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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  January 26, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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for that. jonathan, kick us off. >> reporter: first on the response to the pandemic, two matters there. first, could you provide a little more detail as to how much more of the vaccine is going to be distributed and how quickly to these states? we have heard the governor sound the alarm that they're desperately low on what they need. and has cdc considered a manner of testing of passengers for all u.s. domestic flights? >> jonathan, the first part of our effort is certainly to ensure we are more effectively and efficiently working with governors and local officials who have expressed some frustration in recent weeks about the lack of information and the lack of a federal plan. we've only been here six days, but we want to take steps as quickly as possible to address that. and part of that will be what the president updates us all on this afternoon, and i would be a very short-lived press secretary if i got ahead of the president, and we're having so much fun in here so you don't want that to happen. on the second question on
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testing, we're constantly evaluating our health experts steps that need to be taken to keep the american people safe. we announced some travel restrictions, as you know, yesterday. i don't have any additional restrictions to preview or announce for all of you. i will remind you that tomorrow is the first day of our briefings that will be happening approximately three times a week that you can all tune in and learn more from our health experts on our plans. >> reporter: on another matter, on impeachment, the president yesterday in an interview said he did not believe that former president trump would be convicted and, therefore, removed from office, but said he felt like the trial had to go on, anyway. could you please explain what he meant by that? >> sure, let's put this in context of last night. last night the house impeachment managers delivered the articles of impeachment to the senate with a dramatic walk over, as you all carried on television. and, you know, the president was referencing a fact that he referenced in his statement just a couple weeks ago when the
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house passed the articles of impeachment themselves, which is that now, of course, it will move on to the senate. as he also said at the time, he hopes, and i'll quote him here, the senate leadership will find a way to deal with their constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of the nation. he still continues to feel that way. so last night they delivered the articles. the next step, as you all have reported and people watching at home know, is for the senate to proceed with their trial. he is going to allow them to move forward at the pace and manner that the leaders in the senate determine, and i can promise you that we will leave the vote counting to leaders in the senate from now on. >> reporter: last question. why is the president so reluctant to express his personal opinion as to what happened? we understand he's not in the senate anymore, but he is the leader of the democratic party. why won't he say what he believes should happen? >> the president believes the senate has the constitutional duty to proceed on how they see
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fit on holding the former president accountable. he spent 36 years in the senate. he's no longer there. as president of the united states, he feels his role is to deliver on what he promised for the american people. so that's what he's trying to do every day. go ahead, peter. >> reporter: a little housekeeping as it relates to what's going on in the senate right now. when is the last time that president biden spoke to leader mcconnell? >> he has spoken with leader mcconnell, as he said, spoke with him a couple of times. >> reporter: since inauguration. >> i'm not going to read out specific calls to all of you on the pace or number of their phone calls. >> reporter: i guess the question is this is someone who always said, the president, his strong suit is his ability to work with both sides of the aisle, and he very strongly said it's being difficult to work with the republicans. why doesn't he demand they get it done?
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>> that would make very dramatic television, but steven drease is speaking with different wings of different parties about our plans and our commitment to getting the covid package passed. but our view is nthat a lot of those conversations should happen one on one, should happen in small groups, and that's the most productive way to move this bill forward. >> reporter: there seems to be a little bit of difference in how dr. fauci and president biden saw getting to herd immunity. the president said by summer we'll be working our way to herd immunity. dr. fauci said we'll be closer to being back to normal by this fall. just so it's clear for americans what the administration is promising or telling them, what should we expect that takes place? >> well, the president is certainly pushing his team every day to deliver results as quickly as possible, so as part
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of his comments yesterday, he also talked about his desire to ensure there is greater availability in the spring, and certainly his hope that every american will -- that more americans will have access as quickly as possible. but he has also said many times it will take months and months for a broad swath of the population to be vaccinated, and, as always, he's guided as we all are by scientists and medical experts, and certainly dr. fauci's guidelines of when we can expect for a broad swath of the population to be vaccinated. >> reporter: for specificity on the vaccine stockpile yesterday, the cdc director and yourself didn't have a specific number. where do we stand at this moment? >> well, the president will have more of an update this afternoon as i previewed earlier -- >> reporter: do we have our hands around that now?
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>> certainly. we monitor updates on a daily basis through tiberius and multiple symptoms that have available numbers on vaccine numbers distributed from states, what they have received, what they have distributed. we're connecting all the dots to ensure we have our best understanding of where the hold-ups are. we, of course, have that assessment, but we're continuing to dig in every day on what the issues are. why isn't the vaccine getting out to states? what is the holdup with vaccinators? why aren't they getting the supply they need? later this afternoon, he'll have more of an update on additional vaccine supply that we'll make available to states. >> reporter: thank you, jen. so there are some reports that fema is now planning to reroute up to $10 billion in money that could be used to combat covid-19
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right now, to preemptively combat climate change by building seawalls and helping with flood-prone homes. i'm wondering if there is thought to waiting until covid is behind us to do that. >> peter, i had not actually seen that report before we came out here. as you know, the president's first priority is getting the pandemic under control and doing everything needed r, putting al the necessary resources behind that, but i'm happy to check back with our team on that specific report. >> reporter: the president said he hopes the senate leadership can do an impeachment trial while working on the people's business. what if they can't? >> well, as president, you always have to be hopeful, of course. th that's your role as a leader, to push leaders, to push democrats and republicans to make more progress. but i think what the president will continue to do privately in
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his kconversations with members of congress, democrats and repub republicans, but also make a cause of a course of action. democrats and republicans don't have the space and time to wait, that there is an urgency, that the american people are going to continue to push members who are representing him on, and i don't think they think there is an alternative other than to move forward with urgency. >> the riots in portland and the violence in portland recently, there was some discussion earlier about the january 6 writers being reviewed by the dni about domestic violent extremists. are the riots in portland also being viewed in the same lens, or is that something different? >> you and i talked about this yesterday and conveyed that all violence happening around the country will be reviewed as part of the tasking that was done by that national security team. i don't have anything to preview on it. >> reporter: on covid relief, we've heard republicans come out in opposition in broad brush
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strokes at this point, but in terms of the conversations brian drease is having, the president or anyone on that team, has the president come forward to give you an alternative? what is happening with these negotiations? what are they telling you they want? to go, to stay? what alternatives are they giving you. >> well, cecilia, you have the benefit of having covered congress for quite some time, and you know none of them are quiet about what they like and don't like, and they often say it publicly. the president and members of our team are hearing many of the same, you know, expressions of support and sometimes expressions of questions about whether the package needs to be the same size, whether it should be targeted in this way. those are the same questions that they are hearing privately. but what the president is also hearing privately and what members of our team are also hearing privately is that they expect him to be focused on this package. and they will be as well. and they hear and understand the
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urgency, and as you know from covering this for quite some time yourself, oftentimes things come together right before there's a vote, right? the president kind of alluded to this yesterday, but we feel democracy is working like it should. he laid out his package, his big vision of what it should look like and people are giving their feedback and he's happy to have those discussions and fully expects it's not going to look the same on the other end. >> i want to flip the answer you've been giving saying it's been five days or six days, give us some time to catch up with that. i understand that. on the inverse, it's six days. why don't we know about this stockpile? what are the biggest hurdles in getting these answers? slauai said the results were exceptional. why is it taking so long? >> six days in. well, six days in, the president is also giving an update on
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steps we're going to take to provide more vaccine supply to states across the country. in response to their concern, there has not been a federal plan in place and they haven't received the coordination, cooperation and information they desired. in my view that's a pretty rapid response to states' concerns. we do have an assessment. as i referenced tiberius, which is quite a website name, i should say, it sounds like a creature, but it provides publicly available information on vaccine supply that's gone to states and what's been used. it doesn't mean it's perfect. oftentimes it isn't. but our concerns and our focus is not just on the supply, that's part of the issue, it is also ensuring that states have the number of vaccinators they need, so that means people who are literally taking the shots and qualified to put them in the arms of americans. and some states in some communities don't have people who are able to do that. and vaccine centers and places
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where people can go and receive the vaccine. so there's multiple steps in this process, and our focus is on ensuring not just the supply is at the rate it needs to be and that states have more advance notice, this is one of the things governors will tell you and have told us, that it is very difficult for them when they find out a day before, a couple days before, that they're going to run out of a supply or when the next supply or shipment is coming. they want more time. that's something we're also working on. those are all pieces that are part of this herculean task that our team has undertaken. >> reporter: senator schumer last night said he wants president biden to consider declaring climate change a national emergency, to give him power similar to what his predecessor president trump did with the wall. is that something the president is considering? >> well, the president has long said it is one of the four crises that he believes are central to the presidency and central to his time as the
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commander in chief and the president of the united states, addressing the threat of climate. so he is not only taking actions, executive orders, taking actions that fall under the purview of the president, but also he has pushed to find ways to work with congress on taking additional steps moving forward, too. there will be more we ever to share on efforts of climate in the days ahead, but i don't think leader schumer has any doubt about the president's commitment to this, and certainly the fact that he has called it a crisis, he said it is central to the issues he wants to take on in his presidency speaks to his commitment on the issue. go ahead. >> reporter: two more questions, to bring it back to covid response for a second. one of the questions that's come up is how much money is needed to respond to the situation we're in. is it 1.9 trillion or some other
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figure? do you have an assessment of how much is left to put toward these issues? how much is left to spend? >> as brian drease said last week, the problem with focusing on the $900 billion package, it's catching up for what had not been done for the prior six months. so what we're really focused on now is what is needed more immediately now, of course, but also in the months ahead. and as i was alluding to a little earlier is what the president thought we needed. we don't get anywhere near the march cliff, which would mean the end of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, the end of ai assistance, the end of ppp for businesses, and as you know, people need security. what we're trying to do now is provide that. so this package was designed not
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with a number in mind, we weren't trying to get a shock value, sticker shock value. the president relied on health experts and everyone else who recommended this is the size and the components that are needed now, not just to distribute the vaccine but to provide certainty and a bridge to the american people to get to the other side. >> reporter: do you have a number right now for how much is for vaccine distribution alone, how much you have to spend as compared to what you've asked for? >> i'm happy to check with our team on that, but i will say that what we're looking ahead to is where are we in a couple of weeks and where are we in two months? and nobody wants to be having a conversation in may about why our schools aren't open and about why millions of people have been kicked off unemployment insurance. so part of our role here is to look ahead, and that's exactly what we're trying to do with this package. >> one otheri issue. president trump signed an executive order restricting
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exports of vaccines that are manufactured within the united states. that order is still in effect. first of all, what is your assessment of exactly whether drug manufacturers are able to send these vaccines overseas? can they do that under current law? and, two, will you take any action to reverse that executive order? >> that's a great question, and we've talked about, obviously, rejoining the world health organization and ensuring we are a partner to the global community on this effort only makes us safer and the american people safer, but i would have to check on the specific expert question for you. go ahead. >> jen, the national covid strategy the administration released a couple days ago says, quote, the united states will accelerate the pace of vaccinations by encouraging states and localities to move through priority groups more quickly. what is "more quickly"? how should governors interpret that, and will you provide more detail or guidance for state
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officials on how they should be doing this? >> the answer is yes. ther there is a call to governors this afternoon on vaccine supply and steps we're taking from the federal government to ensure they have all the information they need and also access to supply they need. in terms of pace, the guide will be, of course, published by the cdc. they have their first briefing tomorrow. we'll see if they have an update on that. really, what we're all trying to endeavor to do is ensure that we have not just more supply but more vaccinators, as i noted, more people in communities who can vaccinate, more centers and locations that can provide these vaccinations. so all of those components will lead to expediting. we're not asking states to do this on their own. in fact, we are trying to reset and be partners here in a more effective way than we've seen in the last ten months.
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>> reporter: health officials seem to be recommending double masking. is that something the white house would like to see? >> i've seen some of those reports. i haven't seen that come officially from the cdc, but again, i encourage you to ask them that question tomorrow and i defer to them on any new guidance on that front. >> reporter: with regard to the defense production act, what is the timeline ramping up production of supplies, specifically specialized s syringes, and has the cdc been in talks with any specific companies or manufacturers? >> it's already been invoked and underway, so those efforts to ramp up production are already underway. they started as of less than 24 hours after the president signed that executive order and made that announcement last week. i don't have any specific companies, i don't think, to kind of preview or read out for you, but i'm sure we can follow up and see if there's more specifics to provide on the specific companies. >> reporter: is the department of defense considering plans to deploy military national guard
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to help with the vaccinations, be those vaccinators in communities that are underserved? >> certainly across the government everybody is going to play a role in covid and addressing covid. in terms of their specific plans, i would send you to the department of defense. >> reporter: this is for a reporter who can't be in the room. what are the administration's plans for guantanamo and restarting military trials for detainees, one case announced last week? >> i don't have anything new on that. i'm happy to follow up on that for you as well. go ahead. >> reporter: i wanted to circle back to peter's question. dr. fauci on fox today went back to quoting 100 million doses in 100 days. did the president misspeak when he said the new goal is 1.5 million shots every day, or was he operating on something else? >> the president didn't actually
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say, the new goal is. he said, i hope we can do even more than that. of course that's a hope. he is continuing to push our team to get as many americans vaccinated as quickly as possible. that's why we set the bold goal of 100 million shots in the arms of americans in 100 days to begin with. i would add this has literally never been done before, and what he has asked the team to do and what the team is focused on doing is also planning for contingencies. we're at war with the virus, so in a wartime theme here, there are a lot of things you plan for, including trucks breaking down, freezers breaking, needing to plan for that, not having vaccinators in a location to be able to put the syringes in people's arms. >> reporter: would the 100 million number be more accurate? >> that's what we've set and continues to be our goal. but does ehe want to beat that
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goal? of course, he does, fof course, he does. it's a number that was set with contingencies we need to keep in mind, and he's preparing to meet that goal and go with it. >> reporter: in terms of the racial equity goal, does the white house support overturning small business administration language that prohibits people with records from accessing ppp relief? it's something that the hill had supported. >> i know i talked a little bit with our economic team on this issue earlier, but i'll have to circle back with you. >> reporter: david kessler said that most americans would not be vaccinated until the third or fourth quarter of this year, he said that last week. president biden spoke and said we could possibly have herd immunity as early as this summer. that's a difference of a couple
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months. i wonder if you could reconcile the difference there and talk a little bit about herd immunity and when americans will be able to be vaccinated. >> it's sort of the question peter asked earlier, but the president is pushing his team to deliver results, and his goal is to ensure there is a greater availability in the spring and that it continues to improve in the summer. everybody won't be eligible this spring, as you all know, even as the cdc continues to provide updated guidance. but he would certainly defer to medical -- health and medical experts, and obviously the guidance of dr. fauci on when we may be at the pace of reaching herd immunity. but, you know, we will continue to update as more progress is made what the goals look like. >> reporter: following up on that, in terms of data collection, it's my understanding that something like 50% of the vaccinations are coming in without racial data. is that accurate or is there something else there? i'm wondering how you'll measure
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success in vaccinating people of color in vulnerable communities if you don't have the data on who is getting vaccinated? are we seeing the mobile outreach to those communities in terms of vaccines? >> yes, absolutely, that will be part of it. but also part of it will be working with pharmacies and working with health centers in communities so that communities across the country, rural communities, communities of color have easier access to know where they can going and get a vaccine. but this is going to be hard. we're not trying to sugarcoat that. that's why everyone who comes and speaks about covid talks about the challenge of vaccine hesitancy and how we're going to overcome that, and it won't just be about having centers, it will also be about overcoming a lot of these contingencies i mentioned we have to plan for,
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about more effectively communicating with people about the safety of the vaccine and really being thoughtful about who we're using to communicate. so it's going to take a multi-faceted approach, and we are open-eyed about the challenge. >> reporter: another part of that question, is it accurate there is very little, at least 50% that want to have vaccinations? >> i would ask you to ask the cdc tomorrow and they can answer that question. >> reporter: we've seen after january 6 there is this issue of white supremacy and racism across this country. how do you measure success for something like that, especially when we think about all the different ways our country is dealing with it. i know these eeos are about housing and criminal justice,
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but can you tell us how the president is going to roll with issues of racism? >> i think what the president will sign later this afternoon is an executive order that makes racial equity and addressing racial equity a priority across the government. how the president talks about this is that far too often we think of issues in the racial equity bucket, shall we say, are only related to a couple of categories, and that's just not accurate. we need to address racial equity in terms of health disparity, we need to address it in terms of access to lending and loans, we need to address it in terms of a bias and discrimination as it relates to housing. what this executive order will do is make it a priority and infuse expertise and personnel to ensure we're addressing issues that impact people of color across the country every day, and not just every few months when it's an issue that comes up and prompts
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questioning. go ahead in the back. >> reporter: thank you, jen, and thank you for making sure everybody has the opportunity to ask questions. i really appreciate that. i have one on housekeeping real quick and then i have a domestic and foreign policy question. you've got some beautiful screens behind you. your predecessors have rejected multiple requests to bring back the sky scene for the benefit of reporters who are trying to stay safe with the pandemic by working remotely. we do anticipate bringing back the skype seat? >> we would. people don't usually realize this, but there's normally about 60 people in this room. i think that's the right number. that's certainly something we would be happy to have in this room, and i think all of you would, too, because you're asking questions on behalf of your colleagues. but we also -- we rely on the advice of our health and medical experts on what's safe, not just for us but for all of you. and having everybody sit seat by seat wouldn't be safe. i know that's not what you're
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asking, but we would certainly be open to taking questions via skype. i took some questions on twitter the other day, we're going to try to take some questions by the american people that they ask on youtube, so we'll continue to look for ways to not just bring back the daily briefing but to take questions from more reporters and people. >> reporter: this is the foreign policy question. during the campaign, mr. biden had said he would give benefits to the palestinians but he didn't specify i go he would ask, any concession. is it the belief that the palestinians don't have to make concession to get funding or a consulate? >> i think i've talked about this particular issue enough in my old days at the state department to know i'm going to defer to our national security team and the state department and jake sullivan on any more specifics. obviously the president's view continues to be that a two-state solution is the only path forward, and that, you know, that continues to be the
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position of his white house and administration. >> reporter: finally, this on behalf of a colleague not able to be here today due to social distancing. does the president believe he can attain unity with the 700 million trump supporters while holding an impeachment trial after he's left office? >> the president's view is he was elected by 81 million americans in part because they believed he was somebody who could help bring the country together, unify the country around addressing the crises that we face. when he talks every day, nearly, about getting the pandemic under control, putting people back to work, he's not just speaking to people who voted for him. he's speaking to all the american people, including the 70 million who didn't vote for him, and certainly addressing the pandemic, ensuring that people don't worry about the health and safety of their grandparents, of their sisters and brothers. getting kids back to school, that's not a partisan position. that's a leadership position and
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one he's taking because he wants to make sure he's delivering for all the american people. >> reporter: the president spoke with merkel yest-- counselorricl yesterday. is he determined to use all the tools he has like sanctions to stop the keystone pipeline project? >> i don't have any more for you on the particular readout, but i can convey that we continue to believe, that the president believes in that nordstrom 2 is bad deal for europe.
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he looks forward to continuing to consult with our european partners on this issue, and if there's more to share from his conversation with chancellor merkel on it, we'll get back to you.
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>> is that something in 2021 you can see the white house support? >> that's a lot of steps that need to take place and i don't know the entire process of the olympics, but i would certainly think send you to the u.s. olympic committee and the national olympic committee first on what their offer is and what their assessment is for japan's
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preparedness for the olympics. go ahead right here. >> jen, on all contingencies, if these covid vaccines need to be tweaked or changed because of these emerging variants, how is that going to complicate your rollout effort? >> well, dr. fauci spoke to this a little bit last week, and i suspect this will be one of the lines of questioning with our health and medical experts when they have their first briefing tomorrow, and they have spoken to both assessments that have been made about the efficacy of the vaccine, even with the new variants, and how they are evaluating, you know, what the efficacy will be moving forward. this is something they will continue to look at through a medical and health lens. so i don't think i'm going to have a new update or assessment for you from here, but it's something they're looking closely at and the president will continue to encourage them to be as honest and straightforward with the american people as possible. >> reporter: one of president trump's last acts was to grant protective status to venezuelans
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who are in the united states. i believe that still stands. can you give us a bit of your position on that? >> sure. let me see. let's see, well, the overriding goal of the united states is to support a peaceful democratic transition in venezuela through free and fair elections. he has long been clear, the president, that is, that his administration's approach to venezuela will focus on addressing the humanitarian situation, providing support to the venezuelan people and reinvigorating multilateral diplomacy to press for a democratic outcome and pursue individual human issues. i don't have any more for you on the protective status. of course our national security team is doing a review of all the positions put in place by the trump administration and we'll provide an update when we
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have one. go ahead. >> reporter: ambassador rice outlined all the disparities when it comes to americans of color, being infected and dying of covid at higher rates. does the white house blame the prior administration for creating those disparities we're seeing? >> disparities in color existed long before the trump administration, but what didn't happen is situations put in place for people of color, health care, a public campaign on how communities of color could gain access to health care and treatments, and certainly the action taken by the prior administration to, for all intents and purposes, destroy the affordable care act didn't help any american and certainly it didn't help communities of
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color. the vaccine, as you all know, we did not have the scientific and medical breakthrough until late last year. and now it's incumbent upon this administration, the biden-harris administration, to ensure that we are taking steps to increase access, but also to communicate more effectively with communities of color about the vaccine and the efficacy of it, and that certainly is a primary focus. that's one of the reasons why dr. marcella smith is leading the task force and is a pivotal part of the covid team, and i will say being in the transition, she was not a person known certainly by reputation, but she wasn't known by president biden previously, but he was so impressed with her as a member of the task force that certainly it was important to have her as a member of the team to discuss exactly this issue. last one, says jonathan.
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>> thank you very much. if i could ask a follow-up, i would appreciate it. the president granted arkansas and other states to require work for some medicaid recipients. that was challenged in the court, the court struck it down. the trump administration pushed it in the supreme court and it ended there. does president biden support those issues? what's the position of the administration? >> i would send you to our department of justice colleagues to discuss anything related to a legal case. i would say that president biden does not believe as a principle it should be difficult for people to gain access to health care, and he's not been supportive in the past and is not today of putting additional restrictions in place, and he's spoken about that publicly, too. >> reporter: and then if i could follow up, yesterday former president trump endorsed sarah huckabee sanders as governor of
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arkansas in 2022. where did president biden stand on this and how list is this on his list of priorities? >> how high is the republican gubernatorial list for the president? i don't expect he will get involved in this race, but also politics is not front and center in his mind at this time. he's focused on getting the pandemic under control. >> reporter: who is leading the governors' call today? >> jeff saenz will be one of the health officials, or i should say policy officials who is on the call today. there may be others but he's one of the primary leaders. >> reporter: last one. i'm bragi breaking jonathan's r. >> reporter: since president biden has spoken to president putin, can you give us an update
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on the nature of their call? >> i can confirm for you the call was scheduled. the call has happened, i believe, since i've come out here, so we will, of course, be putting a readout of the call out. but since you gave me the opportunity, i will just convey to you that he called him -- called president putin this afternoon with the intention of discussing our willingness to extend a new start for five years, and also to reaffirm our strong support for ukraine sovereignty in the face of russia's ongoing aggression, and also to raise matters of concern, including the solar winds hack, russia placing bounties on the military in afghanistan, the imprisonment of alexei navalny. his intention was to make clear
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that the united states would defend our national interests in line with russia. we'll have a readout for you, i assume, sometime early this afternoon. thanks, everyone. >> reporter: thank you. >> we just got a big development there at the end, but just a few headlines to dispense with. the white house is still not putting out a number on how many vaccines are available, and the white house says that joe biden intends to make the case for covid relief in private. a lot of executive actions as well that are focused on racial equality. as i bring in our chief political analyst gloria borger and laura coates and kaitlan collins, kaitlan, that was some interesting news at the end that while jen psaki was briefing, president biden has spoken with vladimir putin, and, i mean, what a priority list of things he talked about, extending the treaty to a new start, supporting ukraine obviously
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with the russian invasion there, and also talking about these bounties that russia placed on the heads of u.s. soldiers in afghanistan, which is something the trump administration had not done. also russian opposition leader alexei navalny, dealing with his arrest and the peaceful protesters in russia. what a call, kaitlan. >> reporter: yeah, it's basically everything the white house with president trump refused to discuss. when it was first reported about those russian bounties paid by the taliban, the white house disputed the numbers multiple times, even though it did exist, we confirmed that. they said it wasn't unanimous consent over whether that intelligence was true. we know the president gets briefed on things that are not concrete intelligence, but back then the white house would not even talk about that when asked if the president was going to confront president putin about
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that. jen psaki said it happened while she came out to do this briefing, but she had the intention of bringing that up with him, and the solar winds hack, the hack we saw that was so pervasive of not only the federal government but private companies as well, that a private company actually had to alert the government about. that raised a ton of concerns because intelligence experts said it was going to take months to understand just how deep into the system they had gotten. but also this poisoning of navalny which, of course, the last white house had been kind of reluctant to put out a statement from president trump on that. we saw ones from the state department and others. so what a different nature of a phone call than what we would have seen in the last white house just a few weeks ago. and, of course, the story of four years was president trump's friendly overtures to president putin. this seems to be a very different call with the russian leader. we haven't gotten an actual readout from the national security council. that's who lets us know what goes on with these calls with
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foreign leaders as president biden has been handling those since he took office. we'll wait to see what is brought up. sometimes the intentions of what you bring up, maybe they don't hit every single target, but the intentions of what they had to speak with putin about was completely different than what we saw with president trump when he w was in office. >> what a 180, gloria. >> a total 180. to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. after congratulations, mr. president from vladimir putin, joe biden, who has a previous relationship with putin, you should know, and it hasn't been a pretty one, will launch into his list of everything that he needs to get settled and wants to talk about with putin and lay some threats out, i would presume. >> yeah. no, definitely. and then until we got to that putin part, it really seemed like the vaccinations were very much the headline there.
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kaitlan, it's worth pointing out that the white house still is not revealing what they know about how many vaccines are available. we're going to start seeing these briefings here tomorrow, right? aren't they at some point going to have to answer this question? >> reporter: yes, they will. and the idea they just got into office is going to be something that really is something they can say for not much longer. they are running the federal government in the white house. jen psaki seemed to think we would get an update from president biden on that. he speaks this afternoon. it wasn't on the schedule last night. they added it today. they talked about a call that jeff ziance, his coordinator, had today. but you're right, they have not been able to say what exactly is in the stockpile. that's been a big question given if they're making these plans for vaccinations and where they will be, it would be helpful to
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know what's exactly in there. we'll wait to see if we get that this afternoon. one other thing that is notable is yesterday when we were in that press conference with president biden, he said he hoped that by this spring every american who wanted a vaccine could get one. of course, that would be by the end of june would be that marker, which is pretty ambitious and something we heard from trump officials. jen psaki said every american will not be eligible to gate vaccine based on what they're seeing right now by the spring. that's something that needs to be reconciled, is when exactly is that expectation, what's it based on, and you're right, we could start to get that when these covid briefings start with health officials starting tomorrow. >> gloria, the president is working behind the scenes talking about his covid relief package. >> oh, constantly. i think there are two things. one is getting people vaccinated, the other is getting the stimulus package. and they're not unrelated because he needs the money, as
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jen psaki kept saying today, for people who will do the vaccinations, for centers, to open up centers, large centers where people can be vaccinated. i think these are his two major concerns. and i think she tried to clean up a little bit of a mess that he created when he talked to kai kaitlan, and she said we will leave the vote counters to the members of the senate from now on. mr. president, you're not a member of the senate anymore. sd >> there are a lot of executive actions that are conditioning. talk to us about those. >> the problem with the executive actions, of course, is a problem every other president has when they're reversed by the whim of the other signator.
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so the problem many organizations have is if you don't caudify these sort of actions on a legislative basis, having that bipartisan support, it can't carry over to the next administration if they were to try to undo it. so you have this idea of a system of laws where we want to have deterrent aspects to conduct our affairs accordingly, but if you don't have the certainty you would have to have it kaucaudificaudified, it can unfortunate results. we have a body here not only trying to undo the previous president's actions but also to set a really big example of what precisely he wanted to translate from the rhetoric of the campaign trail to now. the question, of course, is whether he'll be able to do any of this with the help of congress as well, as gloria pointed out. >> it's a lot of whiplash from one administration to the next, as you point out there. we do have some breaking
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news. an apology just delivered to congress from the acting capitol police chief. she's apologizing for security failures during the capitol riots on january 6, telling congress that we, quote, failed. this is acting chief yoganonda pitman, coming under fire for the office she commands. what did the chief say? >> reporter: in remarks she listed out several answers to questions we've been asking from the beginning which is what did you know and when did you know it, today admitting they did know there were some participants intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event -- this is a direct quote from her congressional remarks. we also knew there was a strong propensity for violence that the department was prepared in order to meet these challenges but did not do enough. again, that is the question we've been wondering, where was the intelligence failure? was it that they didn't know or
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they didn't act on what they did know. she's offering some insight today, and it appears what she's admitting today, brianna, is they simply didn't act on the information. she said the department failed to meet the high standards of both congress and the department, brianna. >> and the pictures are stunning. they speak for themselves, whitney. officers are not happy about this, as you're well aware, whitney. they have a no confidence vote. who would they have no confidence? >> this is an action we previously reported on, officers telling cnn they simply felt abandoned by leadership. now it appears they're considering to act on that, considering an act of congress that would specifically target officer pitman and other chiefs there that day. they said they had no faith in the leadership on scene that day, brianna. >> imagine being one of those officers. it was incredible.
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whitney wild, thanks so much. great report. in minutes from now we'll hear the president speak about racial justice for the country. senators are sworn in to oversee the impeachment trial of former president trump. stay with us for extended coverage.
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impeachment trial a. >> cited an insurrection at the
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capitol january 6th including a capitol hill police officer. trump was impeached twice and for now senators are officially sworn in after the house delivered the article of impeachment last night. this all sets up a dramatic file, during which democrats will lay out evidence of the president's action and words leading up to the attack along with the actions of his ally. >> we will walk down and i will be there with you. we will walk down any one you want but i think right here we're going to walk down to the capitol, and we're going to cheer on our brave senators. congressmen and women and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you'll never take back our country with weakness. you have to show strength and you have to be strong.
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>> those comments among others happened moments before the march to the capitol and attacked it. for two months, of course, the president had been lying to the american people, telling his supporters that the election was stolen, saying it was fraudulent. arguing towards the end there that vice president mike pence could overturn it during the official electoral vote count in congress. trump and his allies, including the allies that organized that rally, promised it be would wild. officials are still making arrests, charging insurrectionists as new evidence continues to come to light. that includes evidence of trump's efforts behind the scenes in his failed attempt to overturn the election. let's go to cnn chief congressional correspondent for a preview of what we're about to see. manu, explain what is ahead for us. >> yes, senators from both parties will be sworn in as jurors. they are the ones who are going to hear evidence, they are the
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ones that will have to decide whether to vote to convict donald trump and whether to prevent him from ever holding office again but this is the beginning of that process. one by one each senator is assigned a jury book to essentially say they will listen to the evidence and they will make their decision to uphold their oath. them afterwards the president pro tem of the senate, patrick leahy, who is a democratic senator, the most senior member of the body who will preside over this trial, not chief justice john roberts and patrick leahy. he's expected the president and his attorneys are requested for a trial and at that point things will go behind the scenes for a couple of weeks as each side will work on the paper this is work, their briefing materials to make their argue manies on e arguments on each side. one of the key things to watch is a vote that kentucky senator ranned paul plans a procedural vote aimed at calling the constitutionality of the trial. while this will not succeed,
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democrats have the vote to reject it, it will put republicans on the line and force them to make a decision to side with donald trump or rand paul or keep their minds open, the option open, and potentially even vote to convict donald trump. some top republican senators, including john cornyn, john barrasso, members of the republican leadership told me just moments ago they plan to side with rand paul. but other republican members of the leadership including roy blunt would know say which way he would lean. it's still uncertain which way the senator republican leader will come down on that question because as we know, the key part going forward will be whether or not this trial is constitutional. republicans are leaning to the idea it is not. they're sitting how behind closed doors and hearing from a constitutional expert jonathan turley who is arguing it is not constitutional. democrats say it absolutely is. a former president, that is something they plan to make a central part of their argument. but a key test vote this afternoon, pushed by
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conservative senators to put republicans on the line to choose between donald trump or suggesting that this trial can go forward. >> manu raju, thank you very much. wolf? >> thanks, jake. at any moment we're expecting president biden to talk about racial equity policies. following last year's police shootings of unarmed black men p the nation experienced the racial reckoning and ground swell of protests. the president is set to sign a new set of actions focusing in on housing, prison reforms and more. let's go to our senior white house correspondent phil mautingly. phil, the president issued, what, 33 executive actions. what are we about to see today? >> yeah, wolf, you're about to see four more. quite the split screen for a white house who made very clear they want their work to be about moving forward, not what's happening in the senate or their predecessor. today it will be thrusting the issue into the forefront, something the president talked about throughout the campaign trail particularly as the
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company was convulsed by racial strife over the course of 2020. these executives or today as susan rice, top domestic policy adviser laid out, will not just be at the center of the white house or particular agency, as part a whole approach. where they will be starting, wolf, will be on a couple of issues. first on. issue of housing. them discontinuing any justice department use of private prisons due to how those prisons are operate to this point. you will also see issues of discrimination particularly with asian american communities addressed as well, something at the forefront of the agenda in the wake of some of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic over the course of the last year. i think the broader picture here is if you take a look over the course of these 33, soon to be 37 executive actions, that have been signed by president biden in his first now nearly week in office, you get a sense of what the priorities are for this white house, whether it is good, whether it is on the economy that they're trying to address right now, not just through