announced that at least 2.6 million children between 5 and 11 have had at least one shot, which is about 10%, if you will. there are 28 million kids in this age group. what do you make of the pace? it's been about a week, ten days, maybe just shy of two weeks that this has been available for kids of that age group. >> you're seeing the parents who are very interested in making sure their children got vaccinated. you get a quick 10%. that's happened before with the 12 to 15-year-old. you saw an immediate uptick for parents who really wanted to vaccinate their children. that leveled off. so we have about 45%. when the biden administration was able to figure out how to mass distribute, mass
administer, 3.5 million, 4 million doses a day. quickly we hit a wall and that dropped off. when you found out who didn't want to get this vaccine, i think that's probably going to happen here, also. >> which is why the effort needs to continue, speaking to those parents, speaking to those adults even to get them to a place of getting the vaccine and continuing that education process. it's good to see you dr. offit, thank you. >> good to see you. happening right now, the u.s. conference of catholic bishops is holding a critical vote on the sacrament of communion. they're deciding whether those who support abortion, if they should be denied communion. this issue has divided the bishops and caused a rift between more conservative catholics and those who agree with the president's views. he doesn't like speaking publicly about it. he says it's very personal. the president met with pope francis at the vatican and told reporters afterwards that the
pope said he was a, quote, unquote, good catholic and continue to receive communion. coming up for us, some 1,000 men, women and children sheltering in a massive warehouse in belarus, their fate still in limbo amid this escalating migrant crisis. our matthew chance is still in the middle of it all. we'll take you there next. ♪ and a new seat at the table. ♪ ♪ ♪it's a most unusual day♪ ♪feel like throwing my worries away♪ ♪as an old native-born californian would say♪ ♪it's a most unusual day♪ ♪it's a most unusual sky♪ ♪not a sign of a cloud passing by♪ ♪if my heart won't behave in the usual way♪ experience the power of sanctuary
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right now, hundreds of migrants are spending another night in freezing camps near the border between belarus and poland after violence erupted yesterday, some are now being moved to warehouses. cnn's matthew chance is there. >> reporter: we are right in the middle of this processing center. over the course of the past 12 hours or so, since last night after the violence ended, belarusian officials have been moving the migrants from that forest camp, bringing them indoors at this location about a mile back from the border crossing with poland. it's still pretty rudimentary conditions that people are in, but at least we're inside with some shelter from the increasingly cold weather
conditions outside. people have got mattresses to sleep on. they've got blankets to put over them. given food outside, hot tea and bread. the belarusian officials we've spoken to say they aim to provide these people with at least one hot meal a day. stim not very much, but better than no hot meals a day. you can see the general atmosphere here is -- i wouldn't say happy, but people are a lot more comfortable than they were outside in the freezing forest camp up against the razor wire of the polish border. the big question of course is what is going to happen next to these people? are they ever going to achieve their objective of getting into the european union? it doesn't look like it at the moment. the reaction of the polish authorities yesterday, spraying the crowds with water cannon to push them back from any prospect of getting near the barricades
was an indication that the pols at least and the european union in general are reluctant to take these people in. we're being told by belarusian officials that they are waiting for a decision from germany about whether there is some kind of humanitarian corridor that could be opened possibly via poland, possibly by air straight from here to germany, but that is not confirmed at all. in fact, over the past couple days, the germans made it clear they don't intend to take these people in either. the alternative, according to belarusian officials, is these people will ultimately be deported back to their countries of origin. for the most part, that would be iraq -- the majority of the people here are from iraqi kurdistan. >> matthew, thank you so much for that. also developing, president biden is trying to clarify that he is not encouraging taiwan's independence after using that exact word to describe some of
what he discussed in his meeting monday with chinese president xi. i want you to listen to biden's initial statement on this and also then him clarifying. >> we made it very clear we support the taiwan act, and that's it. its independence, it makes its own decisions. >> i said that they have to decide, they, taiwan, not us and we are not encouraging independence. we're encouraging that they do exactly what the taiwan act requires. >> joining me right now is josh rogin, "washington post" columnist and author of "chaos under heaven, trump, xi and the battle for the 21st century." i want to play what he said last month at a cnn town hall.
>> are you saying that the united states would come to taiwan's defense -- >> yes, we have a commitment to do that. >> and right after the town hall, josh, as you well know, the white house also had to clarify that biden was not announcing any change in policy as it relates to taiwan. this is the second time, the second go-round of this. it has me wondering what you think is going on here. >> well, it's clear that president biden has very strong feelings about u.s. policy towards taiwan that don't exactly match with our stated policy of 40 years which is to encourage neither side to change the status quo. if you know joe biden, you know he says what he feels and what he thinks is that taiwan seems to be an independent country and it seems to be acting like a democracy. that's not u.s. policy, but that's the reality that a lot of people see. besides cleaning up the mess of him misstating u.s. policy, the real issue here is what are we going to do about this country
called taiwan which acts like a country, looks like a country, believes it's a country but we don't recognize as a country. as they come under increasing threat from beijing, military threat, political pressure, the u.s. policy seems untenable. it seems like we're going to have to decide sooner or lafter if we are really going to stand up for this country if they get attacked. we have a policy of strategic ambiguity, but it doesn't seem to be holding out and even joe biden doesn't seem to really believe in it. >> we're learning that u.s. and china are agreeing to relax visa restrictions on journalists from both countries. this is according to officials. the agreement allows for longer stays for journalists in both countries. beyond the exact details of the agreement which are very important and many of our colleagues, do you see this as something -- signaling something more as it's coming right after the summit? >> this is a test. i think both sides have an
interest in having their journalists in the other country. of course, as journalists we have an interest in knowing what's going on in china. this is something easy they can agree on. wet don't know if it will work, if the chinese side will hold up their side of the bargain, we don't know if they'll punish them again if they get out of line. let's see it as a first step. if they can come to an agreement on restoring journalists' access in both countries, maybe that can be a path towards more cooperation. i wouldn't get too excited. because the chinese communist party makes these agreements and breaks them almost immediately. >> you also have reporting on the upcoming beijing olympics. what are you hearing? >> my sources inside the administration confirm there's been a unanimous recommendation to president biden to install a diplomatic boycott and that he's expected to approve it within the next couple weeks. what that means is when the beijing olympics begin in february, only three months
away, no u.s. officials will be there, no government officials anyway. president biden won't be there. that's a pretty big deal. that means that the beijing government won't be able to hold the games and bolster its legitimacy without people noticing and noting that there's a genocide going on inside its borders. athletes will still have to make their own decisions, corporate sponsors will make their own decisions. there will still be other protests. it's a clear statement by the biden administration that they care about human rights. at the same time they don't want to affect the athletes. it's a compromise, but one that the chinese government definitely won't be happy about. >> for sure. good to see you, josh. thank you. >> any time. a quick programming for all of you. fareed zakaria takes a look at the chinese leader "china's aaron fist, xi jinping and the stakes for america." that's sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. some of the items on your holiday shopping list might not
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of this. she's outside the courtroom in washington. whitney, what are you hearing from the judge? >> the judge has now sentenced jacob chansley, also known as the qanon shaman, to 49 months. he was the most notable figure throughout this insurrection. he was the man walking through the senate chambers with a bullhorn, with face paint, with fur. he is not convicted of a violent crime, so this is why this 41 months in prison is so significant. kate, the department of justice had asked for 51 months in prison, the judge obviously giving slightly less than that, but it is exactly comparable to what he gave another man who was sentenced last week in his very same courtroom for a violent crime, for punching a police officer. so here we have these two crimes, one person affecting this insurrection by their leadership and by their actions and by their words, and another person affecting it by an act of violence, and in the judge's eyes, judge royce lamberth,
those two things are the same. this is really a benchmark for how the rest of these cases are going to go. jacob chansley's case is a precursor to others going through the justice system. kate, this is really a high water mark for how the justice department will face other cases and perhaps a benchmark for what other judges maya ward here in these sentencings for these riot defendants, kate. >> 41 months j, just shy of thr and a half years. that is the sentence for jacob chansley. i want to turn now to this. it is tough to pin down the state of the economy with a mix of bad and good headlines seeming to be battling it out all the time. retail sales were up almost 2% last month, more than economists expected. that's despite rising consumer prices, stubborn inflation and more and more products out of stock which hurt everyone.
cnn's tom foreman has more on that piece of this economic puzzle. >> reporter: over 2 billion times. that's how often the words "out of stock" came ump as researches tracked just 18 different product categories on line in october. that's worse than last year and much worse than two years ago. among the hardest hit items according to a ddobe analytics, electronics, jewelry, homewares and pet supplies. it's been driven partly by months of people shopping at home during the pandemic. >> the demand for those products as well as the materials to make those products are far outpacing the available supply of those products materials as well as what's need to do move -- needed to move those products through the supply chain to the consumer. >> reporter: not only are
navigators and shippers facing a maze of shutdowns, but they're are so many waiting to unload. >> there is a shortage of truck drivers, shortage of warehouse space and workers all along that supply chain. this is not a, you know, snap your fingers and organize a solution. >> reporter: that means for consumers, the day after thanksgiving could be more like bleak friday with some products hard to find and prices rising. best tips? shop early. if you see what you want -- >> buy it now. >> buy it. definitely, buy it now. >> reporter: -- and have faith. just just like many retailers that the holidays will wind up happy, an anyhow. >> retailers met at a supply house trying to figure out the
crux of this problem, but it's unlikely we'll see anything like normal until after the holidays, maybe in time for christmas 2022. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> tom, thanks for that. let me bring in john harwood for more from the white house. john, the supply chain is a major problem for this white house. what are you hearing that they can do in order for this supply chain to loosen up? >> they're scrambling and they're having some success. the port of los angeles in long beach announced yesterday that the inventory of containers that had not been able to move through is significantly down. so that's good news. it is gradually going to be worked on as businesses adjust post-pandemic, but the key is going to be really getting past covid. so i think nobody expects these problems to diminish in the next month or two, but sometime if we get largely past the pandemic
middle of next year, i think people think the economy and the supply chains will normalize pretty significantly. >> one other thing i wanted to ask you that i was just seeing come in is that president biden is now asking the ftc, john, to investigate if oil and gas companies are legally driving up prices. what are you hearing about this? >> nobody wants gas -- oil and gas companies to illegally manipulate prices, but i got to say, kate, having covered washington for a long time, this is the number one item on the political playbook when energy prices rise. i was just looking back at some news stories this morning. this is something that obama, that bush, that bill clinton all called for when prices went up. they don't usually find very much, but it's a way for a president, who is facing pressure from high energy prices, to indicate that he's doing something in a situation where they really don't have a whole lot of control.
>> that's very interesting and important perspective. what do you make of this mixed bag? people don't feel good about the economy, but as i was reporting off the top, retail sales set a record in october. people are still spending money, anyway. how does this all fit in? >> it's complicated, kate, because a whole lot of things are happening at the same time. inflation is up. that annoys people. gas prices are up. on the other hand, people have, relative to points in the recent past, a lot of money in their bank accounts because they didn't spend as much during covid and because of those relief checks. so people have money to spend, but even if they have money to spend, they don't like gas prices going up. similarly, the jobs market is coming back, economic growth is coming back, but you've had dislocation and some jobs aren't available that people had before. people don't want some jobs that they had before. so it's a jigsaw puzzle of good things and bad things, disruptions and ample money to
spend, and all of that contributes to the supply chain problem because people who have money in their bank accounts are spending money on things that are in short supply because so many people want to buy them. >> jigsaw puzzle, i think, is the best way, the kindest way to describe this right now. it's good to see you, john, thanks for laying it all out. thank you so much for being with us today. i'm kate bolduan. "inside politics" with john king begins after this break.