tv Inside Politics With John King CNN February 9, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST
hello, everybody, and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king in washington. new york's governor adds momentum to a sudden movement to end or ease mask mandates. dr. anthony fauci says washington will soon take itself out of the big covid decisions about everyday life. plus, brand-new cnn reporting on why mike pence decided to rebuke donald trump last week. pence did not plan to call his former boss wrong and his january 6 wrong. he rewrote the speech after trump again attacked him. plus, a safe republican district but liberals furious how he
white washed the insurrection may have found a way to disqualify him from running again. a giant covid decision from new york's governor. kathy hochul says she will end her state's mask mandate for businesses tomorrow. >> and at this time we say that it is the right decision to lift this mandate for indoor businesses and let counties, cities, and businesses make their own decisions on what they want to do with respect to mask or the vaccination requirement. >> at the very moment hochul was making that announcement the white house team said it's too soon to end the restrictions in most places. >> at this time we continue to recommend masking in areas of high and substantial transmission. that's much of the country right now in public indoor settings. >> there's the tension front and center. hochul right now the sixth democratic governor roll back covid restrictions this week.
we are await wiing new announcements. the governor of massachusetts also saying the statewide school mandate there will end soon this drop in new covid infections is driving this. do not for a minute discount pol politics, rising public frustration with masks and other mandates. governor hochul again joining other democratic governors getting out ahead of the white house. >> reporter: you're seeing this quick succession from all of these governors in blue states, like you said, addressing the frustration that a lot of people have been feeling in these states and trying to make this transition into what is, quote, unquote, a new normal. they want to find a path forward. here the governor of new york, kathy hochul, essentially getting rid of the mask mandate that was set to expire tomorrow. doing it on the day it was going to expire anyway and that means that businesses in the state before would have to either require a proof of vaccination or they would have to have
people indoors wearings masks. all the metrics are showing we're in a good spot. we were in double digits when this was put in place back at the end of last year and now we're in the single digits when it comes to the covid positivity rate. however, she said, and many times, john, we're not out of this. she kind of said she wants to have the leniency to be nimble here if things should change. now there are other states, as you mentioned, john, that are taking another step and not just getting rid of their mask mandates but also saying that schools, children inside schools, will not have to wear masks. we saw new jersey do it, connecticut, massachusetts then becoming also the next step to make that at the end of february. kathy hochul as far as new york goes, not going that far yet. she essentially is saying we want to get through the breaks that kids have in the month of february, come back in march, do some testing, look at the metrics again, and then she wants to have the liberty to assess the situation there. but a lot of movement just within the last week with all of
these states certainly making, again, this transition they're ready to move forward in the states addressing public concerns as well. >> a lot of movement, dizzying movement. brynn, i appreciate the live report. straight to the white house and our chief correspondent. kaelin, a lot of movement. a snowball down a hill. the republican of massachusetts as well out ahead, it seems, like what the white house science team thinks is prudent at this point. >> reporter: there's a lot of movement across these states but not a lot of movement here when it comes to the cdc and what they are recommending. now they have always said it is up to states and localities to make a decision on whether or not they are going to follow what the cdc recommends, but the cdc has made clear today they are not changing this guidance yet and are not in a position to do so according to director walensky who told us the reason behind that is hospitalizations are still so high and death rates are still so high. now these governors, john, have sought guidance from the cdc, from the administration saying they want clear guidance on what
is the path forward to getting back to normal and what that should look like. that's not guidance the cdc has offered yet. they maintain you should be wearing a mask. as dr. walensky told me she believes if you're in an area of high transmission, you should be wearing a mask indoors and she said that's much of the country. and when it comes to masking should people be listening to the cdc or to their governors? >> kaitlan, we've always said these decisions will have to be made at the local level and that policies at the local level will look at local cases, at how local hospitals are doing, look at local vaccination rates. and they, as i understand it in many of these decisions are used a phased approach. not all are made to stop things tomorrow. >> reporter: now, of course, some of those changes, those droppings of the mandates are happening pretty quickly. and when i asked dr. walensky if they have any data to back up
the decisions the governors are making, she did not answer, john. >> kaitlan collins, reporting live from the white house. appreciate it. very important perspective on this day. the infectious disease professor at vanderbilt, grateful for your time every time but especially today when you have the governors doing one thing and the white house seeming to say they don't think we're quite there yet. these are a number of states, new jersey rolling back school mask mandate, march 7. oregon schools, march 31. connecticut, february 28. delaware indoor mask mandate. and you see this playing out here. in your view does the science support this or does this feel more political? >> well, john, we know in public health it's easy to eliminate the program before you have controlled the disease when you see the cases starting to come down. we're at the beginning of the end.
we're not at the end yet, and i would be cautious along with the cdc. i think we have to do this in a staged fashion and we still have lots of transmission, lots of cases around the country. hospitals, yes, have plateaued, cases are coming down. we haven't done this yet in a sustained fashion. what do i menial by sustained? let's watch these cases and hospitalizations go down before six, eight weeks, and then -- then we can be much more secure in turning from pandemic to endemic. let's do this carefully rather than in a care-free fashion. >> i get what you're saying especially have loved your expertise. the issue is four, six, eight more weeks. the american people are saying we're into our third year and the last two have been pretty tough. our omicron peak got us up to 803,000 cases a day, and if you
look at the steep drop we're down to 234,000 new infections a day, dr. schaffner. new york and massachusetts the big drop. you don't dispute we're dropping and dropping fast. your question is maybe should the governors be waiting two more weeks, three more weeks? >> something like that. i would like to really see the cases and the hospitalizations particularly really diminish and reassure us they're going to stay down. my adage is better to wear your mask a month longer than take your mask off a month too soon. we've seen this movie before. we could get an explosion of cases locally, here, there and everywhere. we don't want that. let's tamp this down in a secure way before we gradually then open up our society. i think we're headed in that
direction. i'm enthusiastic about it. i'm grateful for it. but let's do it carefully. we don't want to blow it. >> you don't want to blow it. as you know, one of the challenges in the polarized political environment, a lot of people are defaulting to their politics when they decide what to do about covid instead of defaulting to common sense and good public health guidance. this monmouth poll, is it time to accept covid is here to stay and we need to get on with our lives? 70% of americans, a lot of democrats, republicans and independents agree. 28% disagree. then you see the hospitalization number way down, 160,000 down below, thankfully, below 100,000 again. how do you as a public health professional talk to somebody who says i get it. i'm just tired. i need to move on? >> i know it. i empathize. heck, everybody in public health and taking care of patients is tired, also. we're all tired together. let's hang in there a little bit
longer. there have been lots of examples where programs that are on the verge of success have stumbled and have prolonged the transition from pandemic to endemic because we've loosened up restrictions too soon. this is the winter olympics. i think we're a little bit ahead of our skis. >> dr. schaffner, a timely way to put it as we go through this. we'll continue this conversation with these governors making these decisions. we're in an interesting period to watch the next couple of weeks to see how it plays out. when we come back, brand-new cnn reporting on why mike pence decided to add a rebuke of donald trump with that big speech last friday. hello, how can i? sore throat pain? ♪honey lemon♪ try vicks vapocool drops in honey lemon chill
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a fascinating brand-new cnn reporting on why mike pence decided friday to deliver a strong rebuke of donald trump. the former vice president told a conservative legal group, quote, trump was wrong, and pence characterized trump's demand that pence refused to accept electoral votes as, quote, un-american. but cnn has told those strong words were not part of the original speech plan. gabby, why, why did mike pence go to rewrite and deliver a much tougher speech? >> reporter: john, you're right. this was not part of mike pence's plan. the stunning rebuke of donald trump included in the speech to the federalist society last friday was included after the former president issued two statements last week once again falsely suggesting that mike pence had the authority on january 6th to reject certification of certain ballots confirming the results of the 2020 presidential election. so it was after those two statements where donald trump
named mike pence and said that he had the authority to do that that pence decided to include these comments in his speech to the federalist society. one adviser to pence was telling me after he included these remarks, this very strong rebuttal of the former president in that speech, that he heard from numerous republican lawmakers, republican donors, and top conservative leaders who privately applauded him for doing so. and what that really says is there are several republicans behind the scenes that still agree with mike pence and want people to speak out and say donald trump is wrong but they, themselves, aren't willing to do so publicly. >> so that begs the question, then, did pence do this once because trump, again, attacked him, or does he now think i'm going to keep doing it? >> his team has left the door open to future comments in line with what he said last friday. i spoke with one person close to pence who told me, quote, he is not looking for this to be a main storyline, but if something is falsely said about him, he is going to correct it. so we may expect him to say some
things like this in future speeches, but at the moment it's not for certain. >> fascinating reporting, gabby orr. appreciate you bringing it to us. to share reporting and insights, let's go back and begin the conversation, it was notable on friday mike pence's very different tone. let's go back and listen to a little. >> and i heard this week that president trump said i had the right to overturn the election. president trump is wrong. i had no right to overturn the election. the presidency belongs to the american people and the american people alone. >> he went on to say to suggest otherwise was un-american, that what donald trump wanted him to do, mike pence said, was un-american. how significant is it that he decided, okay, enough, i'm going to do this? >> it's significant.
however, pence has been sort of written off by the trump faithful and the republican base in a lot of circles because of his actions on january 6th and the fact that he's standing up for himself after a year of being dragged by the president and those close to him, i mean, sure, mike pence is a leader in some corners of the republican party but the part that struck me and we've heard this over and over again from republicans who have spoken up and have been left to twist in the wind, people like kinzinger, cheney, peter meyer -- there's a story i think in "the washington post," but don't quote me on that -- how he had members saying, i agree with you but i can't vote like that because i'm afraid not only because of my election because of my family. so the ones that are silent are enabling the fact if they don't like it, the fact trump is still the leader of the republican party, there are these censure motions being passed by the rnc. those quiet people behind the
scenes, a matter of time before one of these members who is up front calls out the fact of the people -- >> you're right. a very important dynamic and these donors calling up mike pence as gabby orr saying atta boy, mike, but they won't do it themselves. the fact it's news, that it's significant, that mike pence states a fact. he stated a fact. mike pence did not create policy. he stated a fact, i do not have the authority. what trump was asking me to do was outside of the bounds. it was un-american. just that that is news tells you about the intimidation factor within the party. >> absolutely. and we should question how much he should be applauded for this. he is just stating the reality. it's clear, though, he is trying to find a lane for himself. there is a thin line between being loyal and being viewed as weak, right? and if he is trying to make a political comeback, what does it say about him that he continues to let himself be a punching bag from the former president?
so i think the determination was made probably by his inner circle, listen, you have to say something. the time has come. this no longer looks good for you if you are thinking about your political future. >> trying to figure out what the politics will look like a week from now let alone six months or a year from now, just forget about it. why not just side with the truth. why not side with the truth. let's continue this conversation in just a moment. mitch mcconnell picks a fight, even though he knows a fight might hurt republican election odds. ... cut. liberty mu... line?? cut. liberty mumutual customizes your car insurance so you only y pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... amam i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ get help managing your money for the life -- and years -- ahead. with fidelity income planning,
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senate republican leader mitch mcconnell is deliberately stoking an internal republican party fight even though leader mcconnell very much believes the best path to gop wins this year is for republicans to stop internal party feuds and instead focus on president biden. mcconnell aides, though, say he felt no choice after watching the republican national committee vote to censure two house members, house republicans,a resolution that referred to, quote, legitimate political discourse on january 6. >> it was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next. >> back-check true, everything he just said.
but the president of the united states does not like that, mitch mcconnell stating the truth, it was a violent insurrection with the goal of overturning a legitimate election. the statement goes on to repeat the big lie and say mitch mcconnell should have helped donald trump steal the election. >> i'm going to venture to say mitch mcconnell doesn't much care what donald trump thinks or says, and he had this interesting interview with "the washington examiner" i think published today where he said, you know, one of his -- there's no one who can replace mitch mcconnell. no one is coming for mitch mcconnell's job despite the fact maybe some people look for it, no one has raised their hands. he's in a different position than, say, kevin mccarthy, who might have someone coming for his job. so i think mitch mcconnell is just going to keep on keeping on. frankly, donald trump is one of the reasons arguably that he is not majority leader because of donald trump's role in the
georgia senate races. >> and mcconnell wants to win pennsylvania this year, right, a republican held state now. that republican seat is retiring. he needs to win north carolina. he wants to hold ohio. he's hoping to flip arizona. he wants to get that georgia seat back. what mcconnell's calculation is we cannot keep talking about the big lie. we cannot keep talking about trump. he's picking this fight to try to end this fight, but this fight won't end. >> no, look, it's clear he feels as though those states are within reach and it's clear to me he is embarrassed by some of the theatrics going on within the republican party, but there is a limit to this rebuke. he is only going to go so far. i will say this, though, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell has been able to achieve something the former president hasn't and that's be re-elected. he has kept the republican party in line for a long time and been able to deliver legislative wins for a long time, right. former president trump was only here for four years. so i think he is comfortable in this because he feels as though he knows exactly what he's
doing. >> and he's standing up to trump's hand-picked national committee chairwoman, my take on this when you live in a lie, trump's big lie, to support that you have to keep lying. you can't tell the truth because you're supporting a lie. so she issues a town hall op-ed trying to justify this resolution. january 6 committee predictably has vastly exceeded its original purpose, she says. i went back last night and read the resolution. no, it has not. it says it's about january 6th but the causes of january 6th which includes the plot to have fake electors, which includes fomenting dissent before hand. that's another lie because she's trapped in a lie. >> she thinks she has a better sense of the republican electorate than mitch mcconnell, so that is why she is continuing this. she's taking the pulse of republicans across the country and feeling this is the best strategy. >> i thank you for say that go saying that so clearly. i was inarticulate.
mcconnell has the courage to stand up and say if you believe that, you're wrong. it was a violent insurrection. they were trying to overthrow a legitimate election. we want no part of it. he has the courage to tell the truth. you're being told lies by other people. other republicans not so willing to stand up to that. this is josh holly who fashions himself as a future president of the united states. whatever you think of the rnc vote it reflects the view of most republican voters. in my state it's not helpful to have a bunch of d.c. republicans commenting on the rnc. so if the voters believe it, even if up know it's a lie, step back, don't use your leadership or your platform to say, look, we need to talk about this. whatever you believe is not true. >> former president trump is still the head of the republican party. he continues to push the big lie, and so those who are his minions will do the exact same thing. i mean, look at ted cruz who had the audacity in january to call
january 6th a terrorist attack on the capitol only to be taken to the woodshed by tucker carlson and now is on the hill saying that you shouldn't call it the insurrection because it's something -- it's democratic talking points or propaganda. it's people who are watching their political hides and not caring to educate their voters. >> john, i will say this, i've made this analogy before and i think it bears worth repeating, there's a difference between winning the battle and the war. yes, this is politically popular within the republican party now but things could change, right? what do you want your legacy to be? do you want your legacy to be this? the perfectbig lie? there has to be soul-searching to decide exactly what these members really want for themselves in the long term. >> and that trump statement says his view is, yes, yes, i am the man of grievances and i want to
continue these grievances every single day and i want other republicans to prove their loyalty to continuing these grievances. mcconnell is trying to say shove him to the sidelines, put this in the past. there's a "washington post" story breaking that tells us, this will be with us for quite some time. rudy giuliani asked a michigan prosecutor to turn over the voting machines to the trump legal team. it's a complicated story about how the votes were counted on election night but gets to the fact that around donald trump were a bunch of people determined to keep him in power to the point, give me those voting machines. that's why mitch mcconnell says you need to close the door, shove it behind you, let the investigations play out but do not buy into this. >> mitch mcconnell did not support the creation of the january 6th committee, but this is why their work is so important and you're right to mention that their scope was before the insurrection, how this big lie, the foundation was laid and that's why their work
continues and the american public deserves to know what happened. >> i mean, grabbing for straws, every time we hear about another one of these episodes and i'm sure we'll hear many more. it looks more pathetic by the day. that's why leader mcconnell wants nothing to do with it. >> the prosecutor understands the rule of law. we don't have the magical power to demand things as prosecutors. you need probable cause. that prosecutor understands the rheaume of rule the law. giuliani once did. russian sanctions stalling out. his girlfriend just caught t the bouquet, so he's checking in on that ring fund. oh, that p photographer? he's looking for somomething a little more zen, so he's thininking, “i'll open a yoga studio.” and as for the father of the bride? he's checking to see if he's on track to do this all over again...and again. digital tools so impressive, you just can't stop banking.
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some important new reporting on bipartisan negotiations up on capitol hill over russia sanctions. those negotiations have stalled. lawmakers stuck on two big issues. one, what to do about the nord stream 2 pipeline, how to deal with republican lines to put more sanctions in place against russia even before vladimir putin makes his decision about whether to invade ukraine. let's get up to our congressional correspondent with more. lauren? >> reporter: well, john, this morning menendez telling me he's leading these negotiations for the democrats that they have reached an infeclection point i talks. they have been having good faith negotiations with republicans in the senate trying to find a way to both combine preemptive sanctions on russia as well as post-invasion sanctions on
russia if the country decides to invade ukraine. we are learning that those negotiations are starting to stall out and essentially decisions need to be made soon whether or not they are going to proceed. one aide telling me how long can we be on the 1 yard line? if you remember back at the end of january both joined cnn in a joint interview saying they were close to finding a resolution, that they were optimistic. i am told those negotiations may continue but they are so close to needing to make a decision that this may stall out in the end, john. >> lauren fox, i appreciate that update. we know you'll stay on top of it. let's move on to another big story. this month the first january 6th defendant goes to trial. and this week the justice department prosecutors are giving us a window into their courtroom strategy. prosecutors say they plan to call 13 witnesses including his own children and they plan to put capitol police officers on the stand.
those officers will testify to a fierce clash with him and how they tried toshoot ing pepper balls and chemical spray. let's start with the department? he's a member of a military group in texas. allegedly brought a gun to the capitol and xlashd with police. >> this story for guy reffitt prosecutors are putting forth, his children are set to testify. it is a situation where this has ripped apart a family. january 6 ripped them apart after reffitt returned to texas. his son turned him in to the fbi and fled the family home. his daughter was brought back to testify against her father as prosecutors were trying to keep him in jail. they ultimately have kept him in jail. the family reacted verbally in
court when that ruling came down. he's been awaiting trial for a year now. we are going to see very many aggressive steps by prosecutors, not just with bringing these children of his to testify but with some other things they're doing in the trial as well. >> many other defendants have made plea agreements so you don't get to see all the evidence. you've gone through the files in this case. the justice department plans to use messages, calls, location data from reffitt's phone, cameras strapped to his own helmet, radio clips from the police department, zip tie cuffs, it seems like they've built a methodical case. >> this isn't just about the defendant. this is like an entire effort by the justice department to re-create the mob scene in court to show to the jury just how det destructive this january 6 insurrection was. we've seen there will be radio
calls and we will be reliving this even if there isn't video every single moment, we will be able to hear and see hopefully afterwards what's taking place, what's being shown to the jury. >> and the first trial will help us, we assume, help us understand what will come next. how they decide how many witnesses and which they believe is the most powerful testimony. the witness list includes capitol police, secret service agent, a senate staffer, members of the texas three percenters, and reffitt's own children. >> there is one person in this that will be interesting to hear from, we haven't heard from before, a person that drove with reffitt to d.c., had conversations with him. that person was given immunity by the justice department, they weren't charged and they will not be able to be charged for what they said -- for what they say on the witness stand. that is another aggressive step to bring someone in at trial, put them on the stand, get testimony and show the jury exactly what they've learned
through this year long investigation. >> fascinating trial about to begin later this month in federal court. appreciate the great reporting. ahead for us a north carolina election board says it has the authority to block madison hawthorne from running again. critics say he helped stoke the insurrection and he should be disqualified. atat university of phoenix, you could d earn your master's degree in less than a year for under $11k1k. learn n more at phoenix.edu. living with diabetes? glucerna protein smart has your number with 30 grams of protein. scientifically designed with carbsteady to help you manage your blood sugar. and more protein to keep you moving with diabetes. ucerna live every moment shh! i toomucinex dmh for my phlegmy cough. what works on that too,h? and lasts 12 hours. 12 hours?! who studies that long? mucinex dm relieves wet and dry coughs.
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madison hawthorne is a donald trump favorite and he represents a reliably red congressional district in north carolina, so beating him at the ballot box is unlikely. critics furious at what they see as the congressman's open support for the january 6 insurrection trying to end his congressional career by having him disqualified from the ballot. the north carolina elections board has not ruled on the fundamentals of the request but in a new court filing the election board does assert that it has the power, quote, to police which candidates should or should not be disqualified per section 3 of the 14th amendment. so the challenge here is if you can't beat them at the ballot box, try to get them disqualified. the 14th amendment, everyone should have their pocket constitution out, no person shall hold any office and taking oath, shall have engaged in insurrection or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.
and so the congressman's critics are saying he gives aid and comfort and should be disqualified. >> this is an interesting legal question. we'll have to see how this plays out. is it powerful enough he was elected? should that stand alone? the voters have their voices heard and should that be enough to keep him in his seat? we'll see what happens. our revolution, the progressive organization very involved in this fight. i think, though, if this legal battle doesn't go very far it could have the unintended consequence of making him more popular with the base. look, these folks are trying to cancel me out of congress. and he has become a powerful name in the party. my understanding is there are republican hopefuls coming to him having meals with him seeking his endorsement in their primaries. >> a high profile as a younger provocative member of the trump wing, the provocative wing of the party. this is one of the things critics take issue with, the congressman, on that day,
january 6, 2021. >> hold your representatives accountable. make sure that they stood up for election integrity, and make your voices heard. my friends, i want you to chant with me so loud that the cowards in washington, d.c., that i serve can hear you. >> this is part of the problem, having this conversation, he's calling cowards people who support math and democracy and the constitution, and he's saying, you know, stand up for election integrity. no, he's saying stand up for donald trump. >> right. but does that -- but the question is does that mean he is no longer qualified to run in north carolina? and if, in fact, this goes forward, and let's say he is disqualified, what precedent does that set? where will they try to use that? where can that be used in other places? it's a fascinating motion and i
know we'll all be watching it to see both what eva said and whether it has any repercussions going forward. >> bruce fein is an attorney for those trying to get him disqualified. that was his take this morning on cnn. >> we think the evidence points very strongly to hcawthorn bein disqualified and if cawthorn chooses to appeal to the court system that they would agree. >> ron fein there. the issue maybe there is a constitutional issue, on the substance an issue. as you noted because of his identity in the trump wing of the party because of the liberal organizations clearly defined going after him. it's hard to separate is there a legal issue here or is this just about politics? >> exactly. his supporters will say, look, democrats will not stop. they will use every tool in the toolbox, every mechanism they
can to erase our perspective. it's not about insurrection which there are legitimate concerns. it becomes a rebuke of their ideology as a whole and that is why this is such tricky territory. >> let's listen a little bit more. he is a rising star in that wing of the party, marjorie taylor greene tends to get more attention, but listen. >> we don't need to abolish the january 6 committee. we need to use it, start investigating what really happened. how many fbi agents were in the crowd? who are the ones who first breached the doors? i want the truth to come out. i believe we have very high-ranking, very vile and each and unpatriotic officials in our federal government and part of the deep state. >> the left is trying to block america first warriors from appearing on the ballot in 2024 and their path to victory begins or ends with me. they're after the american people but maga fighters are in the way.
>> it's vivid proof it's the next generation of what trump does, conspiracy theories, lies. this is not just about donald trump. there is a younger generation that does the same thing. >> absolutely. the i am the avatar for them trying to throw out your will. but, i will say, it's a huge deal to throw out what the voters choose and that is what is at stake here when you're talking about disqualifying him from running. >> right. except in extreme circumstances voters should get to make these decisions. is this an extreme circumstance? ahead for us, another damning it photo of the british prime minister, boris johnson, yes, another party blunder. ast. [limu emu squawks] woo! new personal record, limu!! ononly pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪
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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. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health. topping our political radar, boris johnson once again under fire after another new photo shows the prime minister with other people in an office setting. the prime minister asked about the photo in the house of commons and responded, get this, by saying the question was completely in error. a major diplomatic test provides vice president kamala harris. she will be traveling to the munich security conference this month to huddle with allies on the ukraine crisis. russia today says it plans to skip that summit. president biden will host democrats at the white house
tomorrow. the subject, of course, to talk about potential supreme court nominees. the white house says the president reviewing binders full of information about his possible choices and officials say the president is still on track to make that pick by the end of the month. administration official have started reaching out to potential candidates. we know the short list of possible nominees includes the d.c. circuit judge ketanji brown jackson, leondra krueger and south carolina district court judge childs. one step closer now to being florida's general despite views way out of the public health mainstream. t a state senate panel backed him for the job last night. take a listen. >> can you tell us if you have been boosted? >> when people ask you about your medical history, it is private. it is still private.
i choose to honor that. >> the full florida senate still needs to sign off on the nomination. the gubernatorial hopeful stacy abrams says it was, quote, a mistake, to pose maskless with a group of schoolchildren. she removed while reading because they were socially distanced. she said covid protocols matter and she should have put her mask back on. >> i took a picture and that was a mistake. protocols matter and protecting our kids is the most important thing and anything undermining that is a mistake and i apologize. >> joyce beady says she accepts an apology from hal rogers. rogers admits his conduct was unacceptable. beatty says she asked him to put on a mask and he poked her in the back and said kiss my ass. >> i'm a member of congress like you and i'm a woman.
you picked the wrong woman. >> congresswoman beatty saying she wanted a public apology and she will now move on. thanks for joining us. we will see you back here tomorrow. you can listen to our podcast, download "inside politics" wherever you get your podcasts. ana cabrera picks up our coverage right now. hello. i'm ana cabrera in new york. thanks for being with us. almost there? more states are but the cdc isn't. on the same day dr. fauci says we're heading out of this full-blown phase of the pandemic, three more states are rolling back mask mandates. new york, massachusetts and we're expecting an announcement from illinois as well. they join a list that just keeps growing, but even today the cdc is sticking by its recommendations that