tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN January 27, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PST
u.s. bobsledder josh williamson coming later after he tested positive for covid-19. hoping he gets there and can compete. thanks so much to all of you for joining us today. let us know if you got bangladesh right. >> i'm bianna golodryga. kate bolduan. maybe she got it. starts right now. i'm kate bolduan. here's what we're watching at this hour. let the high court battle begin. washington braces for the fight over who will fill justice breyer's seat. president biden and the justice appearing today. no positive action. the quick take from the latest message on russia and nato over ukraine. what is the next move? bracing for a blizzard. it's called a bomb cyclone and parts of the northeast may get over a foot of snow.
thank you for being here. we begin with the biggest and longest lasting decision made by any president. the chance to choose a supreme court justice. justice stephen breyer, the most senior liberal justice on the high court gave president biden the historic opportunity. he's meeting with the president today at the white house and then they'll appear together to formally announce his plan to retire at the end of this term. the focus immediately shifts to the president and who he will select. already vowing to make good on his promise to nominate the first black woman to the supreme court. senate democrats are pushing for a quick confirmation process and the way senate rules are currently set up. they can confirm a new justice with a simple majority, meaning, without needing support from any republican. but the road to confirmation for any nominee is never guaranteed. cnn's jessica schneider live in washington with the very latest. jessica, a big moment today when we see justice breyer and the president today. >> absolutely, kate. and a big opportunity as you
mentioned to name what will likely be a historic choice for breyer's successor. likely to be a black woman. but well before that, we are expecting an official announcement from the supreme court about breyer's retirement. that could be at some point this afternoon, possibly after the white house joint appearance, but this admittedly has been an unconventional rollout of the retirement announcement. we know justice breyer conveyed to the white house he planned to step down from the court but did not tell president biden dirdirect ly and as of yesterday, still not formally received the letter about his retirement intentions. if you compare that with the last tilme a justice retired, justice anthony kennedy, to informed president trump personally and that's, after that point when the supreme court announced the retirement that afternoon, that was when the term wrapped up in june 2018, we do know, however, that justice breyer would finish out this term because it's packed
with consequential cases with abortion rights, gun rights and then, of course, the work for the white house begins. it will have to decide who his successor will be and at this point, there are three people at the top of the list. there's judge katangi brown jackson, recently confirmed to the dc circuit court of appeals with a handful of republicans voting for her. she interestingly met with president biden last february and then california supreme court judge l leandra. a judge in south carolina and the key here, kate, is that congresswoman, jim clyburn, a top ally for biden, pushing for her. those are the top three contenders. we'll see what plays out here. >> thank you so much for that. let's go to capitol hill now where the battle for confirmation is already taking shape. cnn's manu raju standing by for us this hour with that. >> reporter: chuck schumer the
majority leader wants to move quickly. looking at the timeline republicans set for confirming amy coney barrett to the supreme court just days before the 2020 election. recall that process took about a month. two or three months but democrats say that republicans set that precedent and they're going to follow that very quick time frame here. the question, can they get the votes to do that? 50 democratic members of their k caucus. they can get one confirmed but if all defects and republicans oppose the nominee, that could be problematic. however, democrats are confident because for a variety of reasons, namely that joe manchin, kyrsten sinema, two time democratic swing votes here supported all of joe biden's judicial nominees for lower court picks so far. manchin intended to defer president if sial picks. two of three supreme court justices. kyrsten sinema voted for all of biden's nominees as well. the question, can any
republicans come on board is this several voted for the short list including katangi brown jackson and three republicans supported her nomination to lower court. one was susan collins but raised concerns yesterday about the process, urged democrats to move slowly but democrats still plan to push ahead rather quickly. kate? >> manu, thank you so much. appreciate it. joining me right now for more on this, cnn chief legal analyst, jeffrey toobin and the dean of the harvard ratcliffe institute and harvard law school. and tamiko, and con stance baker and the struggle for equality. how do you reflect on this historic moment and this historic opportunity? >> thank you, kate. it's important for politicians to keep their promises. and especially for president
biden and this moment. but more important is that such an appointment of african-american woman would reinforce the value of equal opportunity that's mandated by our civil rights laws and the constitution and you mentioned this appointment has been a long time coming. constance baker motley was the first black woman appointed to the federal judiciary by president johnson in 1966. she was often on supreme court short lists, but history missed its chance in her case and i just think it's really terrific that we are at this historical moment where evidently an african-american woman and there's several imminently qualified ones will be nominated to the supreme court of the united states. >> jeffrey, jessica schneider mentioned it but kind of how we got here is jim clyburn in part. his condition for helping save joe biden's candidacy in the pry
hair is that biden would pick a black woman justice if he got the chance. and here is the moment that biden made that public statement. let me play this for everybody. >> we talk aboed about the supr court. i'm looking forward to making sure there's a black woman on the supreme court to make sure we in fact get every representation. >> and the back story to this, if anyone hasn't hard this, classic american politics. here's how woodward and costa described it in their book. during intermission of that debate, told a friend he was heading to the restroom and strolled backstage, pulled biden aside. man, there have been a couple of instances up there tonight you could have mentioned having a black woman on the supreme court, clyburn said. you can't leave the stage without doing that. you just got to do that. of course, biden said. you got it. his final answer, biden hit the mark. which is just what we played. it is fascinating how this has come to be. have you heard anything similar
with other scotus nominees? >> absolutely. in 1980 when jimmy carter ran against ronald reagan, ronald reagan made a promise that jimmy carter made, if i had the chance, i will nominate the first woman to the supreme court and he nominated sandra day o'connor and i want to say, i'm so pleased to be on with dean brown because i'm reading her book right now and it is such an extraordinary story about how different the world was in the '50s and '60s when constance baker motley was coming up and the obstacles that black women faced, even in the civil rights community. it just is a good example of why, you know, there have been 120 supreme court justices, only five women, only three people of color. so the idea that we're now dealing with some sort of quota for black women is really kind of crazy and offensive.
>> crazy and offensive can be described in a lot of what we see coming out of washington. so i guess if it fits a lot of moments. dean, one of the women on the short list as mentioned by our correspondent is katangi brown jackson and biden nominated her to the dc circuit. you supported her for that nomination. and we hear often that the dc circuit in particular is a theatre to the supreme court and i believe i ask it almost with every confirmation, but i think i'm always curious, why is that? what is it about the dc circuit? >> well, that's a funny question. it's a theatre to the supreme court because it has been a theatre to the supreme court and it's also true the particular court handles a wide range of issues including administrative issues and so the judges who are appointed to that court are well equipped to handle a range of issues that would be before them on the supreme court.
and you mentioned judge jackson. you know, she is a known, sterling credentials earned at harvard, twice confirmed with republican support and also appealing because she attained part of her practice experience and the public defender's office. so it seems to me she certainly is a front-runner. >> and if i can just add, i mean, i just think the political momentum behind judge jackson is going to be very strong. i mean, here is someone who was just confirmed less than a year ago with 53 votes. 53 republicans. w what has come up in the last six months since she's been confirmed that would cause anyone to vote against her? she is impeccably qualified for the court. to citstephen breyer, a nice lie part of the story, but seems to
me, she is a very easy choice for the president and his team. >> dean, the told me it's been made official at 12:30 eastern today, the justice breyer will be meeting with the president and they will be coming out to make the official announcement of justice's retirement at the end of the term. and i guess, you know, we'll hear from the justice today, he's been on the bernch nearly 0 years. what will you remember most about his impact? >> sure. i think justice breyer as an institutionalist and strong believer in an apolitical court, impassioned advocate of the rule of law. he is a jurist who could always see both sides of an issue. the merits and thinking of a partial birth abortion case where he was very clear that both sides had merit but at the
same time, wrote an opinion reinforcing the holdings of roe v. wade and casey versus pennsylvania. he was a person with a strong commitment to opportunity. equal opportunity and this was evidenced in one of his cases, a dissent in parents versus parents involved, a school segregation case where he insisted on continuing relevance on brown versus board of education. it's wonderful that he was an advocate for civics education and would speak to middle schoolers and high schoolers, insisting that they advance the american experience. all around, just a great, good man. >> thank you so much both for being here. and congratulations on the perfectly timed release of your book, dean. thank you so much for being here. it's good to see you, jeffrey and to remind everyone, we just learned at 12:30, we are hearing from the president officially on this announcement of justice breyer's retirement. a good moment coming up in the
next hour. still ahead for us. this hour, the u.s. and nato respond to putin's demand on ukraine. how the kremlin is reacting. next. recommended brand, helps keep baby's skin drier and healthier. so every touch will protect like the first. pampers ♪upbeat music♪ transitions™ light under control. ♪upbeat music♪ transitions™ signature gen 8™ available now, in 4 vibrant style colors. transitions™
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at northwestern mutual, our version of financial planning helps you live your dreams today. developing at this hour, the u.s. and nato offering no concessions to russia on its demands for resolving the ukraine crisis. the kremlin confirming vladimir putin has read the u.s. and nato written responses, but the kremlin also warning, quote, there are few reasons for optimism. cnn's nic robertson live in moscow with more for us this hour. nic, what's the latest from there? >> reporter: yeah, said for us in this written response, there are some issues that we can talk
about but there's secondary issues and the thing that's really frustrated russia and it's demanded all along is that the united states and nato say that ukraine cannot join nato and it is very clearly not what they've been given. this is how lavrov responded to that point. >> translator: there is no positive reaction on the main issue in this document. the clear inadmissibility of further expansion of nato to the east and the deployment of strike weapons that could threaten the territory of the russian federation. >> reporter: we got more thinking out of the kremlin today because the spokesman said, look, this is not addressing that central issue for us, but just give us a little time. we're not going to rush to judgment. it takes a little time to figure out our next position and remembering in all of this, of course, the russian leadership knew exactly what was coming down the tracks to them in this letter, it had been articulated many, many, many times.
there's no surprises here but they're expecting to get an answer fairly soon. not today but fairly soon. foreign minister speaking tomorrow. we'll hear more then. >> absolutely. nic, thank you so much for that. let's go to ukraine now. cnn's sam kiley live in ukraine's capcapital, kyiv. the president is speaking with president biden this afternoon. what have you learned? >> reporter: well, he will be endorsing this nato and u.s. bilateral letter because it sets in writing what had been said in public verbally which is just as nic was saying there that nato is a sovereign nation, rather, nato is a multilateral organization that does not exclude membership and certainly does not allow other nations to impinge on people's sovereignty, other nation's sovereignty when it comes to joining nato. this will be a phone call between the ukrainian president and joe biden that is one of
thanks and congratulations, i suspect, and puts a line under, i think, that slip that biden made about a week ago when he indicated that there may be some lesser response if there was a minor incursion by russia into ukrainian territory. that's now been put aside entirely and there is unanimity in the western international community that if there is any kind of invasion, any kind of move by moscow against ukraine, that there will be, in words of the united states, massive sanctions imposed. the next question will be the extent to which hybrid warfare would come into play. cyber attacks, for example, that's something i'm told the two presidents will discuss. >> absolutely. thank you for that. a moment of uncertainty. let's go now to former secretary of defense and former c harks director. in your time in government, you
probably spent a lot of time with one of the questions at hand today which is, what is the next move? especially when you're looking at russia being a player here. they've traded these written responses, can you help play out what happens next? >> well, i think it's important to try to, as much as possible, get into putin's head. i think one thing i remember from president clinton when he was negotiating abroad is that the key is to try to put yourself in somebody else's shoes and try to see the world through their eyes and i think that's what we need to do now. this is a pivotal moment. we've written them now a formal letter that makes clear that russia is not going to get their way with regards to nato. at the same time, russia needs to figure out whether or not it really wants to go to war.
we can russia costs lives or to negotiate something that can, in fact, improve their security. i think that's the decision that putin has to make and that choice will determine what happens with ukraine. >> you caught my attention late last week when i heard you say we have to assume the worst at this point. what is that, secretary, and why is that? >> well, it's assuming the worst? i'm sorry. >> yeah, at this point with russia, we have to assume the worst, you said late last week and i'm wondering what you think the worst is and why you think we need to assume it now. >> i think it's pretty clear that putin is a bully but he's not stupid. and the real question is whether or not, with 121,000 troops at the border, he is going to move to invade the ukraine.
that is the worst result and, by the way, in many ways, may be the worst result for russia because what this is doing right now, this build-up and this threatening of an invasion, is doing the exact opposite that russia wants. it is strengthening the united states. it's strengthening our allies, it's strengthening nato. it's producing the exact opposite result of what putin really wants. so the challenge here is to try to figure out if there can be an off-ramp where putin can feel that he can get something as a result of all this. and the united states as well and our allies can get something as well in regards to long-range security. i think that is what we should all hope will be the result of
what's happening right now. >> there may still be some space, but of course, as you said, this really is a pivotal moment. secretary, i've asked this of a lot of key players. from the pentagon on down as this has been playing out and i'm interested in your take. what do you say to conflict-weary americans? why is all of this in the interest of the united states? why does it matter to them when it feels, probably to a lot of folks, so far away from american shores? >> i think what's important for the american people to understand is that this is about our national security and it's about whether or not we're going to be vulnerable to russia in the future. and that's why it's important for the president, for our allies and nato, to make very clear that there is a price to
be paid here for russian aggression because if russia is allowed to invade the ukraine and take over the ukraine, then what that does is represent a threat. not just to nato, but to the united states of america. understand that putin's principal goal is to weaken the united states, weaken nato, and try to restore the former soviet union. that's what putin is about. and if he's allowed to be able to do that, make no mistake about it, it will threaten our national security in the future. that's why we have to draw a line now. >> secretary panetta, thank you so much for coming in. coming up for us, the u.s. economy growing at the fastest clip since the reagan administration. how tun predictable impact you and all of this, that's next.
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reagan administration. soaring inflation and the effects of the pandemic though continue to impact every american. joining me right now for more on this, cnn white house corres corres corres corres corres correspondent john harwood. this report in the context of other economic data we look at all the time, this is yet again confusing. where are we? >> you know, we have the fastest growth rate since 1984 in the fourth quarter of last year. now that adds fuel to the fire for the fed to hike interest rates. the economy, it's kind of like a fire. you want it to burn a little bit, you don't want it to burn out of control. it's a delicate balancing act right now. on the one hand, it's great people are buying and companies are stocking inventory but we don't want it to get out of control. >> talking about with the decision coming from the federal
reserve signals now that it's going to raise interest rates. does the gdp number complicate this? >> reporter: no, i don't think so. as rana just indicated, it strengthens the case. one thing we have to keep in mind in terms of the record-breaking numbers, some of this simply affects the adjustment reopening the economy in the shutdown during the pandemic. the other years since ronald reagan aren't directly comparable to this because of those unusual circumstances. secondly, some of this growth has been purchased with higher inflation. that is to say, the size of that rescue package contributed to other inflation pressures and that's part of why the growth rate is so high but also why many people are discontent with the biden administration because of that higher inflation. i think the fed's job is now to try to engineer a smooth reduction in the rate of inflation by raising interest rates and trying to avoid
touching off a nasty recession. >> rana, there are new examples all the time of how people are feeling inflation. how the economy feels to them. reporting that kraft heinz raising prices on dozens of products this spring. cold cuts, beef hot dogs cost 10% more. some drink packs go up by 20%. turkey bacon up 30%. when will people likely see a change there? >> you know, i think about half of americans are already really starting to feel food and fuel inflation in their pocketbooks, no question. housing markets are another area where people are really feeling it. if you're trying to buy a home these days, forget it. you're being outbid by cash buyers. i think what's going to happen this year is if inflation really starts to bite and the fed gets behind the curb, which a lot of people feel that it is and maybe jacks rates up at a time when
later on, the economy starts to slow, that's when the rubber really hits the road. it's just such a delicate balancing act and as john mentioned, so much of this is about timing and getting it right and it's just unclear what's going to happen in the year ahead. >> with all that lack of clarity and uncertainty, still john, what does the white house do with all of this? >> reporter: the white house has to tout the positive aspects because the labor market is very tight. that's good for workers. they're getting pay raises and try to emphasize the belief that inflation is, in fact, transitory. i know that word has gotten out of favor, but economists expected inflation will slow down to maybe 3% later this year. if they're right, that will be good news, the best thing that can happen for inflation and the economy in general is to get control of the pandemic. if omicron shifts us from emergency pandemic to manageable
endemic situation, that will be very good news for the economy. >> john, thank you so much for that. appreciate that. coming up for us, this is live pictures outside of st. patrick's cathedral in new york city. the hearse and the casket of fallen officer jason rivera. officer rivera gunned down in an ambushed attack last week. his casket now arriving at st. patrick's cathedral for a wake and funeral and what you will see is a sea of law enforcement turning out new york city to honor one of their own. we'll talk you there live after the break. for people who could use a lift
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a look now of st. patrick's cathedral in new york city. the casket of fallen nypd officer jason rivera arriving at st. patrick's cathedral moments ago. a private wake will be getting under way shortly for rivera's friends and family. a sea of officers and law enforcement are standing outside to, in silence now, paying their respects to one of their own. the 22-year-old officer and his partner, wilbur mora, killed in an attack in the domestic violence call. shimon prokupecz live outside st. patrick's cathedral. there all throughout the morning. shimon, what are you seeing there? >> reporter: the officers that you see standing out here from the 37th precinct where officer rivera worked. these are his brothers and
sisters the people he reported to work every single day. they're standing outside the iconic cathedral, one of the best known in all the world where this officer is going to be honored. as you said, there's a private ceremony for family and close friend and then the doors open for the public. his coffin brought here just after 11:00. taken up the stairs and through the big brass doors of this cathedral and down the center aisle where it now sits before the altar and then services begin shortly. his family will be here and also that hero officer who gunned down, fire and killed the shooter in this. the officer with them here too. i saw him here today hugging some of his fellow officers, people coming over, hugging him. because truly, as the mayor said, he is a hero here and probably in the end, saved other lives. and so this would be certainly an emotional day for the city,
the mayor asking people to come out to show their respects, hoping to use this as a way to unite the city which, unfortunately, has seen so much gun violence recently and he's urging the public to come here. the mayor will be here at 4:00 and other dignitaries in what will certainly be an emotional day and of course, tomorrow, the funeral and next week, we have the wake and funeral for officer mora. >> yeah, shimon, thank you so much for being there. joining me now on this very difficult day is orlando, a friend of officer jason rivera. orlando, thank you for being here. how are you doing? >> just taking it day by day. every time i hear jason's name, it just, my neck, i lose my voice, my speech. i get overwhelmed. tragedy, loss, such a short
life. he had so much to offer. tata. he's known to us, his passion was to become a police officer and he had the willpower to train and accomplish his mission. his goal was to become a police officer. his mission was to bridge a gap between police department and our community, and he was a great man. he was a great young man. humble. we're truly going to miss him. >> as you mentioned, orlando, you know officer rivera through your running club. what was he like to run with? >> he was a nice young man who was quiet, but at the same time, friendly. always had a positive attitude.
never complained about how tough the route or the task was, and he was consistent. always put his best foot forward. that was someone you could admire or use as an influence to a younger peer. >> a lot of people, i know i add myself into this, just kind of struck by his smile. i know his teachers from high school have talked about his great attitude, his smile. you see that in his nypd portrait. what do you remember most about him? >> what i remember about tata is being a person that would seem like much more, like, for
example, he seems like a person, seems much older because he's so mature, but when you find out his true age, you get in shock. you're like, wow, i thought you were much older, the way you carry yourself. so tata was very educated young man. his parents did very well by him. >> his death has hit a lot of people in the city and, you know, really, around the country as we just look at gun violence and violence crime surging in new york and in other cities in america and today, you just see this outpouring of love outside st. patrick's cathedral for him. we'll continue to see that. what do you think, thouknowing , so many people call him tata's name or learning about him and now he's being held up because
of gun violence in your own city? >> this will definitely draw awareness for everyone that he doesn't feel as safe as you would think. even myself, i feel some type of fear of going outside at night and afraid i won't make it back home. if this happens to a police officer, what is to the innocent bystander walking down the street? but definitely, got to take under serious consideration moving forward. >> orlando. i'm so sorry for your loss. thank you for coming on and speaking about your friend. i really appreciate it. we're looking at live pictures. we'll go to break just looking at these live pictures outside of st. patrick's cathedral. officer jason rivera, wilbert mora, giving their lives on the line of duty.
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a powerful winter storm is set to hit a big portion of the country. 35 million people are under winter storm watches from massachusetts all the way to north carolina. with hurricane-force winds nvd blizzard conditions expected. cnn meteorologist chad myers is with us tracking all of it. it's called a bomb cyclone. so what could happen? >> it could get to that rapid intensification that we see sometimes with hurricanes.
hurricanes can go from a cat 1 to a cat 3. this isn't going to get to a 3 but could get to hurricane-force gusts. the american model says 2 inches for new york, maybe a foot for boston and meh. and then the european model that says, there's an awful lot of snow possible, over a foot in all the pink and maybe even 30 in boston. so which one is right? we don't know because technically right now the low that you see here that will be there tomorrow is still in salt lake city. and that's a long drive to get here. but not exactly sure if that low will be 50 miles that way or 50 miles that way. so this is the european model and how we get so much snow along the coast because the low is closer to the coast. the european model, much closer, by about 70 miles where the american model is offshore. this is called the goldilocks. this storm is too hot. this storm is too cold and this storm is just right. here's where the american model is and here's where the european model is and i don't see anything over here that's that close to the shore to make
mostly sleet and snow. this will be a wind and snow event. some -- a lot of snow for some but not for everybody. kate? >> chad, thank you for that. really appreciate it. finally, there is this. we'll end the hour with. a tennessee school board has banned a pulitzer prize-winning novel about the holocaust. the mcmin county board of education voted unanimously to remove the novel "mouse," a survivor's tale from the eighth grade english curriculum over curse words and nude illustration. the author of the novel wrote the story about his parents and their experiences at auschwitz during world war ii. it depicts jews as mice and nazis has cats. the author told cnn this morning he is baffled by this decision. >> i think they'ro myopic and they're so afraid of what's implied in having to defend the decision to teach "maus" as part
of the curriculum that it led to this kind of myopic response. today's holocaust remembrance day, international holocaust remembrance, which adds to the poignancy, irony and madness of this, to some degree, because it's -- one would think the word remembrance is important. >> today is holocaust remembrance day. and the u.s. holocaust memorial museum responded to the school's decision in a statement saying, "maus" has played a vital role in educating about the holocaust through sharing detailed and personal experiences of victims and survivors. teac teaching about the holocaust using books like "maus" gets students to think about the past and their own roles and responsibilities today. in just minutes, justice stephen breyer will make his retirement announcement at the white house with president biden. "inside politics" with john king will bring you that live after this. clear.
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the pandemic made teaching and learning really hard. but instead of working to help students safely return to the classroom, the san francisco school board focused on renaming schools and playing politics. and they've even saddled our district with a $125 million deficit. our children can't wait for new leadership. here's our chance for a fresh start. on february 15th, please recall school board members collins, lópez and moliga before our kids fall even further behind.
♪ hello and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king in washington. thank you for your time on this very big breaking news day. a nation-changing event takes place this hour. justice stephen breyer is due at the white house to formally announce his retirement after nearly three decades on the high court.