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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
99 Unaccounted for in High-Rise Condominium Collapse; Interview with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); Biden Agrees To $1.2 Trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal; Giuliani Suspended From Practicing Law In New York Over Bogus Election Fraud Claims. Aired 8- 9p ET
Aired June 24, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We're waiting for a briefing expected shortly from officials in Surfside, Florida, where at least 99 people are still unaccounted for after parts of a 12-story apartment building collapsed in the early hours of this morning
Surveillance video you see captured the moment as one section, then the next at Champlain Towers South, about 55 units in all came down. This was about 1:30 in the morning. Crews have been on the scene almost ever since.
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COOPER: So far, they've only managed to find precious few survivors. We know from experience that people can manage to endure for days under the right conditions if they are trapped in the rubble.
We also know officials are warning the situation could get very grim as the hours unfold and as I said, we are awaiting a press conference from officials any moment. Our Randi Kaye is there for us tonight.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, still 99 people unaccounted for, but rescuers are not giving up hope. They've been at it now about 18 hours. At one point today, they were working in the parking garage underneath that collapsed building. Now, they have some teams actually on top of that pile of rubble going through it, looking for survivors.
But certainly, it has not been easy. There were some heavy rains here earlier today. And every time that building shifts, it has the potential for some small fires. We saw one of those earlier today. But rescuers say, Anderson, they will work through the night.
KAYE (voice-over): In a matter of moments, a huge chunk of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida collapses into a cloud of dust. This video appears to show what happened at about 1:30 in the morning, as residents slept.
MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT, SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: We don't see buildings falling down in America, and here, we had a building literally fall down. It just doesn't happen.
KAYE (voice-over): The 12-storey condo tower just north of Miami Beach was built in 1981. Of the more than 130 units inside, nearly half of them are now destroyed. More than 100 people have been accounted for. But officials say, nearly 100 are still missing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I found out that my nephew was here with his wife and three or four children. You never lose hope. I'm just asking God.
KAYE (voice-over): Whatever brought the building down was so strong, neighbors heard it and felt it next door.
FIORELLA TERENZI, HEARD THE BUILDING COLLAPSE: I was asleep, and suddenly a loud bang, almost like tremble went on. It woke me up. But these rumbling was very different, very strange. And something was not right in this sound. It was too strong or too violent. It almost felt like a shock wave coming next building.
KAYE (voice-over): Since long before dawn, search teams have been combing through the rubble using concrete saws and other life-saving equipment. Search and rescue dogs also help lead the way.
Rescuers are hoping someone, anyone is still alive, trapped beneath the rubble. Earlier today, they thought they'd found someone.
JIMMY PATRONIS, STATE FIRE MARSHALL: They have heard sounds early this morning from what they feel was somebody in the parking garage. So, however the communications we're making is more like playing -- and people in those type of situations, they will find items to make noise with because they want to be saved.
KAYE (voice-over): 35 people were rescued from the structure that was still standing. Two more people were pulled from the rubble. At least four were taken to the hospital where one died.
BURKETT: The problem is, the building has literally pancaked. It has gone down. And I mean there's just feet in between stories where there were 10 feet. That is -- it is heartbreaking because it doesn't mean to me that we're going to be successful, as successful as we would want to be to find people alive.
KAYE (voice-over): Nicholas Balboa was out walking his dog when he heard a boy in the wreckage screaming for help.
NICHOLAS BALBOA, HELPED RESCUE BOY AFTER BUILDING COLLAPSE: He was just screaming, "Don't leave me. Don't leave me."
KAYE (voice-over): Rescue teams helped pull the boy to safety. But dozens of families are still wondering about their loved ones.
JOSE "PEPE" DIAZ, CHAIRMAN, MIAMI DADE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: This is very sad when you were dealing with people that don't know the outcome of their family. They're very worried. They are desperate in the sense that they want to know what's actually taking place.
But we continue to try to rescue. We've continued to try to find more people.
KAYE (on camera): And tonight, Anderson, of course there are many questions about what brought this building down, but officials are saying that is not their priority right now. The priority is saving lives. They don't want to tell all of those families that their loved ones didn't make it, so they will continue to search.
And the families, Anderson, are staying close. There's a community center just a few blocks away. They can leave that center, but they have requested pillows and blankets. I'm told they are not moving, waiting on word of their loved ones -- Anderson.
COOPER: Of course, Randi, appreciate it. Thanks. We're going to check back with you.
And as I said, we are awaiting a press conference on this collapse. Joining us now is Josh and Kevin Spiegel, son and husband of Judy Spiegel, who is among the missing.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. I'm so sorry, it is under these circumstances. Josh, I know you've been at the family reunification center all day. Do you have any updates or whatever authority has been telling you?
JOSH SPIEGEL, MISSING WOMAN'S SON: We don't have any updates at this time. They've come and told us how many people are unaccounted for and that they have teams underground, searching for people. But we don't have any other information other than that.
KEVIN SPIEGEL, MISSING WOMAN'S WIFE: Anderson, if you can look right behind us, they are on top of the rubble trying to start peeling it off one by one. We have a lot of hope that Judy is still alive.
J. SPIEGEL: And still there.
K. SPIEGEL: And still there.
K. SPIEGEL: She's an amazing person. She's great. Grandmother, mother, wife. She's just amazing.
COOPER: And, Kevin, I know you live in in this building with Judy, and I understand you were on a business trip in California. I cannot imagine to hear this news and then fly back. How are you doing? How are you both doing?
K. SPIEGEL: I mean, it is hard. I was doing a hospital turn around in Watsonville, California. I woke up in the middle of the night, which most men do, you go look at your e-mail, and I saw the emergency notice on my phone. And that's when I notified all the kids and it was on the news. It was very unfortunate. J. SPIEGEL: Yes, as soon as I heard that, I drove immediately down
from Orlando. And we're here with my sister, Rachel and my brother, Michael. The rest of the family is all here, and we're hoping and praying that they're able to find my mom.
COOPER: You know, I spent time in places where buildings have collapsed, most obviously, in Haiti, and, you know, we saw people being pulled from the rubble days and days after a building has gone down. So, it is certainly possible. I understand that holding on to hope because we've seen it in the past.
Kevin, do you have any idea what happened? I mean, have you ever had any concerns about this building in the past?
K. SPIEGEL: No, I think it -- you know, Surfside is a wonderful town. I think that the building did put off some of the repairs that it needed to do. But they were on track to start moving on things and most recently started to do the necessary requirements of the 40-year certification on the roof
And we were moving in the main lobby was the whole design of the modernization plan. So, we were on track. It was actually moving forward, but maybe COVID slowed it down.
COOPER: You know, Josh, we see, and we've been told search and rescue teams are going to be working through the night, as you pointed out, as Kevin, as you pointed out, the mayor said they're not lacking when it comes to resources, and that is certainly a blessing in all of this. The fact that there are incredibly skilled first responders who are at this moment and throughout the night are going to be working. I assume that gives you some amount of hope as well.
J. SPIEGEL: Yes. Coming from a healthcare-based family, we're very -- we're very proud, and we're very hopeful that the community here will be able to find our loved ones. And I just want to say that my mom is an absolutely amazing person. She's a fighter, and she fights for every single one of us. And we won't stop until -- we won't stop fighting until we find her.
COOPER: Josh and Kevin Spiegel, thank you so much for talking with us. I hope we get good news. And I hope to be able to share that with you. Thank you so much and I'm praying for you.
K. SPIEGEL: Anderson --
COOPER: Yes, Kevin.
K. SPIEGEL: God bless you. God bless everybody.
J. SPIEGEL: Thank you so much.
K. SPIEGEL: Thank you.
COOPER: Stay strong. More now on the people who are on the scene and we'll be on the scene for as long as this search, rescue, and recovery operation takes. The first responders who are doing incredibly delicate and urgent, and
lifesaving work in the rubble. Joining us, District Chief Jason Richard of Miami Dade Fire Rescue.
Chief Richard, I appreciate you being with us. I can't imagine what this has been like. You ran the overnight search and rescue operation at the site. You've been searching since 1:00 a.m. What's it like working this site?
JASON RICHARD, DISTRICT CHIEF, MIAMI DADE FIRE RESCUE: The site has been a difficult challenge for us. There's lots of hazards in the building, but we'll continue our efforts, searching for survivors and doing our best to remove them.
COOPER: We saw a video that was released by Miami Dade Fire Rescue showing rescue crews, I believe it was in the parking garage. There's water on the ground. You can see supports, I guess, that you guys have put in to keep the structure that you're working under to keep you all safe.
Can you just explain -- I mean, it in a thing like this, isn't -- I mean, if you move one piece of metal, it's like a jigsaw puzzle, isn't it? I mean, you have to constantly be aware of how one piece affects another piece?
RICHARD: Yes, that's correct. As we move into the rubble piles, or in this case, a parking garage, we have structural engineers as part of our urban search and rescue teams and some of the units that were deployed with us, that help us determine what's safe to go in and where we need to put shoring and other materials to make sure that the building doesn't shift or come down on our rescuers.
So, as we move through the building, we constantly monitor making sure that there's no movement. Every piece of rubble that we move, we have to take -- make efforts to stabilize the building inch by inch.
There was a lot of water inside the structure due to broken pipes. That was one of the issues that we had to mitigate, all the utilities in the building -- electric, gasoline from the vehicles, propane and natural gas, water -- so that was part of our operations overnight was mitigating those hazards to us and any potential survivors. And that was part of what we did overnight also.
COOPER: At this stage, are you using K-9s? Are you using sound devices in the rubble to hear anything? Or is -- I'm not sure what the sort of chronology of how your work is.
RICHARD: So yes, we're using K-9 assets from Miami Dade Fire Rescue and Florida Task Force One, as well as listening devices that we have as part of our cache of equipment. We also stop and hail, call out in the rubble pile listening for any sounds, tapping, voices, anything that we might hear
So occasionally, we'll stop all of our operations, and just have everybody go silent and listen. That in conjunction with the dogs moving about the rubble pile constantly, as well as listening devices. We have cameras that we can bore holes into slabs of concrete and put into other small void spaces in order to see you know, around corners and in small areas also.
COOPER: We heard from one official earlier talking about how the building -- I mean, not why, but sort of just structurally how it went down that essentially has pancaked. Is that true for the entire structure that went down? That it is just on top -- each floor is on top of the other? Or is -- I mean, is there some place -- so it is impossible there are spaces underneath?
RICHARD: So, in this type of collapse, even though it is a pancake collapse, as the slabs of concrete slide and move towards the ground, they do create voids. You know, as the rubble crushes and slabs of concrete land on top of it, there are definitely voids.
So, we are hopeful that we will find patients in those in those spaces, and we have identified voids and those are the areas that we're focusing our efforts.
COOPER: When -- obviously, crews are going to be working through the night. How difficult -- I mean, obviously you can bring in lights -- does it make it exponentially more difficult working in -- working at night or can you light it up sufficiently that it's close to the same as day?
RICHARD: So, throughout the day, we've been planning for this phase of the operation, you know, once nightfall came. All day long, we've been bringing in resources such as light cards. We have lighting, now we're able to elevate 10, 15, 20 feet in the air in order to help out, so we have light cards towers.
Our ladder trucks have powerful lights on them that we can put up, elevated to also help light up the scene.
COOPER: Yes, Chief Richard, I appreciate what all of your team, the men and the women are doing on this. It is extraordinary work that you all do and incredibly skilled and brave. Thank you. Appreciate it and thanks for the update.
RICHARD: Thank you.
COOPER: Again, we're awaiting conference from other officials on the ground there any moment. We'll bring that to you live
Joining us now is Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz who represents Surfside. Congresswoman, have you been provided any insights or information about what may have caused this?
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL): Because they really are, Anderson, still in the midst of this heartbreaking, painstaking search and rescue operation, they're not even really approaching being able to try to figure that out.
It is the most bizarre, just unbelievable situation that, especially in a community like this one in South Florida, where we have such stringent building codes, you know, 40-year inspection requirements, this building was 40 years old and was just about to undergo its inspection. They really still have not begun to even be able to sort that out.
COOPER: Yes, I believe an attorney for the condo association was on with Erin Burnett saying that, in preparation for that 40-year update, they had had an engineer or multiple people looking at the building coming up with a list of things that needed, but they didn't have any indication at this stage that any of those things may have related to this.
But obviously, you said, the focus really is on the recovery efforts right now.
COOPER: What have you been told about --
SCHULTZ: Right, with family members.
COOPER: Yes, and family -- what have you been told. We just talked to the Chief there. What's the plan for the coming hours?
SCHULTZ: So, over this period of time, you know, they've just shifted the crew here. That the search and rescue is continuing. I've been working since I got on the ground and before I left Washington this morning, to -- you know, with the White House and with our State Emergency Management officials here to make sure that all the requests that are made by Miami Dade County and Surfside are able to be granted and you know, the White House has confirmed that whatever is asked for is going to be granted in terms of the longer term housing assistance, debris removal, the expenses that are obviously massive that no budget this small, like the City of Surfside is, or even Miami Dade County can handle because it's so unexpected.
But the key thing here is that we have, you know, really dozens and dozens of families who are -- whose hearts are broken, who are desperate to get information about their people. I'm working through my district office, Anderson, to try to get visas processed quickly, so that we can get family members because there's a lot of international families here and we need to get their loved ones here who have people who might have been in the building, or who whether we think were in the building, and we want to make sure we get their loved ones close.
This is the most bizarre, freakish, chaotic situation, but we have the best search and rescue team in the country here. Our search and rescue team goes down to all of these disasters around the country and the world. Unfortunately, right now, the disaster is right here at home for us.
COOPER: Yes. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, I appreciate your time. Thank you and sorry, it is under these circumstances.
SCHULTZ: Thank you so much. Thank you.
COOPER: Again, we are awaiting for a press conference from the scene. Coming up, next, we'll also talk to a structural engineer in what may have been the cause of this and why in this country, at least, incidents like these are thankfully so rare.
Later, Senator Bernie Sanders joins us in the big bipartisan infrastructure deal announced at the White House today, but also the much bigger and much less bipartisan spending deal both he and the President want to go along with it. More on that ahead.
COOPER: As we wait to hear from officials tonight, and as crews continue their search for survivors in the rubble in Surfside, Florida, the search for what may have caused the disaster is only getting started.
In a moment, we'll talk with the leading structural engineer. Joining us now is Florida International University's Shimon Wdowinski, who did a study of the building last year that determined that for at least a portion of its life, it had been sinking.
Professor, first of all, the idea that it has been sinking, can you just explain what that actually means? I mean, how much you noticed that? How much that was able -- you know, how much was it sinking? And what more do you know about the condition of the building?
SHIMON WDOWINSKI, PROFESSOR, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Okay, so it was part -- we looked at it as part of a study when we monitored land blind subsidence in Miami Dade County. So, we used satellite data right out from space, and we looked at the movement of the earth surface of the building.
Now, we don't like the term sinking because thinking is something that is sinking to liquids, we usually use the term subsiding.
WDOWINSKI: Now, so what we noticed is that the building was subsiding at a very -- at a rate of two millimeter per year, which is pretty small, but it was noticeable because the rest of the area was pretty stable.
COOPER: You say it was noticeable, it's not noticeable to the human eye. I mean, two millimeters a year, it's noticeable through your instruments?
WDOWINSKI: Exactly, and it is observation from space. So, we had noticed on the big ones that the other places that did not move, other places moved, but in particular area, other buildings did move.
It was a localized area of subsidence. We used data that was acquired by the European Space Agency, which is called ESA, between 1993 and 1999. So, what we could the report is about a movement that happened during that period and we saw that the building was moving. So, it's not clear if the land was moving or the building was moving
into the land. But it was obviously, that the building itself moved a very small portion, which is about over the measurement period of six years, is about half an inch.
COOPER: Yes. So, let me just point out, you were studying this in the 1990s, and over the course of some six years, and you're talking about very -- you're talking about millimeters. There's no -- is there any -- I mean, there's no evidence at this point, because frankly, we do not know what caused this tragedy, whether any kind of movements of a few millimeters each year would have had any kind of impact on what actually happened, correct?
WDOWINSKI: Well, the thing is that we had the measurement in the 1990s. We did a study just a few years ago, and we reported it last year, because we were concerned about the rising sea level. But we need to look at more data and to see if the rate of subsidence is accelerated or changed or stopped, because we cannot say.
But the thing is that the building moved at a very slow rate, but still moved. And usually, it is things like that associated with the some cracks in buildings and structural damage, it is hard to say because we never went over there.
WDOWINSKI: We just noticed that, and we reported that in our study.
COOPER: It's also interesting, because you were saying that this was very localized, meaning that it wasn't -- this wasn't happening to all the buildings around it, correct?
WDOWINSKI: That's correct. In other places, we saw more diffuse pattern. Over there, it was localized, and that's why it most likely reflects the things that happened to the building, whether it's the ground movement with respect to the ground, whether the building stand -- but it's not the other building around it.
COOPER: Professor Wdowinski, I really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.
WDOWINSKI: Thank you very much.
COOPER: I want to go now to officials on the ground there with the latest information. They are holding a press conference. Let's listen.
MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: We stand in solidarity once again to tell you we are working around the clock to search and rescue people in this rubble, and we did identify and declare safe 102 people, and 99 we still cannot account for, some of whom may not have been in the building.
So, our firefighters, men and women are working around the clock. A huge task force of people that are continuing, they're right now working, they're going to work all through the night. The dogs, they're working in the garage. They're working on the top, so they're visible right now. But they are proceeding with all of their might.
Like I can assure you that these fire rescue personnel, the best in the world, the ones that are called upon, to come out in crises everywhere, are working as hard as could possibly be. They are so motivated to bring people out safely and restore them to their loved ones.
So, we just wanted to let you know as the day comes to an end that their day does not. But we will be back, bright and early, 7:30. What's our time for press? Okay, approximately eight o'clock, we'll be here to report after our morning briefing and we will report on what has happened throughout the night.
We're very pleased that we're joined by our Senator Marco Rubio, our Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, our Chairman of the Commission, and our Vice Chairman of the Commission, and we just wanted to be sure that we can close up the day for you and you could all take a rest and come back refreshed in the morning.
[Speaking in foreign language.]
COOPER: The Mayor there of Miami Dade County, not much new information, pointing out that the latest from officials on the ground, 99 people still unaccounted for tonight. In Surfside though, it's important to point out as she said, that's 99 people they cannot account for, it doesn't mean that there were -- it's known that 99 people were in that building, and they haven't accounted for those people who are in the building. They're not sure that some of those 99 people may have been out. This occurred around 1:30 a.m. in the morning, or thereabouts. So they could have been out somewhere else.
So, they are still trying to obviously get in touch with anybody who may have lived there, but not actually been there to try to figure out exactly how many people it is that they are searching for right now
The operations are underway and will continue throughout the night. Joining us now is a structural engineer, Kit Miyamoto, who currently serves as California's Seismic Safety Commissioner.
Kit, thanks so much for being with us. I'm wondering just what you make -- first of all, we just had a guest on who had done the study saying that the building was -- had been subsiding in the timeframe that they were studying it in the 1990s. Is that significant?
KIT MIYAMOTO, CALIFORNIA SEISMIC SAFETY COMMISSIONER: Yes, most definitely. Well, first of all, this collapse is a real classic failure -- we call them failures -- which means the building itself was supported by a series of pillars. So, if the pillars fails, everything fails. So that's exactly what looked like that. And I've seen failures like that in earthquake countries, you know, hundreds of them like that.
Now, so the failures over the columns or the pillars come from potentially three reasons. One is potentially, as the Professor is talking about the so-called settlement, excessive settlement of the soil itself could compromise the column capacity, that's one.
Two, is potentially the corrosion of the steel, you know, as you notice, it is right next to the ocean, and also the area that collapsed, that is also sign, right, that's where usually you see corrosion there.
MIYAMOTO: So corrosion of the reinforcement will compromise the capacity of a column. If the column fails, everything fails, essentially.
And the third reason potentially is something compromising the columns/pillars, maybe a truck or something running -- highly unlikely. But those are probably three potential reasons why these things collapse.
COOPER: It's a really interesting thing that you point out, which I had not realized, because I didn't have a sense that this -- the side that collapsed, you're saying was the side that faces the ocean?
MIYAMOTO: Yes, yes, exactly. Usually you see the more corrosion in sea side because that's already where the salt exposure is higher than the other side. You know, that's why you see in many different places, especially the Caribbean.
COOPER: An attorney for the for the condo association had been on CNN saying that they had had an engineer looking at the place and that they had in order for the 40-year certification and that they had a list of things that they were going to be working on. How significant is it to find out exactly what it is that that engineer saw or what anybody studying this building saw because would corrosion -- if what this is, is the columns gave way, is corrosion like that very visible to the human eye?
MIYAMOTO: Yes, well, the -- I mean, first of all, it is a 40-year recertification of safety by the county in Miami. Is it's one of the best practices in order, by the way, you know, you don't see this often.
COOPER: So these are actually very tough standards that Miami-Dade County has?
MIYAMOTO: Oh, yes. Most definitely, most definitely. I think that's a really great practice. And now, when you see that the major cause and things going on and enforcement, you're going to see the cracks, no concrete. The reason is the rebar get rusted. Right? So you can expand a little bit. And once it expand that the rust itself expands actually pressure the concrete around it, it causes cracks. So if the exposed concrete, you can see the cracks, pretty fairly large sized cracks, you see, that you know, the something wrong in that reinforcement.
Yes. So it's that we bought down my structure engineer, that's a really critical one. COOPER: The -- when it's part -- a part, just part of the building collapsing, does that tell you a story? Does that tell you something? I mean, I, you obviously you talked about, it's the side facing the water. And that's more likely to have the corrosive effects of salt. But I mean, if it's a it was partly the settlement of the soil, if only part of the building is of the excuse me of the building is settling into the soil with that, that would obviously cause stresses as well.
MIYAMOTO: That's right. And so, the differential settlement. If the (INAUDIBLE) building settles more than others than at the column again, you know, pulled in so had caused some distress there. But collapse in shape from the right on center, and in the north, as a north side also collapse at, you know, right, right after, so.
But again, that usually the corrosion doesn't affect it uniformly, you can see a certain elements of a structural elements get affected more than others because of exposure to weather or maybe water leaks, you know, stuff like that. So --
COOPER: For --
MIYAMOTO: -- that would be three things.
COOPER: For search and rescue teams right now, we talked to the chief there a little bit earlier, who said that they have structural engineers with them, just to keep the site safe. That's just got to be an extraordinarily delicate operation.
MIYAMOTO: Oh, most definitely. I mean, that there was a (INAUDIBLE) rescue team, you know, that their members that definitely risking their lives, I mean, it's like extremely dangerous condition. And as you said, a structural engineer, so they usually attach to that, and they insured it. Well, at least reduce the risk of the rescuers. You know, I was in Mexico City earthquake in 2017 and assisting the Urban Search and Rescue Team same thing, it just the provided safe, safe access to the firefighters getting to the people now.
MIYAMOTO: Now -- and, but there's definitely hope they'll even the concrete floors collapse each other. Usually there's certainly air gaps caused by the concrete debries and sole (ph).
MIYAMOTO: OK? So, you know, as you saw, you know, I did too. You know, Haiti and Mexico to Nepal everywhere, when the building collapse happens, the some many cases days after you can find some people still (INAUDIBLE). And there's still hope.
COOPER: It absolutely happens. I mean we've seen it. Kit Miyamoto, I really appreciate your time. Thank you. It's fascinating. Thanks for your expertise.
It was a significant day as well in Washington, coming up next we'll talk about the new bipartisan deal on infrastructure possible bipartisan deal on police reform and the challenges that remain. Senator Bernie Sanders joins us next on "360."
COOPER: It's being treated as what one former vice president might once called, the big f-ing deal. That's how Joe Biden famously described the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Tonight, President Biden is celebrating a big bipartisan deal on money for infrastructure but not without some potential strings attached.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: This to me millions of good paying jobs, and fewer burdens felt at the kitchen table and across the country safer and healthier communities. But it also signals to ourselves and to the world that American democracy can deliver. Because of that it represents an important step forward for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The package agreed to with the Democratic and Republican senators five each call for 1.2 trillion in spending over eight years of that a little less than half would be new spending over and above current levels. However, the President also signaled that he would not sign it on its own but only if accompanied by a larger package of tax and spending measures, which would likely be passed on to reconciliation. In other words, solely with democratic votes in the Senate.
Joining us now, the senator working on just that measure, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders, thank you for being with us.
Earlier today, you said you hadn't seen what's in the bipartisan bill or how it's going to be paid for. So you didn't want to say whether you'd support it. Since then, I know the White House released a breakdown of the bill, how it's funded. Can you say if you'll support it?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): But what I can say is that where the spending is going, makes a lot of sense to me. It's directed toward bridges, roads, water systems, wastewater plants, broadband, heavily funded. That's the good news. That's we need to spend money in that area because our infrastructure is crumbling. On the other hand, some of the pay for is how we're going to pay for it, how they're going to pay for it. I have concerns about. But what is most important Anderson is what is not in that bill, which is why the President said he would not sign that bill unless we move forward with another major piece of legislation that under what we call reconciliation, and that is to finally address the long standing crises facing working families in this country. I think everybody knows people on top of doing phenomenally well corporate profits are soaring. But to the average worker things are pretty, pretty rough. So what we have got to do is now invest in making sure that we have affordable housing in this country that we have home health care for an aging population that we're able to expand Medicare so that we finally can cover dental care and hearing aids and eyeglasses that we deal with the crisis in child care with so many families, working families cannot afford child care.
And that, in addition to all of that, it's absolutely imperative that we deal with the, I would say, existential threat to this planet of climate change. And when we do all that, when we invest in health care, and an education making higher education affordable, when we invest in transforming our energy system, we are going to create millions more --
SANDERS: -- good paying jobs. So that's what the President wants. That's what I want. And I think that's what we're going to see.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, as you said, he's pointed out that he won't sign this bill, if unless it's accompanied by this larger package that you just talked about. How do you think that'll impact the chances of the bipartisan bill passing? I mean, will it convince enough progressives to vote yes. And on the flip side, might erode Republican support?
SANDERS: I think at the end of the day, my guess is that both bills will pass. And I just want people to know, because I think there is a lot of alienation, disenchantment on the part of American workers with what goes on in Washington. And I think what we are finally doing is listening to the pain of low income and middle class families. And instead of worrying about the rich and the powerful, we're going to focus our attention on the needs of working families.
And I think what we're looking at, in my view, Anderson, if we pass what I would like to see us pass, it is probably the most consequential piece of legislation for working families pass since the 1930s and the Great Depression.
COOPER: Let me ask you about that. Because I don't want to put words in your mouth, you seem to suggest today that you'd be open to lowering the 6 trillion price tag of that bill, you said, you think 6 trillion is the appropriate amount, but acknowledge you have to work with 49 other members of the Democratic caucus? Can you say what you're willing to compromise on or what you see this actually coming as?
SANDERS: Well for a slot if the bipartisan bill is passed, and that will have, I think, something like 570 billion in new money. That's simply -- those are pretty much the programs that we were going to put into reconciliation. So that's a heck of a lot of money, we're not going to build the same bridge twice. So, you can deduct some of that, from what we're trying to do. Look, what the process is, you will know is about. I got to deal with 49 other people and somebody says you should spend more on this, spend less on that, you know, and my job is to kind of work it all out. So that at the end of the day, we are dealing with, with the crises facing working families, for the first time, we will finally have paid family and medical leave. We're the only major country on Earth, where if you have a baby today, you got to get back to work in a week because you're not guaranteed time off where your kids are sick, you can get fired. If you're staying home taking care of your sick kids. That's crazy stuff.
So what we're going to do is address those issues. I can't give you an exact number of umbilical down. We'll see where we end up.
COOPER: Senator Sanders as always, appreciate your time. Thank you.
SANDERS: Thank you very much.
COOPER: Up now, now that New York court has suspended Rudy Giuliani's law license, what happens next to the former president's lawyer and once one of the most powerful prosecutors in the country? That's coming up.
COOPER: Well saying that he had made quote false and misleading statements in New York court today suspended the law license Rudy Giuliani, the former president's personal attorney, the former mayor of New York City and a once feared government prosecutor. In a ruling after a disciplinary hearing the court said Giuliani statements in defense of the former president again quoting here, immediately threatens the public interest and warns interim suspension from the practice of law. Giuliani can appeal the decision but disbarment is a possibility.
Joining me now, is George Conway, a Republican and like Giuliani a lawyer, he's been very vocal in his opposition to the former president.
Mr. Conway, should anyone be surprised that this happened?
GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER: No, not at all. And because he -- and this was a story about completely relentless, repetitive, incessant, intentional lying, and we all saw it unfold in real time. And the court recorded it in its opinion and basically said this under the disciplinary rules, the rules of Professional Conduct is simply impermissible. We can't have lawyers lying to courts, we can't have lawyers lying publicly in their representation of clients. And the court found that Giuliani had done both.
And I have to say, based on what I saw, on this opinion, even though this is only an interim ruling and an interim suspension, it's pretty clear that I have Giuliani doesn't have much of a defense. And he's got -- he's entitled to a hearing. But unless he comes up with something, and I don't think he will, he we're never going to -- he's never going to see the inside of a courtroom again, other than as a defendant.
COOPER: You really believe that? Do you think he'll be disbarred?
CONWAY: I think he'll be disbarred or who -- he's like he'll at least receive a suspension that's long enough that given his advanced age, he's not going to be practicing again. And I don't know, frankly, who would ever retain him given his record?
COOPER: Giuliani said tonight, on another channel, quote, there's no doubt if I was representing Hillary Clinton, I'd be their hero. I represented my client, so effectively, that they're trying to get me to shut up, end quote. I mean, you're not allowed to represent your client and lie brazenly, are you?
CONWAY: That's exactly the point. I mean, it is it -- this isn't about who he was representing. This was about the lying, the incessant lying, saying that thousands of people voted in Georgia. Dead people voted in Georgia. And in fact, only two were found were voted that way. And saying that thousands of underage voters in Georgia voted and in fact, there was a full audit in Georgia. And it was found that zero people had voted, he lied to a court about the claims that were actually being litigated in the court, though his client, the campaign had withdrawn its claims of fraud, and yet, Giuliani stood up before federal judges said, we're asserting these claims of fraud and his co- counsel had to stand up and say, no, we're not, no, we're not.
He lied to courts, he lied to the public and in the context of how important how significant and the poison, the poisonous effect of these lies. The court said that it had no choice but to suspend him, even before having a full hearing he did.
COOPER: Do you know much about his business? I mean, had will this affect his bottom line? You know, he had -- I don't know if Giuliani and Associates is still around, but I mean, he used to have this, you know, which I think was sort of consulting, lobbying. You know, I'm not sure exactly. I think they did a whole wide range of kind of security related and other services.
CONWAY: I don't know that he's got that business going anymore. I mean, for everything that I've read, he seems hard up for money at a very costly divorce and, and I can't imagine anybody's going to be hiring for anything. I'm particularly I mean, he just came off last year, not only just the dishonesty, but he came off as the world's worst lawyer.
CONWAY: I mean, his client, his main client was the President of United States and other than by Donald Trump himself, no person on this planet did more to cause Donald Trump to be impeached not once but twice than Rudy Giuliani. And remember it was Rudy Giuliani running around Ukraine trying to get the Ukrainian government to conduct bogus -- announcing a bogus investigation of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. [20:50:19]
And remember, it was, of course, Rudy Giuliani, who pushed these ridiculous claims of fraud and stood on that podium, stood at that podium on that platform at the ellipse on January 6, that that Stop The Steal rally saying, we need to have trial by combat to determine whether the President of United States lost the election, it's incredible, it's conduct unbecoming the lawyer.
COOPER: It's like a fevered dream when you say it.
CONWAY: (INAUDIBLE) what the court is. It's nuts, it's nuts. I think his best defense would be some kind of insanity defense.
COOPER: Today's the 35th anniversary to the day that Roy Cohn, the disgraced former attorney for center, Joe McCarthy, various mobsters and then citizen Donald Trump was disbarred by the State of New York, actually an attorney --
COOPER: -- used to work with Roy Cohn was my mom's attorney. And she did her and she got him disbarred, as well. His name was Tom Andrews. He's dead now. But he was disbarred. How eerie or maybe satisfying is that coincidence? I mean, it's just kind of one of those things vertical coincidence.
CONWAY: It is one of those fascinating things. I mean, they're incredible similarities. I mean, Roy Cohn was a very talented man, but he was a very, very dishonest man. And that's why he was disbarred.
COOPER: Yes, I mean he was (INAUDIBLE) --
CONWAY: One of Donald Trump's favorite lawyer.
COOPER: Yes, exactly.
CONWAY: He was also one of Donald Trump's favorite lawyers.
CONWAY: And Donald Trump, remember when he was mad at Jeff Sessions for being ineffectual in his view Attorney General and said, where is my Roy Cohn? Roy Cohn was the model attorney to Donald Trump. And look where it got him.
COOPER: Yes. George Conway, appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
CONWAY: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up, the latest on that building collapse in Miami. Thankfully, a boy was rescued from the rubble. I talk to a man who helped save him. Next.
COOPER: More now in our breaking news from Florida. As you heard earlier in the program, officials tonight say they're working around the clock to find her and rescue any survivors from that apartment building collapse. These are new areas that we have been getting in just giving you a sense of the scale of this and obviously the difficulty of operating at night. These are live pictures.
They have been some dramatic rescues most overnight most notably among them, a boy lifted to safety by first responders. Nicholas Balboa happened to be passing by and he helped rescue the boy. Nicholas joins me now.
So Nicholas, you were walking your dog overnight, you felt understand the ground shake. Tell us what happened then?
NICHOLAS BALBOA, HELPED RESCUE BOY AFTER BUILDING COLLAPSE: Well, first Anderson, let me say it's an honor to be on your show. I appreciate you taking the time to have me.
Yes, this morning. I'm here visiting from Phoenix, my father, my family. So I was walking my dog this morning. You know, at first felt the ground shake in what sounded like thunder. I thought honestly, a like a storm was rolling in, you know, we've had storms all week. But about 30 seconds to about a minute later, it happened again, but a lot more pronounced as the rest of the building collapsed.
So I brought my dog back upstairs to the apartment, came back down and saw, you know, other individuals, they were starting to come out to the street to see what happened. So we made our way down to the building, I could see that, you know, some of the balconies had fallen, some of the debris but it wasn't quite clear. Fire crews showed up, emergency services, they started making a perimeter pushing us all back. It was at that time, I went north and went around one of the other apartment buildings to the backside of the buildings along the beach. And I was walking along till I could get to, you know, a better a better spot to see kind of what happened. And I could see that literally the entire building had had fallen edges hear butt off.
COOPER: You heard someone yelling from the rubble, I understand you actually saw fingers wiggling. Is that right?
BALBOA: Yes. So, you know, it was actually kind of eerie. Back there was silent, like quiet. There was no fire. There were no police, there was there was nobody back there except for just a handful of people. So, you know, want to go take a closer look. And as I got close to the building, I could hear, I could hear, it sounded like somebody yelling, you know.
So I went to go investigate. And, you know, it became more and more clear, you know, the words I could understand. And it was somebody saying, I'm here, I'm here. And, you know, can you see me when I saw you know, little fingers --
BALBOA: -- (INAUDIBLE) yes.
COOPER: And I understand you lead rescuers to him?
BALBOA: I did. You know, I tried to make my way up to him. You know, I was wearing flip flops at the time. So wasn't really equipped to make the climb. But I got close enough to see him and to let him know that we were there. And we were going to --
COOPER: So you were talking to him when he was still in the rubble.
COOPER: Gosh. What -- how was his voice sounding? Was he terrified? I mean he was terrified.
BALBOA: Absolutely. I mean, from what I could tell, because the debris that was around him was a bed frame and a mattress. So I imagine that that might have been you know his bed possibly, he was in his PJ's. So he was -- he might have been asleep and literally that just the apartment gateway and, you know, down they went.
He told me it was him and his mother in the apartment. And, you know, I could see him but I couldn't see his mother or hear her, you know. And at this time from what I've gathered from the crews and stuff like that they still haven't been able to find her yet, so.
COOPER: So, he didn't know where his mother was or how she was?
COOPER: Yes. How old was he? Do you know?
BALBOA: He's 10 years old.
COOPER: Wow. I mean, just an extraordinary thing that even though there's crews there you go to the back and walking around in your flip flops and hear this voice. I mean it's just, it's an extraordinary, extraordinary moment. Thank goodness you were there.
BALBOA: I guess, you know, the universe works in mysterious ways. Here I am all the way from Phoenix just at the right place at the right time. And, you know, we're just there, I mean.
COOPER: Well, Nicholas Balboa. I really appreciate you talking to us. And, you know, thank you for all you did. I really appreciate it.
BALBOA: Well, thank you for having me.
COOPER: That's it for us. We'll continue obviously to follow this ongoing search and rescue effort. The news continues. Let's hand over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: We got to be hopeful that we hear a lot more stories like that in the hours to come. Anderson, thank you very much for setting the table.