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Federal Arrest Warrant Issued For Gabby Petito's Fiance; January 6th Committee Issues First Subpoenas For Witness Testimony To Four Trump Loyalists; Dem Leaders Tout "Framework" But Lack Details Ahead Of Vote. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired September 23, 2021 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, we will continue to watch. Thank you so much for talking about it. Appreciate it.


COOPER: Right now, the news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, Anderson, thank you.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

We have two breaking stories, developing on our watch.

First, the January 6th committee said it would not ask nicely, and it hasn't. Four subpoenas to Trump's four horsemen, Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel. Now to be clear, a subpoena implies no wrongdoing, on the part of any of those men. It's just a demand that they must come testify.

Now, why them? The Chairman of the committee says all four had communications with the White House, or were working in it, or, in the days leading up to the insurrection, were involved.

And we're going to unpack what all that means. Also, we're going to unpack strategies afoot, for all of those men, to say nothing at all.

We also have exclusive new details in the Gabby Petito case. On top of the breaking news that a federal arrest warrant has been issued for Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Petito, who remains nowhere to be found, we have new details.

Now first, on the warrant, it was issued in Wyoming. That's where Petito was found dead, Sunday, but there are no charges in it related to her killing. The warrant is for the quote, "Use of unauthorized devices," related to Laundrie's activities, following the death of Petito.

He is indicted on one count of using an ATM card that may have been Gabby's. The indictment, frankly, is unclear, on that point. But it does say Laundrie used a debit card that wasn't his to amass $1,000 or more.

The FBI says, "While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito's homicide."

Now, the attorney for the Laundrie family put out a statement saying, quote, "The FBI is focusing on locating Brian. And when that occurs, the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum." But for now, that "When" is very much an "If."

We have new details surrounding the hunt. A close source, to the Laundrie family, tells me that Brian left his parents' home, last Tuesday, without his cell phone and his wallet, and that this was not normal. Source also tells me his parents were concerned that Brian might hurt himself.

A North Port police spokesperson declined to comment.

Now, police found Laundrie's car, where his parents said he went to hike, at a reserve. Did he go there to hike, or to die? Or did he simply never entered, and just take off?

His parents did not take questions from reporters today, and were advised to not give formal interviews to police, by counsel. It was the parents, however, that I am told, alerted authorities to the fact that Brian did not return home, Tuesday night.

Now, as for Gabby's death, we are waiting, on two key determinations. Where was she found? And what was the manner of death?

All we know so far is the death was a homicide, meaning somebody killed her. A body left out in the open, not concealed? That suggests a spontaneous killing, unplanned that the killer may have left, without having time or inclination, to cover their tracks.

The autopsy taking more time suggests death is not obvious. Gunshot? Stabbing? If death were by blunt force or strangulation, that too points to a crime of passion, unplanned, and speaks to someone familiar.

So, what are we looking for? What does it mean? Better minds are here to connect the dots that exist, so far. Back with us, CNN Legal Analyst, criminal defense attorney, Joey Jackson, and criminologist and attorney, Casey Jordan.

Good to have you both back.


CUOMO: Let's start with the warrant/indictment.

Joey, help me understand. This is weak tea. The Feds rarely ever charge anything like this, let alone for $1,000 or thereabouts. They don't even say that it was Gabby's ATM card. What's the play?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think the play is significant here, Chris. Good evening to you and Casey. I mean, let's understand that what this means is it's under investigation.

We all know that right? But it means if your indictment, what do we use for indictments? Grand juries.

And therefore, in the event that you're presenting the case, we all know that they couldn't have gone, to get an indictment, right, because of unauthorized use. They would have gone and presented information that was otherwise relevant to the surrounding circumstances.


And here's the bigger takeaway for me. If you notice, it indicates the unauthorized use was between August 30th, and the 1st. So, if it was between those two dates, and they're alleging unauthorized use, there may be some information, with respect to when they believe, right, she was gone, disappeared, or dead even.

So, they would have had to present information that gets someone to reasonably believe, right, a grand jury that indeed that she was missing, and/or dead at that particular time.

And so, it seems to me that this is one, right, shoe to drop, of a tremendous shoe that's going to drop, moving forward, with respect to what we're all looking for.

I think what they're waiting for are the results, potentially of the autopsy, so they could present that information, and they could have more critical and clear info, to present, in order to get the indictment, for murder.

CUOMO: Casey, let's talk about that with you. This is your area.

The questions that I suggest, how is the body found? And what was the specific manner of death? Are those the key at this point?

JORDAN: I think everyone is thinking exactly along those lines. The so-called cause of death is what we're most interested in. Again, you spelled it out beautifully.

I'm predicting strangulation, or blunt force trauma. And that would suggest a crime of passion. I don't think we have any reason to believe this was a long drawn-out plan, anything premeditated, or deliberated.

You can tell the relationship, from all the evidence, was just fraught with stress. And the fighting was escalating, and probably got even worse, after they were ordered to be separated, for a cooling-off period, after their encounter with the police.

But I think what we just need to understand right now is that the arrest warrant is just following the money. There could have been many uses of a fraudulent use of the credit card. We're assuming it was Gabby's. But where that is, is it still going on? That's the real question. They know so much more than we know.

The real issue is we need to get him, in handcuffs, into police custody. And by issuing a federal arrest warrant, it's like a masterful APB across the entire United States.

I think he's going to be cited by people, assuming he is still alive, and they're going to call the police. And police, no matter where you are in the United States, are going to have to put him under arrest.

Once he is, in the box, in the interrogation room, I think we're going to get answers that we need, to piece it all together.

CUOMO: Joey, in your experience, and Casey, weigh in, if you want, the time, that Gabby was deceased, how long she's been out there, how big an impact could that have, in the ability, to pinpoint exactly what was done to her?

JACKSON: Yes, I think that Chris, as you have pointed out previously, the timeline is significant, right?

And so, what you're going to do, if you're trying to build a case, for murder, is you're going to look at the timeline that you have laid out, with respect to the trip, with respect to when things started getting dicey, in August, right, regarding where her whereabouts were, regarding the interactions that they had.

That is her and Mr. Laundrie that were negative that were pretty much conveyed by bystanders. So, we get to that. But then we get to the other issue, which is her missing, and then her, subsequently found dead.

And so, when you look, and you're piecing that together, I think investigators, critical, in an examination, a forensic examination, is when you look at cause of death, and based upon not to get graphic, but the decomposition or what have you--

CUOMO: Right.

JACKSON: --of the body, you're going to be able to identify when that occurred.

Chris, I think that this indictment is big, on that particular issue, as I noted before. I think they believe right, certainly, that she was in a position not to consent, for him, to use the unauthorized card.

CUOMO: Right.

JACKSON: So, if they're believing she's not in a condition, to consent, what does that tell you, about the forensic examination? What does that tell you about the timeline? And what does that tell you, as to their belief, concerning his activities, which stem much larger than this unauthorized use? I think that's coming soon.

CUOMO: So, every time, we get a step, of new information, we need to analyze it, and I will call on you both. Joey Jackson, Casey Jordan, appreciate you, and thank you.

JACKSON: Always, Chris.

JORDAN: Good to be here.

CUOMO: Now, back to the big news on the insurrection investigation.

Four top Trump White House officials subpoenaed, which means "You come and talk, or you get punished." That is what the January 6th committee wants. Will they get it?

House panel wants answers on what Trump was doing, during the deadly attack, and in the run-up to it? Again, will they get them? How could they not? That's the question.

We have a member of the January 6th committee, to talk about which way this can go. You know him. Congressman Adam Schiff, next.









CUOMO: The January 6th Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot, tonight, issued its first round of subpoenas, for witness testimony. They're focusing on four Trump loyalists.

Former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, former Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, former White House Adviser, Steve Bannon, and Chief of Staff to Acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher Miller. That would be Kash Patel. OK? So, what do they tell us about the direction of the investigation?

Congressman Adam Schiff is a member of that Select Committee and Chairman of the Intel Committee.

Good to see you, sir. Thank you for taking the opportunity.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Good to be with you.

CUOMO: Why are they first?

SCHIFF: Well, these are four important witnesses. They're all very close to the former president. Some were in direct communication with him, on January 5th, on January 6th. They are reportedly in communication about how to overturn the results of the election. Mark Meadows, for example, involved with the Justice Department, trying to get the Justice Department, to put pressure on Georgia, to decertify the results of the election.


There are innumerable areas that we want to question these witnesses about. And these are four early witnesses that we want to hear from, and will help us direct our focus on others as well.

CUOMO: What does it tell us though about the direction of the inquiry? How Trump-centered is your focus?

SCHIFF: Well, I think it tells you this. We're moving with great alacrity. And essentially, no one is off the table.

We're going to determine what went wrong, in the lead-up to January 6th. We're going to find out who was involved, who was knowledgeable, what roles they played, in the planning, what expectation they had, of violence, what the former president was doing.

Among the biggest unknowns, is what was going on, within the White House, on January 5th, and 6th, at that critical time, when our democracy was being threatened, with violent insurrection.

So, we're not wasting time. And these are going to be some of the more visible efforts that we're making. But we'll be conducting interviews, as well. And, of course, we've already made a lot of strides, in acquiring documents we need, for the investigation.

CUOMO: Is the former president on a list of potential people that you will call before you?

SCHIFF: I think we have a lot of work to do, before we answer that question.

And, logically, I think we want to start, by getting the documentary records, so we know the right questions, to ask the witnesses, and then ask the witnesses, who are really key and central. And then, we'll make a decision about anyone else after that.

CUOMO: Do you anticipate one or more of these men, saying, "I can't testify. I have immunity."

SCHIFF: If past is prologue, we can certainly anticipate that some may seek to thwart our investigation. Certainly, the former president has been talking along those lines.

And if you look at all of the obstruction, all the stonewalling, of the subpoenas, by some of these same people, in the prior administration? I remember, for example, the deposition of Steve Bannon, where he showed up to the deposition.

This was a Republican-led deposition, at the time, with 25 questions he would deign to answer, all of which had been written out for him, not by the committee, but by the White House. And so, we experienced that kind of stonewalling before.

But unlike the last four years, these witnesses are not going to be able to count, on the former president, to protect them, if they essentially thwart the law.

And I would hope that we can move expeditiously, to enforce the subpoenas, if that's necessary. I hope it won't be, but if it is. But also that the Justice Department will be open to considering potential criminal contempt charges against anyone, who ignores the law.

CUOMO: Do you anticipate any of them coming up, and answering the subpoena, but refusing to testify, taking the Fifth?

SCHIFF: I really don't know. I would hope that we can get cooperation from everyone. But I've been, at this long enough, to know that that's not always possible. But we will do whatever we can, to overcome any obstructionism. That's all we can do. But we've got some powerful tools at our disposal, and we're going to move forward.

CUOMO: Congressman Adam Schiff, early on, but thank you.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

CUOMO: Appreciate you.

Another vote, on booster shots, today, this time, it was a CDC panel, after the FDA put out its decision. Now, there will likely be even more confusion. Why?

Let's bring in a former FDA Commissioner, and find out what he makes, of the government's divide, on when the vaccinated should get another dose, to ward off COVID, a.k.a, the booster, next.









CUOMO: CDC advisers met today, to discuss boosters. The arguments were long. The arguments were messy, so too are the recommendations.

They did agree people 65 and older, who got their first two Pfizer doses, six months ago, should get a booster. Same for people 50 and older with underlying conditions. For folks under 50, they were divided. In the end, they did recommend boosters, for people 18 to 49, with underlying health conditions, but not for people, whose jobs put them, at high risk of infection. Now, that's different than the FDA's emergency use decision, which authorized boosters, for people, like healthcare workers and first responders.

Now, these are just recommendations. And the CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky will still need to make her own decision.

So, is this OK? Is this the way it should be? Does this inspire confidence?

We have former FDA Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. His new book, "Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic" is all about how we avoid exactly this type of confusion.

Messaging matters, especially in an environment, and atmosphere, Doc, where you have to be worried, about your messaging, being attacked.

Gottlieb is also a member of Pfizer's Board of Directors.

It's good to have you. What do you make of this?

DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER, AUTHOR, "UNCONTROLLED SPREAD," MEMBER OF PFIZER BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Well, look, I've seen situations before, where the FDA and the CDC disagreed, on certain aspects, of how immunizations should be distributed.

But this is the sharpest disagreement that I've seen in modern history between the two agencies. And I think it calls into question whether or not we had the right institutions, and processes, from the outset.

We relied on a process that was invented for, largely, determining the childhood immunization schedule, where FDA renders a decision, about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. And then CDC holds a separate process, to make recommendations, to providers, on exactly how vaccines should be distributed, largely, to children.

And in the setting of a public health crisis, when you want to send a coherent message, between the two agencies, you don't want to show confusion that could sap public confidence.

Perhaps we should have brought these two agencies together, and reimagined a different kind of process, where they work together from the outset, to come up with unified recommendations.


As it is, the split between the two agencies, I think, creates a perception that the government doesn't really have its act together, and there's confusion. And the recommendations ultimately issued by the CDC, I think, are going to be very hard, for the medical practice, and patients, to interpret, and actually implement.

CUOMO: Now, isn't this what happened, the last time, where you had the CDC, and the FDA, and you had recommendations that were complicated? And then that's why States started making their own determinations about what to do. And that fed skepticism about how much people should trust.

Aren't they making the same mistake again?

GOTTLIEB: Well, with the initial rollout of the vaccines, CDC came up with a set of recommendations, about who should be eligible, sort of a sequential process on eligibility that was very Byzantine, and hard to implement.

They designed different groups of people, who they thought should be eligible, based on occupation, and risk factors. And ultimately, States tried to implement that. It slowed down their distribution of the vaccines.

And many states turned to an age-based regime, where they just made vaccines available, based on age, starting with old - the oldest individuals, and working down the age continuum. And that proved to be much easier to implement, and it allowed them to get vaccines distributed much more quickly.

Here in Connecticut, where I live, the governor turned to that approach. And it's one of the reasons why the state led the country, in getting vaccines, in the arms of patients. I think the same thing is going to happen here.

This process, in terms of who can be eligible for boosters, is very complex. It's going to be hard for pharmacies, to interpret it and implement it. And ultimately, it's going to create obstacles, at the pharmacy counter, for patients--


GOTTLIEB: --to actually get access to boosters.

And then people who are going to be hurt hardest by this are those who already face obstacles getting access to care.

CUOMO: Yes. I mean, but isn't this how we wound up, with what we see in Florida, where, you know?

Look, there's plenty of blame to go around. But I'm just saying that things are supposed to be getting better. Messaging matters. And messaging has kind of plagued the Biden administration in this regard.

And why would people be wrong to have skepticism, you know? They don't say the same thing. They don't agree. We're not getting one message. We're getting two. But they're telling us we have to take it. So you've got a mandate with mixed messaging. That's a bad combination.

GOTTLIEB: Well, I think one of the challenges is that people have lost confidence in public health officials.

And coming out of this, we're going to have to reinvigorate public health, and create stronger public health institutions. And it's going to be a lot of people, who don't want to empower public health officials, because the guidance has been shifting.

I mean, this is a perfect example where, in this setting of a pandemic, if we did adequate pandemic planning, and this is what I talk a lot about, in the book, we might create a different kind of process, with CDC and FDA working together, in sync, from the outset.

The Israelis did that with their vaccine boosters. They brought 50 people together, their best experts. They aligned their regulatory agencies, and had one seamless process came out, with a recommendation, implemented it.

We went through the same stage process that we go through with the pediatric vaccination schedule. That process is meant to have checks and balances. And it works very well, in ordinary times, when we have time to implement these things, to deliberate them carefully.

But in the setting of a pandemic, when you need to move quickly, and you also need to align public health officials, around a unified message, in order to inspire public confidence, you might want to have a different process. And this should have been thought out from the outset.

And I think, as we go forward, and plan differently, for a pandemic, we might think differently, about how we deploy a vaccine, in the setting of a public health emergency, like this.

CUOMO: What needs to happen right now?

It has been suggested that Walensky, at the CDC, should meet with the top FDA official, and come out of a room, and say, "We're on the same page. Here are the recommendations."

GOTTLIEB: I think the most difficult aspect of this recommendation is that it doesn't allow for boosters, to be made available, to those people, who are at significant risk of contracting COVID, and having a bad outcome, because of excessive occupational exposure.

So, people who are healthcare workers, who were vaccinated long interval ago, people who live in congregate settings, like prisons, school teachers, who are in contact with a lot of kids, the FDA guidance allowed for that. The advisory panel from the FDA--

CUOMO: Right.

GOTTLIEB: --and the authorization from the FDA allows that.

CUOMO: CDC does not.

GOTTLIEB: CDC has not. And I think that's--


GOTTLIEB: --that's the biggest conflict. I think that's what needs to be rethought.

Right now, a 30-year-old asthmatic would be eligible, for a booster, based on their pre-existing health condition.

But a 64-year-old, living in an assisted living facility, who, might be, at risk, of contracting COVID, but doesn't have any significant underlying health conditions, wouldn't be eligible, or someone, who is in a prison, and we know the prisons have been sources of significant outbreaks.

So, I think it needs to be rethought. The CDC Director does not need to accept this recommendation.

CUOMO: Right.

GOTTLIEB: She can work to align the recommendation with the FDA. So that--

CUOMO: Right.

GOTTLIEB: --that might actually happen here.

CUOMO: I mean, doesn't it have to? I mean, otherwise?

Again, look, I know there's a lot of Left/Right on this. We report on it, analyze it, cry about it, scream about it, all the time that a lot of this seems to be about more about animus than analysis.

But look? If you're the head of a state, and this is what's coming your way, of course, you're going to go to your people and say, "Look, I'm going to have to figure this out for us, because this wasn't really helpful. And you know?"

GOTTLIEB: Yes, and look?

CUOMO: Right?

GOTTLIEB: This isn't--


CUOMO: I mean, isn't it how you have people going it, on their own?

GOTTLIEB: Look, I think this creates confusion that gives fodder to the people, who want to sow skepticism. But this isn't just a Right/Left issue.

I think the problem here is this is a Byzantine schedule, in terms of who's eligible, that's going to be hard to implement. In order to implement this seamlessly, the person who's working in CVS, or Walgreens, needs to be able to interpret the guidance, as they deliver the vaccine to consumers.

And if the guidance is this confusing, and requires this many steps, and it's hard to assure eligibility, it's going to ultimately create obstacles, at the counter, to people, who already, in many cases, face obstacles, getting access to health care.

People who can navigate the system, they're going to get boosters. People who rely on the system to be easy, they're the ones who may be locked out here. So, it's unfortunate, it could create obstacles, to the very people, we want to make sure, are brought into the system.

CUOMO: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, appreciate you. Thank you very much.

GOTTLIEB: Thanks a lot.

CUOMO: All right, now to another situation, with mixed messaging, and some confusion of outcome. What's going to happen on Monday? Are they going to vote on the infrastructure bill? They're going to vote on the reconciliation bill? They're going to vote on both?

We have a key member of Congress. And she's leading an inquiry on the safety of vaccines for kids. And we're going to talk about the state of play, about the wellness, of her party, and what it means, for the President's agenda.

Congresswoman Katie Porter, next.









CUOMO: Democratic leadership are talking up a deal to save Joe Biden's agenda, from their own infighting.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The White House, the House, and the Senate, have reached agreement, on a framework that will pay for any final negotiated agreement. So, the revenue side of this, we have an agreement on.


CUOMO: Who's "We?" And any "Finally negotiated deal," that's because there is no finally negotiated deal.

The problem is key members, like Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Joe Manchin, they say they haven't seen any framework. And again, this idea that "It's all about the Senate, if they could just get past Manchin," what about all this drama, in the House?

All this, with the House still scheduled to vote, Monday, on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, and progressives saying that they're out, if they don't get what they want, on a bigger plan.

Let's bring in a key member, of the party, Democratic Representative Katie Porter.

Congresswoman, it's good to have you. I want to talk about Monday. But if you don't mind, I'd rather start with what's going to happen with our kids.

This confusion, between the FDA and the CDC, look, I know it's science. I know it's better to have it out in the open. I know that it's better than them hiding things. But doesn't it kind of hurt confidence, in their determinations, especially when we're waiting, for them, to tell us about, who, the people we care about most, our kids?

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): Absolutely. And that's why we wrote to the FDA.

I led a letter with over 100 bipartisan members, along with my colleague, Ro Khanna, asking the FDA, to be clear, with the American people, about exactly what the plan is, to study, and then authorize, and then deliver vaccinations to kids. And we got a response, last week. We had the briefing, this week, with the FDA's vaccine chief.

And the good news is, is that the data is in the hands of the FDA. They described the plan that they're going to use, to analyze those data, and make sure that these vaccines are both safe and effective for kids.

What we heard is it's likely that if the data are as expected that the authorization, the Emergency Use Authorization, for kids, will come as early as Halloween. I know that's what my kids, want, which is, a candy bar and a shot.

But it may come a little bit later, into Thanksgiving. But we're going to get this done, hopefully, in the next few months.

What I'm focusing on now is turning to the CDC, to make sure they have a plan, to actually deliver the vaccines. Vaccines don't save lives, Chris. Vaccinations save lives. We have to actually get the shots into arms. And that means the CDC needs to have a plan, to how to do that.

CUOMO: So, is what you're seeing right now, with the boosters, does this inspire you, to say to them, "Hey, you need a better process, because I don't want to hear one thing, from the FDA, and another thing, from the CDC, like we just did. You have to do better and come up with one set of recommendations."

PORTER: No, that's absolutely something that we talked about with them.

We talked about how when the FDA announced, they were going to expand the study for children, this was an opportunity to reassure the American public, of how thoughtful, and careful, the FDA was being, in following the science. But instead what got messaged was there's something-something about the vaccination for kids. And that kind of confusion, can make it more difficult, to deliver and get people to get vaccinated, the second these vaccines are authorized, as safe and effective.

So, we're planning to turn to working with the CDC. How are they going to get shots in arms?

Are they going to be using school nurses and school districts? Are they going to be authorizing pharmacists to give these shots? Are we going to be re-upping the vaccine clinics, the mass vaccination clinics that we saw, back when adult vaccines were first rolled out?

So yes, I think the CDC and FDA do need to cooperate better, and they need to speak with one voice, when it comes to the science, when they talk to the American public.

CUOMO: All right, now, let's talk about one voice, in your party. What is going to happen, on Monday, because, Jayapal is saying one thing?

And look? People have to know, very often, the left wing, of the party, the progressives, are talked about, as a minority. Not with Biden and this spending bill. He's with them, in terms of the priorities, and the price tag.

But I had Gottheimer on, last night, who's, you know, but he's a centrist, a moderate, he was saying one thing, like, "Yes, we'll do one at a time, and we'll get them both done." Jayapal is saying, "No, no, no, no, no. The reconciliation bill is getting done, or we're not doing them both."

What's the deal?


PORTER: Well, look, I have talked to Representative Gottheimer, to Josh, about this very issue.

And what I've said to him is "Josh, we were elected to represent men and women. We were elected to represent all different kinds of industries.

We were not elected just to deliver roads and bridges. We were elected to deliver roads and bridges, and better health care, and more affordable childcare, and a better future for our planet. So doing these things together is consistent with President Biden's agenda."

He understands that if you have a road, for someone to get to work, it doesn't matter, if they can't leave the house, in the first place, because they don't have care for an elderly relative, or for their children.

So, when we talk about our economy, and we talk about building back better, that means building back all of the interconnected aspects, of our economy, together. And this has been the plan from the get-go. This is exactly what the progressives have been saying months ago. This is what Speaker Pelosi has been saying for months. This is, in fact, what President Biden initially rolled out.

CUOMO: All right, so help me with this, because obviously, you understand the progressives. You're one of the shaper of that caucus.

But yes, for a while it was, it's just Manchin. If they can just figure out Manchin, with a little sprinkle of Sinema, on the Senate side, you guys will be fine. Everybody else, on the same page.

This is all about the House. And here's what I don't understand. You guys face, an existential threat, in the opposition party.

They will do whatever it takes, from little things, like McConnell, just flip-flopping, once again, on a key issue, this time, the debt ceiling, first time, "We'll never let the United States default," now, "We're not going to raise the debt ceiling." That's a little thing for them.

They will fight to decertify an election, to overturn an election. And you guys are fighting amongst yourselves? Do you guys get the stakes?

PORTER: Chris, I want to be very clear. What I'm fighting for, what we are fighting for, is the American people. And that means that there are going to be disagreements.

What I said to Representative Gottheimer, what I would say to these conservative Democrats, is "Are you not hearing from your constituents about the cost of prescription drugs?" "Oh, yes, I'm hearing about that."

"Are you not hearing from your constituents about the difficulties in paying for childcare?" "Oh, yes, I'm hearing from my constituents about that." "OK." "I'm also hearing from my constituents about roads and bridges."

So, we clearly need to do all of these things. And I think that is what people need to be focusing on. We are fighting for the American people. We are fighting to deliver what President Biden knows our economy needs. That's the fight we're in.

Republicans are simply standing in the way of delivering for the American people. And, by the way, if those Republicans, would step up, and deliver for the American people, then we wouldn't have all of this drama, in the first place, because--

CUOMO: I know. But it's not going to happen.

PORTER: --these bills will be getting 400--

CUOMO: But it's not going to happen.

PORTER: --votes in the House.

CUOMO: Their position is opposition. And it works for them. Now, for you guys, it's different.

What happens Monday?

PORTER: Well, on Monday, we're going to do exactly what the Majority Leader and Speaker ask us to do. So, we will get those bills on Monday afternoon. We have not been told exactly what we'll be voting on, and how this is going to be resolved.

But look, this is what the Speaker's job is. She is the Speaker of the House. She has steered our country through complicated legislation and difficult moments before. And I have every confidence that that is what she is going to do here.

And I would just encourage the American people, to make their voices heard, to let their representatives know that they want their representatives, to deliver on the needs that they have. Childcare, the cost of college, climate change, prescription drugs, lowering the age of Medicare, these are incredibly popular policies, across party lines.

So you're right, Chris. The Republicans we see in Washington may be the Party of Opposition on these issues. But the Republicans that I represent want these problems solved. And that's ultimately what should carry the day.

CUOMO: So, you believe that on Monday, a reconciliation bill will be put on the floor that the Democrats will pass?

PORTER: I believe on Monday, we are going to have a clear path forward, to continue working, on these bills. I don't know if the final vote will be Monday.


PORTER: But I think by Monday we will have come together, as a Democratic Caucus, to figure out how we're going to move forward, hopefully, in partnership with the Senate. And the President has been working non-stop to do exactly that, meeting with House members, meeting with senators, and trying to deliver his agenda.

CUOMO: Monday is a big day. We'll be watching. Congresswoman Katie Porter, as always, appreciate the cogency and the conversation.

PORTER: Thank you so much.

CUOMO: All right. Ahead, I want to try to make the most of a moment, right? You guys, witnesses have been coming forward, happening, helping in the Gabby Petito case, made a difference, probably helped find her body.


Can we do it on another search, a search for a missing 24-year-old geologist, Daniel Robinson? He was last seen in the Arizona desert.

Now, we don't have the bizarre aspect, of a fiance, who comes back, and doesn't want to help in the search. But this is almost an equally odd tale.

Car found somewhere, it wasn't supposed to be. Turns out it didn't just crash there. It drove almost 11 miles. Police go there. They find all his personal effects, in the car, even his clothes. But where is he?

Daniel's father, David, is here, to talk to us about his son, and why this search did not get it done, next.








CUOMO: Lot of people, go missing in this country. Some of them don't go reported. Many of them are never solved.


We have a lot of attention and momentum right now, because of the Gabby Petito case. Let's see if we can use it to help with another case.

Of the nearly 90,000 active missing person cases, did you know that 45 percent are minorities? A percentage that's likely much higher, because of how the FBI groups Hispanics and Whites together.

The majority of the missing are men. And even though Black men make up just 6 percent of the U.S. population, they make up nearly a third of all male missing person cases.

Among them is 24-year-old Daniel Robinson. And this is a very, very odd mystery. He's a geologist. And he was working, in Arizona, on June 23rd. And he's out in the desert. And he leaves his job site. And that's it. They can't find him.

A month later, his jeep was found in a ravine, about four miles, from where he was last seen. In the jeep, clothes, cell phone, wallet, keys, all recovered.

Because all the personal effects were there, now we have to ask some questions about the clothes, authorities say they don't think there was foul play. Well then where is he? Daniel was nowhere to be found.

His father, David, has been in Arizona, for the last three months, searching for his son. David Robinson, the Second, joins us now.

I'm sorry to meet you under these circumstances. But I'm happy to give you the chance, to talk to the audience, about it.

First, do you believe that the authorities have done the right job, in trying to find your son?

DAVID ROBINSON II, DANIEL ROBINSON'S FATHER: First, thank you, Chris, for bringing me on. I appreciate your time.

No, I don't think they did enough. The first 24 hours, to me, is the first crucial, the first 48 - 24 to 48 hours, the first crucial moments. And those moments wasn't fulfilled.

CUOMO: It seems like all of the key discoveries were made by you, a private investigator, and friends, who wanted to - look, is it true that your group, let's say, have found the remains of five or maybe six people, in your search, for your son, but none of them were him?

ROBINSON II: Yes, well, we had seven searches, seven weeks of searches. I created a search, full of volunteers, who worked vigorously, out in the desert. We covered a lot of ground around the last places, last spot that my son was seen, which is the well site. Then, when the vehicle showed up, we also covered those areas.

And in those searches, yes, we recovered, what appeared to be human remains. We documented on picture, take pictures, and turned all of those over to the Buckeye Police Department, including a skull that was found.

CUOMO: A skull was found near his car, but that is not your son. Correct?

ROBINSON II: That is correct.

CUOMO: So then you get the black box--

ROBINSON II: That's what I've been told.

CUOMO: --from the jeep that he was driving. And it turns out tell me if I have it wrong, that there was some kind of collision. But that after the collision, the car was driven another 11 miles, and that there were other signs of collisions. And that once the car, was in the ravine, somebody attempted to restart it almost 40 times?

Is that all accurate?

ROBINSON II: That is correct.

CUOMO: So, what do you believe--

ROBINSON II: That is correct.

CUOMO: --happened to your son?

ROBINSON II: Sir, that is hard to say. I've been going over this thing over my mind. I talked to his mother. I talked to his siblings, family. We all are confused to what happened to my son. But one thing I do know, my son loved his family. He would not go anywhere without telling us. He would not have a desire to be away from his family. He would not go out into the desert. He will not try to join a monastery, which is being told by the Buckeye Police Department. And my son mysteriously disappeared. That's all we do know.

CUOMO: No enemies? No ongoing mental illness?


CUOMO: He wasn't suffering from anything, anything that might cause that kind of duress?

ROBINSON II: Nothing. My son is an outgoing guy. He is optimistic. He had dreams. He have dreams, of things he want to do, in the future. He loved to travel. Matter of fact, he had plans for his family to come visit him, in July.


I had plans to be here, to see his vehicle, for the first time. He's proud of that Jeep. And for myself, to see that Jeep, the first time, in the, situation that it was in, is very devastating, for his mother, and myself, and his siblings.

CUOMO: I'm very sorry that you're in this situation. I'm not going to say, for your loss, because we don't know, where your son is.


CUOMO: And as you get developments, you're going to be able to get in touch with me, whenever you want. And we will update. And I will make sure that people see the picture now, of him, where he was, and we'll put it on social media also.

God bless and good luck going forward.

ROBINSON II: Yes, sir. Thank you.


CUOMO: If you have seen this man, let us know. We'll put it on social media as well.

We'll be right back with the handoff.


CUOMO: All right, we got a big episode, on this week's "Handoff" podcast, with a very special guest, although it was kind of a surprise. My mom! You won't want to miss how it is that she wound up on the podcast, and what it was that she was there, to say. So, you're not going to want to miss it.

All right, open up the camera, on your phone, and point it at the QR code, at the bottom of your screen, OK? That is going to take you to a link, where you can listen.