tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC May 2, 2021 8:00am-8:59am PDT
>> announcer: >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. cautious optimism. >> i think we can confidently say the worst is behind us. >> more than 100 million adults now fully vaccinated. the country eyeing a return to normalcy. >> our plan is to fully reopen new york city on july 1st. >> but as the u.s. seems to near a turning point, india in the grips of a devastating surge. >> there are people who are dying on the streets. >> the administration sending aid, restricting travel. back here at home -- >> america is on the move again. >> president biden selling his ambitious agenda to the american era.le. arican jobs plan is a io
ponding to republica united in oppo bring us together should not be pushing agendas that tear us apart. >> we cover it all this morning with national security adviser jake sullivan, republican conference chair senator john barrasso, dr. ashish jha with the latest on the covid fight, and our powerhouse round table. plus, ten years since the top secret raid that took out bin laden. tell us what was happening in that room. the critical mission as it all unfolded. "this week" where we begin on a hopeful note this morning. the answer to that question we have been asking for more than a year, when can we get back to normal? it finally seems within reach. while there's concern about a
drop in vaccinations, more than 100 million americans have been fully vaccinated, and covid cases continue to drop. the director of the cdc saying if this trend keeps up, july 1st, just two months from now could be a reasonable reopening target. before, president biden touted that progress at his joint address to congress wednesday as he outlined his vision for america. expansive, sweeping initiatives, igniting a debate about the steep cost, but while the pandemic news here in america looks positive, the virus is still upending much of the rest of globe. india in the grips of a crippling covid surge. images of bodies being cremated around the clock, shocking. even after a year of heartbreaking covid stories worldwide. the dire situation and concern over variants prompting restrictions on travel from india starting tuesday. "the new york times" south asia
bureau chief is based in new dehli, and has been sending powerful reports from his home there. we spoke with him a short time ago about the country's deepening crisis. >> when i step out on my balcony, the first thing i smell is smoke. there are massive cremations that are taking place across the city and across this country. so many people are dying of coronavirus, and it's creating these huge clouds of smoke that just hang over the cities. we're experiencing the worst crisis that coronavirus pandemic has produced anywhere at any time. just about everybody i know has somebody in their family who is sick, and what's really scary is the health care system is collapsing around us. the hospitals are totally full. they're running out of medicine. they're running out of oxygen. people are racing around the city trying to get help.
there are people who are dying on the streets because they can't find even the most basic things, wspeak, the almost 400,000 infections, new infections every day, and maybe 4,000 deaths. all the information we're getting is that's a gross understatement, so the problem here is way bigger than i think everybody realizes at this moment, and there's just this sense of fear circulating across the city right now. >> and our thanks to jeffrey gettleman. there's so much to discuss this morning with our first guest, president biden's national security adviser jake sullivan. thanks for joining us this morning. i know the u.s. is providing some aid, and barred travel, but there are a number of republicans and democrats who believe the united states is not doing enough and want even more supplies sent. what more can be done now, and how concerned are you about these variants? >> well, thanks for having me, martha, and first, in a crisis
at this speed and ferocity, we always wish we could move faster and do more. we're proud of what we've done multiple plane loads and we're talking very large military plane loads of supplies including oxygen and diverting raw materials, including therapeutics that can help save lives and we're going to continue to source additional materials to move them as fast as we can, both directly from the united states and galvanizing partners around the world. we are concerned about variants. we're concerned about spread. we're concerned about the loss of life and also all the secondary effects that emerge as this pandemic is out of control in india. >> the white house is pressured to temporarily wave patent rules
from vaccines left by people like bernie sanders who argue that by relaxing those intellectual property rules, these country could produce their own generic vaccines much quicker. the democrats in a letter saying, he should prioritize people over pharmaceutical companies. what's your reaction to that? >> well, here's the basic bottom line. we believe that the pharmaceutical companies should be supplying at scale and at cost to the entire world so that there is no barrier so everyone getting vaccinated. our ambassador is engaged in intensive consultations at the wto to work through this issue, and we should have a way forward in the coming days. >> and i want to move to president biden's joint address before congress this week. he's proposed trillions of dollars in domestic investments saying it was necessary to keep up with places like china. those plans have received a cool reception from many republicans. i'm sure you're aware of that, and even some democrats like joe manchin who said we shouldn't spend money for the sake of spending money.
what does it mean for our competition against china if the president can't get his infrastructure and jobs plans through congress? >> as the president has said, we're going to be engaged in a stiff competition with china in the years and decades ahead, and the united states needs to approach that competition from a position of strength, and the number one thing we can do to accomplish that is to invest in ourselves, in our infrastructure, in our innovation, in our manufacturing, in our people, and that means the bold far-reaching investments, and everything from research and development to an updated electricity grid to all of the job creating, middle class growing investments joe biden has proposed. that's not just good for our economic security, but our national security, and it's critical from my perspective as national security adviser to make the case to republicans and democrats alike that this is in the national security interest of the united states. >> is joe biden willing to make concessions?
>> joe biden has said that he's prepared to talk to anyone, e ge can pass, and that can get the job done, and the job, martha, is to make the kinds of investments across the board in all the areas i just talked about so that the united states truly is able to do as he said many times, build back better. >> i want to talk about climate change. while most republicans agree that china is a top foreign policy challenge, some are critical of the white house's efforts to work with them on climate change, worried that the president will have to make some tradeoff on things like human rights. here's what my next guest, senator barrasso says. we should not turn over our energy dominance over to the foreign powers of china. that are actively seeking america's decline. president biden said he wants to make sure every nation plays by the same rules in the global economy, including china, yesterday his administration seems determined to fall for china's grand deception.
china is playing the united states for the fool. your reaction? >> well, first, president biden gathered the world leaders, 40 of them in a summit hosted at the white house to deal with the existential challenge of climate change, and to drive home the argument that every country including china has to do its part. the united states is prepared to own and win the clean energy race for the future which itself is going to create millions of jobs and enhance our national security, but we are also going to hold other countries accountable, including as president biden has said, making sure there can't be a race to the bottom. china will not be able to get away with polluting industries and export those goods to other workers. we will not permit that to happen. we have clear eyes about the path ahead, but we believe it's in the best interest for the united states to be the clean energy superpower of the world, and not china or anyone else.
>> iran said it's reached an agreement with the nuclear deal for your administration to lift a raft of economic sanctions to help get the agreement back on track. is that accurate, and are you talking about a full rollback of sanctions? >> we have not yet reached agreement in vienna, which is where the talks are taking place right now. there's still fair distance to travel to close the remaining gaps and those gaps are over what sanctions the united states and other countries will roll back. they are over what nuclear restrictions iran will accept on its program to ensure that they can never get a nuclear weapon, and our diplomats will keep working at that over the coming weeks to try to arrive at a mutual return to the jcpoa which is the iran nuclear deal on a compliance for compliance basis.
so the short answer, martha, is, there is no deal now. we're hoping to make progress and achieve the objective that president biden has laid out. >> speaking of nuclear, north korea is warning the u.s. will face a grave situation because president biden called the north a serious security threat. you have talked about being somewhere in the middle, between trump and obama. neither of those plans worked with new york. why does a middle ground seem possible? >> well, first, martha, our policy towards north korea is not aimed at hostility. it's aimed as solutions. it's aimed at ultimately the korean peninsula. we're engaged in diplomacy towards that objective, but work on practical measures to make progress towards that goal. we believe that rather than all for all or nothing for nothing, a more calibrated, practical, measured approach stands the best chance of actually moving
the ball down the field towards the challenge posts by iran's nuclear program. >> thanks very much for joining us this morning. >> thanks for having me. now let's bring in wyoming senator john barrasso, chair of the republican conference. good morning, sir. let's go back to president biden's speech on wednesday. you've hammered the president's $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, as did senator tim scott during the gop response on wednesday. what's the biggest sticking point for you? >> well, it's the trillions and trillions of dollars of reckless spending. when i look at this, this is a staggering amount, similar to someone with a new credit card, and these are for things we don't necessarily need, we can't afford, but they will delight the liberal left of the party. it seems to me this is a cradle to grave role of government, whether it's paying for child care for everyone, college pay for this, and it's almost
creating an addiction to spending. it's either massive new debt to china as well as massive taxing, probably the largest tax increase in 50 years, and anybody that says this is going to be just on the 1% or big corporations, i mean that's just phony math. americans understand that with this kind of spending and this their wallet. >> our abc/ipsos poll shows half of those willing to poll are willing to raise their taxes if it'll help the economy. >> i want people to take a look at this and say, what is the impact on me? when the biden administration is going to be on corporations, it's going to be seen on anybody that earns a paycheck. small businesses, families, and people that will pay through expenses in their life with cost of living going up, and whether that's gasoline prices, grocery prices, and i will tell you
democrats are also getting concerned about the spending, realize, they're going to be held accountable in the 2022 election, and some democrats most privately are saying, this isn't sustainable. we cannot continue with this reckless borrowing and spending coming out of a pandemic. >> and the democrats, top democrats are willing to make concessions or break the plan into chunks, and are contemplating a counteroffer of $568 billion. could you get behind that? >> well, yes. we are working closely with the administration. we had four of us that represented this plan the other day. it is focused on core infrastructure. roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, things people think of when they think of infrastructure. things that will get our economy firing on all cylinders.
the problem is of course, president biden's proposal, only 6% of the money goes to bridges and things. the rest is for electric cars. >> the 6% for roads and bridges figures you and other gop leaders have cited has been fact checked multiple times. the total amount for what you have called traditional infrastructure, roads, bridges, waterways, public transit is more than 25% of the biden plan. so do you want more? >> well, what we're working with, and as we talked to biden thursday, i have been working regularly with the other powerful joe in washington, joe manchin, and we're focusing on core infrastructure. president biden calls it hard infrastructure as opposed to soft infrastructure. so i believe there's a deal to be had if we leave things out
like the green new deal, and justice. $500 billion to $600 billion is a massive amount, and we ought to start with the core. when i started the public works committee which was planned the past 21 to 0. i voted for it and bernie sanders voted for it. it focuses on building faster, better, cheaper, smarter, and wing about core infrastructure that the president talks about as hard infrastructure. >> on our abc/ipsos poll also, 67% of republican leaders in congress are doing too little to compromise with joe biden. you are a republican leader. so are there places where you could compromise on the president's agenda? where you see a good opportunity to meet him and democrats in the middle on this?
>> with coronavirus relief we did five bipartisan bills, each of which got over 90 votes and when president biden came into office, and gave the speech about working together on inauguration day, we made really good faith efforts in the covid relief package. he ignored all of it. he did this with budgets to reconciliation with the slimmest margin of votes. ignored republicans. we want to work together on this with true infrastructure, and i think there's a deal to be had. >> well, we'll see if that happens. within your party, former president trump continues his attacks on leaders. you worked closely including mitch mcconnell and liz cheney there in wyoming. how damaging is that, what the president is doing to your party? >> well, president trump has a remarkable record of accomplishments in his administration. working together, president
trump along with leader mcconnell in the senate, we were able to confirm three justices to the supreme court, conservative justices. we were able to rebuild and eliminate regulations, rebuild the military. it was the strongest and i in a generation. >> let's go back to mcconnell to get liz cheney out. >> we need to get beyond all of this so we can win back the house, win back the senate, get united on the things which we agree, and then successfully stop the far extreme efforts of this biden administration, and those that are taking the country towards socialism. >> okay, that question not exactly answered. we appreciate you coming on this morning, senator. the round table is up next, and later as covid cases continue to fall in the u.s., we'll talk to dr. ashish jha about the steps toward resuming with normal life. stay with us. ashish jha
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as we step out, bay area, lets step up our march towards social justice and health equity. join aids walk san francisco live at home, streaming on may 16. register today aidswalk.net america's moving, moving forward, but we can't stop now. we're in competition with china and other countries to win the 21st century. we're at a great inflection point in history. >> we should be expanding opportunities and options for all families, not throwing money at certain issues because democrats think they know best. >> president biden and senator tim scott delivering their addresses on wednesday. here to discuss that and more, former new jersey governor chris christie, former chicago mayor rahm emanuel, rachel scott and
odi cornish. good morning to you all, and rahm, i want to start with you. we're just over 100 days into joe biden's presidency. you gave his speech within wednesday an "a." what do you hope he does in his next presidency? >> i gave it an "a" because i think it was authentic to his person which is very important at this time. his decency, his common sense and his approach in being approachable, and i do also believe because the agenda is right for america in this moment, investing in its people and investing in its country. both research development, infrastructure, educational opportunities, and it's broadly popular as you've seen. i also think the reason it worked is because it basically upended and flipped the switch on how republicans attack. they go after their character or the caricature of democrats.
joe biden comes through and makes that -- takes that off the table, and in addition, the caricature is tax expenditures. not a lot of the republican criticism is about -- they're talking about the spending, but they've left taxes off to the side, and president biden is goading them to come forward and try to have a debate about higher corporate -- corporations paying their fair share, wealthy people paying their fair share, and that to me has work exem -- extremely well. another thing he's focused on is investing in america. republicans are left with a culture war. in a 2018 election midterm, donald trump was totally focused on the culture war. the border, left the economy off the table. the democrats focused on health care. we've run this issue before, so if we focus on where the american people live their lives, what their agenda is,
which is what joe biden is doing, and republicans try to side track on sexual orientation, gender or race, that's a good way to go into the midterm election. >> chris, i think senator barrasso used your line about the speech, about a credit card. i think you said it was a 15-year-old credit card holder, joe biden. so what are your expectations, based on what rahm just said? >> well, you know, look. what's happening here, and you're going to see a lot more focus on the huge increase in the family business tax that joe biden is proposing, that any family who tries to pass a business or a farm down to their son or daughter or grandson or granddaughter are going to pay a huge new tax and be forced to potentially sell their farm, sell their business to pay that tax. they're not going to want that, and when they see the stoke market tank if he is able to double the capital gains tax, and in some ways this destruction, in 401k and ira, and how are they going to retire?
they're not going to care about how amiable joe biden is at that point. $6 trillion into that economy. i'll tell you what's going to happen. we're going to have wild inflation in this as well. it's fine. we're 14 weeks into the biden administration. he is playing to role, in terms of what comes out of his mouth, be you not to be a unifier and a moderator through the wildly liberal agenda he's put forward. republicans have to have some patience, and i have patience to let these policies which i believe are wrong-headed and will be proven to be wrong-headed play out over time, and then the amiable joe biden will look like the isolated joe biden. >> okay. you can take that on, if you
want, but now a new total of $6 trillion, and it will fundamentally shape social and economic policy. it looks like he does want to be a transformational president. >> i don't look at biden through the lens of sort of perception and political perception, but what he went through with the obama years, right? where he also came upon a crisis that administration overcame a crisis, and that solving of the economic crisis at that time really only helped the top of the economy. it left a lot of families out in the cold literally in terms of the housing crisis. now let's look at facts on the ground. stock market is doing well. you have families who are in a pandemic sort of realizing what can happen if there are safety nets that are taken away, and you also have, you know, the country has minted billionaires over the last couple of months.
so as an american person, a n r, you have to say, what is iit you like universal pre-kit going to be hard to tell people, you don't deserve that. you don't deserve support. it'll be interesting to see a republican party that has really weakened its deficit hawk arguments during the trump years combat that with an argument about spending. >> and rachel, we've talked about his lack of bipartisan support before, but it does look like he is now signaling that he's willing to make concessions on the infrastructure plan. >> yeah, but i did think it was interesting while the president said he wants to work with republicans on this, he also said during his speech wednesday night that doing nothing is not an option here, so now we're seeing the white house employ
this strategy where they're taking the proposals on the road and trying to sell them directly to the american people. the white house says these proposals have bipartisan popular support among the american public, but a lot of people want to see joe biden compromise. in our latest poll, 51% say joe biden is compromising just the right amount here. there are roads being made and discussions happening, and i talked to someone who said she talks to the white house every single day and she says there is a debate over what is infrastructure, and the republicans told me the price tag on this, and the tax hikes are a nonstarter. >> biden also seems to be gambling that a heavily polarized country is ready for big finance through tax increases. that's a stark difference from the two most recent democratic
administrations. >> martha, i think we've got to go back, and look at the last 100 days from the relief bill, and the investment family plan. there's a consistency here. it has wide support among democrats, very deep and popular. a majority of independent voters and a mice neighbor -- 25% of 30%. from pre-k to free community college, to broadband, it is popular what he's offering and he's also offering -- i think there are two ways of paying for it. one, those who are doing very well, and wealthy individuals, taking on that fight, and this is where he gets lost. this is where they'll find the revenue is the tax gap. those who actually have an obligation to pay and are cheating on their taxes and that's where you will find the revenue for what i think is traditional infrastructure and broadband, and this could be a real track here. i do think in this case that
consistently the president's agenda, and then him personally is wildly popular with keeping democrats energized and committed to him, and a wild number of independents keeping him loyal to him as well, and 20% of the republicans who don't want to be associated with the trump republican party. that is consistent, and that is a real good shield and protectant as well as offensive. >> chris, i just want you to take that on. >> well, you haven't heard me mention one cultural issue tonight. you haven't heard me mention it last wednesday night when the president made a speech, so rahm said some strawman so he can knock it down, so let's listen to what rahm just said. get ready, everybody, for a new weaponized, aggressive, in your face in every aspect of your life, internal revenue service. that's bringing people together, a real uniting force for the american people. because everyone loves the irs. let's have them in every aspect
of your life to see if they can squeeze another nickel out of your pocket for joe biden to spend. if you look at what's going on here, what's going on is that joe biden ran as a moderate uniter, and he is now governing as a bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, way out socialist liberal, and i'm willing to let that take some time for americans letting that sink in. the president is getting a little bit better, martha. he hid9 relil where only 10% of the money was spent on health care. he's proposed an infrastructure bill where 25% is actually infrastructure, and we're applauding that because the first bill was so bad. look. he's got to start telling the truth to the american people, and he's got to start governing like he ran, not like elizabeth warren and bernie sanders who were rejected even by the
democratic party. >> i want to ask you, is there a risk that biden is pushing too far too fast? >> i would say that the politician who introduced bfd is not the person to ask that about. his legislation from previous experience is the honeymoon is very short, and bipartisanship can at times appear to be a mirage, and he doesn't see the markets as the cure-all. there's a lot pushing him in this direction, and t be honest having covered politics this year, i'm surprised to hear politicians talk about the bipartisanship that they engage in because i think to the average american they don't hear that. they don't hear that in the rhetoric and in the actual votes when it gets down to it so i'm not sure sort of how those arguments land with regular
people because that's not the politics we have been hearing the last few years. >> and polling seems to really back that up. and, rachel, ron touched on this. >> this is a massive challenge, and the president even admitted that his own party is splintered. i was talking to senator elizabeth warren and she was delighted to see the progressive pushes such as child care, but when i talked to joe manchin, he was emphasizing bipartisanship, and his colleagues told me this makes him feel uncomfortable. democrats can't afford to lose a single vote if they decide to go with this on their own, but they have these slim and narrow majority in the house as well. right now they can only afford to lose two votes. that may change a little bit with these upcoming special election, but not a lot of wiggle room there. >> martha? >> go ahead. >> one of the things we haven't
mentioned is going not only into the agenda, but the elections. you have a growing economy, unlike what happened for president obama and president clinton. the economy didn't take off until later on in the second half of the first term. it is growing at a very rapid pace. that gives both forward momentum and second down payment on that investment. gives incredible vulnerability, and when you have that, it's the early warning signs. that is tilting blue in both states which is a good sign going into the midterm. a lot of folks will look at that and say, look at the calculation. president biden is having an economy that is strong and getting stronger which gives credibility both to the second installment of the investment in america and americans and credibility as it goes into the
election which did not happen for both president obama and president clinton which is why the agenda flipped back going too far. i think the american people are going to support someone who is moving early on. >> chris, we have about 30 seconds to wrap up. police reform, can he get that through? >> if he works with senator tim scott to make sure you work with police, not against them to bring reform and that you work with the police fairly and justly. it can be done, martha. we worked with the camden city people to get reform done in the city of camden. it can be done in washington. i think tim scott and joe biden are the two keys to that because the outliers on both sides will not be helpful. >> thanks very much, chris. thanks to all of you. coming up, dr. ashish jha joins us with his outlooks for the weeks and months ahead.
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which on friday reported over 400,000 new cases, a global record. for more, let's bring in our friend dr. ashish jha, dean of the brown university school of public health. good morning, dr. jha. you heard the very frightening report from the "new york times" reporter in india. beyond the great personal tragedy, how does this affect the efforts world wide to fight the pan democrat snick. >> yeah. good morning. thanks for having me on. it's a huge challenge. india, 1.3 billion people. they're having just a horrible outbreak right now. we've got to help india get this under control for a variety of reasons, certainly humanitarian and geopolitical. from a public health point of view, that large of an outbreak is fertile ground for more variants. there are many, many reasons we've got to be very, very deeply engaged to get this outbreak under control.
>> so the biden administration is putting travel restrictions in place in india starting tuesday, but it sounds like there really should be concern about the spread of this strain possibly here, and whether it can evade existing vaccines? >> so the main variant that we're seeing spread in india, 617 -- b-1617, won't be evading our vaccines yet. most of the data suggests our vaccines will hold up, but of course, when you have major outbreaks like this or the opportunities for more variants and ultimately what we need to do is get this under control. as i said, purely for humanitarian reasons. we just don't want tens of thousands of to people dying every tay -- day, but second, variants will spread to other parts of the world, including the united states. there are a lot of reasons to be getting this under control. >> vaccines here, things are improving with the number of vaccines now administered, but
the pace of vaccinations is sliding. we've seen michigan announce a plan to tie this to vaccination rates. west virginia's governor offering $100 savings bonds to people who get vaccinated. what more needs to be done to encourage everyone to get vaccinated? >> yeah. now it's the ground game. all the people who really, really wanted a vaccine have we neento the 70s and 80s because kids won't be vaccinated for awhile, and i think it's about making it extremely easy. walk-in clinics and doctor's officers. also getting religious leaders and society leaders to advocate for vaccinations. it'll be important if we can get a chunk of that vaccination with shots into their arm. >> and the cdc issued new guidance this week on wearing masks outdoors. critics saying some of the
guidelines aren't very clear, and don't offer detailed explanations and there's no system to determine who is vaccinated and who isn't. are there any concerns about you with these guidelines being confusing? >> yeah. i thought the guidelines were a good next step. the big picture to take home, and look. some of the details can be confusing. the big picture take-home was, if you are fully vaccinated, outdoors was in very, very crowded space. the key issue now is what about indoors? infection numbers are still above 50,000 a day, and almost half of adults are not getting vaccinated. cdc will be hesitant on pulling back indoor mask mandates, and i think that's right. we'll see that pull back as well. this is a pretty dangerous time to be unvaccinated, but what cdc is signaling is if you are fully vaccinated, freedoms are just becoming safer and safer for people.
>> and you have said earlier el worst is behind us. so do you think as the cdc director said that july could be a target date for reopening cities like new york city? >> yeah, absolutely. i saw what july 1st mayor de blasio said, i think is very achievable. it's all dependent on vaccinations, but if we keep going at the slower pace, if we keep vaccinating americans, by july 1st, you'll see much of america feel close to normal. it won't be 100%, but it'll be close the what life was like before the pandemic, and as i said it's going to depend on vaccinations, but i'm very optimistic. >> that's good news for all of us. thank you so much for joining us, dr. jha. just ahead, as the u.s. prepares to withdraw all troops from afghanistan by the 20th nie 11th attacks, a special look inside the historic raid to kill osama bin laden. that's next. side the historic rl
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we went to afghanistan to get terrorists. the terrorist attack was 9/11, and we said we would follow osama bin laden to the gates of hell to do it, and we delivered justice to bin laden. we degraded the terrorist threat of al qaeda in afghanistan, and after 20 years of valiant valor and sacrifice, it's time to bring those troops home. >> it was, in fact, ten years ago this very weekend when joe biden was vice president that u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s killed osama bin laden in a secret and daring raid on a compound in pakistan. that raid coming after one of the most intense manhunts in history. >> there is one report as of yet unconfirmed that a plane has hit the world trade center.
>> reporter: osama bin laden was the most wanted man on earth, intelligence and military scoured those rugged mountains, but on may 1, 2011, ten years after hijacked airliners brought down the world trade towers and a chunk of the pentagon, geronimo. >> geronimo meant? >> we got bin laden, killed him. >> reporter: joint chief at the time, that's him behind president obama in the white house as they watched the navy s.e.a.l.s descend on bin laden's compound in realtime. >> there was a lot of risk. we felt comfortable that we could get in and out of pakistan without being detected in a timely way. we felt we could get into the compound.
>> reporter: for mullen, it was personal. he was in the pentagon a decade earlier when one of the hijacked planes slammed into it. >> the plane flew in under -- basically under my office. my two assistants looked out the window and saw a 757 fly in under their feet. >> reporter: the navy lost 42 people that day, among the nearly 200 killed in the attack on the pentagon. ten years later, it was the navy that would dominate that raid on the bin laden compound. mullen meeting those s.e.a.l.s before they headed into pakistan. >> sort of the final dress rehearsal, it involved up to 48 to 50 s.e.a.l.s, and then i specifically met and shook hands and looked every operator in the eye to, one, express my gratitude. two, you know, are they ready to go? and i was very confident that they were. >> reporter: but in the days leading up to the raid, secrecy was paramount. >> you needed to keep this very, very close because if bin laden
or his people had gotten wind of any potential operation there, he would have been gone. >> reporter: and mike mullen and all those involved in the raid knew how to keep a secret. >> please welcome the president of the united states of america. >> reporter: just 24 hours prior to the raid, president obama and others involved in the operation were at the white honnnd.as believed to be the failure to find bin laden did not throw the president. >> people think bin laden is hiding in the hindu kush, but he hosts a show on c-span. >> i remember taking pictures with you, seeing you, i knew you pretty well. i never would have known anything was up. >> but i think what made it all work at the white house correspondents' dinner is we acted as if everything was normal, and that was the plan. >> reporter: but not everything went according to plan.
there was the harrowing moment when one of the helicopters' tail sections hit a compound wall. >> that picture captures a lot of intensity. it was incredibly intense, and it almost froze the place. >> reporter: but as mullen and then-vice president biden clutched their catholic rosary rings, the skill of that helicopter pilot saved the day. minutes later, the navy s.e.a.l.s entered the compound and took out bin laden. >> and right after we heard geronimo, i looked down to the vice president and he's getting his wallet out and he's about to put his rosary ring, you know, into his wallet. i said, mr. vice president, i've got 48 or 49 american sailors and soldiers illegally in a country. i've still got to fly them out. i've got to get them back to
jalalabad, and then i've got to fly them through pakistani air space to get the body out to an aircraft carrier. please put that ring back on. now is not the time to stop praying. >> i suspect he put that ring back on. >> he did. >> reporter: hours later with the mission fully complete, mullen left the white house to celebrations echoing around him. >> i left alone, and i walked by the rose garden, and i could hear out in lafayette square, this chanting, usa, usa. [ chanting "usa" ] >> dominated by young voices and that's sort of when it really hit me, is how significant it men who had been 9 or 10 i en -w were taken down, that wme for
of raised it to how significant this really was. >> indeed it was, and eventually led to the demise of al qaeda. i asked the admiral how he feels about president biden's decision to withdraw all u.s. forces after 20 years. he said, while he has concerns, it is the right decision. it's time to come home. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight," and have a great day. sunday with us. check out "world news tonight," and have a great day.
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