tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN November 18, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
we're in right now, where there is that december 15th deadline to raise the national debt limit. up until now, there has been no real path to avoid a default next month. but mitch mcconnell and chuck schumer just sat down and met for about 15 minutes to discuss a way forward. i am told by multiple sources that they are talking about a way to expedite the process, to allow democrats to raise the national debt ceiling on their own to make it faster. so republicans won't actually have to supply the votes to raise the debt ceiling, but they won't stand in the way to let the democrats do that, because the republicans don't want to be the ones casting what could be a politically toxic vote. republicans have the tools to drag things out if they want to. they're suggesting they don't want to do that. all of this is an indication that the two sides are trying to avoid any possible default next
month. mcconnell, leading the meeting, didn't want to get into the details but said it was a good discussion and there would be more talks ahead. a big breakthrough that the two sides are talking. perhaps they can avoid a default before the deadline, guys. >> manu raju on capitol hill, thank you. top of a brand new hour. good to be with you. i'm victor blackwell. >> and i'm alisyn camerota. a lot of activity inside and outside the brunswick county courthouse in the trial of three men accused of murdering ahmaud arbery. prosecutors finished cross-examining the man who admitted shooting arbery who was unarmed and grilled him over inconsistencies in his story. >> here's what's happening outside. pastors and attorneys are leading a rally and a march in
support of arbery's family. martin savidge is following all of it for us. martin, what's the latest? >> reporter: truly a pivotal day both inside and outside the courthouse here. that march is underway, and it's anticipated that those who participated in the rally are now taking part in this march that goes from the courthouse to a kind of community center where there is a very large mural that has been painted of ahmaud arbery and it is expected there they will pause, pay respects and then carry on again. also, earlier, there was the rally outside of the courthouse. several hundred people gathered, many of them pastors, leaders of faith, and one of those who spoke to the gathered crowd was ahmaud arbery's mother, wanda cooper-jones, and she talked about that very difficult time in her life after her son was killed, and yet it appeared little was being done to investigate. here's her words. >> when ahmaud was killed on the 23rd of february, the family had
some of the darkest times of our lives. we asked questions, we got no answers. we submitted e-mails with no reply back. but in the midst of all that, i prayed. i asked the lord to somehow tell me what happened to the case. weeks later my daughter said, mom, we don't even have an attorney. i said, when the lord thinks it's right for us to get an attorney, we'll get one. not until then. i just want to say thank you. my heart is full of just joy in the midst of this broken heart. >> reporter: travis mcmichael,
who is the man who killed her son, ahmaud arbery, he was on the witness stand again today, this time for a very harsh cross examination by the prosecution, and they went over two key factors that had been pillars of the defense. number one, he admitted his father and he were not chasing ahmaud arbery and saying, we want to conduct a citizen's arrest. the other was he seems to waffle now on the issue of whether ahmaud really did try to grab for his shotgun, which is a key element of self-defense. so it appears that the prosecution did real damage to his testimony from the day before. victor and alisyn? >> martin savidge, thank you for all that. let's bring in senior legal analyst elie honig.
we heard from travis mcmichael, the man accused of shooting ahmaud arbery. does he speak for all three, or how does that work when there's three defendants in this? >> each of the defendants stands alone. each of them have the opportunity to testify if they want. i think it's very unlikely they hear from the other two. i think strategically they knew somebody had to testify to make the defense claim, and he is the one that was chosen. what happens sometimes is there is the race to be the forgotten one. you want the jury to focus on your client as little as possible. the prosecutors have to remember they have charged three people here, obviously travis mcmichaels the lead defendant. they have to explain why the other two are guilty as well. >> we have live pictures of what's happening outside. let me ask you about this. again, this defense attorney, kevin goff, who represents
wil willia william bryan, asked for a mistrial because of reverend jesse jackson. the judge didn't grant it yesterday, he's not going to do it today. why are they doing this? is this essentially for an appeal or for people at home? what sense does this make? >> victor, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me at all. strategically i'm not seeing what's going on here. i spent about a decade as a federal criminal defense attorney and this is not the sort of move i would have been making. i think all of the attorneys for all three men are thinking about potential appeal. i don't think we're going to get an acquittal in this case. they are thinking ahead, and perhaps if there is something they can point to about media or bias somehow infiltrating the courtroom, perhaps, that's why he keeps raising this issue. but what i want to remind our viewers is trials are public. there is a sixth amendment
right. it's connected to the defendant, but also the public at large, that courtrooms are meant to be for the people. and so this idea somehow that the defense should ask to exclude certain people, particularly black pastors, we cannot ignore the racism that is seeping throughout this case from the get-go, the originating event. i want to remind our viewers there is something very particular and insidious about a defense attorney that's asking for black pastors to be removed. >> alexis, i have another racism question for you, and that is that law enforcement had reported they hearthey heard on the mcmichaels say the "n" word over the body of ahmaud arbery. will that be admissible? i know there have been questions about that. >> i do teach evidence, and one of the main principle ofs evidence is this concept of
hearsay. it's a term we hear a lot, but it's a statement made outside the courtroom, not by the person testifying, necessarily, that's entered in for the truth of the matter. that means what is said outside can't necessarily come in, and we heard bryan is not going to be testifying. this is not going to come in from him having heard one of the mcmichaels, one of the mcmichaels is not going to repeat this statement, so could we potentially having the law enforcement officer testify about this? this is a lot of layers of hearsay, so it's unlikely this statement could come in unless there is some very narrow exceptions. we have to sort of hold out and see what the state is going to do with that information. >> elie, they asked travis mcmichael about other options, things he could have done short of pulling out a shotgun and then firing at ahmaud arbery.
let's play that moment and then talk about it. >> you could have just continued to drive behind mr. arbery and not even speak to him or confront him at all. isn't that true? >> i could have, yes. >> and you could have just let him run away when he took off from mr. bryan's house, from the night owl video we saw, you could have said, okay, let him go, and drive behind him real slowly, right? >> i could and i did after i realized he wasn't going to talk to me. >> and you could have stayed at home in your truck, right? >> could have, yes. >> and you could have stayed in your truck until he ran by and then driven away to go ahead and follow him, right? >> i could have, yes. >> it seems like one of the, i guess, tempos, one of the most
important moments we saw in cross examination. >> this goes right to self-defense, who is the aggressor? if you took this whole incident and hit pause at any point in there, you would see opportunities, you would see ahmaud arbery trying to get away, trying to avoid confrontation, and you would see mcmichaels and bryan escalating this and not letting him get away and bringing this to ilts u ultimate tragic conclusion. >> federal indictment, what does that mean? >> what we learned, the new administration came in -- this is with merrick garland and also pam bowen is a member of that office. they came up with a hate crime law for the shooting of ahmaud arbery. what the federal government will do, it will wait to see how the state prosecution goes, and then
we may hear about a potential trial date in federal court. >> alexis, elie, thank you. house leader kevin mccarthy vows to give back go sa r his committees if the gop wins majority, next. and an oklahoma governor kmult tz the death sentence of julius jones. what happens now? that was in th. but the clothes washed in tide- so much cleaner! if it's got to be clean, it's got to be tide hygienic clean no surprises in these clothes! couple more surprises. this... is the planning effect.
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house minority leader kevin mccarthy is vowing what will happen to representative paul gosar if the gop takes back the house in 2022. >> you plan to give marjorie taylor greene and paul gosar their committees now? >> the committee assignments they have now, they may have more committee assignments then. they may have better committee assignments. >> paul gosar was stripped of his committees yesterday after he photoshopped a cartoon making it look like him killing representative ocasio-cortez. joining us now is jennifer gosar. good to see you. are you satisfied with the punishment your brother got yesterday?
>> i'm satisfied it's a good first step, but in no way, shape or form does it pay for the crimes my brother committed. i use the word "crimes" because that's what they are. >> beyond just tweeting out this violent imagery, i know you have long maintained that he has done other things worthy of censure or removal, such as? >> my goodness. in threatening to endanger the life of a colleague repeatedly. this most recent anime threat is not the first. it was recorded of him having done it previously. it was maybe less graphic, but he was a superhero again, had the ability to murder people through writing a death note, and that representative ocasio-cortez was being
represented by president biden. within an hour of being censured, he repeated that again. he said in his trial that he didn't mean that. so, what, you mean it now? if 270 members of the house said, you know, actually, if it was my daughter, if it was my wife, we should probably calm down. it really isn't a big deal to be threatened. >> as alexandra ocasio-cortez pointed out the other day, what's wrong with saying you're wrong? he apologized behind closed doors -- i don't even know if it
was an a appology, he regretted to his republican friends. why do you think he's unable to apologize to her? >> in particular because his story, the story that paul tells himself is about paul the hero, paul the most intelligent, paul the number one, and he echoes everything about the klan-esque white supremacy movement that he's a part of. paul first. how could paul be apologizing to a woman, much less a brown woman, and fof course he wouldn't do that because there are criminal, career and political reply indic -- implications. we could also name the january 6 insurrection and his role in
that. >> you think he had a hand in january 6? >> oh, absolutely. i absolutely think he had a hand in it and there is a lot of evidence to back me up on that. i read representative loften's report. he was the member most who repeated the big lie. he and others impeded the ballot counting because they were heavily armed and other white supremacy people were there as well. this was not a guesswork kind of thing. where the problem is, is the accountability. the person who has the most leverage here is attorney
general merrick garland. he has the leverage and it must be done. >> thank you, jennifer. we always appreciate getting your perspective on this. >> thank you. for the first time ever, the u.s. has surpassed more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths in a single year. shocking statistic for a lot of people, but not for the two mothers we're going to talk to next. you're going to hear from them, their fight against the epidemic. that's next. plus we have some breaking news. two men convicted of killing malcolm x will be exonerated. everything we have learned in the past hour, next. ♪ i had a dream that someday ♪ ♪ i would just fly, fly away ♪
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breaking news now. two men convicted in the 1965 assassination of civil rights icon malcolm x have been exonerated. a 22-month investigation found evidence of their innocence was withheld at trial. so just moments ago, manhattan district attorney cy vance moved to vacate their positions and issued an apology. >> i apologize for what were serious, unacceptable violations of law and the public trust. i apologize on behalf of our nation's law enforcement for this decades-long injustice which has eroded public faith in institutions that are designed to guarantee protection of the
law. your honor, we can't restore what was taken away from these men and their families. but perhaps we can begin to restore that faith. >> joining us now, cnn national correspondent athena jones. athena, these men spent decades much their lives in prison. walk us through what some of the problems were with this case. >> hi, alisyn. these men have spent the prime of their lives over this case. one of them was only 26 when he was convicted. they knew wrongfully that they were convicted. they maintained their innocence the entire time. now these convictions being vacated on the basis of newly discovered evidence and failure to disclose exculpatory evidence. there was a lot of problems with this case even at the time. the third man convicted of killing malcolm x confessed on
the witness stand to have been involved in the shooting and said these two men who have now been exonerated were not his co-conspirators, that they were innocent. that man was called a liar. we heard from the lawyers here that the fbi and the nypd withheld evidence. in the weeks after the shooting of malcolm x, they gathered a trove of evidence from five men in new jersey. however, they hid that evidence from the prosecution. clearly a misdeed of justice. one died back in 2009, and these men and their families can't get that time back. we did hear from two of mr. islam's sons. here's shaheed jackson talking about how he lost faith in the criminal justice system. >> i almost just had to
disconnect from the whole thing, just try to live my life. >> how does it feel for you today to finally have justice? >> bittersweet. like my brother said, it's bittersweet. it's going to take some time -- we have to learn how to appreciate it, because right now we can't fully appreciate it right now. it's a good thing that happened, but it's not -- you know, it doesn't replace everything that we lost. >> reporter: and so that's one of mr. islam's son. i also spoke to a mr. mohammad. after a documentary aired last year, they said they would be reinvestigating. i said, why was this evidence hidden so long by the fbi and the nypd? he said that's something they still want to get to the bottom off. they still have some questions to answer, and another member of
the team saying there is an ongoing debate in this country about whether this racism is systemic. >> more than 50 years after that conviction and exoneration. athena jones, thank you. for the first time ever, u.s. drug overdose deaths have topped 100,000 in just one year. these deaths, which were recorded between may 2020 and april 2021, account for almost a 30% rise from the year before. experts say the pandemic and an increase in the use of fentanyl were key factors in the increase. for cindy singer and stacy katz, this hits very close to home. cindy's son died in 2018 from an overdose and stacy says her son is still battling an addiction that began in his teens.
ladies, thank you very much for joining us. we know you're on the front lines helping people every day. cindy, i want to start with you. 100,000 people in one year alone. as you know better than anybody, all of these people were somebody's sons or daughters. >> exactly, alisyn. thank you so much for having us on the show. one person is too many, and certainly 100,000 is a milestone that we never wanted to reach. >> cindy, we know the numbers, but you know the stories. so as we look at the rise over the pandemic, just explain how that environment, how much harder it made for people to stick to recovery. >> sure. so we know that the pandemic has affected everyone, and we certainly know that people with substance use disorder face many challenges, such as low-level work wages, housing issues, and
a lot of times theirs co-occurring mental health issues. we get calls every single day from families and people who are battling to stay in recovery, asking us for all kinds of things to help them stay. and a lot of it has to do with money for recovery residences, food, transportation and such. >> stacy, as we said, your son is still battling addiction, and we know it's a lifelong disease, obviously, that tends toward relapse. what's the answer? what do all of these folks that got worse during the pandemic, what do they need? what can be the solution? >> well, again, thank you for having us. we appreciate you taking the time for this serious matter. there is a saying that says the
opposite of addiction is connection, and during the pandemic, that just made it worse because we tended to isolate as a whole, and then the people that are in recovery would also tend to isolate, and now we have to isolate further. so having a way to connect with other people, even as simple as going to meetings, it begins there. it's unfathomable how we just allow people to just do it yourself. we are not offering any help for them or any suggestions other than the old-fashioned ways of doing things. >> yeah. you know, we know that just not the pandemic that led to the riots, five years ago i read this in preparation for this conversation. drug overdoses has killed just
about as many americans as car vio accidents and gun violence combined. so we know this is growing. cindy, tell us about your son. tell us about rory. >> that brings a smile to my face. rory was a very special son, person. he went out of his way to hurt other people. he hurt his back on his job and was prescribed opioids, and that led to his substance use disorder becoming full blown, and when he was no longer able to get the opioids, he turned to street drugs. of course, we know the street drugs are full of fentanyl and fentanyl is poison. he didn't have a chance against that, and he left behind, though, two sisters and grandparents and a family and friends that love him and honor him and, in fact, staci and i
have a non-profit called our two sons in memory of rory, in honor of dylan, and we raise money. to me i had to put purpose to my pain, and i had to do something. my son would always say to everyone, go to my mother, she'll help you. so that's what i'm trying to do. >> you are doing it. we read about how many people you both have helped. we really appreciate you guys coming in and talking to us, and you can learn more about cindy and staci's non-profit at ourtwosons.org. cindy and staci, thank you very much. >> thank you. hours before he was set to be executed, julius jones is taken off death row. details behind the governor's last-minute move, next.
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built for small business. high thryv! ow. get a free demo at thryv.com. the house speaker is promising a vote of the safety net bill soon, but they're saying even if it is or is not paid for. joining me to discuss is one of the leading proponents of the $1.75 trillion economic and climate bill, chair of the congressional progressive caucus, representative primamil jayapal. congresswoman, good to speak with you. thanks for joining me. do you have any insight beyond soon what we're hearing from the speaker? >> victor, good to see you. in terms of the timing, we are very, very close. it's just a question of whether
we can pull together everything we need from the parliamentarian scrub in order to get the bill to the rules committee and then to the floor. i would say either tonight or first thing in the morning, but we hope tonight, and we're working towards that end. >> so you supported more than a week ago now the delay of a vote on the bill because moderates wanted, some would say demanded, a cbo score before they voted for it. the white house is preparing the party for potentially it will not be paid for as they promised if some of the calculations on taxation policy are off. do you think if that is the case, you've got the moderate votes that you need to pass? >> i do, and let me just be clear that the agreement that we inked a couple weeks ago with our colleagues, our five colleagues, was not for a cbo score, it was just for additional fiscal information that would make them comfortable that generally the top lines were the same. now, there were some things we already knew. for example, we knew that the irs provision, for example, was going to be underestimated.
remember, victor, that the revenue pieces of this come from the joint committee on taxation, so we already got the estimates on the revenue side from the jct. the cbo is really about the spend side, the investment side. so those are the titles that have been coming in pretty regularly. those are actually cbo scores which is fine, that's not actually what was required. and i think at this point we have all of the titles in with the exception of ways and means, and what we have seen is that they are absolutely consistent. and, of course, the ways and means side is consistent with the revenue side that jct has already given us. >> just to be clear, you believe you got the votes in the house to send it over to the senate. >> i do, absolutely. and i trust my colleagues' commitment that they would vote for this pending this fiscal information. >> let's talk about the senate side now, because senator manchin has said to our manu raju today that he's not sold
yet to voting to begin debate on the legislation. here's what he told manu. >> i just want to see basically the score and what they put out. i haven't seen it. i've seen the text to a certain extent but i just haven't seen the final bill. when the final bill comes out, cbo score comes out, then we'll go from there. >> you haven't made a decision whether to vote on the bill? >> no. actually, i'm still looking at everything, absolutely. >> your reaction to that, that the senator is not even ready to say whether he's going to debate. >> there are things we don't agree on, but i do think he's been negotiating with this bill at the white house for five weeks now. i think a vast majority of the bill is preconferenced. it does need a cbo score in order for the senate to debate. that's not terrible what he's saying. i have full confidence that senator manchin is going to
support this bill that he has now spent time negotiating, and i think we will get it across the finish line and hopefully to the president's desk in time for christmas, because we really need to make sure people across the country are getting the help that we have promised them on the campaign trail and now in this bill. >> you're confident he will support the bill, even with paid leave, something he said should not be with the bill and the concerns about inflation. what's the basis for your confidence? >> the basis for my confidence is the framework that the president said he was confident he could get 51 votes, that is the baseline that i think will be supported. there are a couple things, victor, in this bill, that senator manchin that was added, that we added in the house and senator manchin has not signed off on, to that i would say there are some very strong democratic women senators in the senate who will be able to make the case. hopefully they can convince
senator manchin that this is an important thing to do for families across this country, for women across this country, and hopefully that will stay in. the vast majority of this bill has been pre-conferenced, pre-agreed to, so i don't suspect that that will change. >> let's talk about congressman gosar. you co-chaired the resolution that censured him, also stripped him of his two committee assignments. after that vote the congressman retweeted the video that depicted him killing congresswoman ocasio-cortez and attacking the president. should there be further action against congressman gosar? >> look, i think we took the action we could take. i firmly believe that somebody should not be able to serve in congress if they are tweeting out videos, animated or not, about killing a colleague. if you were in the airport, victor, and you threatened to kill somebody, whether it was a joke, whether you meant it or
not, you threatened to kill somebody, you would be locked up like that. i don't believe that here in congress we should have to put up with that violence. i don't think the the, urng that's absolutely wrong, and i think it's wrong that he's been silenced on this issue. what is so wrong with saying you're wrong? >> this sets a precedent. if republicans take over the house in the 2024 election, the majority would have to do much to keep their elections. are you expecting retribution and was it worth the vote? >> let me say this. we have to do what's right. if a colleague here on the floor of the house threatens to kill in an animated video, killing
another member of congress and attacking the president of the united states, we have to do what is right. now, i also think that we are going to make sure that republicans don't get the majority, but we can't shy spaus -- away from this kind of violence. it's a culture of violence particularly leveraged against women, especially women of color. no one has done what paul gosar did, and i don't believe anyone would be doing this. it is outside an area of expertise, should not consider a norm. the. republican max, and they're promoting violence across the country. >> pramila jayapal, thank you
for your time. >> thank you, victor. pressure is mounting on china after one of its biggest tennis stars goes missing after publicly accusing a top official of sexual abuse. ♪ ♪ ♪ 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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just a few hours before julius jones was set to be executed oklahoma's governor spared his life by granting clemency. >> this is the reaction from the crowd that was gathered at the courthouse as they waited for the governor's decision. now, jones was scheduled to be executed about an hour from now for the 1999 murder of a businessman in oklahoma. jones had long claimed his innocence and drawn the support of sports celebrities, actors, musical performers, as well. let's get right to cnn's ed lavendar. what happens now? >> reporter: victor, right now attorneys for julius jones try to figure out exactly what to do as the family processes this news. they were about four hours away from the scheduled execution of
julius jones. his attorney writing this afternoon saying that the governor took an important step toward restoring faith in the criminal justice system. and by ensuring that oklahoma did not execute an innocent man the governor has prevented an irrepairable mistake. now, the family of julius jones continues to say he is innocent of this murder conviction. they would like to see him get a new trial. but the governor by reducing his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole, which is different from the oklahoma pardon and parole board had recommended that he be given life in prison with the possibility of parole. paul howell who is the victim in this case and his family has been saying all along as well that they believe there is overwhelming evidence to support julius jones' conviction. we've heard from the daughter of paul howell a short while ago. she said she understands the governor had a difficult decision but they take comfort
in that this decision from the governor has affirmed the guilt of julius jones. they do not want to see him released or get a new trial in any way. the real question now becomes what does julius jones' supporters do in the months ahead. is there a way of getting him a new trial as they'd like to see. >> ed lavandera, thank you for that reporting. now to this disturbing story. the international tennis federation says it has been in contact with the chinese tennis association to get more information about the whereabouts of chinese tennis star peng shuai. peng has not been seen publicly in two weeks. after she allegedly on -- sorry, she alleged on social media that a former vice premier of china had sexually assaulted her. an e-mail released by chinese media claims peng allegedly wrote the allegation of sexual assault is not true. i'm not missing. nor am i unsafe. the head of the women's tennis association doubts that peng in fact wrote that e-mail.
>> u.s. tennis champion serena williams is asking for answers, also. she tweeted, i am devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer peng shuai. i hope she is safe and found soon as soon as possible. this must be investigated and we must not stay silent. >> we will continue to follow that and "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. that covers everything that's important to you. this is what it's like to have a dedicated fidelity advisor looking at your full financial picture. making sure you have the right balance of risk and reward. and helping you plan for future generations. this is "the planning effect" from fidelity. [uplifting music playing]
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