tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN June 8, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT
what public polls show about wide support for background checks or high capacity magazine bans. they don't match it. so the facts on the hill will have to prove that wrong, because to date, hasn't moved the hill. lauren fox, phil mattingly. thank you. >> thank you for being with us, i'm poppy harlow. >> it's been tough for you to watch as much as to us. we'll bring this to you best we can. "at this hour" with kate bolduan starts right now. hello. i'm kate bolduan. we begin on capitol hill with the emotional and heartbreaking testimony from an 11-year-old child and also from the parents who had lost their daughter in the texas elementary school massacre. miah testifying via video. the young girl recounting the horror of what she lived through
when she saw the gunman come in, saw the gunman shoot her teacher and her classmates and how she needed to, decided to rub the blood of her friend on herself in order to try to survive. as this hearing continues, there are also developments on the bipartisan talks on gun safety. another part of the capitol. cnn learned senate republican leader mitch mcconnell privately expressed openness to raising the age limit to 21 for buying semiautomatic rifles. they'll be back to meet and negotiate again this hour. let's start with cnn's lauren fox live on the hill watching this hearing and seeing this emotional testimony happen. lauren, it was going to be hard to hear a child speak like this no matter what. it was very painful to watch. >> reporter: yeah, kate, there are always experts that come up to capitol hill and testify but it is so hard to watch and see a
fourth grader be an expert on gun violence and carnage in this country and i think that that testimony and the testimony of parents of lexi rubio really made such an impact in that room. you heard at the beginning of this hearing that the chairwoman said that what she wanted was for republicans to be listening with an open heart. the reason for that is the kind of testimony that you heard from lexi rubio's parents, where they describe the fact that they went to this honor roll ceremony, took a last photograph of their daughter, and they left. they expected, like parents do, that they would come back and pick their child up at the end of the day, and that never happened. and i think what you saw in there was her mother, kimberly rubio, asking congress to take direct action on items like banning assault weapons, on getting rid of immunity for gun
manufacturers. those items though, as we discussed, they're not being part of the negotiations in the u.s. senate. instead, those talks, so much more narrow when it comes to what they're willing to do, what republicans are going to be willing to support. we will see if this emotional testimony changes the minds of lawmakers, but at this point, what is on the table, what is being discussed is a much more narrow set of provisions including things like incentivizing states and more school safety, but kate, that falls far short of what the parents were pleading with members of congress to pass in the u.s. senate. >> lauren, thank you so much for that. let me bring in right now, cnn senior political correspondent, abby phillip and cnn national security analyst, julia kayyem.
those watching in the last 20, 30 minutes and i want to play what miah did say when she testified via video to this hearing just now. listen to this. >> he shot my friend that was sitting next to me, and i thought he was going to come back to the room, so i grabbed a little blood and i pull it all over me. >> what did you do then when you put the blood on yourself? >> just stay quiet and i got my teacher's phone and called 9-1-1. >> what did you tell 9-1-1? >> i told her that we need help. >> julia, what was your reaction to hearing this fourth grader and the parents of lexi rubio talking about their loss? >> so she's speaking for, the
tammial testimony we don't often hear and the historic nature of this shouldn't be forgotten. i don't know a similar incident where a young child is compared to a high school student that has to speak like this. i think lexi's parents' testimony of the mother also, well, it's emotional, but it's also factual. this idea she takes off her flip-flop, like every mother is thinking. of course you take off your flip-flops, you have to run a mile because there's traffic. who wouldn't do that and then at the end, she says, we're talking about her death and what happened and who she was before. i want to talk to you about what she would become. and i think remembering that it wasn't just a moment, it's cut off a child life and their future but a concentric, an emotional resonance then tied to policy and we have to remember that. parents are talking specific
policy. here's what would work and about what they can get through the political process compared to what their wish list is and to do something, anything, has to be a mantra for them because they are sophisticated because of tragedy of what will be able to get through. >> abby, you don't have to be a mother, you don't have to be a parent. you need to be a human with a beating heart that when you hear from that fourth grader or you hear from kimberly rubio who said i left my children at school and that decision will haunt me for the rest of my life. >> it is beyond heartbreaking, and i think what we all feel, you and i and everybody watching as mothers, as parents is only a fraction of what these parents are experiencing, and what is so unique about this moment is that i think a lot of these parents, these witnesses, we've been here before. i think after newton, a lot of
people thought this is, we can't take anymore and then these families, unfortunately, became victims themselves and so now the question in washington is, at what point does it start to matter, and the reason you're seeing this pragmatism unfolding among the people who are, who want an assault weapons ban, but they're also saying, we'll take pretty much anything at this point. it's because i think there's a recognition now that by being able to do something, it demonstrates that perhaps there is a line that people are willing to draw, and that if you can draw the line here, maybe a month later or a year later, you can draw the line a little further, and i think that matters in our political system. that's a real question of whether there is a line. that is what is facing congress today, and this testimony, i think, from these parents, you know, as juliet says, i don't think we've ever heard from a
child who was in the room with a shooter. >> ten days ago. this isn't a year later. >> we never heard that, and that's because that child really, all she has known is this as a reality for her. and that is something that i think will confront lawmakers as they're trying to figure out what is the possible on this issue. >> and juliet, i think something abby is getting at and i keep having this thought as i was looking at this panel, it wasn't just miah. it wasn't just the parents of a child killed. it was also the mother of a shooting victim who survived but will have wounds for the rest of his life in buffalo. almost like this critical mass of there is now a constituency, if you will, of people who are directly affected, directly affected within short periods of time, the same story is being told of their lives being shattered by gun violence.
>> right. the concentric circle that gun violence in this country is impacting now, so instead of viewing each individual case as separate or this is the texas school and the hospital here and that's a party at 3:00 in the morning in philadelphia, we then begin to see these concentric circles are beginning to touch each other, and i think we have no concept with the children but the extent to which our children are being raised so conscious of irresponsible gun culture. i thought that was the power of mcconaughey's statements yesterday. he's a gun owner, and he squarely is in the responsible gun ownership camp and they never really had a spokesperson. so this is a powerful statement to say, well, maybe we could get to responsible, and i think that's what the parents are saying. we know, look, the policy is clear.
we know 18 to 21 will save lives, if you change, if you have a federal mandate that you cannot purchase these weapons. we look at the data and know other laws will work, but any law will get us to safer. we're not going to get to safe in this culture right now but we can get to safer and i think the parents were unbelievably sophisticated in that, in the midst of this, sophisticated about the anything standard. anything at this stage because here's who my daughter would have been, right, here's who she would have been. not just what happened that day. here's what we all lost, and i think that is unique, and i'm more hopeful than i generally am in my, looking at the metrics, that something can get done, even if we can't get the age change from 18 to 21, which is so clearly. >> just an acknowledgment
amongst the families involved that this is complicated and it is messy. this is a political, and i will say political debate and i hate talking about politics but that is wrapped up in all of this when it comes to what will work, what will not work. the acknowledgment, very universally among people advocating for something to be done, that any change is not going to save everyone. any one age increase is not going to stop all gun violence but if it stops one death, at this point, when you see so many happening, every day and within such a short amount of time, that adds up and that is something but gets to kind of, does this move lawmakers? is this time, not going to say it and i don't want people to roll their eyes at me, is this time different? let's get over to manu raju because this hour, a group of senator negotiates are meeting to discuss what we're getting at here, the gun safety package that seems to be beginning to
take shape, also, new comments from senator mitch mcconnell. manu, what are you picking up? >> reporter: talks are going to happen, including this hour when a larger group of members to see whether they can finalize any sort of agreement that's not going to go as far as what some of these survivors of the uvalde massacre, the parents of the survivors, the parents and the pediatrician who testified just moments ago in uvalde, texas, will not go as far in what many of them want and restrict access to guns, but what they are talking about is a number of other provisions, expanding background checks to look at juvenile records is part of those background checks as well as red flag laws, incentives to states to develop those laws to allow authorities to take away guns from individuals deemed a risk, along with mental health provisions and the like, but still not raising the age from 18 to 21. the purchase of the semiautomatic rifles even though
senate republican leader mitch mcconnell privately expressed an openness to that idea but they'll accept even an incremental change, even if it's not as far as they'd like. >> a lot of democrats are concerned that this emerging package is not going to go far enough. >> i have a goal to really address gun violence at many different levels i'd like to see achieved. i have to face the reality in the 50-50 senate, the reality of many republicans resistance to any change. some are willing to sit down and work, if we can save one life with this process, so be it. i support it. but i can tell you, it's not going to be what i would have written myself. >> why do you oppose reinstating the assault weapons ban? >> we're trying to get an outcome. >> do you propose lifting the age to 21? >> so mcconnell not saying what his view is on this issue,
whether he does, in fact, support raising the age from 18 to 21, as i've been told privaprivate ly has expressed support for the idea but talks begin today. the goal is to reach as soon as this week but possibly, the talks could drag on to next week. >> thank you for that. abby and juliette are back with me. foolhardy to guess even exactly where this is going to end up but what we're talking about, there was an interesting, great reporting that republican senators of wyoming, she actually told cnn she's been surprised by all the calls, the types of calls coming into her office since this has happened. this is a republican senator from a state and said she's been surprised her office is getting a lot of calls from voters saying they want something done on guns. i add that into this discussion of we don't know where it's going, but the fact that even the senators are talking about this is interesting.
>> yeah, i mean, politics is not a static thing. it's influenced by constituents, by voters. so we're not quite sure where this is headed. we know where the politics has been for a long time, and cynthia loomis said it. she, weeks ago, would not even entertain the idea of anything really touching on expanding gun rules, but today, in the last week, has been talking more about what can we do that my constituents are asking me to do and i think that's where this is headed and i noted about a week ago, 250 republican donors in the state of texas put out a full page ad with the texas paper to basically address to the top negotiator tom cornyn saying to him, we want you to do something on the issue of guns, on gunns.
not just mental health or safety, but guns. it's a question how far that goes but there is some room here. i think mcconnell's comments signal that in his private life like in a lot of things, he wants something but doesn't think the votes are there. his members can prove him wrong. i don't think yet that we have the numbers. it would be 10 republicans or more that would make something possible. they would need to have more in order to have the kind of political cover that they need in order to do things like that. >> no truer statement would be mitch mcconnell trying to get something done. let's see what happens. thank you so much. i really appreciate it today. coming up for us, we do need to get to some breaking news. an armed man has been arrested near the home of supreme court justice brett kavanaugh. got details for you on that next.
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we do have breaking news. police in maryland have arrested a man armed with a weapon early this morning near supreme court justice brett kavanaugh's home. officials say the suspect was taken into custody after making threats against the justice. cnn's whitney wild is live in washington following these breaking details. whitney, what are you learning? >> reporter: kate, that call for service came in between 1:30 and 1:45 this morning. that's when the montgomery county police department, the police department that handles the area where supreme court justice brett kavanaugh and other justices live. montgomery county police contacted this man. they assessed that there were, at the supreme court public information officers pointed out, this man was making threats against justice kavanaugh and so he was transported to one of the local substations for the montgomery county police department. our understanding now that the fbi is the lead agency on this. very little detail at this
point, kate, other than that say this man is an adult man from california. we don't yet know what the nature of the threat was. we don't know what language the threat was or what kind of weapon this man might have had. if he had one at all because the information at this point is just so thin but kate, this certainly contributes to this overall threat with landscape we've been talking about. the major concern here with this abortion ruling from federal officials and sounding the alarm on this for about a month is that supreme court justices will certainly be, you know, potentially targeted by violent extremists who are angered over this pending ruling that is poised to strike down roe v. wade. this is an extremely passionate issue. there are emotions on both sides. federal officials made clear over and over they believe the risk truly comes from both sides of this abortion debate, so certainly this case, you know, really solidifying what federal officials have been warning about. people are angry, they might
seek to use the abortion ruling as justification to cause violence and puts supreme court justices, their staff and other members of the judiciary, especially the supreme court at risk. back to you. >> whitney, thank you very much for that breaking news. we continue to track that with more as we get that. i appreciate it. also, at any moment now, president biden will be heading to los angeles to host the summit of the americas, a high profile summit meant to bring together leaders from north, central and south america. instead of the agenda at hand, a major focus has become who will and will not be attending. the president of mexico, guatemala, honduras and el salvador are boycotting over not inviting nicaragua and venezuela over human rights violations. good to see you, ambassador, thank you for being here. what does mexico's boycott mean?
how much that important ally and neighbor, how much can get done without that major player being at the summit? >> well, first of all, today the president of mexico decided not to come, but he will be represented by his foreign minister who's extremely capable person. i think things will still get done. i think this is a good opportunity to put the spotlight on a lot of issues concerning the hemisphere, whether it's trade, migration, environment, and other issues. so i don't think the damage is irreparable, so i think as far as the relationship between the united states and mexico goes, that is really a permanent feature of our foreign relations. mexico is one of the most important relationships that they have and as confirmation of that, even though the president of mexico is not going to the los angeles summit, he and
president biden will have a separate bilateral meeting together shortly thereafter. >> and beyond mexico with guatemala, honduras and el salvador as well not attending at the top levels, is that not surprising to you? >> yes, it is surprising, and disappointing, especially given the great focus that the administration has been putting on the so-called northern triangle. that is the countries of el salvador, honduras. we have a free trade agreement with the central american countries and of course, they're very close to us and a primary source of the undocumented migration to the united states which, as you know, is really very much on the uptick at the moment, so i'm almost more disappointed that the central american leadership did not, is not attending at the highest
level and there will be discussions about migration nonetheless. i think that's going to be important, and there's also a private sector partnership for central america that has been supporting vice president harris' efforts down there and i'm sure we'll be hearing from them as well. >> do you think, i don't know, they should have postponed the summit, given the who's in, who's out has become kind of a leading kind of part of the conversation going in or would that have created more of an issue? >> no, i think you raise a good question. you know, i've been, of course, working in some of those jobs back in washington and sometimes these events creep up on you. you agreed to them, and then other things interfere, other priorities and of course, we've had the whole problem of the war in ukraine which i think is
absorbed almost more than 200% of everybody's energy for the last several months and all of a sudden, the day comes up and i don't think we were quite as well prepared. i think if they had to do it over again, they might have considered postponing it, but now, i think they're just going to go ahead with it, make the best of it. and as i said at the outset at the top of my remarks, this is an opportunity to put the spotlight on issues that are important to us in the hemisphere, and i'm sure the administration will have some success in doing that and i'm sure there will be useful meetings, useful conversations on a whole host of issues. >> absolutely. good to see you, ambassador. thank you for coming in. >> thank you, kate. >> thank you. coming up for us, potentially big news for moderna on an updated vaccine booster shot. what they say, what moderna says their new studies show and what it could mean in the battle
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new this morning, moderna announcing its updated covid booster shot offers a stronger immune response against the omicron variant than the original vaccine. this updated vaccine is called to target two strains of covid. the original strain and the omicron variant. the cdc reports that omicron and its sub variants account for 100% of covid cases in the united states. moderna said its modified booster shot could be available as soon as this summer. joining me right now is moderna's chief medical officer, dr. paul burton. good to see you here. i read this with great interest. i know a ton of people did. you haven't released data on this new study but you feel this is a fundamental turning point in the fight against this virus. why? >> i do, kate. good morning, thanks for having me. seven months ago, the omicron virus burst on to the world and i think we've all asked the
question, if we get a vaccine that contains omicron, will it be effective? will it neutralize the virus and i think we now have definitive evidence that with this moderna vaccine, we can. we can neutralize omicron, and we've lived for the last seven months with constant evolution of the virus. highly infectious. it's certainly not mild. it's severe. i think we now have a vaccine that's adapted. it's new. this is not the vaccine that we brought out 2.5 years ago. we need a new one that's adapted to the new variants. i think we have it now and it will allow us to get a jump on this virus and start protecting people. >> you think this, are you confident this now puts you on track for an annual covid shot when i know a lot of people have been talking about, do we get to the place where the protection can last you through the season, last you a year so it becomes an
annual thing? >> yeah, i think that's great question. what we saw here, anti-body units somewhere in the 5.5 thousand in people who had been exposed to covid, up to 9,000 units. that's very high. certainly higher than what we saw in at least three studies where people were primed a couple of years ago. it's not completely confirmed, but we believe that a level of about 400 units is needed for people to get protection. so if you are 5.5 or 9 thousand units of antibodies which you could be after receiving this as a booster, the level could decay over time but i believe starting from that high point of antibody concentration in your blood is going to let you coast for a lot longer, and really could be at that once yearly boosting
setting. it's an important one for sure. >> the study didn't measure the efficacy of the modified booster, which it actually reduces the risk of disease or severity. it measured the level of neutralizing antibody response in people. i give that by way of only asking, are you concerned at all that this is not going to, do you have any concerns about this holding up against actual exposure? >> no, look, i don't, kate. we've seen from so many studies here in the united states in the setting, united kingdom, hsa data, the spike vax vaccine, not only does it hold up extremely well against delta, which we know is not around so much now, but certainly even against omicron, it has protection of 85% to 95% against severe disease and death. so i think now with this new variant adapted vaccine, with
those antibody levels that i mentioned in the thousands, i think we're really going to see excellent protection against symptomatic disease and certainly against severe disease as well. >> in general, though, there is a lot of concern that just the virus is simply evolving faster than vaccines are keeping up, just in general. the ability, i guess, to update vaccines to target it and that's what you're kind of getting at here, trying to be able to get ahead of it a little bit. what is the chance that by the time this new vaccine, assuming it becomes approved, what's the chance that we'll already be facing a new variant not named covid requiring yet another update to the vaccine? >> yeah, so pi or zeta. i don't think it's impossible. the virus is showing us it's able to make massive evolutionary leaps, omicron, for example, shows us that. i think though, kate, having omicron is a fundamental part of
our vaccine, which clearly, is in this one, is important because it's so far removed from the original ancestral virus that having antibodies against it not only protects against omicron but gives you good surround for these new omicron sub variants and that may come along. i think it's very important, and i think people should be reassured for that. i would say though, i think what we've been able to show here as well is that the moderna platform can really respond very quickly. it's taken seven months to get here, but we've been very cautious, very rigorous in our testing. i think now, given the hundreds of millions of people that have been dosed with our vaccine around the world, we know it's a very safe, very effective. we could even speed that up. so i think having omicron as a component of that vaccine. it's important, but i think we
can pivot quickly as needed. >> what's realistic shortening period from seven months to what? >> well, that's a good question. look, i think, you know, a large part of it is the manufacturing. we can do the testing fairly quickly. we've still got to make hundreds of millions of doses. i think we'll be able to get that down to low single digit months over time. >> doctor, thank you for coming in. i really appreciate your time. >> thank you, kate. coming up for us, more than 90 women and girls sexually abused by larry nassar for filing claims. details in a live report next. since i left for colollege, my dad has gotten back into some of his old hobbies. and now he's taking trulicity, anit looks like he's gotten into some
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also developing at this hour, dozens of sexual assault survivors including olympic gold medallist simone biles are seeking $1 billion in damages from the fbi for mishandling their investigation into larry nassar and failing to stop him from abusing more young women. cnn's jean casarez is here following along the way. what more are you learning about this? >> this is the federal tort claims act. an extraordinary move and they are giving notice to the fbi,
you have wronged us. you have hurt us. the only thing we can do is come to you and ask for those monetary damages, and now the fbi will assess it and get back to them, but this is the timeline. larry nassar was the team usa doctor, and there finally were charges but in 2017 is when it ultimately came about that the fbi dropped the ball, that they actually knew what larry nassar was doing, they didn't say anything. he was allowed to reoffend numerous young women, and so what happened after that was the fbi declined to prosecute their own, the indianapolis field office, and so there was a huge senate judiciary committee hearing last fall where the olympic athletes and gold medallists actually testified of what was done to them and the fbi interviewed them, but shelled those interviews.
here's what maggie mickles who said was the first one at the ranch in texas told another teammate of what larry nassar was doing to her and came out at that point they had a problem. she said, quote, this is from the filing, the fbi knew that larry nassar was a danger to children when his abuse of me was first reported in september of 2015. for 421 days they worked with usa gymnastics and usopc to hide this information and allowed nassar to continue molesting young women and girls. it is time for the fbi to be held accountable, and the office of the inspector general did a full investigation, a full report and they concluded that the fbi, the indianapolis field office did have the information. they did not document the interview with michaela until 17 months after she bared her soul and told so much of what happened to her.
they also said in that inspector general report that the fbi officials, some were not with the fbi anymore but they did interviews with the inspector general and they misled them and made materially false statements. but last month, they declined again to prosecute any of them. and so now we have the culmination today. >> let's see where this goes from here. good to see you, jean. appreciate it. coming up for us, united airlines donating flights to bring hundreds of thousands of pounds of baby formula to the united states, the first u.s. airline to pitch in. that's next. this mom's one step closer to their new mini-van! yeyeah, you'll get used to it. this mom's depositing money with t tools on-hand. cha ching. and this mom, well, she's setting an appointment here,e, so her son can get set up there and start his own financial journey. that's because these moms all have chase. smart bankers. convenient tools. one bank with the power of both. chase. make more of what's yours.
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millions of american families are facing a shortage of baby formula still. united airlines is sting up donating flights now to transport more than 300,000 pounds of formula from the you can to the united states the hope is, of course, to get it into store shelves quickly. united becoming the first airline to donate flights to this effort. joining me is a chief communications officer for united. first flights are tomorrow. how many more do you think you will need to do before this crisis is alleviated? >> good morning. it's nice to see you. we expect over the next couple weeks to go 12 shipments of our baby formula from the uk to the united states. we have 23 flights a day between london and the united states. we are donating a portion of that capacity on our planes to step up and fill this need. the first airline you mentioned to volunteer and give it away for free. we recognize there are millions
of families, a father not babies and remembering that vulnerability of trying to take care of a child? this is a tough position. we can step up and lend our expertise in moving us into cargo and using the capacity that we have on our planes that operate between the uk and the united states to really help. >> are you hearing specifics from the white house? because they haven't been able to provide any time line or expectation of when things will get back to normal for families across the country. are you hearing any expectation of when your services will no longer be needed? >> i don't have a sense of the broader picture in terms of when the supply of baby formula will be restored. what i do know the biden ad administration is pulling ever lever they can think of to try to get access to this supply of baby formula. that's where they came into this. they reached out to us and ask
us to move this that they identify to address this supply crunch so many families are facing. this is an opportunity to work with them to meet this need. one of the interesting notes about tomorrow's shipments, kate, it will be delivered to a hangar in dulles airport. we used it last summer to house afghan evacuees on that hangar. we actually partnered with the biden administration in a variety of ways to meet these needs. it's a commitment the airline has in the communities we serve. this is another example of that. >> i was going to mention, this is not the first time that you have lent your services to helping the government. let me ask you about something on top of mind for a lot of folks right now about industrial travel. the industry is trying to end covid passengers into the u.s. especially now mask mandates are no longer. so far there is no change. why haven't you all been able
convince the administration to do this yet? >> we made the case this testing is no longer necessary. this testing actually only applies to passengers that are on airplanes and not people who are crossing land borders. so recently, i think there is a good case for this testing going away. we actually do think if the testing did go away, it would be another benefit for the economy. it is a barrier for people looking to travel, either tore americans who travel overseas or foreigns that want to come to the united states and spend tourism dollars. we feel there is a benefit. >> why do you think they are still on? >> to be honest with you, i don't know why they believe that this is important. so you probably have to ask the u.s. government for that. i think there is a pretty strong case for taking that requirement. we've made that case to the administration. they've heard us. this is ultimately the decision they have to make. >> absolutely. it's good to see you, josh, thank you very much for coming in. >> nice to see you, kate, thank you. >> thank you all so much for
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hello, everybody, welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king, thank you for sharing your time with us. it is an important and emotional day in the nation's capitol. important, because at any time merritt garland will figure out how they so mishandled the uvalde massacre, ignoring 911 calls, the shooter killed 19 children before reaching that room. emotional because today congress heard directly from parents who lost a child at robb elementary. a little girl who survived after
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