tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN August 20, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
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tony blinken warning a catastrophe on the ground in afghanistan when the u.s. withdraws. it is the situation we are seeing right now. the diplomat calls for a swift evacuation of afghanistan. the cdc reports covid-19 for children reaching the highest as ever. d.c. police arrested a man who he claims to have a bomb. let's bring in john harwood and author of "joe biden," the life, the run and what matters now. john, the president is insisting the afghanistan withdrawal is going as well as it could have. but in the memo raises questions about his administration handling of it. what do you know? >> well, look, they're clearly
people within the government who felt there was greater urgency to the situation than the administration was reflecting. we have seen it in the state department memo, we have seen it in the leaks of the intelligence community suggesting there were some dire prediction in the intelligence community, of course president biden and chief of staff milley had said that there was not a consensus that the government was going to crumble so fast. from president biden's point of view, he had bad options. one is if he acted in an accelerated manner to have a mask evacuation, he risk undermining confidence in the government and accelerating the collapse of the government and sof of the statements he made of the taliban.
had he hinted the taliban was going to take over, that would under cut the confidence. he could send in more troops to stabilize the situation. that's going in the wrong direction of the policy he wanted to pursue. what he did was trying to go along with the troop levels he had, they did try to speed up visas for interpreters but obviously not fast enough, the government collapsed and that's the source of most of the disorder and challenges that we face now. it is a tough situation. it certainly does not make the administration looks good. but, i think joe biden thought his options were not very good. >> evan, put this in context for us here. the administration struggling to explain what happened here while trying to fix a desperate situation at the same time. the president's agenda and jobs and the pandemic largely been successful. how will this all shake out?
>> yeah, you know i am reminded if something infected, senator biden said then, president clinton some years ago, he told him not long there is a foreign policy adventure. the first lesson is you are not going to be able to control how your agenda is received. it is going to be defined by events. those are waves that crash over you and you have to respond. that's the position he finds himself in now. look, you can't sugar coat this. the event in the last few days are something no presidents see to have in his watch. joe biden been in politics for a long time, he knows it will be an image to recover from. what they have ahead of them is an opportunity to show the united states can regroup on this question, the same way it is regrouping on covid over the course of this year and the way
you see the economy come and excel under this presidency. the next few days are crucial. this is the period when it is going to come town to get the american citizens who are there and facing this big challenge which you and john just talked about as the representatives were indicating in their cable internally which was about afghan allies. 50,000 to 65,000 afghans. that's the challenge we'll largely define in some way of the full legacy of america's experience in this period. >> in a big way this president legacy, one of his selling points, evan, was his experience. we were told that his administration was going to be the full grown ups of policy experience in fix things and not like his predecessor. is this a blow to that image or remains to be seen? >> part of it will be about how
much are they able to speak candidly about what went wrong and and what are the lessons learned? joe biden has been clear for 20 years of how he thought about the war in afghanistan and his concerns. the chaos of the last few days as he indicated in an interview yesterday where in his mind they were in some ways inevitable. they didn't have to be as bad as it was. this was not something anybody in his administration wanted to happen. they're in a position of saying okay, this has to end. we have not established the institutions and the culture there that were going to create a positive world for the united states. we now know that in vivid details. in order for the united states to leave there with some measure of honor, it has to go in and federal go
federal government to go out and use your skills set for the cause. >> well, look, americans have supported impulse by getting out of afghanistan, the longest war in american's history, 20 years. those are lightly held. there was never going to be a big political pay off for joe biden in this and now there is certainly not going to be and as evan indicated, those were the worse kinds of images a commander in chief would want the american people to see on his watch. it is the most crucial part of the challenge is in front of him. that's managing the evacuation over the next several weeks to get people out safely. we have not seen american casualties, we have not seen widespread loss of life. this is a recoverable situation.
foreign affairs are not at the top of our agenda politically. the views are susceptible to events. even if you had a smoothly managed withdrawal and a subsequent terrorist incident and argument, departure of afghanistan led to a resignature j jens of afghanistan, he would be vulnerable to that. this is something president biden decided based on the belief. he was going to take this step. it is a difficult step. three presidents intended to take the step. he's now ripped that band aid off. his president is going to rise or fall, covid and the economy and not on afghanistan. >> thank you, i appreciate it. coronavirus cases are surging across the country,
that's not stopping politicians like the qanon like marjorie taylor greene for pushing dangerous information of the very things that experts say will help keep us safe. here is what she said today. >> i am completely against masks and vaccines. the vaccines are failing. >> i don't need to tell you that's not true. you know that's not true. the science is clear, vaccines save lives and help stop the spread. good evening. thank you sir, let's talk about marjorie taylor greene bringing her antivaccine message to iowa. do people on the ground believe all of her misinformation?
>> reporter: greene does this thing where she preface her statement on the she goes on monologues attacking vaccines. that's a message that's resonating with reporters here. have a listen. >> reporter: would you consider getting the vaccine if more business where you can only go into a restaurant if you have proof of a vaccine? >> no. this is america. we are a free country and free people. we have the right to decide what goes on with our bodies and mandatory vaccines. r it is un-american the government has no place in doing that. >> i am not vaccinated and i am not going to get vaccinated. it don't matter covid or whether if i get hit by a truck. life is what it is.
we'll take it how god give it to us. >> reporter: you wear a seat belt, right? >> there is a 50/50 chance it will save you or not. >> reporter: but taking the vaccines is like taking a step. >> no, i am not taking the jab. >> reporter: there is some folks, nothing you can say to them will convince them to take the shot. >> okay. despite all of this covid misinformation, there is a vaccination tent at that fair, are people taking advantage of it. if they are, what are their reasons for getting the shot now? >> reporter: yes, that was the bad news. this is the good news that there is a vaccine tent here, the super market chain have a vaccine center set up here and they said over 200 people have gotten their shot here at the fair. we met older gentleman this
afternoon who got their shot and they work here at the fair and traveling the country. they said partially because the reason why they are getting it because new mexico requires staff to be vaccinated. it was a safer thing to do especially they had been wearing masks. they felt safer with the vaccine. there is a possibility that some folks' minds have been changed. this gentleman came around to it. there is some positive in all of this happening here at the fair. >> progress, progress. take it where we can get it. thank you. i want to turn to mr. brownstein and miss amanda carpenter. good evening to both of you. amanda, you both. you heard the people donnie spoke with tonight. we are seeing this across the
country but is there anything that can actually stop this dangerous information? >> nothing can stop the dangerous information from getting out? >> no. it is out. it is really amazing. that clip that you guys played from greene, she's considered a member but her messaging no mask and no mandate is right in the wheel house. if you listen to things that florida governor desantis is saying comparing mask mandates to medical authorityism. they all do this dance, you can get the vaccine if you want and they go and indulge every concern someone may have not to get it. we pedalled every other thing except the vaccine, there is herd immunity and
hydroxychloroquine and we have the answer. it is the vaccine but because trump politicized this whole mess so much, they are looking into everything else except for what works, mandates and masks. >> it is interesting because if you get -- you are putting stuff into your body than the vaccine. you got sick and your chances of recovery are worse. oh boy, i can't make -- okay, so ron, i have to get your take. this is breaking news out of texas. the supreme court is refusing to intervene on mask mandates issued by several local jurisdictions. i think we are overcome kpli kating it. the courts agreed the courts can mandate masks.
what does it all mean right now? >> first of all, the extent of the open defiance and rebellion we are seeing in texas, now dozens of school districts is truly extraordinary. every large metro in the state now is overly defying what the governor wants to do. the governor asked the supreme court to intervene to block all of these local mask mandates. what the state supreme court says was no, you have to go through the regular process and the texas agency says they'll not enforce abbott's ban on mandates until all allegations are done. it is a signal that some republicans are looking for a way off of the ledge that the
governor has moved the party to on this. this comes as the county judge and the county supervisor in dallas county announced a few days ago, there is no pediatric icu beds available in north texas. the head of texas in houston says 20% of their cases are kids. abbott and paxton have taken republicans to an extreme position, one that could threaten suburban voter which are still critical in deciding the balance of power in the state. it is not clear where the next stage goes. it is not over yet. >> and abbott and desantis keep on fighting with masks. you find important similarities where these feuds are happening. what is that? tell me about it. >> we have never seen about this
defiance of this many large jurisdiction from republicans toover ride and free their decisions. what we are seeing is the governor in each state in both texas and in florida are trying to override decisions in counties that voted against him. if you look for all counties in florida trying to oppose the mask mandate, hillsboro and miami beach and orange county, they all voted against desantis in 2018 and similarly in texas, all the big counties except for tarrant county voted against a bo abbott. what we are seeing is as crystallization of a long dynamic where you have republicans in the sun belt states rooted in -- using their
state's power to override the decision. this is the moment i think where we are seeing the breaking point and those metros pushing back and it is going to produce epic battles for the governorship in 2022 in florida and georgia and arizona and maybe in texas. it is less clear that the democrats will have a top tier candidate. >> amanda, a lot of right-wing argued against masks of freedom and liberty. what's free about getting people sick with the delta variant? >> i can't imagine anyone getting sick and staring down the possibility of having a tube stuck down their throat. all the push-back against masks and mandates is definitely cloaked in this language of freedom, medical freedom and pushing back as desantis says medical authorityism.
especially when it comes to this red state governor and blue state dynamic that ron written so openly about. i encourage everybody to read it. conservatives believe in local data and control. we are seeing that play out when you have these blue metro type areas, we want to make decisions and etcetera as needed. this also reminds me of the broader debate of the electoral college and how long republicans can continue to have political dominance while catering to a minority just because of built in advantages they have in the system. right now it is catering to the medical freedom as they say is the unvaccinated. >> that's high praise coming from the woman who wrote the book. i would take that and give her the last word. >> i will take it. >> thank you both. i appreciate it. the latest front in the mask wars, georgia where parents in one school district are battling the school board and speaking up
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>> i have heard the argument that we all want to make our own choices. to that i say your choices taken my choice away. i don't have a choice but to send my children, one severely asthmatic into an unsafe environment. i don't know if there is a certain number of positive cases you are looking for or a certain number of kids need to die before you humble yourself. >> it is alarming and disturbing that the school system ill thought would protect my boys is deliberately leaving them to illness. >> you are asking us to drop our children in shark waters and forcing them to swim without a raft. >> let's discuss. a parent of two children and pulmon pulmonary, dr. lynn, thank you for joining us.
you sign on a letter urging school board to consider more safety measures. our students, staff and community deserved to be protected while they learn. your decisions have placed the majority of them at risk. delta is serious. do these county officials get that? >> i don't know. you know, i work in the hospital where i see a lot of icu patients and the great majority of patients are sick and it is horrible. i think the biggest thing i am concerned about in my county is protecting all the kids. i don't know if they understand that. >> i have spoken to parents and doctors who have been threatened and yelled at because they supported masks in school. w were you concerned of what reaction you take in your stance?
>> yeah, i think from my standpoint, i am isolated working countless hours in the hospital. i am not able to have time going to the rally which i would love to go to. i just feel like i need to do what i can to get the message out that i think masks are really important. >> we know how kids are. does it put them in a spot where if some kids have to wear them and some kids don't? >> it does not make any sense if you leveave it up to the kids, kids want to wear a mask. if you have some kids wear a mask and some don't, it does not do anything. you are exposing so many kids to other kids that may have covid and may not, we don't know? that's the problem. >> i don't know, if you make the
masks fun and do contests and that kind of thing, maybe kids want to do it. they'll get their cues from their parents. you had two young kids in school. you are so busy treating patients, you said you don't get a chance to go to the rally and all that. treating patients with corid, you can't attend the meetings. talk to us what it is like in your hospital right now? >> i know you had gone for louisiana, it is probably exactly what you saw. it is awful. we have 21-bed icu. we have probably 30 to 35 icu care patients. we are over capacity. the great majority is covid patients. it is really sad. i feel bad for the patients and their family that they can't see the patients. it is preventable. it is hard on patients and the families and also the staff trying to take care of these pat
patients. really difficult. >> it is preventable. that's the most frustrating part. south of you, biggest school districts are kwquarantining an the school barely entreopened t. is it possible to sustain school without masks right now? >> well, it is a good question. i think the problem is that we have all these cases and then there is the quarantine process, i don't think it is very good. at some point you are going to get more and more cases. that's just how it goes with covid especially with the delta variant being so contagious. >> dr. lin, thank you, the best of luck and we appreciate the work you do in the hospital. thank you very much. >chaos in capitol hill, aftr a man live stream inside his truck holding what he says was a bomb. his facebook page shows he
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thank you for helping us out with this disturbing story. the suspect is in custody. the area is clear now and authorities did not find a bomb in the vehicle. what more do you know? >> there is no doubt, don. it was a tense couple of hours on capitol hill today. capitol police did not find a bomb in this man's truck. what they did find is what they called bomb making materials. this is after a standoff of five hours where the suspect drove his truck in front of the library of congress, from the united states capitol and went on facebook and live streamed along list of -- that led capitol police blocking many people down in billings surrounding that area. the supreme court and the library of congress and
everything turned out to be, he ended up surrendering peacefully and he didn't have merely the danger material in the car he he claimed to but just six or so months after what happened on january 6th, there were a lot of anxious people capitol hill today. >> a lot of people out there with issues that you know needs to be dealt with, concerning mental health and connection to reality and what israel and what's not. the suspect was live streaming the entire time. what was he saying? >> when you talk about his mental health was on display in this live stream. i watched everything he posted on facebook and it was on facebook for a significant amount of time given the rhetoric and the danger he posed. we don't want to show you too much of it. a lot of what he said didn't make a whole heck of sense but here is a small sample.
>> you see me? 2.5 block and you are talking about a revolution? the revolution is here. it is today. >> what he said crystallized and so much rhetoric. he demanded president joe biden to step down. cnn spoke with his son after this incident was all over, he said that after the election he was very upset that the former president donald trump did not win and kind of put him into a tail spin and he had loss of family members the last couple of months. it ended peacefully but it shows that there is still a problem here when it comes to violent political rhetoric and what it could lead to. it turns out not to be a serious thing here today but there is no doubt of a lot of people in
capitol hill and washington in general that are concerned that something worse could happen in the future. >> well said ryan nobles. appreciate the reporting. let's turn to daryl johnson, he's the author of "a long hard look at america's extremist heart." thank you, appreciate you j joining us. the man is in custody and he calls himself a patriot and he was talking about a revolution and he called for all democrats to step down. clearly the threat we saw on january 6th, that type of threat is not going away. >> that's exactly right. one of the big take aways from this incident, thank goodness he didn't have the amount of explosives he was bragging about. what i look at is these people looking at the events unfolding over in afghanistan, some of these patriots have military experience and been over to afghanistan and seeing how the country was able to at the
deteriorate and here we are in 2021 when we got this pandemic that's ongoing and a lot of extremist are agitated about the mask mandate and government revelation and looking at an infringement on the right and now we have this event in afghanistan which gives -- and couple dog with the 2020 census information that was released shows a big change in our demographics and our country. this will helicocontinue to supr extremists. this is manifesting an ongoing threat that's not going away any time soon. >> to that end and today tit wa
not a mob we saw on january 6th. it was one man in the car claiming to have a bomb. tell us about the current domestic terror threat especially with lone wolf attackers. >> right, the extremists in this country those who turn violent and mobilize towards terrorist action, they follow this concept of lone wolf, emphasizing surveillance targets in your community and operating in stelt and so it is very difficult for law enforcement to detect these types of threats and mitigate against them. this gentleman is an kaexample that. this is the kind of a start of something that may grow given the event in afghanistan and the u.s. census results released
this past week. >> thank you so much. >> thank you, don. he's known for inflammatgen now the protrump larry elder going against gavin newsom. uhhh... how long does credit repair take? i don't know, like 10 years. what? are you insane? what's a good credit score? go. 600. maybe if you're trying to pay thousands extra in interest rates. cut the confusion, get started with a free credit evaluation at creditrepair.com. if you think all pads are exactly the same,... think again. this is always ultra thins reinvented with the new always triple protection system. this pad wicks gushes 50% faster...
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the leading republican candidate hoping to replace newsom is a conservative radio host named larry elder, a trump's supporter known for his rhetoric. more from cnn's kyung lah. >> reporter: larry elder won't stop to answer our questions outside his public rally. what he prefers, the prepared stage and his fans. >> elleder is leading. >> this man i am going to defeat on september 14th. a trump supporter. elder is energizing the republican base. >> the momentum is going with the republicans.
>> a first time candidate, he never held office, better known for i mflammatory. >> i felt minorities and women complain too much of racism and sexism. >> reporter: elder writing women know less than men about political issues and economics and current events. less they know the easier manipulation. you have no right to maternity leave. elder says employers should be able to ask women if they plan to get pregnant. >> i believe a female employer could ask questions of a female employee directly impacts on whether that person is going to be able work full-time.
>> reporter: this was elder's position in 2008. >> global warming is a hoax. >> reporter: elder spent years online promoting global warming as a myth. he also posted a ten-step to fix america's plan which includes abolish the irs and eliminate corporate taxes and take government out of education, arguing it should be in the hands of the private sector. legalize drugs and abolish the minimum wage. that position has not changed. elder tweeted this month, the ideal minimum wage is zero. one position shifting this month, who won the 2020 election to the sacramento b. >> i do believe joe biden won the election. >> reporter: two weeks later after blow back of the trump base. >> do i believe joe biden won
fair and square? was there an election fraud in 2020, are you kidding me? >> reporter: the flip-flop is not sitting well with trump supporters. >> joe biden won the election fairly and squarely? >> i am answering the question. >> he didn't want to talk to us about it either. >> there was that last question -- >> what else did i talked about? >> reporter: he didn't stick around long enough for me to ask. how concerned are california democrats about larry elder? governor newsom campaign released an attack ad on elder increasingly his sharpest attacks have been about larry elder mentioning him by name. the governor has been stressing that in a state where democrats out numbered republicans 2-1, a governor larry elder would be out of step with the majority voters in this liberal state.
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in the weawake of the talib rapid takeover, the u.s. remains in talks with the taliban as evacuations continue. and as covid cases rise, the pressure to introduce more vaccine and mask mandates is mounting. after an earthquake and storm, haiti desperately needs help. hello, i'm kim brunhuber. welcome to our viers viewers in united states, canada and around the world. this i