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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  October 5, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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and we need to do it fast because, of course, there are so many effects of this. it's not just the environment. it's the economical aspect of all of this, too. so a lot of work to be done. >> camila bernal, thank you very much. and to our viewers, thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. outfront next. democrats scrambling for more options on raising the debt ceiling as the deadline to avoid america's first-ever default looms large. the s.e.c. chairman tonight warns of massive volatility in the markets, and says the u.s. is on uncharted water. plus, gabby petito's family speaking out and saying, quote, someone needs to start talking to help solve the mystery of gabby's death. and rocket man. new details tonight on what will be william shatner's historic journey to space at the age of 90. let's go outfront. and good evening, i'm erin burnett. out front tonight, going
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nuclear. faced with the real possibility that america will default on its debt for the first time in u.s. history, cnn is learning tonight that democrats are scrambling for new ways to raise the debt ceiling without a single republican vote in the senate. because right now, the republicans flat out refuse to pay the bills for their own spending. one idea democrats are floating tonight is a nuclear option, which would get rid of that 60-vote filibuster-proof vote. and a flurry of activity comes as the chairman of the s.e.c., the securities and exchange commission gives one of the strongest warnings yet about the risks of an american default. >> we would have significant volatility in the markets and we'd see some breakages in the system. if that were to go into default, we'd be in for some of the greatest challenges we've seen in our financial sector. we'd be in very uncharted waters. it -- it -- the uncertainties abound around this.
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>> right now, though, democrats are on their own to figure out a way to avoid the possible catastrophe that they and others, including janet yellen and other major market players have warned about. because republicans are making it clear tonight that this, they see as a democrat problem. >> i implore them one more time not to play russian roulette with the american economy. we've been down this path before when you did not have divided government, and the party and the majority got the job done. they need to do this. they have the time to do it. and the sooner they get about it, the better. >> they. they. they. we are all in this, together. senator mitch mcconnell, though, has no problem, himself, voting to suspend the debt limit. including three times under former-president trump.
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"washington post" tally there. and let's not forget, he and other republicans, of course, helped rack up the debt that the united states now needs to pay off. remember that under trump's watch alone, the united states of america's debt rose $7.8 trillion, which is a 40% increase. so much for the party of fiscal responsibility. but now, mcconnell doesn't want to pay the bills due and he thinks he can force democrats to go it alone through reconciliation. the lengthy process that would mean democrats have to do it without any republican help, and could push the nation right up to the deadline of october 18th. and tonight, president biden admits that the democrats are in a corner. >> there's not much time left to do it by reconciliation. they can keep it on two -- they can keep us on the floor for -- they can just delay this. i don't think they are going to end up being that irresponsible. i can't believe it. >> well, it's a corner democrats can't even publicly agree how to get out of. they don't like the idea, many of them, of reconciliation. even as the clock is ticking.
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>> thank you. >> no. it is too complicated. >> you think leadership should go the reconciliation route? >> all right. so there is another problem with going it alone for democrats. and you'll be shocked to hear it's entirely political. shocked. well, going it alone, though, does make it much easier for republicans to despite that 32, you know, vote history of mcconnell, people remember the moment, right? so he can say, well, i didn't vote for this and it's the out-of-control spending by democrats that are causing this who happen to control the white house, the senate, and the house. in fact, adds like this if democrats have to go it alone will blancket the air waves. >> pelosi's socialist-style spending plan. >> hmm. here's the thing, though. let's not forget. the shoe was on the other foot, then-senator joe biden did not vote to increase the debt ceiling in 2004 and 2006 and biden described his vote as a protest of george w. bush's
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policies. hmm, sound familiar? was wrong then. and it's wrong now. manu raju is outfront live on capitol hill and, manu, down to the wire. i know you are learning democrats are scrambling to find other ways to lift the debt ceiling so what are you hearing? >> there are only a handful of options they truly have. one is to overcome a republican filibuster and they need 60 votes for that. that means ten republicans would need to break ranks. tomorrow, republicans approwill filibuster. so then the other option, get an agreement from all 100 senators to set a threshold. just 51 senators to suspend the national debt ceiling but one republican senator can object to prevent that. that is expected to happen so what are the other options? potentially, using that budget process to go through over maybe a two-week period to eventually get to a final vote that would be a simple majority that can't be filibustered but democrats refuse to go down that route even as republicans are demanding it. so one option that is being increasingly discussed is what to do about the existing senate filibuster rules that require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
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there is discussion internally today and it happened last week about lowering the filibuster threshold to 51 votes just to have a carve-out on the debt ceiling issue, itself. but to do that, you need support from all 50 democrats to agree to any changes to the senate rules. and of course, one of those senators, joe -- joe manchin, who along with kyrsten sinema have dug in, have opposed any changes to those filibuster rules along with a handful of others. today, though, manchin would not explicitly say if he opposes changing the senate's filibuster rules. only telling me earlier that we will not doefault. he insisted congress will never default. so we will see where they ultimately come out. and one other option, too, erin. some discussion internally about whether the administration, on its own, can use its constitutional authority to raise the debt ceiling and at the moment it's unclear if they are going to do just that but all sorts of options being discussed as we approach that october-18th deadline. >> all right. well, part of the reason this is
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all happening as it always does, even though the debt ceiling, you know, it's been raised 87 times and never once resulted in a drop in spending. it's always new spending that sparks the fight. and the new spending here, of course, is president biden's, you know, spending package. and, you know, the progressives wanted 3.5 trillion. i'm sorry, that was done from 6.5 trillion. president biden now says 1.9 to $2.2 trillion and that's -- that's what he is offering. of course, obviously, that's significantly lower than that $3.5 trillion price tag that was a no-go for the moderate senators, joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. but manchin had been talking about 1.5 trillion, right, for months. so you have talked to manchin about the new top line. what did he tell you? >> he is actually open to that 1.9 to $2.2 trillion. of course, so many details need to be sorted out and that's still too low for some progressive house democrats who want to set that no lower than 2.5 trillion. but he also made clear that he did have concerns about the way
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that money would be spent. take a listen. >> i'm concerned about the inflation. i'm concerned about -- about the debt of our nation. i'm more concerned about our nation and our country turning into more of a entitlement society versus a rewarding society. >> so those are in reference to the new programs, social programs, that would be created under this massive expansion of the social safety net. he wants those pared back. so, erin, so many issues they still have to resolve even as democratic leadership wants this resolved within days. >> even using the words entitlement society completely -- look, that is going nuclear on the progressives and what they want to achieve. manu, thank you very much. and i want to go to the white house now. kaitlan collins. so, kaitlan, the president just spoke moments ago about this looming deadline. what did he say? >> yeah, we asked if this is a real possibility that democrats are considering this carve out of the filibuster that manu was just talking about to raise the debt limit because you heard the president earlier. he said that they feel like there are very few options right
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now when it comes to this. though, he did seem to indicate he thinks, in the end, republicans will get on board. but he just told me on the south lawn that it is a real possibility that they are considering using this so-called nuclear option to raise the debt limit because essentially democrats have been arguing about this with republicans about what is the way to proceed here when it comes to raising the debt limit. and we know it is something they are talking about behind closed doors and it is not something that senator manchin has ruled out and so it dlaeclearly is something the president has been having discussions with them, as well. we have been having reporting on these discussions going back and forth between democrats over what that social spending package should look like, erin. is when it comes to the hyde amendment. that, of course, is what blocks most federal funding for abortions and in most cases. there are a few exceptions for rape and incest and that is going senator joe manchin has said his support for that bigger package is conditioned upon. but progressives like congresswoman pramila jayapal have said they will not support
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it if it does include the hyde amendment. and so, the white house has declined to say so far what the president's position ison this . and i just asked him about it and he said he will sign this package either way. if it's included or if it's not because he just wants to get the bill passed and so that is incredibly significant when it comes to these negotiations over, you know, the price tag but also what's going to be included in here. >> and it's such a crucial point that kaitlan's laying out here about the hyde amendment because that's a thing of -- of deep principle, right? obviously, for both jayapal and manchin. all right, kaitlan, thank you so much. with all that news from the white house, i want to bring in democratic congressman hakeem jeffries of new york. he is chairman of the house democratic caucus. so, congressman jeffries, i really appreciate your time tonight. you know, senator manchin. i don't know if you heard. i played a sound byte. but he said he is more concerned with this nation turning into an entitlement society than a rewarding society. that's the quote and that's his concern about some of what the
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progressives have in this bill. can -- can manchin's specific concerns, his -- his use of words like entitlement society be satisfied in a way that doesn't alienate progressives? >> well, what progressives want to accomplish and what the house-democratic caucus wants to accomplish is to make sure that hard work is rewarded which is not necessarily the case in many spaces throughout america. certainly, that's not the case with home care workers, essential workers who care for the poor, the sick, the afflicted, the elderly doing incredibly important work for our families throughout america. but not necessarily being paid in a manner that allows them to live even a decent life. that needs to change. that's part of the build back better act. we want to make sure that the hard work in terms of childcare workers who will care for our children enable both women and men to go off to work.
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allow the economy to -- to work in maximum efficiency that those childcare workers are rewarded. so, i certainly would disagree with the characterization of an entitlement society. we want to make sure that that basic-american contract which is if you work hard and play by the rules, you can provide a comfortable living for yourself and your family. that that contract is not stamped null and void. >> so, president biden told house progressives that the bill has to come down from the 3 3.5 trillion to somewhere between 1.9 and 2.2. obviously, i know there are some in the progressive caucus who say look we came down from 6.5 so take a hike. but there may be others willing to work with him. is biden's new price range acceptable to you? the 1.9 to 2.2 #? >> well i think rather than discussing the number, president biden himself has said explicitly to us during that
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meeting with the house democratic caucus is let's focus on the things that we are trying to do for the american people. drive down the high cost of lifesaving prescription drugs which is a promise. >> look. so, i understand exactly what you are saying. and i agree with you. but i -- i do think, ultimately, given this focus on the number from people like congresswoman jayapal and, obviously, she is very focused on the substance, as well. but the number matters a lot here. and so, let me phrase the question to you this way. can you accomplish the substantive things you want in your agenda not having them expire in the year 2025 for between 1.9 and $2.2 trillion? >> we certainly are going to try to accomplish everything that's important to making sure that we help the middle class, those who aspire to be part of it, working-class folks, young people, seniors. and that, i think, is where our focus should be. ultimately, we will have to arrive at a number but the discussion right now, in my view, should be around the substance. >> okay. so let me ask you about this other complication which is
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significant, right, because this is a matter of morality and principle for those who care deeply about it and that is the hyde amendment, right? whether the bill will include it or not. it is, of course, the statute that blocks federal funds from being used for most abortions. now, the two key figures in this process who have passionate views on this, senator manchin and congresswoman pramila jayapal. and they are completely at odds. take a listen. >> can you vote for a bill that does -- that has the hyde amendment in it is this. >> no. >> i'm not going to vote for anything that eliminates the hyde amendment the way we have had it and way it is right now. i'll keep that. >> so, jayapal says it can't be there. manchin says it has to be there. they both say they will not support it if -- if they don't get what they want. they're emphatic because as i said, this is an issue for each of morality and principle. how do you resolve that? >> well, i have great respect for both congresswoman jayapal and, of course, senator manchin.
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there are 220 democrats in the house. there are 50 democrats in the senate. we're all going to have to find the highest-common denominator in terms of moving forward to get done what we need to get done which is president joe biden's agenda to build back better for everyday americans. and so, with respect to the hyde amendment, they're strongly held views. i certainly support getting rid of the hyde amendment. it hurts, in particular, low-income women and women of color. many of whom come from neighborhoods like those that i represent. but i'm not prepared to say, personally, one way or the other, what i will do without seeing the ultimate package. and i think there's so many different moving parts, so many different issues to resolve. but at the end of the day, i believe we will get those issues resolved because we know the stakes are too high for the american people who have been suffering in the midst of a public-health crisis and an
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economic crisis connected to the pandemic. >> congressman jeffries, i appreciate your time. i always do. i thank you. >> thank you. and next, the facebook whistle-blower testifies saying the company knows it's harming people. and the buck needs to stop with, she says, mark zuckerberg. so, what's gonna happen? plus, breaking news. gabby petito's family speaking out and pointing fingers at the family of brian laundrie. saying somebody needs to start talking. and calls for an investigation tonight into one of the architects of trump's attempted coup. why even republicans are calling foul on a little-known lawyer named john eastman. bogeys on your six, limu. they need customized car insurance from liberty mutual so they only pay for what they need. woooooooooooooo... we are not getting you a helicopter. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ i brought in ensure max protein, with thirty grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! ( sighs wearily ) here, i'll take that! ( excited yell ) woo-hoo! ensure max protein.
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tonight, facebook trying to save face. the social media giant hitting back at whistle-blower frances haugen after her compelling testimony under oath before congress today. for more than thee hours, haugen answered questions from senators about the massive trove of internal documents, thousands of pages that she has and that she's now put out there, that she's leaked and her claims that the company put profits before people. brian stelter was there, and he is outfront. >> the only way we can move forward and heal facebook is we, first, have to admit the truth. >> and the truth according to frances haugen is that the social-media giant is hiding what it really knows about its impact on its users, including the spread of misinformation. >> facebook likes to paint that these issues are really complicated. facebook prioritized that
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content on the system, the re-shares over the impacts to misinformation, hate speech, or violence incitement. >> reporter: haugen testifying to the senate about what the company did and did not do to confront the spread of misinformation leading up to the 2020 election and beyond. >> 60 minutes, you said that facebook implemented safeguards to reduce misinformation ahead of the 2020 election. but turned off those safeguards right after the election. and you know that the insurrection occurred january 6th. do you think that facebook turned off the safeguards because they were costing the company money? because it was reducing profits? >> facebook changed those safety defaults in the runup to the election because they knew they were dangerous. and because they wanted that growth back, they wanted the acceleration of the platform back after the election, they -- they returned to their original defaults. and the fact that they had to -- to break the glass on january 6th and turn them back on, i think that's deeply problematic. >> reporter: another big focus of the hearing? how facebook and its other social media apps, including
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instagram, negatively impact kids. >> kids who are bullied on instagram, the bullying follows them home. it follows them into their bedrooms. the last thing they see before they go to bed at night is someone being cruel to them or the first thing they see in the morning is someone being cruel to them. >> reporter: senator richard blumenthal calling the revelations jaw-dropping and comparing facebook to big tobacco. >> it is documented proof that facebook knows its products can be addictive and toxic to children. and it's not just that they made money, again. it's that they valued their profit more than the pain that they cause to children and their families. >> reporter: the word addiction coming up over and over, again, during the testimony. >> just like cigarettes. teenagers don't have good self-regulation. they say explicitly, i feel bad when i use instagram, and yet i can't stop. um, we need to protect the kids.
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>> reporter: in a tweet, facebook responding saying haugen didn't actually work on these issues, directly. she was a product manager tackling misinformation, and had no direct reports and never attended a decision point meeting. but haugen brought receipts. research from inside facebook. documenting the damage being done. >> there are organizational problems. >> reporter: and during all this, where was mark zuckerberg? senators called out his absence. and referring to his recent uploads to facebook and instagram. >> rather than taking responsibility and showing leadership, mr. zuckerberg is going sailing. >> reporter: no new comment from zuckerberg today. meanwhile, erin, you caught me at the airport. i apologize. but haugen will be here soon, too. she is flying to the uk. she is testifying to parliament. she has a lot more to say, erin. >> wow. going straight there. all right. and of course, safe -- safe trip
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home, brian. all right. well outfront now, michael smerconish, host of cnn's smerconish. so, michael, today on capitol hill, you know, something that seemed to finally unite many democrats and republicans was their frustration and anger at facebook. senator after senator from both parties were placing blame on facebook saying it needs to be fixed. um, okay. but should the government be involved in fixing? >> if facebook doesn't fix itself, erin, i think the government will have no choice. i mean, what's obvious about this issue is that polarization threatens democracy. now, we see the proof that facebook contributes and knows that they contribute to that level of polarization. i think that up until now, we've all understood that bombastic personalities have driven this country into a partisan ditch. much more subtle, but yet there, has been the role of facebook through the news feed.
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and negativity engages people. misrepresentation, misinformation. all that hostility which we all don't like, unfortunately, there's an addictive nature to it. and they have been playing us through their algorithm. one other thing, if i might. before coming on tonight, i went online because i need a new suitcase and i googled a particular type of suitcase. i know i'm about to be bombarded with ads for different type of suitcase products. we all get that. what i don't think we've recognized is that in the same way that you indicate an interest in a type of political debate and issue, similarly, you're tripping the wires where you're fed that sort of information. >> right. okay. all of which is -- is true. you know, but senator ted cruz brought something up that i know is, you know, just an intellectually challenging issue, right? he said, look, some republicans are concerned when it comes to big tech about political censorship. so, there is the question of when the monitoring on this site goes too far, right? there's -- let's just put it this way. when does politics determine what misinformation is, as
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opposed to facts? so, for example, back in february, facebook said it would remove posts that falsely claimed, quote, covid-19 is manmade or manufactured. facebook dropped that rule in may when the biden administration said, oh, we are going to look into whether covid was leaked from the wuhan lab. no, leaked doesn't mean the same thing as manmade. obviously. but it makes the point, right, that somebody in -- in -- in politics can determine fact from fiction or what's appropriate on a site and that could be political censorship. how do tech companies walk that line? >> so i think it's impossible. i mean, the -- the revelations from the "wall street journal" based on frances haugen's information is that they've got 40,000 folks. there's a football stadium -- a small-f small-football stadium at facebook who do nothing but try and police this content. i don't think any amount of ai, artificial intelligence, or any type of oversight. you can't look over the shoulder of 3 billion users. and so, there will be things
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that will not be policed and i think there are elements of subjectivity to this. the biggest issue is what are we doing about section 230? that which give them carte blanche. gave them immunity for the content they put on their platform. >> right. right, as to whether they are a media company and all these crucial questions. michael smerconish, thank you so much as always for your thoughtfulness. next, the family of gabby petito speaking out tonight saying they believe brian laundrie is alive and hiding. >> coward. he's too coward to kill himself. too coward to come forward. he's just on the run. >> anyone that lived in that house is a coward. new calls for an investigation to john eastman. a little-known lawyer who tried to convince mike pence to overturn the election. one person leading the charge against eastman is a former-republican attorney general and he's outfront.
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they need to be ready for anything. i hope you're ready. 'cause we are. tonight, turn yourself in. that's the message from gabby petito's parents in their sit-down interview speaking directly to brian laundrie. a massive manhunt still underway for the 23-year-old after
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petito's body was found in wyoming more than two weeks ago. laundrie's sister is also speaking out tonight. pleading with her brother to come forward, and bring an end to all of this. leyla santiago is outfront. >> reporter: it's been three weeks since gabby petito's fiance, brian laundrie, has been seen. his sister, insisting she has no idea where her brother is. >> i do not know where brian is. i'd turn him in. >> reporter: she also expressed a range of emotions, feeling worried about him but also angry. >> i would tell my brother to just come forward, and get us out of this horrible mess. >> reporter: cassie says she lived in the same home with her brother and gabby. and never saw him get violent with petito. >> i don't stand for that. i wouldn't let that happen. >> reporter: on monday, cassie also revealing to protestors staked outside her home that brian flew home on august 17th, just five days after police pulled over the couple with petito telling officers laundrie hit her after she hit him. the attorney for laundrie's parents confirming in a statement to cnn that laundrie
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flew home the 17th, and returned to utah on august 23rd to rejoin gabby. and that, quote, brian flew home to obtain some items and empty and close the storage unit to save money as they contemplated extending the road trip. the couple was last seen together a few days later, august 27th, when they left a wyoming restaurant together. by september 1st, laundrie was back in florida without gabby petito. cassie says she saw brian during that august-17th trip but she says the last time she saw her brother was when he went camping with his parents at ft. de soto park on september 6th and there was no discussion about gabby. >> we just went for a couple of hours, and we ate dinner and had s'mores around the campfire, and left. and there was nothing peculiar about it. there was no feeling of grand good-bye. there was no nothing. >> reporter: today, gabby's parents and step parents speaking out on dr. phil's show saying they believe brian is definitely alive and in hiding. >> do you believe he's hiding
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somewhere? >> i -- i do. >> why do you believe that? >> because he's a coward. >> reporter: and they believe his parents know more about laundrie's disappearance. >> somebody needs to start talking. i do believe they know a lot more information. >> oh, yeah. >> putting out there. >> reporter: last week, the attorney for laundrie's parents released a statement saying, quote, chris and roberta laundrie do not know where brian is and were, quote, concerned about brian and hope the fbi can locate him. according to the police, brian laundrie's parents claim they last saw him on september 14th. they reported him missing three days later. when asked about her parents' involvement, cassie told abc -- >> i don't know if my parents are involved. i think if they are, then they should come clean. >> leyla, i know you actually just had a chance to speak to brian laundrie's sister. you know, just -- just moments
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ago on the phone. what did she tell you? >> well, erin, cassie laundrie is not willing to do any more on-camera interviews at this point. but we did briefly talk about the last time she spoke to her parents, roberta and chris laundrie. she says it was about two weeks ago, and that the conversation was very short because their attorney has made it clear to her that they cannot answer any of her questions. so despite the fact that she, herself, has a lot of questions, she said the last time she talked to the parents, it was a very short conversation about cassie's children. now, we have reached out to the laundrie parents' attorney. not only to talk about this but also to talk about what was said on dr. phil's show today. and we have not heard back. >> all right. leyla, thank you very much. with that new reporting, i want to go to dave aronberg, state attorney for palm beach county, florida. so, dave, leyla just spoke to brian laundrie's sister, cassie. she hasn't spoken to her parents for two weeks.
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they won't talk about brian. um, and their attorney is advising them not -- not to speak to her we also understand. what does that tell you that they're not just stonewalling investigators, they won't even talk to their own daughter? >> yeah, good evening, erin. it shows that they are doing everything possible to incriminate themselves in the court of public opinion. in a court of law, it's different. the lawyer represents the parents, not gabby. and gabby has been cooperative from the beginning. unlike the parents, gabby has been talking to investigators. unlike brian, she has not run and hid. and there was something very interesting at the beginning when the parents released a statement saying that it is our hope that the search for ms. petito is successful. that, to me, was not just cold and heartless, it was a tell that they knew more than they let on because they referred to gabby, 22 years old, who lived in their home for more than a year, who is said to be part of their family, they referred to her not as gabby but as ms.
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petito. notably, cassie, the sister, has always referred to her as gabby. >> yes. yes, she has. um, i mean, it is incredible. and -- and gabby's parents now speaking out in their first sit-down interview today. you know, i played a brief clip of that. i'm sorry. dave, from with dr. phil. they are talking more about how they tried to contact brian laundrie's parents. they started worrying about their daughter. they know their daughter lives with the -- with -- with that -- that couple, right? the laundries. and they reach out. so just listen to this. >> police officers called her. detectives called her. >> but you all called? >> yes. >> you called? you called? you called? >> i can't tell you how many times. >> you called and you call snd. >> he called. >> and what did you get? >> voice mails. >> voice mails. >> and then, i would send texts on top of that. >> no response? >> one of the texts. i mean, i -- going to call the police, right? you know, just letting you know because we have no idea. no responses.
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no -- a normal parent, when you text someone that they are going to call the cops because you can't find your child, they would reply. >> nothing. >> well, he is right about that. any normal parent would reply. and these are parents. you know, who -- who -- you know, who -- that -- that -- the daughter of gabby petito's parents, gabby lives in their home. i mean, it is -- it just seems damning. >> it sure does. to charge the parents with being an accessory after the fact, which is a serious felony, we would have to show that they knew that brian committed a crime and they did something to help prevent his arrest or punishment. it's not enough that they lawyered up. it's not enough that they remain silent. they have got to do more, like sanitize the van. like, destroy evidence. like, buy him a plane ticket to get out of town. but you can create an inference that they knew that brian committed a crime by the fact that they never reported her missing. gabby missing. they never told anyone.
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and that they've lawyered up and remained silent to this day. >> i mean, you know, he's home for 13 days. his fiancee's reported missing. he comes home with her car, she's not with him and his parents. they don't ask? they don't care? i mean, it doesn't make sense. i'll just say, as a human being, it doesn't make sense but i understand the difference between that and the court of law but i think that's what everyone wants to understand i appreciate your time. it's good to talk to you again. >> thanks, erin. >> okay. next, a group of legal experts want the california bar to investigate a little-known lawyer who tried to help trump overturn the election. >> we know there was fraud. we know that dead people voted. and the director of the national health institutes is stepping down and there's still no permanent fda commissioner. shouldn't americans be concerned about the complete lack of leadership? right now in public health? but i'm not chasing my dream anymore. i made a financial plan to live it every day. ♪ ♪
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new tonight. a bipartisan group of more than two dozen officials and lawyers demanding that the california bar investigate john eastman. eastman is a lawyer who tried to help donald trump overturn the election and his efforts
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included a six-step memo in which he urged the then-vice president mike pence to throw out seven states that president biden won so that trump could be declared the winner. and then, he made these comments on january 6th just before the actual insurrection. >> we know there was fraud. we know that dead people voted. machines contributed to that fraud. they put those ballots in a secret folder in the machines. sitting there, waiting, until they know how many they need. all we are demanding of vice president pence is this afternoon at 1:00, he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it, and the american people know whether we have control of the direction of our government or not. >> just to be clear here, obviously, what -- what he alleges happened did -- did not happen. but you saw rudy giuliani eagerly nodding on the side. outfront now, one of the former officials who is demanding the california bar investigation
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grant woods. he is the former republican attorney general of arizona and former chief of staff to the late-republican senator, john mccain. grant, i appreciate your time tonight. so based on the evidence that exists and what you are aware of, what do you think the california bar should do to eastman? >> well, first, they need to -- they need to start an investigation. they need to take it seriously. and i think discipline is -- is in order here. the same group of people, along with -- there's an organization called states united and many other organizations that have been fighting for our democracy for well over a year now. we looked at what rudy giuliani did, and we petitioned the new york bar association to suspend him from the practice of law. they did. and i think that could be in order here in california. you saw this -- this guy didn't look like the law professor there. he didn't look like the former dean of a law school which he was. he looked like some sort of ranting maniac there, and he was saying things that he knew were false or should have known were
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false. and those were reflected also in days earlier in the memos that he was writing to the vice president of the united states trying to get him basically to have a bloodless coup in this country. he knew that the law wasn't there, what he was saying the constitution said as a fact was not a fact. and he knew that the -- the underlying -- um -- fraud that he was alleging had already been thrown out in 60 out of 60 lawsuits across the country. >> right. >> this is -- a lawyer takes an oath and they need to be better than that. and we're just not going to say, well, that was a year ago, that was a long time ago. we are going to stay on this, and we're going to ask the bar associations to discipline their lawyers when they need it. >> so, you know, the -- the role of vice president pence here is so important. and he is now downplaying, significantly, what happened on january 6th. he actually did an interview last night on fox news. let me play a clip for you, grant. >> okay. >> i know the media wants to distract from the biden administration's failed agenda
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by focusing on one day in january. they want to use that one day to try and demean the -- the -- the character and intentions of 74 million americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and in 2020. >> one day to demean the character and intentions of the 74 million americans who voted for trump. what do you say to the former-vice president? >> well, he also needs to keep in mind the 81 million who voted for joe biden and kamala harris. they kind of leave that out of the equation. it was basically not close. i -- i just think -- and also, this exacerbates, again, shows how -- how glaring this misadvise, wrongful advice was by eastman, someone who should have known better because look who he is dealing with. he was dealing with mike pence who he won sycophant of the year four years running against some very, very tough competition.
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so this is a guy who wanted to please president trump. he wanted to, you know, get patted on the head again. but even he couldn't do it. even with this former dean of a law school giving him these bogus reasons why, supposedly, he could do it. so pence. i don't know what his problem is. he's a sad, sad character. that's all i can say. it's almost shakespearean in its sadness. >> well, so much shakespearean about this. thank you so much, i appreciate your time, grant. >> okay. thanks, erin. and next, trump's former-press secretary who once touted the administration's response to the pandemic, now changing her tune. >> i think the way we handled covid was -- was tragic. and new details tonight about "star trek" legend william shatner's historic trip to space at the age of 90. knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need.
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that's the national cathedral in washington, d.c. ringing its bell 700 times to mark the 700,000 people who have died in the united states from covid-19. comes as the very health agencies tasked with fighting t the pandemic or god forbid the next one are facing an absence of leadership. director of the national institutes of health, dr. francis collins, is stepping down. and the fda has been without a permanent leader for almost nine months. outfront now, dr. jonathan reiner, who advised the white house medical team under president george w. bush. dr. reiner, the white house says they will announce a nominee for the nih. senate senate hasn't moved quickly to fill any positions. i mean, it is pretty stunning, right? you are facing the biggest public health crisis in american history and the fda's gone nine months without a permanent leader. now, obviously, dr. collins,
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incredibly respected leader and face of the nih stepping aside. and we are just going to have nothing? >> yeah. you know, i -- you know, we hear a lot of different voices and, you know, in recent weeks, we -- we've seen what happens when the folks speaking to the country aren't speaking from the same page. we saw the president announce an ambitious booster plan to boost the entire country essentially all age groups starting at the end of september. and then, in multiple steps, finally, having to walk that back as both fda and cdc advisory committees balked on the original administration plan. and this all speaks to a lack of -- of coordination. you know, we have -- we've seen cdc struggle with -- with messaging. as you said, there is no formal fda -- permanent fda commissioner because it's being -- because dr. woodc ock
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was really blocked by a handful of senators. and we are really in need of a unifying voice from this administration. >> uh-huh. >> that -- that the american people can listen to and we just not had that. >> so, throughout the pandemic, you know, obviously, trump administration, also the biden administration, though, a real lack of coordination, right? i mean, so what do you attribute that to? because it -- i mean, for very dp different reasons. you just gave the booster-shot example. but we saw it on masks, before. i mean, there was never speaking with one voice and -- and -- and -- it's frankly a bit unsettling. >> it is. and one thing that strikes me is that from the beginning of -- of this administration, we've really not heard from the secretary of health and human services, javier becerra. all of these agencies that we speak about, cdc, fda, cms, nih, they all come under the umbrella of -- of hhs. and secretary becerra really has
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been absent from this discussion. >> yeah. and -- and by the way, secretary bec becerra knows how to handle media. knows how to handle all of it, right? long, long career before where he is now. former white house press secretary stephanie grisham is out with a new tell-all memoir. this morning, she came on cnn and she said she will never forgive herself for her and the trump administration's role during the pandemic. here is the clip. >> i think the way we handled covid was -- was tragic. i think that the president's vanity got in the way. i -- he was -- he was working for his base. he was not working for his -- this country. i was part of that, and i don't think i'll ever forgive myself with -- with respect to covid. i don't think i can ever redeem myself. >> what's your response to that? i mean, obviously, she played along. she aided. she abetted. she amplified. but she is saying this now.
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um, that she'll never forgive herself. how do you take that? >> well, tell that to the 700,000 americans who are dead. i have no respect for former administration top-ranked officials who remained silent while the president told the country that this was fno big deal. that it was just the flu. that it was the kung flu. when the president refused to wear a mask. when the president encouraged states to open up before they were ready. when the president said we were doing too many tests. when the president endorsed hydroxychloroquine. now, you know, they were silent then. i don't want to hear from them now. i have no respect for these people. it would have mattered back then if they spoke up. >> right. dr. reiner, thank you very much. >> my pleasure. and finally, tonight, sci-fi turning into reality. "star trek" actor william shatner is headed to space at 90 years old. something to celebrate here. kristen fisher is out front. >> reporter: he led the uss
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enterprise on an intergalactic odyssey. now, he will get to go on his own odyssey. >> things i've only played as an actor, i am going to see firsthand. >> reporter: "star trek's" iconic captain james kirk will soon get to go to space, for real. >> i'm thrilled. and -- and anxious and a little nervous. and a little frightened about this whole new adventure. >> reporter: blue origin announced on monday that actor william shatner will be on the company's next flight, alongside audrey powers, blue origin's vice president of mission and flight operations. >> two, one. >> reporter: shatner, powers, and two others will lift off from a remote stretch of west texas next tuesday, less than three months after the company's first crewed launch. the crew will enjoy about four minutes of weightlessness during an 11-minute suborbital trip to
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space. similar to what jeff bezos, his brother, and two others did during the summer. >> on tuesday morning, i go to the edge of space and -- and loosen the restraints around me and be weightless. and looking into the vastness of the universe. >> reporter: shatner who played captain kirk on the hit-television series "star trek," joked about this opportunity years ago. >> if you were given the opportunity to go into space, would you? >> if i got a guarantee that i would come back. >> reporter: that opportunity is now here. and 90-year-old shatner seems surprised, himself. >> because 55 years ago, i was destitute. and i'm looking up at the sky, at the astronauts stepping on the moon. and -- and i had a little bit to do with those astronauts. and 55 years later, i'm going to the -- into space. i want to come back and -- and
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tell you about how i really felt when i saw these things that we've only learned about, secondhand. >> reporter: his fans are excited to hear about his mission, too. many taking to twitter to express their excitement. late-night host, stephen colbert, even making a joke about the mission tweeting i hope william shatner doesn't have unrealistic expectations of what space is like. kristen fisher, cnn, washington. and thanks to kristen and thanks to you. ac 360 starts now. good evening. facebook likes to say it was built to bring people together. it literally uses those words in promotional material. well, today, it did bring people together. for the first time in a long time, democratic and republican members of a senate commerce subcommittee were together, united in their praise of whistle-blower frances haugen. now, as you know, she is the former-facebook product manager who leaked tens of thousands of pages of internal document