tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN October 19, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT
top of the hour here on a tuesday morning. good morning. i'm erica hill. >> i'm shjim sciutto. the house committee veging the january 6th insurrection is looking to hold steve bannon in contempt of congress. >> the panel is going to vote. house investigators overnight released a criminal contempt report saying, quote, there is no reasonable argument that mr. bannon's communication with the president on january 6th are the type of matters on which privilege can be asserted. >> this comes as former president trump is trying to use the executive privilege defense in a new lawsuit against the january 6th panel in order to block the national archives from releasing documents related. whitney wild joins us now. listen, congress is moving forward here to hold bannon accountable for defying the
subpoena. tell us what happens now and what happens next. >> reporter: so tonight, 7:30, anybody can watch this, it will be live streamed, the committee will vote on this criminal contempt referral. then it goes to the house for a vote then to the department of justice. the chances that the most extreme punishment will be levied against bannon are slim. if things get jammed up in appeal, the time line begins to be extended. but what the committee is looking for here is leverage. they are trying to throw the book at steve bannon because they want his testimony. they believe he was at the nexus of this big election lie that preceded the rally that preceded the riot. they want to know who he spoke with, the intention of the rally, what was leading up to the rally and the violence.
what is notable about this information is for the first time we're seeing steve bannon's full subpoena. before we had a two-page summary. now they are trying to drill down on 17 key areas of investigation which includes his communications with key trump allies like john'sman, rudy giuliani, sidney powell, michael flynn. specifically they're looking for communications as well between steve bannon and former president trump on several key dates. so there's a lot of information the committee thinks steve bannon can provide that is critical to this investigation into how january 6th actually happened. they think by throwing the book at him they can get that testimony. >> meantime separately, former president trump filed a lawsuit to block records from being handed over to the committee. how could that impact the investigation? >> reporter: the reality is once you start interjecting the courts it does slow the calendar down.
however, it's impossible to believe the committee hasn't accounted for this, which is why they had these key players among the first people to get systemed because they know those battles are going to last the longest, then they'll move on to try to squeeze these lesser-known people who perhaps have less ability to fight these ch charges -- fight subpoenas, not charges. for example, we saw 11 rally organizers subpoenaed, several of whom we understand are cooperating, so they start at the top. people who might have the most ability to fight these subpoenas, and then they'll move on to people who may not have the time or the money to fight this to try to get as much information as they can. the calculation here includes these potential court battles. >> trying to run out the clock. whitney wild, thanks so much. just hours from now, president biden playing negotiator in chief, hosting two separate warring factions of
democrats as his sweeping domestic agenda hangs in the balance. first meeting with progressives followed by moderates. biden with kamala harris and janet yellen expected to discuss the future of their proposals, the top-line number $3.5 trillion, although that number seems to be coming down. >> seems to have shrunk. all of this as the climate portion of that proposal really seemed to be in jeopardy this morning, which poses a threat not only to biden's economic plans but his global agenda as well, so the president pushing to get climate legislation done of course before his appearance on the world stage at the u.n. climate change conference in two weeks. cnn white house correspondent john harwood joining us now. so in terms of those climate efforts and these meetings today, do we know how central climate is to those meetings? >> it's extremely important to joe biden, extremely important
to almost all the democratic party. what we're seeing today is, you know, jim just mentioned a minute ago, classic trump strategy, run out the clock. this is classic biden strategy trying to use the clock as a forcing mechanism for these negotiations. democrats hope to strike a deal by the end of this month on that reconciliation package, which is a large budget bill that includes both climate and social safety net provisions. the problem is you've got a very narrow majority in both the senate and the house, can't lose a single republican -- excuse me, democratic senator. that includes joe manchin, who represents a coal state, west virginia. joe manchin has got problems with provisions in biden's original proposal that would penalize utilities that use coal and encourage people to use other things. joe manchin says lit hurt my state. so they're looking at
alternatives to deal with that, meeting first with house progressives today, then with moderates. the progressives represent a larger share of the caucus. the moderates are the holdout group. that includes manchin and kyrsten sinema. they're trying to narrow the differences on the size of the package, on the elements of the package. manchin is concerned there are some things that look like welfare in this package. too much spending on giveaways. so he's looking for, say, means testing on things like the child tax credit. they're looking for workarounds on his objections on climate. and it's a big challenge to try to put this jigsaw puzzle together. however, leaders within the white house and in the democratic party on capitol hill are optimistic that they're getting closer, that they've got a chance to get a deal, if not this week, next week. not done by any means, but joe biden is pushing hard. he's clearly thought the negotiations were taking too long before, so he's scaled up
his level of involvement, and that's what these meetings today are about. >> there was push for more involvement. john harwood, thank you. the cornerstone climate policy in president biden's sweeping economic infrastructure package will now likely not survive. democrats are working to replace the clean electricity program with what's expected to help produce green house -- reduce green house gas emissions by up to 50% by 2030. that may not make it. a republican from utah joins me. we're used to discussing this as a republican versus democratic issue on climate. but we have representative curtis on a committee, you know, and a caucus designed specifically to try to educate republicans about this threat. good to have you on this morning. thanks for taking the time. >> good morning. good to be with you. >> as i said, you know, folks tend to think of this as about democrats being in favor of some sort of climate proposals, legislation, republicans always against it.
here we have you, and you're pushing, you know, different approach perhaps, but you're p pushing. explain to our viewers what specific kind of climate programs would you and perhaps other republicans support? >> well, thank you for this opportunity. first of all, let me explain how important it is for republicans to show that we do care about this issue. i regret due to our own actions we've been branded as not caring. the reality of it is i think republicans care deeply and we have great ylds of our own. to your question, we want to advance those, and they have a lot to do with policies that don't kill u.s. jobs, that don't demonize fossil fuels but do have a far greater impact on green house gas emissions than i think what's currently on the table. >> so folks at home might not know, you're from utah. you're on the front lines of climate change, right, because as the atmosphere warms you get less snow in those utah ski mountains, which is important
for utah's economy. so you're seeing it first hand. so tell us what those provisions are. you look at taxing emissions as opposed to other plans. tell us how that would work, and do you have support on both sides of the aisle? right now, climate proposals may not survive the budget negotiations. >> yeah. let me first of all answer your question about living here in utah. we're in the longest drought in our state's history. most of the summer we couldn't even see our mountains because of the smoke from the california and oregon fires. and in just a few months the ski resorts open and they're facing increasing temperatures. your second question, do i have support. i'm excited that 70 of my house republicans have joined me in this caucus. that's a third of all republicans who joined this caucus, and those numbers are growing. i do believe we have vast support. and your question as to our ideas, we think we have ideas
that are winners. we think they advance the u.s. economy, they advance so many things that are good for the united states and at the same time reduce those worldwide green house gas emissions we're all trying to focus on. >> the sad fact is there are members of your party, voters, lawmakers, who straight up don't buy climate change. the former republican president donald trump denied the science here, and the irony is, of course, that many red states -- look at louisiana, right, or louisiana --ahutah, are on the front lines of this, rising sea levels, larger storms. how do you fight that disinformation within your own party? >> i'm not going to argue we've done a terrible job branding ourselves as not caring about the climate. but i have a strong belief that republicans and conservatives
care deeply about this planet and earth and the whole purpose for this caucus is to show the world we do and there are more of us that care that than don't and we have good ideas and intend to get a seat at the climate table and be productive with our ideas, productive in the battle. let's face it, it's important we do, because unless we can approach this from a bipartisan basis, we won't make the progress we need to make. >> no question. the deadlines are coming. the u.s. has made commitments. it's not clear they can meet them. meanwhile, some things are going in the wrong direction. use of coal-fired power is actually on the rise for the first teem since 2014, surge of 22% this year in part because natural gas prices went up so people go to coal, it's cheaper, but way dirtier. as you know, we could talk about messaging all we want. but where's the action going to come from? are there serious discussions
between you and democrats that hold the majority in both chambers to do something? >> i think one of the mistakes we make in this debate is we don't realize and celebrate the successes we've had. let me point to the energy act of 2020, one of the largest bipartisan efforts on climate ever, and we hardly celebrated it. we reduced carbon footprint by 80% on a bipartisan basis, invested mass amounts of money into r&d. we have work to do, but we have had some success and we're making progress. part of the problem is we've got to do a better job about bragging about our success. >> would you vote -- so democrats have their own problem in terms of what they can get past joe manchin in terms of climate provisions, but if they come up with a plan as part of this budget, given your focus on this issue, would you vote yes? >> well, as you well know, this $3.5 trillion is so complicated with many issues in addition to climate, and that makes it very
hard for republicans to adapt. we are actively looking for bipartisan paths forward where we can support our colleagues. it might surprise your listeners that a lot of republicans and a lot of democrats are having those drinking fountain conversations, conversations in the hallway about how we can work together. i have two democrats, before we left washington, invite me out to dinner and said look, how can we work together? we have to focus on those that are willing to work together to be bipartisan and find this path forward. >> let's hope those water cooler conversations turn into some action. the ski hill ls of ut utah are calling. >> great to be with you. president joe biden takes questions from the american people. anderson cooper moderates a town hall with president biden thursday night at 8:00. still to come this hour, an effort to keep kids in the classroom even after they've
been exposed to a positive case of covid-19. we'll look at what some school districts are now trying. plus, a providence, south carolina, attorney alex murdaugh back in court this hour after facing additional charges. will he be released on bond again? and a haitian gang is demanding a million dollar per person for 17 missionaries including children being held hostage, the youngest only 8 months old. the outlook for negotiations later this hour. (announcer) carvana's had a lot of firsts. 100% online car buying. car vending machines.
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the cdc is evaluating test to stay programs in school for students who may have been exposed to covid-19 in school, can stale tend classes in person rather than quarantine at home as long as they test negative for the disease and show no symptoms. >> so the approach may seem controversial but it's growing in popularity. jacqueline howard joins us with more on how some schools are following this approach. walk us through how this works. we know, look, we all want kids to learn in person. >> reporter: right, erica. there are questions to answer here. that's why the cdc is evaluating the approach. i spoke with three different superintendents across three different state, and they all say their test to stay programs have been successful in keeping children in the classroom while
also limiting the spread of the coronavirus. a superintendent in lake county, illinois, says less than 2% of children exposed to a covid-19 case in school tested positive. so that means the remaining 98%, even though they were contacts of someone with covid in the school, thab still tested negative and were still able to come to class. in kentucky, the superintendent told me that out of more than 400 covid tests in their program, 402, only 4 came back positive. then here in georgia, in marietta, the superintendent told me that only 3% of tests through their test to stay program come back positive. that's not his only measure of success. have a listen. >> certainly there's a statistical number around students who test negative who can remain in class. that is a measure of success. the other measure of success is just the social, emotional well-being of children and the
lack of disruption the families have. test to stay allows us to say the child is asymptomatic. we can test and bring them back to school. >> the main goal is to keep kids in school if they test negative. one other thing, superintendents in illinois and kentucky said their programs are successful because they're part of a layerlayer ed mitigation approach and they also require masks as a mitigation measure. in marietta over the weekend the school district changed its mask policy to be optional. we'll see how that impacts the test to stay program. this is something the cdc is evaluating, and we can expect to maybe, possibly hear more from the agency in the future. >> interesting. jacqueline, appreciate it. thank you. joining us is dr. monica gandhi, professor of medicine, associate division chief of hiv infectious disease and global medicine at
the university of california at san francisco. great to have you with us. i want to pick up where we left off with jacqueline's reporting. the cdc is looking into this test to stay program. jacqueline pointed out, the numbers were impressive the superintendents she spoke with, but they had this layered approach, which included masking in schools. you've been vocal about getting kids back for in-person learning. do you think something like test to stay perhaps with this layered approach is the right way to do that? >> i really do. quarantines have become the new school closures in the fall of 2021 because you're asking children to stay out of school for a full 14 days at times because they were exposed to someone with covid when they were wearing masks. modified quarantine means if you're both wearing masks you don't need to have that. test to stay means if there was
a true exposure, you can come in, test, as long as you're negative, you're not endangering anyone, come in, do your in-person learning, and stay. then after five days test again. this has been used in europe, in multiple states around the country, and if it becomes standard, we'll have less kids out of school. >> big picture, the question here really is about risk reduction as opposed to risk elimi elimination. for folks who don't know, you run an hiv-aids clinic in san francisco, very different diseases here, but tell us what lessons you've learned about risk reduction as an approach as opposed to risk elimination as it relates to schools and covid. >> yeah, so, you know, this was also a prolonged infection. it turns out covid was much longer than we thought it would be. the idea is that you take people's needs into account, harm reduction, even trying to
reduce the incidence of a pathogen. in the case of hiv it meant advising people how to stay safe but still have human contact. in the case of harm reduction with covid, we could have told people how to stay safe, masks, distancing, ventilation all work in schools, for example, but not just tell people to completely stay away from each other. good example, california did not define harm reduction in our approach, and we had a terrible winter surge because there was a statement last year that said you may walk outside only with two people masked, distance, and those two people have to be from the same household. what we did was not take people's needs into account and say we're in this for the long haul, essentially going on a two-year pandemic, let's keep risk down but take people's needs into account. for hiv, it meant seeing people in person here.
>> california has had some of the most restrictive measures around the country. right now, according to the cdc, california is the only state with a moderate level of transmission. i know you've butted heads with officials there in terms of your view of what would work and what you were seeing in place. are you starting to feel that there's a meeting of the minds? are things changing a little bit? >> yes. i mean, actually, everything changes after vaccination. what we had to do was keep people sort of in their needs and let them have their needs prior to vaccination. then what happened with vaccination, vaccination is the way out of the pandemic. immunity is the way out of the pandemic. m mask, distancing, contact tracing, ventilation are all great tools but we needed a vaccine and immunity. what california has done is they've done a great job with the vaccine. they had a lot of natural infection as well. i think it's the combination of both that is keeping our rates
so low. we're sort of like denmark, who opened on september 10th. we had an 80% over 12 vaccination rate, and we have a lot of natural immunity, and i think it's keeping our rates very low. >> doctor, thank so much. an important conversation. we appreciate having you on. >> thank you very much. any moment now a judge will set bond for former south carolina attorney alex murdaugh. he's accused of stealing millions from the family of his late housekeeper. that's not the only scandal attached to his name. we are live outside the courthouse next. ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience, you have the flexibility you need to unveil them to the world.
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comcast business powering possibilities. the second day of jury selection in the murder trial over the death of ahmaud arbery is under way. three men are accused of chasing him down while he was out for a jog. we'll get you live pictures when we have them. they've all pleaded not guilty. >> martin savidge joins us this morning. >> we should point out there are times that we are allowed to
watch the process. when the judge cuts it off is when they get to specific questions to specific jurors. the judge won't allow the video to broadcast, but they do allow reporters and we get notes later. so jury selection, let's break it down by the numbers. if you look at those, they need 12 jurors obviously and 4 alternates. glen county normally in a trial would ask for about 150 people to show up to be possible jurors. in this case, they send out 1,000 jury summons. the first 600 had to show up as of yesterday. so far eight potential jurors have been dismissed, zero jurors have been selected so far, and they're interviewing these jurors groups of 20 at a time, the reason being to allow social distancing for coronavirus concerns. so what are the kind of questions they're being asked? anybody who's been on a jury or in a potential jury pool knows they ask you things like do you know the defendants, owe the
victim, any of the major players. but they're also getting to specific questions and issues they're asking, such as do they have a negative feeling towards the defendants? do they consider the confederate flag to be a racist symbol? do they want to partake in the jury? a lot of questions being asked about race and about whether they consider racism is at play here, do you own a gun or not have a gun in your own home. another question that comes up regularly is this one -- do you have a concern about serving as a juror in this trial? it turns out a lot of people do. what that gets at is, is there a certain fear you have that by participating as juror you could suffer some kind of retribution. again, many jurors so far have said, yeah, that is a concern. >> wow. that is deeply concerning among all the issues there, worries about their own safety. martin, thanks for keeping us updated. >> you're welcome.
>> alex murdaugh, a once prominent south carolina attorney involved in multiple scandals is back in court this morning for a bond hearing. the charges are related to accusations that he kept millions of dollars in insurance settlement funds in connection with the 2018 death of his family's longtime housekeeper. >> cnn national correspondent dianne gallagher is outside the courthouse in columbia, south carolina. murdaugh accused of coordinating with the housekeeper's family to sue himself for insurance money, then pocketing the money. diane, tell us what the latest is. >> reporter: yeah, and right now it appears that the attorneys are kind of in their closing arguments in this bond hearing. the state is asking for a bond in a high amount earlier this morning, saying at least $200,000 for those charges of obtaining property under false pretenses related to the 2018 death of the murdaugh family sa. according to the state, he
approached the family at glor ra's funeral, saying her death, which happened after a fall in the murdaugh home, was, in their words, because of the dogs, that she had tripped and he was going to work with them, set them up so they could sue him. he did hook them up with an attorney. apparently he did not disclose he was close friends with this attorney, and that attorney brokered a $4.3 million death settlement agreement, around $3 million of which was supposed to go to the satterfield family. they didn't get any of it. instead, according to the state, it went into an account that had a name that was very similar to a reputable firm in the state of south carolina that handled death settlement agreements, but it was actually a bank account run by alex murdaugh. they say that money then began going into his personal accounts and he began spending it. >> -- $100,000 credit card balance for months. that gets paid off. he writes $300,000-grand to his
father, a check for himself, $135,000 to himself. not a dime goes to this family back here. >> reporter: the satterfield family is in that courtroom right now, their attorney saying they had the opportunity or the choice, they would have no bond set at this point. but murdaugh's attorneys say he is not a flight risk. he has been in a drug rehabilitation center in florida and was arrested there and brought back up here. they claim he has come each time willingly. they are asking for him to be able to continue that treatment. we should be hearing shortly whether or not a bond amount will be set. erica, jim? >> we'll keep watching. thank you. still ahead, $17 million. that's how much a haitian gang is now demanding for hostages kid named over the weekend. now the u.s. government is approaching negotiations. that's next. meantime, there is a lot happening today. here's a reminder of what to watch for.
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their release, $1 million per hostage. >> haitian officials tell cnn the group was kidnapped by the powerful 400 moaza gang. kylie atwood is at the state department this morning. what d we know about the hostages and what the u.s. government is saying about any negotiating that's happening? >> what we're learning this morning is from the haitian side. the justice minister in haiti is the one who told our colleagues on the ground in haiti that this is $1 million per person in ransom that this gang is demanding for these kidnapped americans, 16 of them, and one canadian. in total, $17 million that they are demanding in ransom. now, the justice minister also told our colleagues that these gang members are keeping these hostages in a place that they are comfortable with. they have been warned that if they hurt them in any way there
could be consequences. but he said there's no way to know if the gang is going to abide by those kinds of threats. now, from the state department side, from the u.s. government side, we have heard the state department saying that they are in constant contact with haitian police, they are also in constant contact with christian aid ministries. that is the ohio-based group where these missionaries were part of. they're also in contact with the interagency, right? we know there are fbi agents on the ground in haiti. we know that the state department is involved investigating, finding out where these folks are, how to get them home safely. and of course the white house has said that president biden has been breeched and is consistently briefed on this matter. the question before us is how to get these folks home, and it's unclear exactly where they're being held right now. i think it's clear that the haitian side may have some sort of idea. they said the gang traditionally keeps them in specific places. but what we are trying to look for now is exactly how they're
going to get these americans out of haiti. >> let's hope they get out safely. kylie atwood, thanks so much. joining us now, the prime minister of haiti. the group, 400 has been warned if any harm comes to the hostages there will be consequences. this is not a group new to kidnappings or demands for ransoms. does that kind of warning hold sway with them? >> well, this particular group has been giving a lot of problems and have many kidnappings. this is not a new problem in the past few months. several haitians have been kidnapped and today it is 16 americans and one canadian. this is not a situation that's not solvable in the sense they're not as strong as
everybody claims. this is a group with very few gang members, and it takes political will and putting them in front of the situation and getting rid of the gang. it's negotiating with them, that would not be an option. but we have to tread carefully and once the americans are out it would be good for the police and the haitian security forces to finish with that particular gang and all the other gangs who are creating problems. >> do you think this gets resolved without that $17 million in ransom being paid? >> i think it's hard to say, but it would be very unfortunate for the $17 million to be paid because that would only reinforce the gang and only finance further kidnappings. so the solution is to short term send, you know, experts, security experts to help the police in this particular situation and midterm to get rid of the gang with a strong
security presence around that area, to finish with that gang situation. >> so you say strong security presence. you told kate bolduan yesterday that you believe this legitimacy issue that's been left beby the assassination of the president needs to be solved by an election and you need to look at the military. looking at the state of affairs, do you see either one of those things happening in short order? if so, how? this is one gang, but there are others. >> there are others. why? because in the past 30 years haiti has had an international military presence with the u.n. presence since 1993 after the military was disbanded. so for the past 31 years we had a u.n. military presence for 50% of the time. today there is no u.n. military presence, nor has that presence been effective in the past. the only way is to help haiti strengthen the police and the
military, because today's haitian military budget is only $2 million a year. and there is no political support from the international community. so until people realize and the haitian police alone cannot do the job, has not been able to do the job for the past 30 years, we'll see unfortunately this type of security situation. >> let's hope this leads into something and some immediate action. it's also important to remember this is a terrible situation and i's happening for haitians on a daily basis. we certainly need to keep a focus on it. laurent lamothe, thank you for your time. still to come this morning, five college football coaches out of a job after refusing to get vaccinated. the latest from washington state university next.
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the head football coach at washington state university now the former coach. he's out of a job after refusing to get vaccinated. andy scholes joins me now. andy, he's not the only one. and they knew this was a possibility. >> yeah. they knew this day was coming. the state of washington has a vaccine mandate that went into effect yesterday for all state employees, including coaches at state universities. the cougars head coach nick rolovich and four assistants are not vaccinated so they were all let go.
back in july, rolovich was the only pac-12 head coach not allowed to attend media day, and he posted on social media at that time that he elected not to receive a covid-19 vaccine for reasons which will remain private. the athletic director says he respects rolovich's right to make a choice but the school did what they had to do. >> we've had conversations that date back months, so, i mean, he was resolute in his stance, and he's ready to make a choice. that choice did not put him in compliance with this proclamation with the governor, and that's why we sit here today. >> he said the football team was hurting and the dismissal of the coaches would have a lasting impact on the team. rolovich was making more than $3 million this season. his contract ran through 2025. he was the highest paid state employee in washington. rolovich had led the cougars to a 4-3 record this season. erica, you have to feel for the older players on that washington state football team.
over the years thich had to deal with the death of two of their teammates, of course the pandemic and now they're dealing with their head coach and in other position coaches being let go from the team. >> quite the change. really quickly, john berman pretty happy this morning because the red sox took a 2-1 series lead over the astros in the american league championship series last night. things are happening at fenway. >> good times in boston. another day, another grand slam for the red sox. boston, three grand slams in the 162-game season, erica, they've hit three in three games against the astros. the red sox the first team ever to have three grand slams in a postseason series. happened last night. bottom of the second. kyle schwarber tees off on that one, 6-0. the fans having a good time all night long as boston rolled in game three 12-3 to make it a 2-1 lead in the series. game four tonight. game three of the nlcs with the
braves and dodgers is at 5:00 eastern on tbs. and the new nba season tips off tonight with two incredible matchups. the brooklyn nets, the favorites to win the nba championship, this despite the team telling superstar kyrie irving to stay away while he's unvaccinated and regulations in new york prevent him from playing home games. lebron and the lakers the second favorites followed by milwaukee and golden state. the bucks get things started tonight, getting the championship rings. lakers and warriors, watch that on tnt 7:30 eastern. one of those sports night you need multiple screens going. >> be ready with your remotes. andy scholes, thank you. thanks for joining us today. "at this hour" with kate bolduan is next. new projects means new project managers.
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i'm kate bolduan. here is what we are watching at this hour. refusing to cooperate, former president donald trump sues to keep white house records secret, stone walling the committee investigating the insurrection. neither side is backing down ahead of a pivotal vote today. democrat versus democrat, the white house chasing a so-far elusive deal on trillions of dollars on spending. president biden is trying to reunite the party. and the cd