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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  November 22, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. acquitted. >> we the jury find the defendant kyle h. rittenhouse not guilty. >> a wisconsin jury finds kyle rittenhouse acted in self-defense. the high-profile case drawing sharp responses. what does the verdict say about
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the criminal justice system in america? our abc team standing by to tackle the fallout this morning. boosters for all. >> if you are 18 or older and you have been primarily vaccinated, go get boosted. >> the cdc approves covid booster shots for all adults as case counts climb with the winter season nearing. dr. anthony fauci joins us this morning with what you need to know to stay safe this holiday season. plus, we head to middle america where inflation frustration is soaring. >> it's ridiculous, and i don't understand how anybody's making it at this point. >> is relief in sight? and with the house passing biden's build back better plan, when will the senate act, and when will voters feel the impact? abc news exclusive. >> this is really the central nervous system. this gives us our power.
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>> rare access inside the nsa, the world's most powerful eavesdropping agency. >> announcer: from abc news it's "this week." here now co-anchor martha raddatz. good morning, and welcome to "this week." as we approach the thanksgiving holiday, millions of americans will be on the move. the tsa predicting travel may near pre-pandemic levels, and as covid cases rise once again, concern growing about another winter surge. the cdc on friday green lit vaccine booster shots for all adults. dr. anthony fauci is standing by, but we begin this morning with the dramatic verdict in the kyle rittenhouse trial, a case that inflamed debates in this country about race, guns, and vigilantism. the jury finding rittenhouse acted in lawful self-defense when he fatally shot two men and wounded a third during a turbulent racial justice protest
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in kenosha, wisconsin, last year. the victims' families expressed outrage at the criminal justice system as rittenhouse applauded the verdict. >> the jury reached the correct verdict. self-defense is not illegal. it's been a rough journey, but we made it through it. >> reporter: and here to analyze the fallout is our abc team following the case since the beginning, senior national correspondent terry moran just back from kenosha, chief national correspondent and "nightline" co-anchor byron pitts and abc news contributor channa lloyd. a managing partner of the cochran law firm. welcome to all of you. terry, i want to start with you. you were in kenosha covering the trial. give us a sense of what it was like there, watching that tearful testimony, watching the jury, and those questions the jury asked about seeing video again. >> that tearful testimony, kyle rittenhouse won this case on the witness stand and he was superbly prepared by his defense lawyer.
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the defense staged two mock trials with mock juries before the trial, one where kyle rittenhouse did testify, and one where he didn't, and the answer was clear, and so that questioning was structured at the wisconsin law of self-defense. the defense barely mentioned the second amendment in this case. this was not a crusade. they were trying to get the jury to focus in. i watched them, no dawdling, no nodding off. they were very focused and what the defense gave them was not a political case, but a case under wisconsin's law of self-defense, and that's what they asked for during jury deliberations. first thing, please give each of us a copy of the law of self-defense, and they went through that video evidence knowing a lot of evidence that a lot of people around the country don't know. there are a lot of guns going off that night and they came to this conclusion. it was not a crusade in that courtroom. it was a trial. >> terry, on that notion of
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self-defense, i want to go to you, channa. this has caused outrage and some vindication for others. when you look at this, given the way the laws are written, when kyle rittenhouse said self-defense, it was a tough case for the prosecution. >> absolutely, because once he established self-defense, it takes out a lot of the other things that people would want to argue should have affected this case. the fact he even had a gun in the first place, the fact he was only 17, none of those things matter when it comes to self-defense. what we're looking at is what he felt like in the moments in which he had to take that sort of deadly action. so we're only looking at the situation he was in, what someone else was doing to him, and how he felt, and whether or not he needed to resort to deadly force, and that's what self-defense is about. >> byron, in this trial, all involved in the case were white. rittenhouse, the men who died, but this case intensified the debate over racial justice and the legal system itself. >> martha, that's absolutely true, and for many people, it's not a debate. it's a cold, hard reality. in america, there's one justice system if you are white and
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wealthy. there's another if you are poor and a person of color. study after study shows that black men are arrested more often, convicted more often, and sentenced to longer sentences than white men accused of the same crime, and the same is true in discipline in schools, that disparity. here's a thing that speaks to this case and the concerns about this case. according to the fbi, a -- a fatal shooting where the shooter is white and the victim is black, three times more likely that's ruled to be justifiable if both parties were white, and so i think for most reasonable people, and most surveys would bear this out, the few reasonable people would believe that if a 17-year-old black boy with an ar-15 showed up in kenosha, wisconsin, at night, killed two people and injured a third, then that black boy would have been treated the same way
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by police or by the legal justice system. >> so channa, i want you to look at this in a larger sense and where the laws are now, and given what byron said as well, wisconsin doesn't have that so-called stand your ground statute, but their laws really are just short of that. >> absolutely, and i think what byron said is absolutely correct, because that is the larger focus people are looking at this trial in. is that had rittenhouse been an african american young man, would the sentence or the verdict have been the same? statistically what we find is that it would not be. that's what people are looking at this verdict in. it's not necessarily just about rittenhouse. it's about the larger picture of the criminal justice system, and how it disproportionately affects black and brown individuals when they are on the other side of that. >> and terry, let's go back to guns. in terms of open carry and the prevalence of guns, the judge, bruce schroeder, he dismissed
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those misdemeanor weapons charges against kyle rittenhouse carrying a military-style weapon at 17 years old. what does that mean? >> on the surface, that was unlawful under wisconsin law because minors are not allowed to carry deadly weapons, but the defense once again zeroed in. it's a badly written law because there's an exception. there's a part of the law that says if you are a minor, you're allowed to carry a long gun as long as you're not carrying a short-barreled sawed off shotgun, and they seized on that, and the problem with the judge is not that he ruled for the defendant saying that the defendants should not suffer because the legislature can't tell them what the law is in this badly written law. it's when he did it. the defense had asked twice for this charge to be tossed earlier in the case, and had he done so, the prosecution could have appealed, but this was a judge who i think wanted to keep control of this case. he did not want an appeals court looking over his shoulder during the middle of the case, so that
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was a problem. once again though, there were a lot of guns on that street. a lot of them going off, and it was a very chaotic situation. >> and byron, i want you to pick up on that. this was in the middle of a protest. >> oh, absolutely, and that certainly complicates this case and makes it very different say from the arbery case that's going on in south georgia. i think, martha, for the average parent, none of us wants to see our child, no matter their age, to be gunned down and killed in the streets of america, and so that's what's so complicated, what's so disturbing i think for many people about this case. certainly there's the constitutional right to bear arms, but again, few reasonable people think it's okay for a 17-year-old civilian, a boy, to walk into a space with an ar-15 and create an environment where someone loses their life. >> and channa, i want you to address the ahmaud arbery case in georgia, a major case. they are claiming self-defense as well, even though they were
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chasing the man who was shot. >> absolutely, and i think that the comparison in the two you can start to see the differences, right? in this particular case, they chased him with vehicles. they approached him with weapons and because he did not respond to them in a manner that they thought was acceptable, they continued this chase. then, he himself right now currently in that court case, they are using and vilifying mr. arbery. they're using words like he appeared angry, suspicious, you know, he was walking at -- or running at too fast of a pace. this is where we see the disparity in the fact that he's an african american male and he's using these sort of adjectives to be described and the initial action and interaction between them was created by the mcmichaels and by mr. bryan, and chasing him even though he had no ill words to say to them, even though he did not display any aggressive
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manner, and i think that's the disparity that we're talking about, and when we look at the rittenhouse case, even the judge in that case, the way he handled the defendant, the way he handled the case was very defense-friendly, and i think that's specific to that particular defendant. he's someone who seems familiar to them. he seems like a brother, a son. they identify a little bit differently with having mr. rittenhouse on the stand. so i think that affects the trial overall. >> okay. thanks to all of you. that's a case we will certainly be watching. thanks, terry. now to the latest on the coronavirus pandemic. the cdc on friday endorsing pfizer and moderna boosters for all adults, allowing millions more americans to get their third shots before hitting the road this holiday weekend. it comes amid a new surge in covid cases, up nearly 50% since late october. here to discuss is president biden's chief medical adviser dr. anthony fauci. good morning, dr. fauci. you have long been convinced about the data that shows the after six months, but it was -
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less than five weeks ago when the cdc chose not to recommend boosters for all adults. what finally changed their minds? >> well, i think the data became very, very clear. we were looking at data when i was saying that i really felt very strongly that we should be getting boosters to everyone. the data was coming from -- mostly from israel and other countries, but now that you look at the data as it's evolved in the united states is very clear. they wanted to make sure that the safety signals were right, and once that became very clear, right now very -- i'm very pleased that we're in a situation where there's no -- there's no confusion. there's no lack of clarity, that if you have been vaccinated with a primary vaccination, with an mrna vaccine, either the pfizer or the moderna six months or more ago, get boosted and the
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same with regard to j&j, if you were vaccinated two months ago, get boosted, and that's really now clear. there's no ambiguity about that, and we really hope that people go out there and utilize this very important tool to optimize their status with regard to protection. >> and connecticut and new mexico's governors say they don't consider americans fully vaccinated unless they have had a booster. you've said that's not on the table federally yet, but if the immunity drops so substantially without a booster, why shouldn't the white house adopt that standard as soon as possible? >> well, first of all, you want to go with the science, martha, and if you look at the data that we have, fully vaccinated right now by definition is the original two doses with the mrna and the pfizer and moderna, and the single dose with j&j. we'll continue to follow the data because right now, when we're boosting people, what we're doing following them, we'll see what the durability of that protection is. and as we always do is follow
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and let the data guide your policy, and let the data guide your recommendations. >> let's talk about later on. pfizer ceo albert bourla recently said there's a high chance boosters would be needed annually. do you think that's a possibility or do you believe it might be even sooner like every six months? >> you know, we follow the data, and there's always -- it's so easy to predict, martha, about how often you would need it. we would hope, and this is something that we're looking at very, very carefully, that that third shot with the mrna not only boosts you way up, but increases the durability so that you will not necessarily need it every six months or a year. we're hoping it pushes it out more. if it doesn't, and the data show we do need it more often, then we'll do it, but we want to make sure we get the population optimally protected and you do whatever you need to do, to make sure you do that. my hope as an immunologist and as an infectious disease person
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that mat ration of the response and increases its strength and power, and it will be followed by a greater durability. that's what i'm hoping for. it doesn't happen, we'll act accordingly. >> and dr. fauci, "the wall street journal" is reporting an incredible statistic that deaths from covid, official numbers are twice as high this year as last? how do you explain that? >> well, we're dealing with a delta variant right now which is very, very different from the original variants that we were dealing with before, martha. this is a virus that is highly, highly transmissible. i mean, no doubt about that. the more people that get infected, the more people that get hospitalized, the more people that get hospitalized, the more people are going to die. this just gets us back to the message that we're talking about. what we have this year, what we didn't have last year is we now have vaccines that are highly effective and clearly very safe,
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particularly now with the recent data showing that we can vaccinate children from 5 to 11, and it's really important to point out if you get the children at that age group and there are 28 million children within that age category, and if we start vaccinating them now, they'll be fully protected by christmas. that would be really something that's very good, and that's the reason we're encouraging parents to get children within that age group vaccinated. >> i presume we have to be cautious during thanksgiving. you talked about christmas protection with those boosters, but quickly if you will, thanksgiving? >> well, if -- if you are vaccinated and hopefully you'll be boosted too, and your family is, you can enjoy a typical thanksgiving meal, thanksgiving holiday with your family. there's no reason not to do that. the thing we are concerned about is the people who are not vaccinated because what they're doing is they're the major source of the dynamics of the infection in the community and the higher the level of dynamics
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of infection, the more everyone is at risk, but if you are vaccinated, you look at the data, martha. it's absolutely clear. the likelihood of getting infected, getting hospitalized or dying, if you are vaccinated versus nonvaccinated, weighs very, very heavily in the protection of people who are vaccinated. >> thanks so much for joining us this morning, dr. fauci. the round table is coming up. plus, as rising inflation threatens president biden's economic agenda, i traveled to kansas city to talk to voters about rising prices heading into the holiday season. we'll be right back. wow, we're crunching tons of polygons here! what's going on? where's regina? hi, i'm ladonna. i invest in invesco qqq, a fund that gives me access to the nasdaq-100 innovations, like real time cgi. okay... yeah... oh. don't worry i got it!
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what can we do about these high prices? how long is it going to take? >> well, first of all, it's real, and it's rough. groceries, the cost of groceries has gone up. the cost of gas has gone up, and as this is all happening in the context of two years of a pandemic, it's one of the highest priorities actually for the president and for me. >> vice president kamala harris acknowledging the inflation surge while speaking with our george stephanopoulos. consumer prices have jumped 6.2% since last year, a 30-year high, with the cost of groceries up 5.4% overall. some items like beef and bacon surging by more than 20%. i traveled to kansas city to see how the price hikes are affecting people ahead of the
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thanksgiving holiday. >> reporter: for the right, it's an easy attack line. >> one party rule in one year has given us the highest inflation in 31 years. >> reporter: for the left, it's a blip in an otherwise strong economic recovery from the pandemic. >> jobs are up, wages are up, values are up and savings are up. >> reporter: but in the middle of the country where inflation has hit the hardest, that insidious uptick in prices is a financial gut punch for many families like here in kansas city where even basic expenses are stretching budgets thin. >> did you guys set up your room? >> reporter: taletha mcfadden james and her husband have four kids at home and although both work, it's getting harder and harder to put food on the table. >> you have to check every
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single price. >> yes, i have to. >> reporter: one-time staples like a family-sized roll of ground beef, no longer price. >> this roll at one point was $18.67. this roll went up to $30.83. >> reporter: her typical weekly budget once covered six to eight meals, but now only lasts for two to three, forcing her to forego items like meat, produce and snacks. >> i don't understand how anybody's making it at this point. >> what do you need, babe? >> milk. >> reporter: in kansas city, the nonprofit operation breakthrough is trying to ease some of the growing burden. have you seen people who previously didn't need your help come in? >> the average family will use a pantry about three times per month. we're seeing that increase and definitely seeing families that maybe didn't have a need for it having a need now, and even some of our staff. >> reporter: that need, only expected to heighten during the holidays, and as the temperatures drop, utility costs
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rise, boosting the price of the average utility bill from $84 to $120. and heat, with winter coming. >> we know heat, and we know gas prices are going to be higher. obviously electrical. >> reporter: the pain of inflation is reverberating further up the supply chain as well. >> we had turnips going and we got strawberries we planted. >> reporter: katie nixon runs a family farm in missouri while her produce has increased during the pandemic, so has the cost of doing business. >> packaging is a lot more expensive. cardboard boxes went from $1.60 to $2.50. we have two farm vehicles that desperately need to be replaced. >> you've got higher prices for you to run your farm. you've got higher bills, and right now there's no end in sight really for this. >> it's hard because i know a lot of people are struggling, and we don't want to charge a ton of money for our food, but,
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you know, it is a premium product, and we also need to make a living. >> reporter: for taletha, getting by this year mnsoi without. let's talk about thanksgiving. what are you going to do? >> you know what? we're definitely not buying no turkey. >> reporter: and trying to make ends meet even as prices seem to climb even higher. you must be really nervous. >> i am. i am, and it does -- it does spark a nerve with me, and it does put a little fear into my heart because i have a family to provide for. >> a lot of nervous people. let's try to make sense of things now with our experts, abc news business correspondent deirdre bolton and diane swonk, chief economist and managing director at grant thornton. welcome to you both. deirdre, i want to start with you. people are struggling. you heard them struggling there, heading into the holiday. the white house has said this is a transitory problem, but is it more fundamental? is this going to stick around? >> well, martha, from your
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excellent reporting, we saw with those families, it's everything. it's food, it's gasoline, this 30-year high, so for them, it feels fundamental. it feels basic because it is. in speaking with an economist, he does say that in the next 12 months, that pricing pressures should begin to come down. the logic being that some of these supply chain issues, some that we have been hit so hard with, that is going to mitigate, and that is going to take down some of the pricing pressure, and in the near-term for the next six months, let's face it. we are all going to pay more for everything. rent, food, gasoline, the next six months is belt-tightening and it's a difficult time of year for a lot of people who would like to enjoy the holidays with their families. >> and diane, i know that the pandemic takes a lot of the blame here, but how did it really get so bad? supply chain obviously, but how did it get to this point where that package of meat went from $18 to $30? >> yeah, no.
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it's really a demand surge which is one aspect of it. first of all, inflation is global in scope. it's not just happening here. it's a demand surge, it was during the delta wave, the supply chains got even worse during that. we slowed down our spending which could have cooled off inflation a bit, and we started spending more on goods again, and in that process with the disruptions we saw through the delta wave around the world, further disrupting supply chains, and that further pushed up prices and we've got this perverse labor issue. we're in a pandemic and people are afraid of going back to work, and there's people on the sidelines and labor has gone up, but there's shortages. it's very complex, and there's no precedent for what we're going through, and even though inflation will get worse before it gets better, and it will eventually abate, and the federal reserve will raise
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rates, and i think the risk is lingering. rents are going up very rapidly that are still going to burn even after this cools down a little bit, and that's what the fed will have to worry about. >> deirdre, let's talk long-term here. we have been on this kind of just in time manufacturing system. no overhead costs. they're less than they were before. there are glitches in the system obviously. if a chip doesn't come through, the whole line breaks down. do we need to look at a more resilient system? deirdre, can you take this one? >> we sure do. this is a big, furry mess, and the whole irony of just in time was that it was built to be more efficient and we are now seeing the exact opposite of that. so we are seeing industries respond. no business leader wants to go through this ever again, and we have been talking about the auto sector, how there are cars just sitting on factory floors just waiting for a chip. i mean, otherwise, the car is
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put together, it's ready to go to a dealership, but there's no chips so it has to stay on the manufacturing floor. and gm and ford announcing strategic partnerships with u.s.-based semiconductor makers. you're seeing the changes in the way businesses make decisions and the way they're partnering up with other companies that are u.s.-based. tsmc, the taiwan semiconductor makes, depending on the industry, between 25% and 50% of chips some industries use. they're building a plant right now in arizona. now it's going to take some time. the first chips will come off the conveyer built in 2024. most experts say, okay, this is fantastic. let's get more chip factories built, but let's do ten more like this in arizona. at least one is on the way. >> diane, finally, is there any advice you would give to consumers right now? >> well, you know, what we're doing is we're going to be going through a very hard period, and if there's things you can delay,
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i actually think it's because of the issues we're seeing from just in time to just in case inventories. we're going to see a building of inventories by 2023. if you don't need to buy a car right now, wait it out. if you don't need to buy some of those other things that are goods that people have spent so much on, if you can wait it out a little bit, we're going to see some discounting on the other side of this, which makes it more of a boom/bust cycle. it is being able to pace yourself in terms of what you really need, and it's some things we've got during the pandemic. >> very good advice to all of us. thanks to both of you. the round table is up next, and later, pierre thomas takes us inside one of the most secretive places in the world. and grows into a new career as an astrophysicist. it starts with an engineer's desire to start over.
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agenda friday morning. let's talk about it with the round table, jonathan swan, abc news deputy political director averi harper, laura barone lopez, and chief washington correspondent jon karl, a co-anchor of "this week" and author of the new best-seller "betrayal." good morning to everybody. >> good morning. >> averi, i'm going to start with you. house democrats finally passed the build back better. lots of cuts and compromise. how much of a political victory is this for democrats? >> well, it's an incremental victory for democrats and for the biden administration because we know this is moving to the the senate. there's going to be a robust amendment process and a balancing act there because they want to get the buy-in of senators manchin and sinema, but also maintain the integrity of e progressive signposts for it, including paid family leave. this is something that's important and could get cut in that amendment process, and so we'll see what happens there.
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>> and laura, let's take a look at exactly what's in this bill. as passed in the house, the $1.7 trillion bill includes more than $150 billion for climate initiatives, more than $200 billion for paid family leave, more than $200 billion for medicaid and medicare expansion, $150 billion for elder and disabled care, and $109 billion for universal pre-k and more. this is truly a significant overhaul. >> it is, and it is the president's answer a lot to coming out of the pandemic and, you know, his argument right now is that this is help that a lot of families need, and so he's trying to really refine his message because we know that democrats have had trouble messaging this bill to this point because of the fact that it's changed a lot in the last few months, and it could very well change again as it goes to the senate, but the administration wants to make clear that they are rounding a the corner on this bill, and so the white house officials i've
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talked to keep sounding very confident about the prospects in the senate. yes, are there going to be some changes made? they aren't totally sure if paid leave is going to stay in. there is immigration provisions in there that are likely to get cut because of the parliamentarian and the budget process. they are really pushing for this to happen by the end of the year. >> i'm sure they are, and i want to pause here and talk about kevin mccarthy on the house floor. longest house floor speech in history, 8 hours, 32 minutes i think it was. what was the point of that other than beating nancy pelosi's previous record? >> it made the house look like the senate for a night. look, this was really about kevin mccarthy solidifying his spot as the republican leader. he went on that speech, he took after the bill of course, but he also did things like lament that donald trump hadn't won a nobel peace prize. it was about that audience, the audience of donald trump and trump supporters who have had doubts about kevin mccarthy.
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in my book, trump, when i went to talk to him, he said if mccarthy and mcconnell had fought harder, we would still have a republican president. after mccarthy's speech, trump praised mccarthy and he actually said, if mcconnell fought harder, we would have a republican president. he was no longer attacking mccarthy. >> i don't expect to get a mcconnell speech quite that long. ever. >> no. >> as jonathan said, this heads to the senate, and there it meets joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. they have been fairly noncommittal about that, but drill down a little deeper on what you expect. >> well, kyrsten sinema, they've almost divided responsibilities here like she has focused on the tax side and been very resolute about she didn't want the corporate rate to rise. she basically got everything she wanted already in the house bill. who knows? she may have other demands. manchin, they have no leverage over manchin. they never have, and the problem for progressives, you know, i interviewed rashida talib straight after the vote. she doesn't trust senate
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democrats. she said there are corporate democrats who don't have americans' best interests at heart and she's fearful is the word she used about what would happen in the senate, but the problem is they're going to have to eat whatever manchin comes up with because he responds to his voters in west virginia. he has a 60% approval rating in west virginia. do you know what joe biden's is? 32%. 74% of west virginians say they don't want him to pass build back better. they want him to cut it down on the spending side. so manchin can basically take the pen and do a few things to it and they're just going to have to swallow it. >> it would make west virginians very happy, but not everybody else, i suppose. >> he has already gotten some of what he wanted, right? originally this was $3.5 trillion, and that's now down to $1.75 trillion, and the white house tells me that they feel really good about their standing with manchin. biden has a strong relationship with manchin, and they regularly talk. they're constantly conversing and we can expect more face to face time between biden and
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manchin in the coming weeks. >> just to add on to what laura said, he's not behaving like someone who wants to tank this bill. the fact there's still -- they could have tanked it a long time ago, and so could have sinema. the fact they're having these conversations suggests they want to get to yes. >> and the democrats feel pretty confident about it. do you see any scenario, averi, where they can't stomach the changes, the progressives? >> i mean, look. this is part of the perception problem that the democrats have. outside of west virginia, you know, there have been major progressive concessions that have been made, you know, in this legislation. we know that democrats have struggled to get their entire party on board with some of the major pieces of the biden administration's agenda. so this could hurt democrats as we head into this midterm year where folks are really trying to figure out who they're going to be voting for. if you look at generic ballot polling, there's more voters
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according to our abc news/the washington post poll that want to vote for republicans if they head to the polls than democrats and that should send shock waves through the hearts and minds of democrats. >> and jon karl, about that poll, the republicans aren't going to keep pushing. we've got -- the poll out said 6 in 10 americans support this social spending bill, but the republicans? >> they've run this playbook before. you remember in 2009 when barack obama came out with his then-roughly $800 billion stimulus bill, smaller than this -- smaller than both of these bills and republicans even many elements of that bill were very popular. republicans ran against it saying this was big government run amok, too much spending too fast, and every single republican in the house voted against it in 2009. they ran that, and the opposition health care into a big victory into the midterm elections in 2010. that's what they're trying to do here. >> it's inflation now with that
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panel, how do democrats handle that? >> that's why republicans feel that they can go against this bill even though the elements of the bill are popular. they will point to inflation which everybody senses and everybody feels. it affects every household, and they will say, inflation is because of what joe biden and the democrats have done. now the economics of that may not be accurate at all, but they will push that argument and they will push it relentlessly. between now and next november. >> you see the white house trying to address that, right? this week president biden sent a letter to the federal trade commission saying you need to start investigating these gas prices. in multiple cases in that letter, he raised the issue of potentially illegal conduct because of the fact that fuel costs -- refined fuel is going down while these gas prices continue to go up. biden outside of the legislation itself is also trying to put this foot forward on these economic issues, really tout the revised jobs numbers good for the administration, show that the unemployment rate is down, but also show that they're trying to answer more forcefully these concerns among the public about consumer goods.
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>> and there's a reason for that, the midterms. they're still in a rough spot, even if this bill passes. >> it's the best political environment for republicans in a decade. take any metric. the generic ballot, presidential approval rating, the issue set, you can't spin your way out of inflation. you can say it's temporary, but if it's not temporary, there's a little problem every time the voter goes to the gas station or the grocery store, it smacks them in the face. with these bills, the alternative is obviously worse. if they fail, it adds to this sense of incompetence and it's catastrophic for biden, but no democratic strategist i've talked to thinks that these bills are some kind of, you know, magical elixir that's going to change their fortunes next year. it's the political environment, and if the current political environment persists, i haven't talked to anyone on either side who thinks the democrats can hold the house at the end of next year. >> averi, i want your take on
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that. we also know, of course, president biden is under the water in approval polls. >> right, but the fact is that his policies still remain relatively popular, and so that's why we're seeing the president -- we're seeing the vice president and other members of the administration and democrats across the country who are going to be holding all of those events to tout the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure plan and also this spending bill as well. they have to get this legislation passed so, you know, at this point it's -- it remains to be seen whether it will benefit them, but it could if they're able to get some of those results, some tangible results to the american people. >> and laura, "the washington post" is saying president biden and his aides are telling allies that he will run again. he will run again. why the reassurance? >> well, president biden if he runs again will clearly be the oldest president to run and to hold office, and so there are concerns among democrats about
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what that field looks like in 2024, and whether or not biden is going to run again. his staff from the campaign all the way through to now has consistently said he's running again. he is -- nothing is going to be different about this term, you know, that he is still in it, and so that's -- that's why they're doing this, because there are democrats wondering whether or not people like the vice president kamala harris, transportation secretary pete buttigieg, are trying to position themselves for the next chapter of the democratic party. >> and of course, jon karl looming all over this is former president trump, your new book "betrayal" just came out. already a best-seller. congratulations, but one of your revelations is that trump told rnc chair ronna mcdaniel he was going to leave the gop. our political director rick klein asked her about that thursday. here's what she said. >> i've never shared my conversations with the president. i'm not about to start doing that now, but i will say one thing that's very true that was
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said in that statement, which is if he left the party, we would lose. if he left the party, republicans would lose. >> not exactly a denial. >> as a matter of fact, actually that's a confirmation. it was on air force one as he was going to florida, ronna mcdaniel told him that republicans would lose. we would all lose, and all people that you supported would lose, and his answer was, i don't care. his attitude was, if i lost, everybody else around me should lose too. they eventually got trump to back down by threatening steps that would have cost him tens of millions of dollars, and he did back down, and now it's his party. >> and let's talk about trump, and the republicans, averi, and what effect this has. what do republicans do? there's lots of back room talk. i know. >> right. so i think what we're seeing is two different strategies emerging. i think on the national stage and in some of these ruby red
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districts, we're going to see candidates to continue to lean into former president trump, and want his endorsement and want his involvement, but in swing districts and larger state stages and gubernatorial races and senate races, what we are going to see is folks try to keep the former president at an arm's length, use the glenn youngkin playbook so to speak to keep support of the diehard trump voters and also get independents and bring dissatisfied voters into the polls. >> they need trump on board, and rallying the supporters, the trump fans out there voting, but they also fear if he runs again, he is so damaging as a national figure among independents, among women, that he'll bow out before 2024, but be there in 2022, and that's a difficult dance. >> very quickly, jonathan, just to end on that note what the effect is on next year, donald trump.
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>> well, what they're trying to do, and everyone's accurate in what they're saying is hold the trump coalition together. there's been a shift. noncollege-educated voters now moving towards the republican party. working class voters have been moving and they're actually breaking down on racial equity in support and class lines, but the question is, can you run this sort of glenn youngkin playbook and get some of these upscale suburbanites and keep them on board and still have these working class voters as well. >> thank you for joining us this morning, everyone. coming up, as the u.s. faces an unprecedented surge in cyberattacks, pierre thomas takes you where no network cameras have gone before. his exclusive report, next. his exclusive report, next. here cameras have gone before. his exclusive report, next. retirement income is complicated. as your broker, i've solved it. that's great, carl. but we need something better.
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now to our exclusive report from inside the country's most sophisticated electronic spy agency, the nsa. abc was granted a never-before-seen look at how we -- officials are using powerful technology and expertise to thwart a growing threat on the homeland. here's pierre thomas. >> reporter: this is the integrated cybercenter. abc news, the first network permitted to take cameras into the one of the most sensitive and secretive rooms on the planet. >> this is the military civilian contractor, this is department ofefse, this a our government, and they're all resident here, working side by side. >> unlimited reach? >> unlimited. >> reporter: this general
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oversees the world's most powerful electronic spy agency, the nsa. >> i'll lay this out if you don't mind. >> reporter: this is the nsa, cybercommand, supercharged with the world's most advanced spy ware and the most creative hackers. >> in cyberspace, the advantage goes to those who have speed and agility. >> reporter: we conducted our interview in what's known as the battle bridge to oversee crises. >> that's where we just were. >> reporter: the cyberthreat spiking and the agency evolves increasingly pushing them to step out of the shadows and to engage with other federal agencies and private sector partners as well. >> what we don't want to have is a failure to imagine what's happening. >> reporter: the adversary, nations like russia, china, iran, north korea, and their proxies, also terrorists and criminal organizations. >> in russia, we think about their ability to influence operations. >> reporter: he is more and more focused on security domestically as well, mindful of what russia did in 2016. >> election security is our number one priority.
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number one priority across our agency and our command. >> reporter: but the general also warned that the u.s. is under incredible and constant hacking. the military itself hit by millions of attempted hacks every day, and the home front is under no less pressure. is there capability out there for someone to attempt to attack our power grid, our financial systems? is this science fiction or is this a real world threat today? >> this is a real world threat today, no doubt, pierre. >> reporter: in recent months, so-called ransomware attacks have been exploding. >> if you would have asked me a year ago and said, hey, paul, what about ransomware, i probably would have said, that's a criminal matter and not something we do. >> reporter: not unlike the one that shut down the colonial pipeline that was a seminal moment for the american public. what was your reaction? >> i heard about it in the media. my first reaction was this, this is serious.
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secondly i heard about it from family members. hey. aren't you the commander of u.s. command? can't you do something about this? >> reporter: when you saw people pulling up to stations that said closed, what were you thinking? >> at that point in time, i was thinking, we need to surge on this issue. what do we need to do to make sure we can assist in any way possible? >> colonial pipeline is responsible for 45% of the fuel that flows up and down the east coast. how could they be so vulnerable? >> i think that's a, you know, a question we all have to ask ourselves. what are the things we need to be able to do to make ourselves a much more difficult target? >> reporter: i asked him what grade he would give the cybersecurity efforts of american companies. >> a much higher grade than six months ago. >> what would the grade have been six months ago? >> probably a low c. >> reporter: with so much more engagement with the private sector, he's mindful of the red lines. can you guarantee the american public that you're operating within the appropriate guidelines and that you're not spying on americans? >> 100%.
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>> personal commitment? >> personal commitment. >> reporter: so much at stake on so many fronts. >> and pierre thomas joins us now. pierre, that was an extraordinary report, and incredible access. what's your big takeaway? >> martha, as you know, the nsa is so secret. it used to be known as no such agency. i was struck by how dynamic and intense this cyberwar is, and the fact that nsa and the supersecret agencies are reaching out in ways they did not in the past to the private sector including companies like microsoft. this war is epic. there are thousands upon thousands of people at the nsa ad more to come. >> and we know you'll stay on it, pierre. thanks so much for that report. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight," and have a happy and safe thanksgiving.
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there are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people--psychopaths and mystery writers. i'm the kind that pays better. who am i? i'm rick castle. castle. castle. i really am ruggedly handsome, aren't i? every writer needs inspiration, and i've found mine. detective kate beckett. beckett. beckett. nikki heat? the character he's basing on you. and thanks to my friendship with the mayor, i get to be on her case. i would be happy to let you spank me. and together, we catch killers. we make a pretty good team, you know? like starsky and hutch, turner and hooch. you do remind me a little of hooch. (steve mcdonald's "not bad at all" playing) (grunting) ♪ how does it feel when things are going your way? ♪ (grunting continues) ♪ you pick a lucky number every day ♪ (grunting continues) ♪ how does it feel when things feel like they should? ♪ ♪ how does it feel when things are... ♪ (grunts)
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♪ good? ♪

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