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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  August 1, 2021 8:00am-8:59am PDT

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>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. alarming surge. >> this is an incredibly contagious version of the virus. >> as the delta variant spreads, the cdc makes a big reversal on masks. >> this moment could have been avoided with higher vaccination coverage. >> the president predicts more restrictions. dr. anthony fauci joins us with the latest. plus, transportation secretary pete buttigieg on biden's balancing act and the future of the infrastructure bill. >> it was an attempted coup. >> i heard chanting get his gun and kill him with his own gun. >> searing emotional testimony from officers who fought to defend the capitol on january 6th. we discuss the fallout with re
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that epnt am > new velaon hruntrmine elections. our round table analyzes it all. plus -- >> i noticed that not only can we vote, we can also run for office. >> a convicted felon elected to office from prison. his journey to redemption. >> announcer: from abc news it's "this week." here now, co-anchor jonathan karl. good morning and welcome to "this week." at the beginning of july it seemed as if we were winning the fight against covid with schools preparing to open, masks destined for extinction. as august begins, there are frightening signs our covid nightmare is far from over. the delta variant as contagious as chicken pox is spreading fast. in parts of the country, emergency rooms are once again filling up.
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the death toll expected to rise remmeawhe transmison is n enies ated becausewhe y n eath diase. this week more than 100,000 new indicates reported in a single day for the first time in nearly six months. there's some good news. the pace of vaccinations is picking up. an average of 650,000 shots administered per day. that's a 21% increase in the last week. so where do we go from here? is this a temporary setback or a deadly new trend? dr. anthony fauci is here to help us make sense of it. dr. fauci, thank you for joining us. help me understand, are we headed towards a period once again where we're going to see lockdowns, businesses shutting down, masks for everybody or is this -- is this potentially just
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a temporary setback? >> jon, i don't think we're going to see lockdowns. i think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country, not enough to crush the outbreak, but i believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter. things are going to get worse. if you look at the number of cases, the seven-day average has gone up substantially. what we really need to do, jon, we have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated. we are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated. there's some breakthrough infections with the vaccinated. you expect that because no vaccine is 100% effective. in the breakthrough infections they're mostly mild or without symptoms.
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the unvaccinated who have a much, much greater chance of getting infected in the first place are the ones that are vulnerable to severe illness that might lead to hospitalization and in some cases death. we're looking not, i believe, to lockdown, but we're looking to some pain and suffering in the future because we're seeing the cases go up, which is the reason why we keep saying over and over, the solution to this is get vaccinated and this would not be happening. >> is this pain and suffering for the most part pain and suffering for those who have not been vaccinated? the bottom line here is, isn't it, that there are breakthrough infections for those vaccinated, but you're highly unlikely to be hospitalized or to die if you've been vaccinated? isn't that right? >> that is correct, jon. no doubt about that. that's one of the very, very important reasons you want people to get vaccinated. the vaccines are doing what
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they're supposed to do. they're protecting one from getting seriously ill, requiring hospitalizations and perhaps even dying. however, when you have unvaccinated people getting infected, you're propagating the dynamics of the outbreak, which ultimately impacts everybody from the standpoint of having to wear masks, from the standpoint of the safety of the kids in school, from the standpoint of being able to open up everything the way we were when we were normal. so, yes, from the standpoint of illness, hospitalization, suffering and death, the unvaccinated are the much more vulnerable because the vaccinated are protected from severe illness for the most part. when you look at the country as a whole in getting us back to normal, the unvaccinated by not being vaccinated are allowing the propagation and the spread of the outbreak which impacts everyone. >> walk me through the mask
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guidance. the cdc is now recommending in certain circumstances people fully vaccinated to wear masks indoors, even though you're highly unlikely to get severely sick or die if you've been vaccinated. walk me through the science. why this recommendation of masks for people fully vaccinated and unlikely to get really sick. >> all right. masks for the fully vaccinated, the change and the modification of the guideline, which was formerly, if you're fully vaccinated you didn't need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. the change, as we know now, even if you're fully vaccinated, when you're in an indoor setting in an area of the country that has a high degree of transmissibility, the orange and red zones, you should wear a mask even if you're vaccinated. that has much more to do with
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transmission, jon, in the sense that we know now that there are situations as unusual as they are, but they occur. we hear about them all the time. no vaccine is 100% effective, which means in areas of high volume of infection, vaccinated people will get infected. thank goodness for the most part they won't get seriously ill. they'll generally be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. we do know now with this very difficult delta variant, it's different than the alpha variant in a very important way. the important way is that it's much more highly transmissible and, when you do get infected, even if you don't have symptoms, the level of virus in the nose is quite high and recent studies have shown the level of virus in the nose of a vaccinated person who may not be symptomatic is the same as an unvaccinated person.
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we know that vaccinated, asymptomatic people who are infected can spread the infection. you want them to wear a mask so that, if, in fact, they do get infected, they don't spread it to vulnerable people. >> we're almost out of time. i want to ask you about the reaction we've seen from prominent republican governors. we've seen florida republican governor desantis, governor abbott of texas, governor ducey in arizona have pushed back strongly against the notion of mask requirements. let me read you a quote from governor ducey, arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn't vaccinated. they're arguing this is an individual responsibility, an individual's right to decide. what is your answer to these -- these are republican governors in some of the largest states in
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our country. >> well, jon, i disagree with them. i respectfully disagree with them. the fact is there are things that are individual responsibilities that one has. there are things that have to do with you individually which also impact others. the spread of infection we're seeing now, the surge in cases, jon, is impacting everyone in the country. although you want to respect a person's individual right, when you're dealing with a public health situation -- and we are in a very serious public health challenge with a pandemic, with a virus that has an extraordinary capability o of spreading rapidly and efficiently from person to person. a person's individual, individual, decision to not wear a mask, not only impacts them,
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because if they get infected -- even though they say it's my decision if i get infected, i'll worry about that. the fact is, if you get infected, even if you're without symptoms, you very well may infect another person who may be vulnerable, who may get seriously ill. in essence, you're encroaching on their individual rights because you're making them vulnerable. you could argue that situation both ways. >> dr. fauci, thank you very much for sharing part of your sunday with us. >> good to be with you, jon. thank you for having me. as the white house continues its effort to encourage more vaccinations, president biden announced new requirements for federal workers, to be vaccinated or face mandatory testing. here to discuss all that, plus the bipartisan breakthrough in congress on infrastructure, is transportation secretary pete buttigieg. thank you, mr. secretary. let me ask you about this new rule and the pushback we're seeing from a lot of federal
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employees' unions, unions representing workers including at the department of transportation. one of those unions, the federal law enforcement association, called this new rule a clear violation of civil rights. what do you say to these unions -- and there are several of them -- that are uncomfortable with the new rule and how it came about? >> this is about protecting lives. it's about setting a good example. to be clear, employees have a choice. either attest to their vaccination and indicate that's happened or other measures to keep the workplace safe including masking, social distancing, testing. this is a basic safety measure at a time when we see this dangerous variant spreading around our country. look, we have so many obligations and so many dimensions of employee safety to make sure it's a safe workplace. this is part of that.
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it's also important for the federal workforce to lead by example. we're asking the whole country to do what it takes to make sure we get beyond this pandemic. this is a very important part of how to do it. >> i know that this is not part of your purview as the secretary of transportation, not something you're focussed on. there's a lot of outrage over the expiration of the eviction moratorium, the failure of congress to act to renew it, the belated way the white house urged congress to do it. listen to congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. >> everybody knew this was coming. we were sounding the alarm about this issue. the fact that the statement came out just yesterday is unacceptable. >> i'm asking you as a member of president biden's cabinet, did the white house fail on this? now we have millions of people
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potentially facing evictions. >> let's be clear, the administration has been acting throughout. the president views this as a moral issue, not just a political one. so that's why you've seen, not just the guidance that went out recently to the agencies on steps they can take, but also the work that's been going on from the beginning to get emergency rental assistance out to families. it's out to states, but it's not getting to everybody. the pace has picked up. the last month we have reporting on was more than the previous months. we need to get this emergency assistance out to people so they can stay in their homes. yes, the president supports movement to extend this, but we're not waiting for that and haven't been. there have been steps at every level using every lever available to this administration throughout and will continue to be. >> let's move on to infrastructure. this was a major breakthrough.
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17 republicans voting to begin debate. it hasn't passed yet. a lot of potential obstacles. if this comes together, more than $1 trillion on new infrastructure spending. what will this mean to the average american? >> well, every american is going to see a difference. that's one of the reasons why you had this extraordinary sight, something you don't see in today's washington, which is republicans and democrats coming together saying let's do this. business and labor rarely on the same page, at the table saying let's get this done. we're talking about roads and bridges, ports and airports. we're talking about rail and transit, not to mention the work on water and broadband. there's no county, community, state in this nation that won't see improvements because of this. just like every part of this country has seen the cost of us
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invest over the last 10, 20, 40 years the way we should have been. my department stands ready to get to work as soon as we get those dollars once the bill is signed by the president. we have more work to do to make sure everything comes together. the bottom line is we can't remain in 13th place as a country by transportation infrastructure. as we change that, the other thing i want to mention that americans are going to see is new jobs. millions of good paying jobs, most available to workers whether they have a college degree or not. >> that's quite a pitch for this. we heard from nancy pelosi that she says she will not take this bill up in the house unless the senate also passes the much larger social infrastructure bill that is opposed -- that all republicans oppose. even a couple democrats aren't supportive. would that be a mistake for democrats in the house not to pass this bill unless they can
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pass this other larger bill? isn't this good in and of itself on its own? >> we believe in both packages and we believe in each package. the president has made clear he supports them both and looks forward to signing both. i don't want to give up on the idea that at least some republicans could vote for the second bill too. i mean, what's taking shape on what's called the human infrastructure side, maybe they don't want to call it human infrastructure, fine. thec they can for call it whatever they like. cutting child poverty in half, making sure americans can have paid family leave so we're not the only country in the world that lacks that, why can't at least a few republicans vote for that? we'll keep pushing on that end. >> can i -- >> we've seen success on the physical infrastructure. >> i understand. can i ask you a yes or no question? should congress pass this even
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if it's the only infrastructure bill that is passed. should this basically be held up unless you get both? >> we think congress should pass both and the president looks forward to signing both. >> not quite an answer, but we tried. secretary buttigieg, thank you for joining us. after emotional testimony from four police officers who defended the capitol on january 6th, we'll speak with republican congressman adam kinzinger about what's next for the insurrection investigation and when the first wave of subpoenas will arrive. we'll be right back.
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it was an attack carried out on january 6th and a hitman sent them. >> i was crushed up against the door frame. the man in front of me took advantage and beat me in the head. >> i was more afraid to work in the capitol than my entire deployment to iraq. >> the indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful. >> harrowing testimony from four police officers before the house committee examining the january 6th attack on the u.s. capitol. joining us now for an exclusive interview is one of the two republicans serving on the committee, congressman adam kinzinger. congressman kinzinger, thank you for joining us. i want to ask you, bennie thompson said there will be many subpoenas issued as part of the investigation and issued soon.
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who do you expect we'll see subpoenaed to appear before the committee? >> well, i don't want to get into naming names at this point. what we need to know is what happened. if you look at what is it going to take to find out what happened? it's going to take talking to a lot of people. it's going to take thorough investigations. we want to do this expeditiously. we want to get answers. we don't want to drag this out. we want to know -- i think this is like the shot we have as a country to get answers to what led up to it, what really happened and what happened in the aftermath. i would expect to see a significant number of subpoenas for a lot of people. the bigger thing is what is the message that's going to come out of this? the american people deserve the truth. they need the truth. even if there are some folks on some tv channels that don't want to talk about it, the truth needs to be out there for those folks' kids to know in the future. it's going to be a thorough
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investigation that's for sure. >> one of the big questions is what donald trump was up to in the white house as this riot was unfolding. liz cheney has suggested, including in an interview on "this week," that anybody who spoke to donald trump during those hours should testify before the committee. she suggested it could mean a subpoena for kevin mccarthy. now we learned jim jordan talked to donald trump on january 6th. would you support subpoenas to the republican leader in the house and to jim jordan? >> i would support subpoenas to anybody that can shed light on that. if that's the leader, that's the leader. if it's anybody that talked to the president that can provide us that information, i want to know what the president was doing every moment of that day. after he said i'm going to walk with you to the capitol, after mo brooks said we'll kickday is take their country back from
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other people. i want to know what they were doing. that's going to be important. if the national guard took five or six hours to get to capitol hill, did the president make any calls? if he didn't, why? if he did, of course, then how come the national guard still takes five hours? had the president picked up the phone and made a call, the guard would have been there immediately. this is stuff we can't sweep under the rug that it was seven months ago. some people are trying to do that because it's politically convenient. if anybody is scared of this investigation, i ask you what are you afraid of? either you're afraid of being discovered of having culpability or, you know, what? if you think it wasn't a big deal, you should allow this to go forward. it's essential for the american people for truth that be get to the bottom of this. anybody with parts of that information with inside knowledge can probably expect to be talking to the committee.
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>> if somebody like kevin mccarthy who seems to have some knowledge and jim jordan who seems to have some knowledge refuses to testify, refuses to comply with subpoenas if it comes to that, i don't think we've ever had a situation like that. how could you enforce -- how would you enforce a subpoena for a fellow member of congress? would there be a vote of contempt? how would you do it? >> i think that's a question more for the lawyers that know what constitutional, i guess, trigger mechanisms or enforcement mechanisms are there. i'll say this, i intend on the committee to get to a full accounting of the truth. if somebody thinks they can set up and use maneuvers to string this investigation out and hope that people lose interest and hope they can resist, at least me -- i know the other members of the committee are determined that we are going to get to that answer.
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it may cost you a lot in legal fees to resist, but we'll get to that answer. i don't know what specific things we can do to compel. i'm not even sure where this investigation is going to lead, who we need to talk to. i know the facts lead where the facts lead and we'll have a full accounting of that. >> based on what you said it seems clear you want to donald trump himself. am i right? >> well, look, i don't know. again, it's going to depend where the facts lead. we may not have to talk to donald trump to get the investigation. there were tons of people around him. there were tons of people involved in what happened on january 6th. if you talk to the former president, that's a whole new set of everything associated with it. when i look at that, i'm like maybe. i know we'll get to the information. if he has unique information, that's one thing. there's a lot of people around him that knew some things.
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>> before this hearing, before you kicked off this first hearing, the republican leadership held a press conference where they placed blame for the riot on nancy pelosi. i want to play you a sound from the conference chair elise stefanik. >> the american people deserve to know the truth, that nancy pelosi bears responsibility for the tragedy that occurred on january 6th. >> i mean, my god, they protected donald trump from blame here and they're blaming nancy pelosi for the fact that trump supporters invaded the capitol, including her office. can you explain what they're talking about? >> yeah, to me, it's mind blowing. it shows the desperation to derail this. if you think about the different audiences that exist, there's the audience of the american people and there's the audience of donald trump. all donald trump needs to see is
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that you're making a defense no matter how nonsensical that defense is. if that defense goes from of course we know it was trump supporters and qanon types that launched the insurrection on the 6th. if you stand in front of the news channel that donald trump watches and say this is nancy pelosi's fault, you've done your job. it doesn't matter if it doesn't make any sense. what matters is you've said something to placate him. the speaker and i don't get along on a lot of things. on this case we do. we need answers. it's been seven months. it's time to get to the bottom of this. blaming what happened on january 6th on the security posture, certainly we'll get to the bottom of a security posture, that's like blaming someone for being the victim of a crime when the perpetrator actually executed that crime. it's insane. this is where we have to take back the narrative, particularly speaking as a fellow conservative to conservatives,
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we can't do this alone. that's why i started country first to say let's take back and mend division in this country and get back to telling the truth to people instead of saying it's nancy pelosi's fault and know that donald trump is happy and the truth doesn't matter. >> adam kinzinger, republican of illinois, thank you for joining us. we appreciate the time. the round table is up next. later we'll meet the d.c. inmate elected to public office in a ground breaking campaign for voting rights and racial justice. stay with us. voting rights and racial justice. stay with us. modern or reliable. we want both - we want a hybrid. so do banks. that's why they're going hybrid with ibm. a hybrid cloud approach helps them personalize experiences with watson ai while helping keep data secure. ♪ ♪ ♪ from banking to manufacturing, businesses are going with a smarter hybrid cloud, using the tools, platform and expertise of ibm.
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with secret, outlast anything. no sweat. secret. all strength. no sweat. leader mccarthy says it's against the science. >> he's such a moron. >> in the senate you don't have to wear a mask. in the house you do and you get fined if you don't. that doesn't seem to be based on science. you might have to talk to dr. nancy. >> to say that wearing a mask is
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not based on science, i think, is not wise. that was my comment. >> the heated and increasingly personal debate on capitol hill over covid and mask wearing. let's talk about it all and more with our round table. manhattan institute president reihan salam, former dnc chair donna brazile, "politico" rachael bade. donna, this was a pretty tough week for the biden administration and the handling of covid. the back and forth on mask and whether there could be a mandate for vaccines. how are they playing this? >> i think they've been trying to keep the same message that we can defang this virus, but not defeat it unless every state, every locality works together to ensure that americans are being vaccinated. there's no question that the biden administration was under a
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lot of pressure after the cdc began to put out these new mandates. cities like washington, d.c., mandates. los angeles, new mandates, maskm pa. look, there are still variants of the 1918 spanish flu that we see in the seasonal viruses every year. if we're not all working together to stop the virus -- >> that's a reminder also this thing isn't going to go away entirely. >> you can defang it, but you can't defeat it. >> you have the mandates that donna mentioned. you have desantis, abbott, ducey saying no mandates of any kind. they're prohibiting in some cases localities from having mask mandates. >> there are interesting tensions within the coalitions. we see this as a team red versus team blue issue. if you look at vaccine mandates for public employees, there are
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many public employees in very blue cities around the country who are very skeptical to get vaccinated. that's a tension that needs to be managed. similarly when you're looking at mask mandates, there's a lot of debate over the scientific soundness of this, particularly if the objective is to convince people to be vaccinated, that your life is going to change, you can return to normalcy. though this is described as binary, there's a lot of tensions that have to be managed. you saw this with the eviction moratorium. this was an issue where the biden administration was struggling to get money out the door. they couldn't do it. punted it to congress. then you had democratic law makers who said, wait a second, we have a lot of mom and pop landlords who are concerned about extending this. it's not exactly fitting the binary in certain respects. >> there's something binary going on in congress.
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republicans in the house -- basically all out civil disobedience in terms of the requirements of masks in the force. how is nancy pelosi going to enforce this? >>chng r. republicans, some of them are saying we're going to pain the fine. speaker pelosi has tried to double down on the mask mandates by saying if you're not following the rules, you could face some of your salary being cut. things right now in the house are totally ugly, not only over this issue, but when it comes to the january 6th panel. you had pelosi calling mccarthy a moron. kevin mccarthy said when he gets the gavel to be speaker he'll try not to hit her with it. it's just incredibly insane, the type of rhetoric we're seeing right now. things are really heated. >> it's been bad. i remember gephardt saying when
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he handed the gavel to gingrich he thought of using it. it was a joke. rick, it is maore consensus of what kind of signs you are going to follow. you have the opposite. you can blame the virus for being confusing and adjusting. at this stage you don't have a reservoir of good will that the biden administration has been able to build on. there's been conflicting information. the science has been changing. we don't know what zone we're living in. the mandates for indoors versus outdoors, vaccinated versus unvaccinated. people want their lives back and joe biden told us just a few weeks ago that we were about there. we were getting our lives back. now we're seeing this backslide. we're seeing his advice adjusting. it is confusing. when you get to the politics, it's become a cultural touch
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stone. when you have ron desantis raising money after anti-fauci imagery -- don't fauci my florida is what the t-shirts and koozies say right now. you have republicans who are in open defiance of what the federal government in telling you, you have a major clash and a clash that has public health consequences. the way dr. fauci outlined it everyone's health is at risk. >> the question of requiring masks for people who have been vaccinated fights the argument. get vaccinated. be protected. get your life back to normal. >> it's a tough issue. it will be a tough few weeks for the white house both politically and own on a policy issue and how to handle what they're doing. biden ran on this pledge he was going to, you know, help the couny w out of the pandemic. they've gotten great numbers and reviews from americans saying they're doing what they need to
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do. this sets that back potentially. he wants to talk about this huge bipartisan victory he's going to have in a couple days when it comes to infrastructure. this could completely overcloud that victory. then on the policy perspective, you know, what does it mean if we see another shutdown? we're seeing inflation rates soar through the roof. can the economy handle another shutdown? it's going to be tough for biden in terms of what they want to do with their agenda. >> it's not over until the american people say it's over. it's not over until everyone is vaccinated. this virus has more legs than any mutant i've ever seen on hbo. that is because we started with alpha. we know delta. then iota. god forbid if we get to omega. the virus is going to mutate
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until we all receive the vaccine that can help us save, not just our lives, but the lives of other people. it's hard to govern in these polarized times. if i say -- wearing blue today -- get vaccinated. somebody says hell no i'm not getting vaccinated. i got to hear from someone else. i don't want to hear from joe biden, mccarthy, pelosi, mcconnell, schumer. i want to hear from my doctor. i want to hear from the scientists. the more we hear from them, the less there's polarization on who gets vaccinated. we should all protect everyone, especially our children. i'm speaking for the babies. let's protect the children. he'suthe more is is the re-eme . aggressively. we learn he raised some $80
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million. on the other hand, we had this republican primary in texas where the candidate he endorsed lost. this is a republican -- it was a republican/republican election. what does that -- i mean, is he the leader? >> well, i think -- >> is he the leader of the republican party? >> he's the most visible figure. the question is is this something that accrues to him personally or can he actually shape policy outcomes? you saw this outcome in the special election in texas. really that wasn't an ideological divide between the candidates. it wasn't something personal or something amplified within the race. if you look at the special election in ohio, donald trump has a horse. he picked aes co >> there's not an ideological element to this.
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infrastructure, donald trump has said he's campaigned aggressively against this infrastructure bargain, right? it doesn't appear to have deterred that many republican lawmakers. this seems to be about him, his voice, his visibility. it's good if he wants to run for president again. can he shape what republicans are doing if it's something they wouldn't otherwise want to do? that's the question. >> are we overstating his hold on the party? >> that's exactly sort of -- well, i was going to say are people sort of questioning if his influence is waning too much this week? i think there's a lot of trump critics out there who want to see him lose influence. least among them senate republicans like mitch mcconnell who want the party to go in a different direction. they want to win back the senate. they had some hopeful signs this week between this texas primary. also, 17 senate republicans coming out and voting to basically not filibuster thi
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asti imp wleafr prs le pa you can see it over and over. >> those are two big failures in one week t i sll blasphemy to say something bad about trump if you're an elected republican official. even in texas, that race in particular was two republicans against each other, but democrats could vote in that. the democrats voted for the nontrump candidate. it's not a black and white test case. i would take it with a grain of salt. >> one person that might breathe easier is liz cheney. the whole idea of defeating her in the primary is predicated on finding the trump-endorsed candidate to do it. it's messy. if trump isn't able to win over the field, that might be the ticket for the liz cheneys, the adam kinzingers to survive in
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it's remarkable how much new information comes out. now you have republicans who are giving it credence. i read a book coming out in a couple months. it's a pretty good book. it's by a pretty good author as well. there's a lot more coming out. that's the backdrop for so much of this. there's new information, new information brought by witnesses. congressman kinzinger basically was taunting kevin mccarthy to appearing before the committee. it seems likely they'll more into the direction of significant witnesses. the committee will dig in on the technical end in a substantial way. anybody that underestimated this committee and said it was going to be a partisan thing, i think they were proved wrong this past week and it's going to continue to gain influence. >> jonathan, i looked at this -- leave the rest to me.
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if the election was corrupt, leave the rest to me. >> this is what donald trump said on december 27th to acting attorney general rosen. >> leave the rest to me which is saying corrupt the election yourselves and leave the rest to me. first of all, donald trump has juice. i don't know how he's squeezing it or who is squeezing it, but he has juice. i think ms. wright lost because she didn't run a good campaign. >> in texas. >> she didn't run a good campaign. she didn't have the money. she had the message, but she didn't have the mojo. donald trump still has juice. anyone that thinks his juice is waning, huh-uh. i'm not playing with that ball of fire. i watched from 2016 to 2020 how his support continued to grow. he has juice, but he's one corrupt individual. i hope the january 6th committee will keep digging and investigate this as impartially as possible so we can get to the bottom of it. >> one interestingueor
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democrats is do we want to have a trump conversation and will that help get out the vote for democrats or will that distract around other messages? i think for republicans it's not obvious because it could be that actually focusing on january 6th and what have you actually could not necessarily be the worst outcome. it's very interesting to see how this will play out. another thing to keep in mind, when republicans out in the grassroots, working on campaigns, they're very passionate about k-12 schools, what's happening with masking mandates, what's happening with critical race theory. when the president is talking about those issues, it resonates. when he talks about opposing the infrastructure deal, it doesn't resonate. it's not as though he can really dictate exactly what is going to resonate with conservative igns,t could b doesn't al
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doesn't la. how much of january 6th will focus on trump versus everything else on january 6th? there are democrats -- they won't say this on the record -- who are concerned about this panel becoming too trump focussed because of what you said. they want to focus on policy wins. obviously this would be more moderate democrats. if you look out at the people who are saying we need to subpoena everyone, it's people like liz cheney, adam kinzinger. everyone asked the democrats on the panel are you going to do this and they're saying we're going to do everything we can. we're going to do everything we can. democrats have a technical challenge here. that is trump ignored their subpoenas for two years. because of that they chose not to subpoena some high-ranking people during the impeachment fights. we'll see how they navigate this. it could end up with a court fight. >> we're out of time. coming up an incarcerated felon become an elected official in washington, d.c. his incredible story is up next.
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56 years ago this week president lyndon johnson signed into law the landmark voting rightsctf 1965.
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he called it a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that's ever been won on any batt battlefield. today the promise of that law is under intense political debate. as devin dwyer reports an historical election in washington, d.c. is charting a new course for voting rights and racial justice. >> can anybody in this circle relate to loss of freedom? >> reporter: after 27 years behind bars joel caston is seeking redemption through politics. >> not only can we vote, we can also run for office. >> reporter: the 44-year-old felon convicted of murder as a breaki campaign for neighborhood commissioner. >> it sounds great to have an official title. i must admit that. what it feels like is now i have to deliver. >> reporter: his constituents are fellow inmates in d.c. jail, all casting ballots in a local
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election pushing the voting rights and racial justice. d.c. joined maine and vermont as the only places in america that prisoners can vote. >> when i checked that box and he won and this is the person i voted for, it reaffirmed i'm a member of society. >> reporter: less than nation's incarcerated residents has the right to cast a ballot from behind bars. setting the u.s. behind than my other countries. >> in most places you don't lose your humanity, your social rights, political rights when you're incarcerated. >> reporter: georgetown professor mark howard says it's also an issue of racial injustice. >> ultimately this is about human beings with the right to express themselves. i think that voting is a really fundamental right they should have.
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>> reporter: >> reporter: joel caston now the first incarcerated american elected into office voted in by peers. >> how can you represent a group of people, a community, when you're cut off from a big segment of that community? >> at lot of meetings have taken place over zoom. as a commissioner, i have access to a computer. >> you oversee a lot of things, can you advocate for public safety from here? >> i can. i believe my story is giving a lens to an individual who may not have considered this as being a viable option. >> reporter: enfranchisement of felons remains highly controversial. >> it's called punishment, punishment for their crime. >> reporter: many republicans
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opposed house democrats sweeping reform bill in part because it would have restored the vote to millions of ex felons. 21 states return voting rights after release. 16 states withhold the vote through periods of probation and parole. 11 more suspend the vote indefinitely for some crimes. >> oftentimes we would cast off individuals who are inside incarcerated spaces and think he or she does not have value. i believe that my story demonstrates that, yes, we have value. >> reporter: the family of the victim in joel caston case has given its full endorsement in a statement saying we believe in forgiveness and hope joel will do good work in the community. his constituents told us he's already inspiring them to be better citizens. >> i would like joel to continue to make the impossible possible. >> it helps young men to become better people. >> and break the back of this
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pipeline feeding our young black kids to the system. >> he's inspired that we're more than inmates. we're fathers, sons, brothers and politicians. thank you, joel. >> thank you to devin dwyer for that amazing story of redemption. that's all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight," and have a great day.
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evander kane response to allegations by his wife that he bet on games that he was playing in. i talked with republican candidate for governor, elder. we will discuss his views on vaccine mandates and why he is running. good morning. emeryville, welcome to august as temperatures are in the low 60s here. plenty of fog across the bay giving way to sunshine. we will talk temperatures next on abc 7
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