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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  August 5, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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the head of the state's democratic party says cuomo has to go. and the state assembly has enough votes to impeach him after new york's attorney general released a report on allegations cuomo sexually harassed multiple women. also tonight, the defense secretary expected to require all active duty u.s. troops to get the covid vaccine. it could happen as soon as this week. cases nationwide spiking. now more than 90,000 new cases each day. and florida's governor ron desantis sniping at joe biden after the president called on him and other gop governors to help fight the spread of covid or get out of the way. joining me now, cnn political commentator charlie dent and cnn senior political analyst ron brownstein. gentlemen, good evening to both of you. charlie, you're up first. the day after president biden was urging republican governors to help or get out of the way, florida governor ron desantis is firing back. listen. >> his solution is he wants to have the government force
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kindergarteners to wear masks in school. he doesn't believe the parents should have a say in that. he thinks that should be a decision for the government. i can tell you in florida the parents are going to be the ones in charge of that decision. joe biden suggests that if you don't do lockdown policies then you should, quote, get out of the way. let me tell you this. if you're coming after the rights of parents in florida, i'm standing in your way. >> so charlie, look, we're in the middle of a public health crisis. florida is the epicenter. and desantis is making all of this about politics. >> don, i would urge governor desantis and other republican governors to listen to governor hutchinson of arkansas who deeply regrets his decision to sign a bill into law that restricted his ability to impose -- or local jurisdictions' ability to impose mask mandates. no one likes to impose those mandates.
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but it seems to me that we have to give local authorities some flexibility to deal with the crisis in their communities. it's as simple as that. what's even more disturbing is that many of the same people, i'm not saying governor desantis, but many of the same people who are out there fighting mask mandates are also some of the same people who are casting doubts on the efficacy of vaccinations. and, you know, for those of us who are vaccinated, we think it's now time that some of these leaders start using sticks, not just carrots, to get people vaccinated. you just mentioned the secretary of defense is likely to impose a mandate. many leading businesses are doing the same thing. if elected officials aren't able to do this, then i think it's going to be up to the private sector, leaders in the private sector and other governmental entities to stand up and do what needs to be done to vaccinate people so we get out of this mess. >> ron, here is the former vice president speaking out about covid tonight. >> i want to encourage anyone
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here who hasn't got the shot, who's eligible, to go get it. and if you're not sure about it go ask your doctor and get the very best advice that you can. as we do our part, each and every one of us, to put this pandemic in the past, we need to also stand firm on the principle that we can defeat this virus without lockdowns and mandates. [ applause ] we can protect the vulnerable and get our kids back to school. [ applause ] and we can keep america open without forfeiting our freedoms. >> look, ron, it's good that he's telling people to get vaccinated, but he is saying everyone needs to do their part to put this behind us. doesn't that mean not handcuffing ourselves by banning things like mask mandates? >> well, look, don, first of all, to give you a sense of the stakes in this dispute, i
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calculated today, the states where republican governors have barred school districts from imposing mask mandates if they think they are necessary, enroll 12.8 million k-12 students. one quarter of all of the students in the country will be operating in districts where their parents have to send them to school without assurance that everyone at the school is going to be wearing masks. that is the reality that we're now facing. and, you know, the president came in, wanting to build cooperation with republican governors after all of the conflict between trump and democratic governors during the first year of the pandemic when he at times openly threatened to cut off aid to states where the governors had criticized him. so cooperation has been their watchword from day one. they've had weekly conference calls with governors. jeff zients the coordinator talks to two or three governors a day. i think that left them a little slow to make the turn when some of these republican governors,
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not all, but certainly some like abbott anddesantis and kemp and ducey in arizona went the other way now actively impeding the imposition of public health measures. so biden did call them out yesterday. i've talked to activists who say that is unlikely by itself to change their behavior. and the question is, is the administration going to put any kind of deeds behind the words in terms of pressuring the governors. so far the message i'm getting from the white house is no. >> i want to go back to something that charlie said just a moment ago, ron, when he talked about asa hutchinson doing a 180. why are some republican governors doing that? >> i think asa hutchinson is at the moderate end of the governors who imposed these restrictions. but reality. they're getting mugged by reality. the problem we have is that the states, these are states with low vaccination rates to begin with, that have moved most aggressively to stop local governments, not only school districts but cities, from having almost any kind of public
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health tools in their -- you know, in their belt to try to respond to this. that is where the crisis is germinating. as we talked about before, it isn't only a question of what this means for florida and texas and georgia and arizona and arkansas. if the virus is raging in those states, it is highly unlikely we are going to get control of it everywhere else. you hear more of what representative dent just said, is the future of dealing with this putting more burdens on the vaccinated or pressuring the unvaccinated? kaiser family foundation poll, real quick -- >> i have it right here, let me get the numbers. >> yes. 53% i think it was believe the vaccine is more dangerous than the disease itself. that suggests to me you're not going to get them just with carrots, you're going to need some kind of sticks to move the vaccination rate up to the level that we need. >> i want to explain the numbers that were out there. this is that kaiser study,
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family foungs foundation study, that shows 73% of unvaccinated adults aren't worried they'll get seriously sick from covid. 53% of unvaccinated adults think getting vaccinated is a bigger risk to their health than getting a vaccine. charlie, is this a result of more than a year of misinformation that's spread by the gop? that is is just a discouraging number. i think all the fearmongering that's going on, all the misinformation from anti-vaxxers, it's taken a huge toll. i can deal with people who are fearful, they're afraid they might get sick for a short period of time. we can deal with that population. but those who are willfully ignorant, those who, you know, are dogmatic in their beliefs, i don't know how we persuade them at this point. you can't yell at them. but we need to get them to a better place. and yes, don, this is a result
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of a massive disinformation campaign by any number of people, many of whom know better, many of whom have been vaccinated themselves and are working in an environment where they must be vaccinated. that's what's so sad about this whole situation. >> thank you both. i appreciate it. >> thanks, don. now i want to bring in democratic congressman charlie crist. he's also a candidate for florida governor. congressman, good evening. thank you so much. i really appreciate you joining. >> don, thank you. it's great to be with you, sir. >> florida is far and away leading the country in coronavirus cases and has more hospitalizations than at any point in the pandemic. the governor, ron desantis, is using this time to really make a public health problem political. here is more of him going after president biden right here. >> we can either have a free society or we can have a biomedical security state. and i can tell you, florida, we're a free state. people are going to be free to choose, to make their own decisions about themselves, about their families, about
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their kids' education, and about putting food on the table. why don't you do your job, why don't you get this border secure, and until you do that, i don't want to hear a blip about covid from you. thank you. >> what's your reaction to that? >> that's pretty immature. and extremely defensive. president biden is giving good, solid leadership on this issue that is really focused on the safety of our children and our families and our nation. governor desantis's reaction to that is to be dismissive because he's chosen to be playing russian roulette with my fellow floridians, which is a disaster. we're about to start school, don, with our kids next week, and all 67 counties, almost 3 million kids will go back to school. he has put out an executive order late last week saying that local school districts cannot, they are prohibited from having
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a mask mandate. i mean, it's unconscionable. he doesn't talk about vaccines because he got checked on it by some conservative radio host. they called him a sell-out for doing so. the man is so, unfortunately, politically motivated toward the white house in 2024 and capturing that base that he's forgetting floridians, my fellow floridians who want masks, who want their kids to be safe, because they're reasonable people with common sense. >> listen, congressman, the white house says that florida has a 23% -- 23% of all new covid hospitalizations in the entire country right now. officials are warning 60% of state hospitals will face a critical staff shortage in the next week. what does the state need to do to help these hospitals? >> we need to have leadership. we have a leadership void, don, unfortunately. we need to have a governor who says getting a vaccine, getting it now, getting it as quickly as
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you can is the most important thing you can do. we also need a governor in governor desantis to say wearing a mask is a smart thing to do and not signing executive orders banning it. and then threatening to take money from school districts who actually incorporate having a mask requirement to protect and keep our kids safe. when we're kids, we grow up, we learn the rule early on, safety first. safety first. well, i don't know why governor desantis doesn't get that, except he's politically paralyzed by having his eye focused on the republican nomination in '24. it's sad. >> you mentioned just moments ago about schools reopening in florida soon. the governor says that parents should decide about masks. but schools are worried about keeping their students and their staff alive and healthy. who should decide about masks? >> doctors. health care professionals. i had a forum today, a zoom forum, which most of them are
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these days, with a pediatrician from university of miami. and i asked her point blank, what is the most important thing we need to do as it relates to masks? she said wear them. we need a mandate. it's important to do that. and, you know, my dad's a doctor, my sister's a doctor. i'm not, but i listen to doctors. i listen to health care professionals. governor desantis should do the same. >> he is also saying that florida will not mandate vaccines. but schools already require vaccinations for diseases like measles, mumps. should florida schools require vaccines for children once they are approved by the fda? >> we need to consider that, don. listen, when i was a kid, we had vaccines for the measles, i still have the scar on my shoulder. people did not question it. for some reason now they've been politicized and i don't really get that, and it's unfortunate because it is costing lives. so i think what we need to do is, again, fall back, when you're in an area that is not your expertise, fall back on the
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experts, physicians, health care professionals, nurses, those who are on the front line and understand what's happening here. take their advice. don't be too arrogant to do that. be willing to listen. my dad used to tell me and my three sisters, god gave you two ears and one mouth. probably good to respect that, and i try to. >> with that usually comes they gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason, right? thank you, congressman, i appreciate it. >> thank you, don, my pleasure. new york governor andrew cuomo refusing to step down, even with the very real possibility of impeachment looming on the horizon and members of his own party trying to convince him to resign. what happens next? >> the best course of action right now would be to just step aside.
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new york governor andrew cuomo refusing to resign even though the majority of state assembly members say they're ready to impeach him, this coming after the state attorney general released a damning report detailing allegations that the governor sexually harassed 11 women and created a hostile work environment. joining me now new york state senator alessandra biaggi and new york state assembly member john t. mcdonald iii. thank you both for joining. it's a very important topic and i'm so happy that you're both here to discuss. so state senator biaggi, i'm going to start with you. you used to work for governor cuomo and you've been open about feeling uncomfortable around him even after you left the job. what is your reaction to this report? >> i mean, first i want to say that i commend the brave women who came forward. it took an incredible amount of
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courage to report their interactions with the governor and their instances of sexual harassment. and i think that what the a.g.'s report confirmed for many of us was really what most of us knew to be true, that the governor has fostered and upheld a toxic work environment that is harmful to women. his staff has perpetuated this toxic environment. and now what's concluded as we all know is there were violations of both federal and state law. so his actions ultimately have become an abuse of power and they don't just impact those individual women who have come forward but they also impact the function and the integrity of the entire new york state government. >> i had a similar conversation with jay jacobs earlier. i'm not sure if you saw it. but it seems like you have the votes to impeach the governor. how soon could this happen? >> we definitely -- i can tell you from being in conference yesterday with my colleagues,
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there is a will to move forward. like anything else, we need to be prepared to go into battle. people may not like to hear this, but the governor is a smart individual. individual. he will be prepared if he wants to fight this. therefore we need to be prepared just as well. i do believe in the coming weeks we should be coming close to getting prepared to file the articles for impeachment which starts the process. of course when those articles are introduced, the governor is no longer the governor. and then we move on to the next step. >> assembly member, what if the governor tries to bargain, says let me get through my term and i won't run for re-election? would you entertain that idea? >> i don't think that's going to work, i'll be honest with you. you know, naturally, u.s. might guess, the legislature and executive, there's always going to be friction between the bodies, that's the course of the process. but this report, as the senator pointed out, and i support those women as well, their bravery is
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second to none, this report was jarring to many individuals. and, you know, you can't pick one of the 11. all 11 were egregious in many aspects. but the reality is the goodwill, whatever goodwill was built up over the years between the governor and many members of legislature, has been lost. i think that's something that everyone needs to be very keenly aware of. >> senator biaggi, you're a survivor of sexual abuse. would anything short of cuomo leaving or being removed from office be an injustice to the 11 brave women who spoke out against him? what do you want to see happen? >> i want to see the governor really put his love for new york first. we i think can at least give him the benefit of the doubt that he does care about the state. but if he really has a devotion to it and cares about the 19.5 million people who are in this state, then what he will do is resign.
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and i want to just respond to something that the assembly member said and really just make very clear to those who are listening that the standard for impeachment in new york is willful and corrupt misconduct. the a.g.'s report is credible, it is thorough, it is confirmed that the governor violated state and federal law and sexually harassed 11 women. the assembly judiciary investigation is not a necessary step on the path to impeachment. the assembly is responsible for creating those articles of impeachment and delivering them to the senate so the senate can conduct a full and thorough impeachment trial. i think we all can agree the governor is no longer fit to lead our state. it's our responsibility to make sure we have somebody at the helm who respects and cares about new yorkers. it's important, most importantly, that we act with urgency. our state is in a pivotal moment because we're also navigating the delta variant, distributing covid-19 relief funds. we cannot afford to continue business as usual. also, frankly, we cannot continue to act out of fear.
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>> she mentions the report, assembly member mcdonald. that report describes a toxic culture in the governor's office. do you think anyone else besides the governor, besides governor cuomo, should be held accountable for this environment? >> you know, i think that's going to be part of the continued investigation. the reality is, and i'll give you a good example, what really caught my attention, once again, i'm not putting one over any of the 11 that were mentioned in the report, but the whole situation with the state trooper was extremely troubling to me, extremely troubling, that a young lady was hand-picked to jump over all the requirements, be put on his special detail, i find that extremely troubling in many aspects because, quite frankly, somewhere along the line in the leadership of the state police, not now, back then, somebody was complicit.
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that's totally inappropriate, inexcusable, and requires further investigation. >> don, can i respond to that question too? >> yeah, that's why i'm quiet, i'm letting you talk. go on. >> thank you. i think, you know, one thing that's really important for all of your viewers to know is that the governor did not act alone. the governor acted with enablers. the governor's power was made calcified by those around him who carried out his orders. it's really important that, you know, there's one part of the attorney general's report that says the odd part about these workplace stories is that it's not even close to what it really was like to work there day to day. it was so much worse. and so that was a culture that started at the top. but it was enforced and enabled by those around him. and that's what made it a toxic environment. it was designed to undermine staff. people were belittled and berated. and even the report goes as far to show that there are members of the governor's executive
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senior team, inner circle, who not only attempted to leak personnel files but attempted to also discredit the women who had come forward and really put everything on the line. these women had everything to lose. and they took a stand because their treatment and the way that they were beginning their careers in public service was shattered by somebody who saw them as targets and preyed on them. so again, the governor did not be at alone. he acted certainly with impunity but that impunity was fostered and enabled by those around him, especially those in his senior staff. >> state senator, assembly member -- quickly, if you can, assembly member, i know you want to respond. >> i just want to say one thing to the senator's point. what we have witnessed in this report, what we've seen reported, is a true contradiction to what most of us have stood for, to protect women, to advance women, to give
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them opportunity. and therefore, all those individuals responsible need to be held accountable. >> thank you both, i appreciate having you, and come back to discuss the situation. thank you so much. they expected 400 guests plus staff, but now the former president barack obama is changing plans because of coronavirus. lagen that's all hy? olay collagen peptide 24 with derm recommended peptides. hydrates better than the $400 cream. for visibly firmer skin. olay. face anything
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the former president barack obama scaling back the guest list for his big 60th birthday bash in martha's vineyard on saturday, citing fears about the surging delta variant. the party will now include only family and close friends.
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let's discuss, cnn medical analyst dr. jonathan reiner is here, and joe allen, director of the healthy buildings program at the harvard public school of health, the author of "healthy buildings." good to see both of you. joe, i haven't seen you in a while. it's been a while. i see dr. reiner every night, he's our nightly house call. so joe, i'm going to start with you. i'm going to ask about this party. p they could have held it and technically been in accordance with the state guidelines since it was going to be outside. but they were looking at hundreds of people, possibly 600 people between guests and staff. it's the summer. there are lots of events, big and small, weddings, concerts, et cetera. what do people need to know? >> thanks for having me back on, don, good to see you as well. i think people have to be concerned here that the delta variant is different. we know this. it is much more highly transmissible.
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so we're in what feels like another moment of uncertainty here in terms of where we are as a country. that said, some basic fundamentals still apply. first and foremost, vaccines are safe and effective, that's the path out of this, that's how you stay safe. in addition, events outdoors are much, much safer, and it's okay. if you're vaccinated and outdoors, i think that's a low risk activity. we have to be careful in places where there are a lot of cases and where there are a lot people who are unvaccinated. we see what's happening in the south where this delta variant rips through and finds people who are unvaccinated. i'm less concerned with an outdoor party where presumably a lot of people, if not all of them, are vaccinated. i'm more concerned with places with low vaccination rates. >> so that said, was it right move to make it smaller, especially with what's going on? >> i think it is, because we need to send a signal here that this is serious and that we've seen a rise in cases around the country. >> dr. reiner, do you agree?
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>> oh, yeah. look, it just wasn't bad optics for the former president to have a massive party during a pandemic, really horrible optics, but it was bad public health. remember what happened just a few weeks ago in provincetown, where large numbers of people, many of them vaccinated, got together, and there was a huge outbreak. it makes zero sense. i think it would have not just sent a wrong message, i think it was foolhardy to do it and it was good to take that down. >> thank you for that. dr. reiner, sources are telling cnn that defense secretary austin is going to mandate vaccines for active duty troops as soon as this week. do you think this is going to have a ripple effect in their communities and across the country? >> yeah, what a great decision to do that. remember, right at the beginning of the pandemic in march of 2020 there was a massive outbreak on the "uss theodore roosevelt" aircraft carrier where a quarter of the ship's crew, about 1,200
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sailors, were infected. so in close quarters, in the military is filled with people living in close quarters, this virus is very efficient. but more than just protecting our troops, which is a very important goal, you know, this country reveres the military. and if the military firmly embraces mandatory vaccines and our 1.5 million active duty troops are vaccinated, i think a lot of people are going to say if it's good enough for the military it's good enough for me. >> yeah. >> joe, i want to put out this new poll. put it up right here. it shows 53% of unvaccinated americans think that getting the shot is a bigger risk to their health than actually catching covid. i read your new article in "the washington post" where you argue that we're past the point of volunteer vaccines and mandates are the only way to protect people at this point. why do you say that? >> look at that stat right there, the poll you just put up. we've hit the limit of the
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voluntary approach. the biden administration has done a terrific job at getting this vaccine within five miles of every single person. everyone who wanted a vaccine has had a chance to get it. we've tried free beer. we've tried million-dollar lotteries. we've hit the limit. it's not enough for delta. so we've stalled. and the vaccine mandates are the only way. and here businesses see this, don. apple, google, microsoft, harvard. morgan stanley, disney, broadway. they all see it, that this is the path to getting open, bringing their customers back, having people feel safe. and don, it reminds me of march 2020 when people were very confused about this new virus and it was when the nba canceled the game that everybody's eyes widened up and said this is real. and i feel like it's the same moment. these businesses get it and they're leading the way and now we see others following. >> it's what's happening with soulcycle, equinox gyms and also here you can't go to the theater unless you show a vaccination card. this is where we are.
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dr. reiner, dr. fauci is warning, if a majority of people aren't vaccinated, there's ample chance for a more aggressive variant than delta. look, i just have to wonder, while vaccines are readily available here, they're not all around the world. so how much of a risk are we looking at here with multiple variants from all over the place? >> yeah, well, delta is bad enough. this is what viruses do. they mutate. they change over time. which is why you don't want large numbers of people harboring this virus for a long period of time because the virus will continue to change. so, you know, this administration has a big challenge. not only to vaccinate this country, but we need to vaccinate the world. we just can't lock ourselves in our borders because the virus doesn't care. the virus will reach us. if it mutates abroad, it will come to the united states.
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it is in the united states' public health interest to vaccinate the world. we need to be a leader in that. >> joe and dr. reiner, thank you so much. i appreciate it. good to see both of you. >> my pleasure. >> thanks for having me. they're rooting against olympians, booing athletes, calling them names. and the thing is these are americans going after team usa. plus, a passenger threw punches on a plane. then this happened. but your stomach doesn't. that disagreement ends right now. lactaid ice cream is the creamy, real ice cream you love that will never mess with your stomach. lactaid ice cream.
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with the olympics under way in tokyo, publicity is criticizing -- excuse me, publicly criticizing america's olympic athletes has become a sport all its own among the president, his right-wing followers here at home. trump cheering a loss by the u.s. women's soccer team which he blames on what he calls woke-ism, which he claims ruins people. >> the u.s. women's soccer team is a very good example of what's going on. earlier this week, they unexpectedly lost to sweden 3-0. and americans were happy about it. you proved that point before i
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even said it. >> jesus. i mean, all sweaty. probably can't even climb the stairs and he's talking about olympic athletes. but remember, that's one of team star players megan rapinoe has been -- rapinoe, excuse me, has been a fierce critic of trump. let's discuss know. jemele hill, contributing writer for "the atlantic." i'm so upset, i can't even get my words out. what is wrong with people, jemele? what is that? >> i just look at that clip and you know what, if it's impolitic to say, like why is he so dumb? i don't know why he insists on doing these things. he's off social media, he's out of the public eye, and i guess this is what he feels like is his only way to stay relevant, to attack americans who in many respects have put far more on the line than he has, who have actually done something wonderful for this country, and how these athletes have committed themselves to their
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sports, how they have represented this country. and so to be under attack by other americans is just really disgusting, don. that's the only way i can think of it. >> i apologize to megan, i met her, we hung out in the makeup room here, in the green room, and i'm mispronouncing her name. megan, i'm sorry. did you ever think you would ever see a former president of the united states root really against a u.s. olympic team, celebrating their loss, even encouraging the crowd to boo them? >> no. but i also didn't expect somebody like him to get elected. so i guess fair is fair. i think the thing that is hard about watching that is hearing the cheering section. like i'd expect donald trump to be ignorant, to be racist, to be xenophobic, to be all the things that he is. what i don't expect is for other americans to join in on this party and to pile on to athletes who have done nothing, again, but represent their sport, represent this country to the finest degree possible, who still compete for this country
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even though many of them are representing marginalized communities who have been under attack by policies that were ushered in by donald trump and many of the people cheering on for their demise. so that's not -- we don't look at the sacrifice of that, of representing a country that sometimes rejects you, which they do heartily, easily, and with their full selves. and so to see other americans attack them is just -- again, it's just something that they don't deserve in the slightest. >> one of those trump propaganda outlets that call themselves news, the host had a segment called "the woke olympics." where he said that he took pleasure in seeing the u.s. men's basketball and women's soccer teams lose. players on both of these teams are outspoken about racial justice, about equal pay, about lgbtq rights and other causes. isn't standing up for what you believe in about as american as it gets? >> i thought it was. i was under the impression that we value the ability to love our
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country but also point out where it could be better. you know what's so funny about all these people that are suddenly performing by saying that you know, they're happy that u.s. athletes lost in certain sports, is that i guarantee you that if he saw jayson tatum on the street all he would do is walk up to him and ask for an autograph. that's it. that's the other part of it that bothers me, is that they're just talking a big game and they can't bust a grape with a hammer, as they say. >> remember what happened with tommy smith. remember muhammad ali? people despised him and then he ended up becoming a hero to most people in this country. let's hope the tables will turn one day. we seem to be in uncharted waters. when simone biles announced she was withdrawing from the first event, putting her mental health first, she was immediately attacked, jemele, people on the right called her a quitter, weak, unpatriotic, and quote, a selfish sociopath.
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i mean, she is universally considered the greatest female gymnast of all time and she doesn't owe anyone anything. >> no, she doesn't. i would even take it a step further and say she's the best athlete in the world right now. considering the way she's dominated her sport and the fact that she has four maneuvers that are named after her, the most decorated gymnast of all time, all that she's done, she had nothing to prove at these olympics. as a matter of fact, it was a miracle she was even there. i mean, she is the only -- or she was, rather, the only gymnast who was competing who was linked to the awful, horrific larry nassar case. and she still showed up for her country anyway. and despite having to deal with the loss of an aunt, having to deal with all these other challenges, she still wanted to perform and show up for this country. so to see a lot of people immediately turn their backs on
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her, it just was really a distasteful moment. unfortunately it wasn't a surprising one. >> thank you very much, jemele, good to see you. happy summer. looks like you're enjoying. i see that tan. it's on and popping. >> you see it. listen, you better let me flaunt this. let me stunt with this tan, don. let me stunt. >> listen, live your best life, we've been through a lot. thank you, jemele, see you soon. >> thank you. >> so from, you know, olympic athletes, the best of human behavior, right? to the worst. he allegedly groped flight attendants, threw some punches, then this happened. we've got the full story, next. think wearing less makeup means no need for a wipe? think again. neutrogena® makeup remover wipes remove the 30% of makeup ordinary cleansers can leave behind. your skin will thank you. neutrogena®. for people with skin.
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science supports these simple facts. there's only one true lysol. lysol. what it takes to protect. tonight, frontier airlines doing a major about-face now saying it supports a crew of flight attendants it initially suspended after they were forced to restrain with duct tape an unruly passenger who allegedly assaulted them. the incident, caught on video. here is cnn's pete muntean. >> [ bleep ]. >> reporter: new video from a weekend frontier airlines flight shows what flight attendants call the ugliest case of an unruly passenger yet. >> shut the [ bleep ] up! >> reporter: miami-dade police allege that passenger maxwell berry ordered two drinks,
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spilled a third on himself, emerged from the bathroom shirtless then groped the breasts of two flight attendants. police say, a third flight attendant was assigned to watch berry when he started throwing punches. >> hey! >> reporter: video then shows a flight attendant taping the passenger to his seat, prompting frontier to initially suspend its flight crew from the job. >> after an incident like this we are going to do, you know, a thorough investigation and really review what happened. how it happened. and how it was handled. >> reporter: now, in a new statement, the airline says it is supporting the crew and the prosecution of berry by law enforcement, an announcement that came after criticism from sara nelson of the association of flight attendants. >> all the crew had on board that flight for any kind of restraint was duct tape. and so if we want flight attendants to be using other procedures, then we have to make that possible for them to have other tools and procedures to use. >> just call the cops. >> reporter: the tsa is restarting flight attendants' self-defense training as
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in-flight issues are becoming more common. of 3,700 cases reported to the faa this year, so far only 99 have triggered enforcement action. police have already charged berry with three counts of battery but flight attendants say prosecution of other problem passengers needs to be just as swift. >> are you scared? >> sometimes. a little bit. yeah. you get on a plane full of people, and some of them aren't very happy and you just never know what's going to happen. >> reporter: one flight attendant union surveyed 5,000 of its members and 85% of them reported dealing with an unruly passenger in this year alone. of those, just shy of one in every five said the passenger became physical with the flight crew. by the way, the passenger in this incident, 22-year-old maxwell berry of ohio, is not responding to our requests for comment. don. >> pete muntean, thank you very much. i appreciate that. thanks for watching, everyone. our coverage continues.
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welcome to all of you watchingis h us here in the uni states and around the world. i'm kim brunhuber. ahead -- >> the next variant is just around the corner if we do not get vaccinated. >> the surging delta variant is just one pandemic concern and now top experts are warning of new variants could emerge if more americans don't get vaccinated. plus a cnn exclusive report, videos revealed belarus may be building priso


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