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tv   CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell  CNN  July 9, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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they're construction workers, hotel workers, disproportionately women and women of color. think of the 26-year-old employee at a company. she's a star worker, but she isn't being treated right. she's underpaid, passed over for promotions. competitor across the street knows it, wants to bring her in at a higher wage, and she can't do it. her company threatens legal action over a noncompete clause she had to sign in order to get hired in the first place. she can't afford a lawyer for help. she's locked in. imagine if you're in her shoes. you'd feel powerless. disrespected. bullied. trapped. that's not right. workers should be free to take a better job if someone offers it. if your employer wants to keep you, he or she should have to make it worth your while to stay. that's the kind of competition that leads to better wages and greater dignity of work.
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look, i'm not going to go into it now, but i used to -- you know, there's noncompete clauses or people running the machines that lay down asphalt. if, in fact, you get offered a job and you have a, you know, you're in arkansas doing it, a lot of specific examples, you can't take a job in west texas to do it. what in the hell does that have to do with anything? no, i'm serious. or there were clauses in mcdonald's contracts. you can't leave burger king or go to mcdonald's. come on. is there a trade secret about what's inside that patty? no, but i'm serious. you all, i don't know whether you do know. i didn't know until five years ago the incredible number of noncompete clauses for ordinary people who are done for one reason, to keep wages low.
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period. look my executive order will limit noncompete agreements. let workers choose who they want to work for. i'm also calling on the ftc to do away with certain occupational licensing requirements. do you realize if you want to braid hair and you move from one state to another, sometimes you have to do a six-month apprenticeship, even though you've been in the business for a long, long time. what's that all about? military families, for example. they're often on the move between states with each new assignment. so, you have a woman in the military, her husband's following her, or vice versa. guess what? if you have -- if you're a plumber, you have to get a different license when you move from delaware to missouri. look, it can't be a significant
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burden to get a new license in a new home state. that burden can't be around anymore. it takes time and it takes money. it takes a toll on families' income. while you're waiting. we should remove that barrier, providing more mobility, more opportunity, higher wages for families on the move. this is something my wife, jill, has worked on together with michelle obama through the joining forces initiative for the military. we're going to keep that moving. we're going to get it done in an executive order. let me close with this. competition works. we know it works. we've seen it work when it exists. fair competition is what made america the wealthiest, most innovative nation in history. that's why people come here to invent things and start new businesses. in the competition against china and other nations of the 21st century, let's show that american democracy and the
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american people can truly outcompete anyone, because i know that just given half a chance, american people will never, ever, ever let their country down. imagine if you give everyone a full and fair chance. that's what this is all about. that's what i'm about to do. so, i'd like to invite the cabinet members up here. i'd like to -- the attorney general is here. attorney general garland. xavier, mr. secretary, you can come up here too. also pete buttigieg and the chair of the fcc, leon -- excuse me, lena cohn, acting chair of the ftc. and director of the national economic council. am i leaving anybody out? anyway, come on up. this may be the first cabinet meeting we've had.
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>> promoting competition in the american economy . >> fifth.
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this is the shorter name. thank you. thanks, everyone. >> okay, hello, everyone, welcome to "newsroom," alisyn camerota and victor blackwell here. we've been listening to president biden announcing and signing an executive order there. he may be taking a question. let's listen. >> the united states expects when the operation is coming from historically -- not not sponsored by the state, expect them to act given enough information to act on who that is. secondly, that we have set up communications now on a regular basis to be able to communicate to one another when each of
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these things happening in other countries affects the home country. so optimistic. >> you said three weeks ago there would be consequences. will there be, sir? >> yes. >> all right, again, he was signing an executive order about boosting competition in the u.s. economy, also cracking down on anti-competitive practices in several industries, but then he just took a question on a call with vladimir putin. >> yeah, talking about ransomware and hacking as we're seeing the increase of that activity from some nonstate actors, criminal groups there in russia. let's go to cnn's chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins. let's start where the president ended, on this call with vladimir putin. what more can you tell us about that discussion? >> reporter: yeah, that was cnn's jeff zeleny pushing the president on what would the consequences be if russia does not crack down on these criminal organizations that are based in russia, that are carrying out these ransomware attacks that we've seen have serious power to disrupt critical infrastructure in the united states and abroad.
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other countries as well as what we've seen happen over the july 4th weekend where they got into a small florida company that provides software to thousands of other companies, and it wasn't totally clear what the president said there as he walked away from the microphone when he was asked about this latest call that he just had with the russian president, but there at the end, when he was asked about the consequences, and if there would be consequences, which is essentially what he has warned to the russian president, he said, yes, there will be. so, this comes after this phone call that they had, which is remarkable in and of itself, because they just had a face-to-face summit three weeks ago, we should note, and in this readout that we got from the white house earlier today, essentially, biden urged putin to crack down on those organizations and said the united states reserves the right to respond if these attacks do not stop. of course, we've seen that they have not stopped since that summit happened, given a massive one just happened over the july 4th weekend and so the question has been, how was president biden going to respond? we had an indication that there
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might be a phone call between the two of them because he said earlier this week that he would deliver his message to putin and, of course, that suspense has ended now that we've seen that this call has actually gone forward but i think it does still raise the ultimate question of what if any operational response there is. it's also not clear how the russian leader responded to this phone call from president biden today, which his press secretary, jen psaki, said lasted for about an hour. she didn't really say what characterized the russian response to this warning from biden to stop carrying out -- stop letting organizations or crack down on the organizations that are carrying out these ransomware attacks. and we should note there is a difference, because the president biden seems to be more concerned with these ransomware attacks and the threat that comes with them than he is with general hacking that you have seen that happens between nations all the time. it seems it's more something that he's well versed in, given, of course, his decades in public service, but given these ransomware attacks and the threat that they pose, as we've
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seen with the oil pipeline, with several other of these ransomware attacks, they've continued to be carried out, that poses a real threat, and so whether or not biden responds to -- or putin responds to this warning from biden does remain to be seen. >> all right, kaitlan collins for us at the white house there. kaitlan, thank you. turning now to new recommendations from the cdc about the coming school year. the cdc says that vaccinated staff and students do not need to wear masks inside. >> and for the unvaccinated, the cdc says the district should do everything possible to get those kids without covid shots back into classrooms. cn cnn's senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen joins us now. tell us more about what the cdc says should happen with and for children who are unvaccinated. >> victor, the emphasis here is getting children back in school, not doing distance learning. so, let's take a look at what the cdc recommends when school reopens next month for some and september for others. if everyone in the school is --
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i'm sorry, if not everyone in the school is vaccinated, then teachers and staff and children should be practicing physical distancing if possible. and i imagine that most if not nearly all of schools will have some unvaccinated people, certainly the younger grades since you can't get vaccinated if you're under 12. also, if you're not vaccinated, your, meaning a student or a teacher or staff, wear a mask indoors. so, if you're not vaccinated, wear a mask indoors. also, cdc urging schools to offer weekly testing for unvaccinated people to sort of check up and see how they're doing, try to get nip an outbreak in the bud before it happens. now, they also note that if covid levels start to get low, then children may be in some of those areas would not need to be tested on a regular basis. >> elizabeth, tell us about the pfizer, what pfizer just said that basically even for vaccinated people, doubly vaccinated, we may need booster shots. >> yes, it's always been known that, you know, people who are fully vaccinated might need
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boosters but pfizer surprised everyone by saying, oh, we think the immunity is waning now as we speak, and so we're applying for emergency use authorization from the fda next month. this surprised everybody, especially because pfizer didn't give any data. they didn't say, based on this new study or based on these -- this study that we did. instead, they pointed to some israeli data that a lot of people would say actually shows that it's not waning, that it's doing just great. and so, it's a little bit of a puzzle why pfizer is saying this now. but i'm going to try to give you the bottom line here. every expert that we've spoken to, plus the cdc and the fda, say for now, two shots is just fine. let's take a look at a joint fda/cdc statement. what that statement says is, americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. so, again, kind of a puzzle why pfizer has done this. there is one note here. there are millions of people who are immune compromised, maybe
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they're taking drugs because they have had an organ transplant that suppressed their immune system, there are all sorts of reasons but you would know if you're in this group. those folks might benefit from getting a third shot, but other than that, the fda and the cdc saying, you're fine if you've had your two shots. >> elizabeth cohen, thank you. >> thanks. and let's talk about this now. and bring in dr. jha, the dean of brown university school of public health. dr. jha, first, on schools and what to do with the unvaccinated children, do you think that what we're hearing from the fda reconciles with what we're seeing, especially with the spread of the delta variant? >> yeah, so, first of all, thanks for having me back. couple of thoughts on this. i was really thrilled to see the cdc come out and be very, very clear that all kids need to be back in school full-time this fall and that it is safe to do so. that, i think, is sort of principle number one. no doubt about it, getting kids and adults vaccinated is going
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to make a big difference but you can't do that for under 12 kids and not all kids over 12 will be vaccinated and whether to have all of them masked up, i think it's reasonable. you can also imagine using local infection numbers in a community, let's say, in vermont where there's essentially no infections. you may not need to mask everybody up. but in a place like missouri or arkansas where there are larger outbreaks, maybe masks would make more sense. so some of this will be local. but i think in general, the cdc really did get the principles right. >> let's talk about those booster shots. why does pfizer think that immunity is waning right now? for doubly vaccinated people. >> there's some preliminary data out of israel that suggests that some older people who got vaccinated a long time ago may be having slightly higher rates of breakthrough infections. but the bottom line here is, we just don't know. and you know, these decisions have to be ultimately guided by evidence and science. and all the evidence right now says two shots is enough for most people. except for those
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immunocompromised. and until we have clear data that that's not true, i don't think there's any reason to be talking about a third shot or a booster of any kind. all the data right now says two is good. if we see new data, we'll want to look at that and make decisions. >> let's talk about, frankly, what we've discussed before, this overlap of the lack of vaccinations and how it correlates with political leanings and the gap growing between democrats and republicans who have or say they will be vaccinated. it is growing as we're seeing in polls. we've had this conversation about strategies, but it appears that they're just not working. >> yeah. it's -- i mean, the idea that somehow we would bring politics into vaccinations is very upsetting. i think there are a couple things going on here. one is people's information ecosystems. if you think about where you get your information, a lot of people are getting a lot of very bad information about vaccines and i think that's driving some of this. we really need political, religious, other leaders in those communities and those
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states to step up and talk about why vaccinations are so important. i think that's going to make a difference. the other thing i think that's going to help is you are going to see, over time, businesses, schools, universities start mandating vaccines if they want to bring people back into the workplace or school safely. certainly colleges and universities are going to do that. that's also going to push a lot of people over the fence and get them vaccinated. >> let's look at what's happening in missouri. the numbers are going in the wrong direction there. i'll pull up the seven-day moving average. so, cases are going up. i mean, there's no other way to interpret what you see on your screen there, and yet the governor was basically saying this is not a time to panic, so let me play for you what missouri's governor said. >> we're all concerned about the spike in the delta virus, but to try to mislead people like we're in a crisis is totally misleading. we're not in a crisis mode in this state. >> so, is that fair, that they're not in a crisis mode? >> well, you know, when i listen
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to that and i also try to pay attention to what the hospital leaders in communities are saying. you're seeing ceos of large hospital systems in missouri call out for help for more ventilators, for more respiratory therapists, they're shipping patients to other hospitals. that all is crisis. now, maybe it's not happening across the entire state, i'm sure it's not, but there are pockets of mississippi that are really struggling and that we hear it from the healthcare leaders themselves. so, we've got to pay attention to that. >> dr. ashish jha, thank you as always. new developments in the assassination of the president of haiti. the white house says officials from the fbi are going to head there soon to help investigate. plus we have the latest from surfside, florida. cnn goes inside the sister building of the one that collapsed. what a structural engineer is saying about the situation there now. ♪welcome back to that same old place♪ ♪that you laughed about♪
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haitian authorities say the armed group who assassinated the president of haiti were professional killers, but they still don't know why they did it or who was behind it. right now, there is a manhunt across the country for at least eight additional suspects. 17 suspects have been detained, including, according to police, two u.s. citizens and retired members of the colombian military. >> haiti has requested help from the fbi and homeland security. cnn's matt rivers joins us now from haiti's capital. matt, what do we know with this? >> reporter: you know, we don't know too much more than what was said last night by haitian authorities, which is a lot of information that you just mentioned about who these suspects are and where they are from. so, at the moment, we know that there's 28 suspects that they've
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identified. 26 of them -- you gave the detention numbers -- three of them have been killed so far. eight of them are still on the run. but of the 28 suspects identified in total, 26 of them are colombians at this point. as far as authorities have said. six of them, at least, have prior military training. then you have the two haitian-americans, but beyond that, victor and alisyn, we have so many questions that have not been answered. what was the motive behind all this? who financed the operation? how did they get all the arms into this country, or did they buy them here? and also, how did they make their way up this road behind me, basically without a problem? at the bottom of this road, there's a police checkpoint, 24/7. we passed it on our way here. they came up this road right here, and then they made their way here. they made a left on this road, not before passing this police checkpoint right here, which was staffed at the time. there are police officers around here right now, but they don't want their faces on camera, so
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they're mainly behind us, and if you come up this way, the assailants continued up this road, and if we can show you, zoom in a little bit, down that road, about 100 meters, you can see a parking lot. there's a barrier in front of that. that is the parking lot that serves as kind of the entry to the presidential residence where those assailants entered and eventually assassinated the president, nearly killing his wife, who remains recovering in a miami hospital. there was also security in there. so, checkpoint number one, checkpoint number two, a whole bunch of guys with guns in that presidential residence, and yet somehow, all of these people came in here and the only people that were injured in that house were the president, who ultimately lost his life, and also the first lady. that leaves so many questions about how this was allowed to happen, victor and alisyn, and that is information that the haitian government is just not providing as of yet. >> yeah, matt, you have to imagine after you walked us through all of the security checkpoints, all the security that was there, that they would
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likely be part of the investigation or the subject of some of these probes? >> reporter: absolutely. and we haven't had any, you know, confirmation in terms of what haitian prosecutors are looking at, but you can only say that 2+2 equals four. if all of these people came up this road relatively easily and got in and out, even though they've been tracked down over the past few days, there have been fire fights, we saw results of those fire fights earlier today, those are certainly going to be inquiries that are made. was this some sort of an inside job? was there complicity within the haitian security forces? that is absolutely a question that needs to be asked, because one thing we know for sure that these assailants did not fight their way into the presidential residence. >> matt rivers, thank you for showing us all of that. all right, back here now to surfside, florida, more victims have been recovered from the rubble in the collapse of the champlain towers south condo building and that brings the death toll to 78 people.
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62 others are still unaccounted for at this hour. >> officials are working to inspect all other high-rises there in the community, and it includes champlain towers north, the collapsed condo sister tower. they're pulling samples of concrete and running tests on it to determine if anything could have compromised the southern tower. cnn's rosa flores is there for us. we understand you went inside the building with the chief investigator today. what'd you see? >> reporter: well, you know, this is the investigator that was hired by the city of surfside to investigate, to figure out exactly what caused the collapse. his name is allen. now he's not allowed on the actual site of the collapse, and so that's why he's starting at champlain towers north, the sister building that was built around the same time frame with very similar blueprints. now, he took us around, and we tagged along as he was working with his team. he's trying to figure out how
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closely that building was constructed to the original blueprints. that's one of the first things that he's trying to figure out. he's also taking material samples. he took us to the garage where they had already extracted some core samples of the concrete. then, he also showed us how they are checking the waterproofing by the pool deck, and then we also went to several apartments where he asked his team to take core samples from some of the columns there. now, he explained that these core samples will be sent to labs, there's going to be extensive testing, but i asked him, because he does a first check, just an eye check, i asked what he looked for. take a listen. what do you look for? >> the lighter color things is stone. the bigger ones. and just visually, even though this will all be done microscopically, i'm looking to see if the gray is still
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connected to the stone. that's the adhesion. i'm looking for what's called air entrainment, which is supposed to be there, which is these little round holes. and i'm looking to see if it looks like uniformly mixed concrete. that's all i can do from visual. >> reporter: now, of course, the big question is, has he seen anything, any sort of sign, anything that worries him, and victor and alisyn, he says that, no, so far, he has not seen anything at champlain towers north that he is worried about. as for the investigation, he says it's going to take time. he has to figure out exactly what happened. he says that he is confident that he will figure that out, but it's going to take time. he has to have access to the actual collapse site, and at this point, as you know, the focus here at the site of the collapse is to recover every victim. >> yeah. yeah, i mean, there's still so
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many questions, but of course everybody's going to have to be patient to figure out exactly what went wrong there. thank you very much. so, now to this. hunter biden is selling some of his paintings, and that is sparking controversy. so we're going to show you the paintings, tell you how much they're going for, we think, and talk to a former ethics czar about all of this. what are you wearing, dog? they're pants, dog. no, these are pants, dog. no way. my pants are pants, dog. pizza on a bagel—we can all agree with that. uhm whatever those are, they're not pants. [ ding ] microban 24 doesn't just kill bacteria once, then stop. it keeps killing bacteria for 24 hours. just spray and let dry to form a shield that's proven to keep killing bacteria for 24 hours...
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so, hunter biden's debut in the art world is raising some ethical eyebrows. his first pieces will reportedly go on sale for between $75,000 to $500,000. now, sources tell cnn the white house got involved in striking an agreement with the owner of a new york art gallery to display and sell some of the artwork that you're seeing on your screen right now. and the administration's decision was reportedly an effort to head off any ethical concerns. white house press secretary jen psaki was pressed on this just a short time ago. >> i can tell you that after careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for hunter biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards. of course, he has the right to pursue an artistic career just like any child of the president has the right to pursue a career, but all interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be
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handled by a professional gallerists, adhering to the highest industry standards and any offer out of the normal course will be rejected out of hand and the gallerists will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers including with hunter biden or the administration, which provides quite a level of protection and transparency. >> walter schaub is the former head of the office of government ethics under president obama. walter, thanks for being with us. so, some of those safeguards put in place are neither hunter biden nor the public will know who bid on or purchased the work, and if there's unusual behavior, like the offer being too high, the collector didn't parkwa appear to be interested, the gallery will turn down the offer. >> they have outsourced government ethics to an art dealer. she mentioned industry standards. it's an industry that's notorious for money laundering. there's no standards in that industry, and the idea that they're going to flag any overly priced offers, well, this is art
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that hasn't even been juried into a community art sale. how are they going to decide what's unreasonable when they've already priced it in the range of $75,000 to $500,000 for a first outing. this is just preposterous and very disappointing. >> walter, just explain why would the white house be the intermediary for the art sale? i mean, i think that what jen psaki was saying was they thought this would be a way to head off any ethical concerns but you're shaking your head. >> yeah, they've absolutely made it worse for two reasons. one, what they've done is ensured that neither you nor i nor anyone watching this show will know who buys the art unless they share it publicly. but there's nothing that we can do to monitor to make sure that hunter biden or anyone in the white house doesn't find out that the dealer keeps his or her promise, that the buyers don't call the white house, ask for a
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meeting and say, hey, i just bought the president's son's art for $500,000. now, maybe we trust joe biden not to give preferential treatment because he's a better human being than donald trump, but you don't run an ethics program on the idea that you hope everybody behaves. if everybody in the world would behave, we don't even need laws prohibiting murder then. >> so, walter, let's look at it from this perspective, and art is subjective, right? the appreciation of these pieces. but they're not bad. right? if you look at them, these are things that some collectors might like. is there a way that hunter biden could now become this great emerging artist and sell them for a price that matches the market that would not run afoul of ethics concerns? >> well, the thing is, it's just got the absolute appearance that he's profiting off of his father's fame. he's not selling under a pseudonym. he's not waiting until his father is out of office. and he's not selling at any
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price comparable to what other first-time artists are selling. so, the white house should have first made its move to have the president try to talk him out of doing this, and if that failed, they should have gone the opposite direction and asked that the name of buyers be released and pledge to the american people that what they would do is let us know any time one of those buyers got a meeting with an administration official so that the public could judge whether or not they were getting preferential treatment. the problem is, now they've set a precedent for the next president, and even if you happen to trust joe biden, what if the next president has the character of a donald trump? this would be perfec be perfect for funneling bribes to that president. >> walter, that's really interesting, because those words that this is going to be a private and confidential opening and sale did get my attention too. >> yeah. >> so, they think that -- what i think the white house thought was that by setting it up as a
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blind sale, then there couldn't be influence exerted on the bidens, but you're saying that it makes it secretive in a way that the public can't know, and i think that your idea about -- that he could have done it under a pseudonym is interesting also, because hunter biden says that he now devotes his life to the creative arts. he credits it as his coping mechanism. we know that he's had substance abuse issues and it literally keeps him sane. so he needs to be able to make a living. this wouldn't have been a problem. >> yeah, i mean, people often ask, well, what job can he do? the truth is, he can do any job in the world he wants and he can sell art all he wants but he ought to be abiding by a standard that he shouldn't be doing things to capitalize on his father's name. and you just are never going to convince me that selling art as a first-time artist at this price, he's not selling it based on his father's name. people are going to buy this art to be able to say, i've got the president's son's art hanging in
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my den or whatever room rich people who can afford this art have. and he's just not doing what he needs to do to avoid that. i know he's not a government official and isn't covered by the government ethics laws, but he's an american citizen, and he has a patriotic duty not to capitalize on his father's public service, and that's clearly what he's doing here. >> hey, walter, let's expand this conversation. you had a lengthy thread on your twitter account talking about that we can't just go back to the ethics norms and laws pre-trump, thinking that those will work now. you're calling for what you describe as an ethical renaissance in government. what's that look like? >> you know, we've just had a four-year period where our illusions that we had a strong government ethics program have been shattered. we used to have people from around the world come and visit us, particularly from developing nations, to see how to run an ethics program. my advice to them right now
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would be, run as far away from the ethics program that we currently have as you can. because what we've learned is that it doesn't work. and the problem is this idea of going back to the way trump was suggests that trump was just an aberration and the systems were strong enough to stand up against someone like him. the problem is, they didn't stand up to someone like him. and the conditions that everybody wants to go back to when they say, let's go back to the way it was, were the conditions that got him in the first place. we need to learn those lessons and push for massive, sweeping changes. we need transformational leadership in this time. after the watergate scandal, there was sweeping reforms that passed through congress, and we had 40 years of relative calm on the ethics front. you know, there were scandals, there always will be, but things were relatively calm. now, we know that that wasn't working anymore, and we needed a post-watergate era type
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renaissance, really, and if we had seen president biden put the level of effort into the for the people act, hr1, also called s1 in the senate, that would have been a good down payment. it would have ensured voting rights in the states. it would have reined in some campaign finance. it would have established new ethics rules, including rules for the president himself. but we saw some lackluster effort and a whole lot of excuses that, well, we don't have enough control in the senate to get it through. the problem is, they're out there pitching this infrastructure bill every day, and i don't see that kind of effort on the reform front. his entire ethics platform read about -- if you read that, it was all about legislation he was going to push for. we haven't had a single bill suggested by this white house. i don't think it's too late for them to turn this car around. but i think they're running out of time, and they need to get committed to reform, and they need to clean up their house a little bit. >> all right, walter shaub,
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always good to have you. we'll see you at the hunter biden auction in september. i'm kidding. no, we're not. >> i mean, you are an art collector. people should know. >> i have a very modest collection. >> you have a great eye for it. >> thank you. but the idea that an artist enters the market at $75,000. >> doesn't happen? >> to a half million dollars? it just doesn't happen unless you're going for the name and what does that name mean in this context? >> all right, we will continue to follow that. all right, right now, richard branson is less than 48 hours from blasting off into space. what you need to know about his historic mission. frank is a fan of fast. he's a fast talker. a fast walker. thanks, gary. and for unexpected heartburn... frank is a fan of pepcid.
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sunday is the big day for richard branson, the founder of virgin galactic. he'll go right to the edge of space when he travels aboard a rocket-powered plane that he helped fund. >> branson and his team will beat former amazon ceo jeff bezos by nine days. apparently that's very important. rachel crane is live in new mexico where the launch will take place. rachel, how's this going to work? >> reporter: well, alisyn, i got to tell you, i'm pretty pumped right now because i am behind the gates here at space port america. this is a location that the space flight will take off on sunday morning, scheduled for 9:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. local, and from our mass cam, you guys can see the runway that
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this rocket-powered space plane will be taking off from. that is a 12,000-foot runway that you are looking at, and that is also where the rocket-powered space plane will land as well as its mothership, named eve. she will also be landing on this runway. and here at the facility, i mean, it is a bevy of activity. tents are being erected, hundreds of people are on location. engineers checking all the systems, making sure that the space flight itself but also the event surrounding the space flight goes off without a hitch. you know, thousands of people are flocking to las cruzes for this event. the city saying it should generate nearly $400,000 in revenue just this week, and tons of vips will be attending this launch. so while today is actually a rest day for richard branson, the past few days, he's been at this location doing his astronaut training. but so today, he's with his family.
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but it is certainly not a rest day here at space port america and richard branson, his objective on this flight is to test the astronaut experience, and nobody is more excited about that than branson himself. take a listen to what he had to say. >> i'm going up in a -- as someone there to test the customer experience p.m. i'm going to enjoy every second from the beginning to the end. >> reporter: victor, currently around 600 people have already put down deposits of around $200,000 to hitch a ride on this rocket powered space plane. virgin galactic saying commercial operations should begin in the beginning of 2022. >> do you have any interest in doing that, victor? >> i'd do it, yeah.
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if i didn't have to pay for it. yeah, i'd do it. rachel said she was pumped at the start. i know you would do it. >> rachel could stowaway. thanks so much. really interesting report. the new national spelling bee champion is making history and beyond spelling she has a few other amazing talents. i mean amazing. you should know about them. stay with us.
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there is a new top spellers
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in the u.s. >> tha>> that is correct. [ applause ] >> that's 14-year-old zaila avant-garde from new orleans. she beat out more than 200 contestants from five countries. she's the first black american to ever win the competition. how did she know how to spell that? >> we just had to ask someone what is that? it's a trype of tree. >> you know what she wants to be
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when she grows up. >> tell me. >> i'm thinking about maybe an nba basketball coach, working for nasa or maybe going into treating diseases and stuff to help with neuroscience. >> neuroscientist or nba basketball coach. she also wants to win a nobel prize for gene editing. >> okay. all within reach. she also already has and she's only 13. >> 14. >> she has a guiness record for the most bounce juggles in maine. she's a great basketball player. here is the bounce juggling. three basketballs here. >> that looks like they are on strings. it looks like she's not doing that as though they are on strings. is that not incredible? >> it really reminds us that we're not doing enough with our lives? >> totally. we're complete under achievers. next hour starts in a moment. >> we'll be right back.
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the boss is back baby! the difference in try and triumph... is just a little umph! upsees, i need upsees. i'm sure this isn't something money can't solve? what the fudge? oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!


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