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Don Lemon Tonight
No Vote Tonight On Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill; New Body Cam Video Reveals What Gabby Petito Told Police; Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bill That Would Ban Teaching Of Critical Race Theory; Multiple Lawsuits Against Officer For Excessive Force, Civil Rights Violations. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired September 30, 2021 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT and the breaking news, the House will not vote tonight on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. That decision coming down within the past 20 minutes after a day and night of intensive negotiations. No vote tonight in the House.
So, let's get right away to CNN's congressional correspondent Ryan Nobles and White House John Harwood. Okay. Ryan, welcome back. John, good evening to you. Ryan, since we last spoke, you actually had the breaking news. This was your reporting, no vote tonight. Comes after a flurry of meetings, tension building all day. What happened? What's the plan now?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. So, Don, I really think that what happened here today is that throughout the course of the day, you saw the White House and the congressional leaders in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, attempt to try and bring together the most prominent voices in these dispirited factions of the Democratic Party and get them all on the same page.
And late tonight, we saw Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders along with a group of White House officials coming in and out of Senate offices. And we know from our reporting that they were trying to put together a deal that each one of those people would sign off on and say that they support.
HARWOOD: And we don't really know where Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema were on those negotiations, if they were anywhere close to signing off on anything.
But we know one thing for sure. Bernie Sanders just wasn't interested in that conversation. You know, he emerged from Senator Schumer's office and was very powerfully spoke to the reporters outside saying that this is just not the way that he wants to see this negotiation go down. And that was important, Don, because we cannot underestimate the sway that Senator Sanders has -- LEMON: His quote was absurd. He said the whole process was absurd.
HARWOOD: Yeah, that's right. And when he talks, those progressive members on the House side listen and they listen intently. You know, I covered the Bernie Sanders campaign for more than a year and a half, you know in 2019 and 2020, and many of these members of the House were supporters of his campaign and they got into politics because they were inspired by Bernie Sanders.
We're talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib, and Pramila Jayapal, who is the leader of the Progressive Caucus. So they were going to take their cues from him. He stood firm. He wasn't interested in cutting a deal in the late night hours to try and push through this infrastructure deal, which progressives aren't in love with but are willing to vote for.
And I think that ultimately is what forced the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to back away from the table and say this just isn't happening tonight, I'm not getting the votes, we'll live to fight another day, we'll have this conversation tomorrow and in the weeks ahead, but there is no reason to try and force it through tonight.
LEMON: Ryan, one more before I get to Mr. Harwood. So, what are the assurances? They said that -- progressives said, hey, I'm not comfortable with the framework -- we're not comfortable with the framework. What assurances are they looking for?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they simply do not trust the moderates in this conversation, Don. And they don't trust them because they felt that there was an agreement at the beginning of this process when they initially announced the plan for the reconciliation package that if there were going to be two different bills, the bipartisan infrastructure deal and then that $3.5 trillion social safety net program, that they were going to move along on the same track.
And the second that the moderates decided that they wanted to do it in two different pieces of legislation, two different points in time, they no longer felt that they were bargaining in good faith.
NOBLES: And they are not going to feel comfortable. And they've really not backed away from this at all without seeing that bill passed in the House and the Senate, the big $3.5 trillion plan. That, for them, is an assurance. Now, they're open to some other sort of guarantee that they can be confident in, but they have not seen that yet, and that's part of the reason why you see them holding firm.
LEMON: Okay. Ryan, you guys see me -- I'm actually grabbing things off of the printer, okay?
NOBLES: Were you printing something? I could hear it.
LEMON: Could you hear it?
NOBLES: I could hear it, yes.
LEMON: I wasn't printing it. The producers are printing it, saying check the printer, new White House statement. So, John, this will be for you, okay? The question is coming out of this. So there's a new statement in from the White House. I'm just going to read as much of it as I deem necessary because I'm just getting it in and looking at it as we are going on now.
So, Brian, stay there if you want, you know, we could use you. No more Ryan. Okay. So the White House is emphasizing this is not the end of the road, right? And they're saying that, you know, they're going to work to resume tomorrow morning first thing.
LEMON: So here's the statement, part of it. It says a great deal of progress has been made this week and we are closer to an agreement than ever. This is what Jen Psaki wrote in the statement. A great deal of progress has been made this week and we are closer to an agreement than ever, but we are not there yet. And so we will need some additional time to finish the work starting tomorrow morning first thing. Full statement, here it is, I was looking for.
The president is grateful to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Chuck Schumer for their extraordinary leadership and to members from across the Democratic Caucus who had worked so hard the past few days to try to reach an agreement on how to proceed on the infrastructure bill and the "build back better" plan. Then goes on but basically saying it's progress and the work continues tomorrow morning. What do you think?
HARWOOD: Oh, I think they made a lot of progress today. And I think that though it looks messy in the moment, the story of today is that they finally got full engagement from Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, the two holdout Democratic senators.
They felt encouraged enough by that to launch these intensive talks to try to get a framework agreement that would prevent the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. They didn't get there, but they're close. They're in the red zone. Not in the end zone, but they're in the red zone.
And I think it is highly likely that Democrats are going to get a deal if not tomorrow, within a matter of days, and that is going to ultimately, depending on what the contents of it, is likely to count as pretty good news for the Biden White House --
HARWOOD: -- and for Democrats.
LEMON: On that note, the rest of the statement reads, while Democrats do have some differences, we share common goals of creating good union jobs, building a clean energy future, cutting taxes for working families and small businesses, helping to give those families breathing room on basic expenses and doing it without adding to the deficit by making those at the top pay their fair share. So, listen. You know, pretty much everyone -- Brian Fallon said something similar. Stacey Plaskett said something similar. The Democrats -- she sees it or they saw it as Democrats being together and that it's progress. And you're saying also something similar, this is progress. Then why the arbitrary deadline? Was it to get this urgency, the fire under people's butts, so to speak?
HARWOOD: Well, there are a couple of things in play. First of all, you had the negotiations between the moderates and the progressives earlier in the summer that led Pelosi to promise a vote on the 27th. That obviously got delayed. It got delayed until today and it got delayed past today.
You also have the fact that the highway bill, the federal highway program, expires at the end of the fiscal year. That's tonight. So, that is a spur for action. And if they can't pass the infrastructure bill tomorrow because they don't have the framework deal, they're going to have to figure out some kind of continuing resolution or temporary extension of the highway program to prevent projects from going to a dead stop.
But all of those things helped focus the attention of legislators and get them to bargain. That's important because we're getting toward the end of Joe Biden's first year. The longer you get from a presidential inauguration, the weaker the president's ability to get legislation through is. The more you get into the midterm election year, the harder it is to do.
So, while it's not a hard deadline to get it done this fall or even let's say within the month of October, by Halloween, they urgently want to get it done because momentum and power dissipates over time. So, that's part of the spur. And that's why you had this intensive effort tonight. It will continue tomorrow.
And I think the likelihood is, when I talk to White House officials and officials on Capitol Hill, is that we're going to end up with a package somewhere in the $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion range. Possibly it could be a hair under $2 trillion if that makes Manchin and Sinema more comfortable. But it will be a very substantial package.
They'll have to figure out what programs get thrown overboard, which ones get means tested so you shrink the number of people who get the programs, and which ones might get shortened in terms of a timeline. So instead of enacting a program for five years, you enact it for three years and count on three years from now being able to extend it.
All of those different ways of massaging down the number are going to come into play. There's no resolution on them yet. And that's what these talks with Manchin, Sinema, Pelosi, Schumer are all about.
LEMON: So, thank you very much, John. I appreciate you coming in and helping us out with the breaking news as well.
LEMON: I want to get to -- bring in Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, the vice chair of the Progressive Caucus. Representative Watson Coleman, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us. So there's no vote tonight. Take us behind the scenes. What happened?
REP. BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN (D-NJ): Well, thanks for having me tonight. What is happening is that there are not enough votes to pass the bill (ph) without having a verifiable commitment on the reconciliation bill. We're eager to pass both of those bills. They represent the president's agenda. That's what he campaigned on. That's what people elected him and that's what people expect from him.
We campaigned in the same things, looking for both family and hard infrastructure. We campaigned, people elected us, and that's what they expect to see. And so what you have seen as a result of there being no votes tonight is that there has been no agreement but that there is a desire to move the path forward.
LEMON: Yeah. So, listen, I know that -- I want to talk to you about -- you were with the House speaker tonight. Let me just ask you this. The new thing is we just got the statement in from the White House. Tell me if you think this is true. The White House says while Democrats do have some differences, we share common goals of creating good, you know, union jobs, building clean energy and so on and so forth, making it seem -- the inference here is that you're not that far off, you want the same things.
Representative, who was on earlier, told me that -- Stacey Plaskett told me that you guys were just -- you just want to know about the size of it. You were concerned about the size of it or negotiating the size of it. But basically you were together on what you wanted out of this. Is that correct?
WATSON COLEMAN: I certainly hope so. I certainly hope that all Democrats are on the same page as it relates to what is part of that reconciliation package. But we do want to make sure that the substance is responsive to what we agreed to, to what we thought the deal was, and to what our families, our women, our children, our elderly need on so many different levels. It's from education to health care to opportunities, job opportunities, to child tax credits as well as climate investment.
So, it isn't just the top line. It isn't just the money. We want to make sure that the substance is there as well.
LEMON: Are you feeling empowered? Are progressives feeling empowered by this? It seems you guys took a strong stand. It seems stronger than in any recent history that I can remember.
WATSON COLEMAN: So, I think we feel encouraged that we're standing up for the right things for the people in this country, the things that are polling in this country, the families want, individuals want, people need.
I think we feel comfortable that we're being listened to and I think it is clear to those that are part of our discussions that we are very serious about where we stand on this issue, and that all we want to do is to work together so that we can get to the yes, the yes on both of these measures. They're vitally important, they're interconnected, and the country needs all of it.
LEMON: Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, almost at the midnight hour, pretty close, burning the midnight oil and joining us, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
WATSON COLEMAN: Thank you for having me.
LEMON: I really appreciate it.
WATSON COLEMAN: Thank you.
LEMON: Absolutely. Have a good evening. Get some sleep.
Now, I want to bring in CNN senior political analyst John Avlon. John, there you are and here we are. So listen. You know where we are now, right? No vote. You heard the representative there. You've been hearing everybody else speaking, Ryan, Kaitlan, Brian Fallon, what have you. What do you think about this moment where we are?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's wise to delay the vote. The vote wasn't going to get done. I think the day began -- let's not forget that the day began with us being unsure whether there was going to be a government shutdown. So, that self-inflicted disaster was taken off the table.
It seems like Democrats' focus is again on trying to get to yes, trying to find common ground. They're not there yet. They have made progress. Progressives have more clout than they've had in the past. I think the centrist, particularly Manchin and Sinema, the fact they haven't been as open about their negotiation position has made it difficult to tie these bills together and to create that trust.
We now know that Senator Schumer has had an outline of Joe Manchin's demands for months now. And there is ability to find common real ground now. Does it come down, as John Harwood said, to $2 trillion plus, $1.2 trillion transportation? Maybe that's where it ends it.
But what they need to realize is you don't make the perfect end of the good, it takes both wings of a party to fly, and they need to find a way to get the ball down the field. There is no substitute for getting something done in these arenas.
LEMON: John, are Democrats really going to walk away from, you know, $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill?
AVLON: God, they shouldn't. And it's not only just Democrats. It's that finally after decades of talk, after all those infrastructure weeks, that, you know, President Biden and the senators came together and cobbled together a big bill by any measure that is needed and overdue. And to walk away from that would be a disaster for the states not just for Democrats but even more importantly for the country.
I understand there is a lot they need to back fill with this budget and no one's going to get everything they want, but you don't do that to the country, you don't do that for a presidency, especially on one of the few things we can apparently find common ground on in the U.S. Senate, infrastructure.
LEMON: Representative Stacey Plaskett said to me just in the last hour, not very long ago that -- you know, she said, listen, (INAUDIBLE) lot of it, but she said much of it, however you want to characterize it. It was already paid for. They are paid for a lot of this. And, you know, to her, it didn't seem like -- she thought that this would -- it was progress. Something would be done but much of this was already paid for. Is she correct in that?
AVLON: Well, you've got to be careful about being too quick to say this doesn't cost anything. These are trillion dollar bills. They're massive by any measure. The question is whether the revenue is going to offset the cost. And that gets down to the devil being in the details.
You know, if Joe Manchin says, look, I want to keep the corporate tax rate to 25 percent down from 26.5 percent produced by the House. Okay. If he actually -- if they have a corporate minimum tax, 15 percent with real teeth in it, that could offset that.
You know, so, this is where the details matter. But, you know, folks realize you can't have trillions of dollars of spending and say it's not going to cost anything despite the fact it's what Republicans have done every time there's a trillion dollar tax bill passed through reconciliation. They don't even bother with the math. And that's one of the things that led to a lot of cynicism about this scoring.
LEMON: All right. John Avlon, helping us makes sense of this. Here we are --
AVLON: Here we are.
LEMON: -- in the wee hours. Thank you very much, John Avlon. I appreciate that.
The White House says that work resumes tomorrow morning first thing, okay? Look at what's up on your screen right now. This is from Representative Josh Gottheimer. He says it ain't over yet! This is just one long legislative day. We literally aren't adjourning. Negotiations are still ongoing, and we're continuing to work. As I said earlier, grabbing some Gatorade and Red Bull. He is on the same Red Bull plan that I am. Hopefully his is like mine, sugar free. Okay?
So, the question is how much longer are they going to go on? What happens next? What's in the bill? What would it mean for the American people?
LEMON: The breaking news on CNN, no vote tonight in the House on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deciding not to put the bill on the floor after negotiations all day and well into the evening. The White House says that talks will continue tomorrow morning first thing.
I want to bring in now Kai Ryssdal, the host of Public Radio's "Marketplace." Kei!
KAI RYSSDAL, HOST, PUBLIC RADIO'S MARKETPLACE: Don.
LEMON: Good evening. Wow! This is -- I mean, this is like sports, right? Down to the 50 yard line and now they're down at the 10, right? So, no vote tonight. At the center of all this is the president's "build back better" plan, including things like universal pre-K, support for child care, free community college, Pell grants, paid maternity leave, expanding the child tax credit, expanding Medicare.
Progressives want to spend $3.5 trillion. Manchin's top line, he says, and it's been for a while, $1.5 trillion, right?
LEMON: What's likely to make it into the final bill and how much do you think?
RYSSDAL: Look, I think you've got to go back to what Harwood was saying a minute ago, right? There are going to be ways that they're going to figure out how to limit this, whether it's by means testing, whether by some kind of data expiration. They're obviously not going to get, because of Senator Manchin, $3.5 trillion worth of stuff. So, they're going to have to figure out how to pick and choose what they can get.
And the important part to realize here and you don't hear this lot. This is $3.5 trillion over 10 years, right?
RYSSDAL: I need to put that into context. $350 billion one year for 10 years. Depending on budget this year, $768 billion. You do that over 10 years, it is $7 trillion. So let's just contextualize how much money in the scale of the whole economy we're talking about here. That's the really important part.
RYSSDAL: Meaning we have capacity. We have capacity to do this. Let us look at what the borrowing situation is going to be, if the government can figure out the debt limit, which is probably a thing you and I ought to spend a minute on before we get out of here, right?
The government can borrow money for 10 years now at a percent and a half. They can borrow for 30 years. Add just (ph) a little bit more than that. Interest rates are low. They're going to stay low for the foreseeable future, not forever. And so we can afford this borrowing now. And it is a small slice of gross domestic product that the government is looking, the Democrats, are looking to spend here. And I think the challenge now for Democrats is to figure out a way to get as much as they possibly can in the time period they have allotted so that they can make it work.
LEMON: All right. So, $1.2 trillion for infrastructure.
LEMON: Billions of dollars.
RYSSDAL: That's the hard infrastructure.
LEMON: Yeah, hard infrastructure. So, billions of dollars for roads and bridges.
LEMON: There it is. It's up on your screen right there. The power grid, high-speed internet, clean water, public transit, airports, and plenty more. We need that. We need to compete. When you look at other countries, they're far ahead advanced when it comes to infrastructure like that. How quickly would Americans start to see the impact of the spending?
RYSSDAL: Look, as soon as the government can get the money out the door, they are going to start to see, right? But the key thing here is that $1.2, $1.5 trillion is just a fraction of what is actually needed to fix this economy.
Forget roads and bridges. Think about the broadband. Think about rural broadband. Think about schools and kids and people at work now who do not have internet service who cannot do the jobs that are in this new economy because it is changing so much because it is pandemic, right?
It is also clean energy. It is also water infrastructure. All of these things that we have to have if we want to make it in a 21st century economy because we are trying to do this now with, in some cases, 19th century infrastructure.
RYSSDAL: It doesn't make sense (ph).
LEMON: Amen. So listen, Congress today voted to avoid a government shutdown ahead of the midnight deadline. The other, the other big deadline that we have on the horizon right now is the debt limit.
LEMON: If Republicans continue to play games and let the U.S. default on bills as a political stunt, what would that do to our economy?
RYSSDAL: Well, hang on. I think we have to be clear. I do not think the Republicans are playing games at all. I think Senator McConnell is dead serious that he is not going to let his caucus in the Senate take this vote. They are not going to vote to support a debt limit rise, even though it is traditionally been bipartisan and even though part of the debt that they are paying off, because remember, raising the debt limit is not future spending, it is the bills we have already --
LEMON: Ninety-seven percent of it, right?
RYSSDAL: Exactly. That has already been done by Republican and Democrat administrations. But let's talk about what happens here if, as we approach the 18th of October, which is what Secretary Yellen says it is going to be when she cannot find any more money to pay the bills, you are going to see in that week, 10 days prior, you are going to see interest rates edging up, you are going to see stocks getting really nervous. And then if we get there, if we get to the 18th, what is going to happen?
The treasury secretary, because it is her job to pay the bills, the first thing she is going to pay is interest on all the bonds and notes and bills that we have sold off to pay our debt, right? She's going to protect the credit of the United States. But if she cannot borrow more money, she is not going to be able to pay.
Social security, military, Medicare and Medicaid, anybody who gets payments from the government, those are going to start to reduce in proportion to how long it takes the Congress, Republicans, to figure out that they have to raise this limit, right?
There is a study out from (INAUDIBLE) not too long ago. You might have seen it, right? It is going to cost five million jobs and $15 trillion in wealth in this country if it goes on for 30 days.
LEMON: Yeah. So, you are right. They are not playing around because that is deadly serious.
LEMON: Kai, always a pleasure. We do not get to see you enough. Come back.
RYSSDAL: All you got to do is call, man.
LEMON: Come back late and often.
LEMON: You know, we get it, we're on late. Thank you, Kai. I appreciate it.
LEMON: So, new body cam video out showing police talking to Gabby Petito alone after she and her fiance, Brian Laundrie, were pulled over by police. We are going to show that to you next.
LEMON (on camera): So, we have more breaking news to report to you tonight. CNN obtaining additional body cam video of Gabby Petito speaking to Utah police -- a Utah police officer during a traffic stop in August, where she describes a physical encounter with Brian Laundrie.
Also tonight, police records showing that they were called to Laundrie's Florida home multiple times before and after Petito was reported missing and after Laundrie himself disappeared.
I want to bring in now Stuart Kaplan. Stewart is a former FBI agent. Dave Aronberg is here as well. He's a state attorney for Palm Beach County, Florida. Gentlemen, hello to you.
Mr. Aronberg, I'm going to start with you. Again, good evening. CNN has obtained this additional body cam footage from the Moab Police that shows Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie after they were pulled over. This was on August 12th. So, Gabby is crying, clearly very upset. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Did he hit you though? I mean, it's okay if you're saying you hit him. I understand if he hit you. But we want to know the truth if he actually hit you.
GABBY PETITO, DISAPPEARED AND DIED WHILE ON A TRIP: I guess. Yeah, I hit him first (ph).
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Where did he hit you? Don't worry.
PETITO: My face. Like -- I guess -- he didn't hit me in the face. He didn't, like, punch me in the face or anything.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Did he slap your face or what?
PETITO: He grabbed me like with his nail (INAUDIBLE) burns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Okay. So, listen. Gabby says that she hit him first and that he grabbed her face and that ended up scratching her, but she is obviously terrified and upset. What do you say when you look at this new video?
DAVE ARONBERG, STATE ATTORNEY, PALM BEACH COUNTY: Good evening, Don and Stuart. It tells me two things. First, it answers the question that a lot of people had, whether the police on the scene got the message from the 911 dispatchers that Brian was seen to be hitting Gabby.
ARONBERG: Remember, there were two callers who called in. So it is clear now that they got the message. They knew about those witnesses. And secondly, it tells me that the police had probable cause to arrest Brian. If anything, they were closer to arresting Gabby that night because they saw scratches on Brian's face from gabby. But here, it now tells me that if they wanted to arrest Brian, they could have done so. Gabby admitted it. But just like many domestic violence victims, she tried to blame herself.
LEMON: Hmmm. Stuart, let's talk about the police and what is happening with the Laundrie family. Police were called to the Laundrie family, the Florida home, multiple times around some key dates. I have a lot of dates here, so please bear with me. Some key dates, okay?
One was on September 10th. There were two police calls relating to the Laundrie home. The next day, on the 11th, Petito is reported missing by her family and there are three calls. Then there is September 14th, the last day that Brian's family says that they saw him. And there is one police call related to the home. And then we have September 17th, the day Brian's parents reported him missing. There are four police calls related to their address.
So, these flurry of phone calls relating to the Laundrie family home, what does that tell you?
STUART KAPLAN, FORMER FBI AGENT: So, let's talk about the ones before September 11th. Those seem to be agency-assist calls. That indicates that they got calls from New York, meaning through the Petito family that now was in contact with local law enforcement up in Long Island and Long Island authorities were reaching out to the Florida authorities to basically do a welfare check or to do a check or an inquiry of the Laundrie family to see if they knew anything about the whereabouts of Gabby Petito.
Thereafter, most of those calls following, as you referenced, seemed to be more of trying to keep the peace in the neighborhood and on the street with respect to now the media spending a lot of time outside the Laundrie home, etcetera, etcetera.
But it is important that apparently those indicate that the Petito family prior to -- quote, unquote -- "the official disclosure of her being deemed missing," they were already in contact with local law enforcement up in New York prior to September 11th, and that precipitated them reaching out to law enforcement down here in Florida.
LEMON: All right. Gentlemen, listen. I appreciate your time. I wanted more time to spend with this, but, you know, we have some big breaking news this evening that we have to get to that involves the future of the country. Thank you both. I appreciate it. I'll see you soon.
KAPLAN: Always my pleasure.
LEMON: Diversity training, antiracism, woke, just some of the words the Wisconsin legislature wants banned from schools. Stay with us.
LEMON: Okay. So, this is a next level you know what here. The Wisconsin assembly passing a bill this week that would effectively ban schools from teaching critical race theory, which isn't exactly taught to kids anyway. The bill doesn't mention critical race theory by name, but the authors of the bill sure have.
One co-author saying that CRT is -- quote -- "the opposite of MLK, Jr.'s dream. Another co-author saying outright that the measure would ban not only CRT but terms in concepts -- look at your screen -- terms in concepts like antiracism, cultural awareness, diversity training, intersectionality, structural racism, woke, and as the list is scrolling, it goes on.
So joining me now is Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. Yeah, banning stuff. I thought -- anyway, I'll get into that. Mr. Attorney General, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it.
Let's take a look at the bill. One part reads that it would prohibit teaching students -- quote -- "that an individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, bears responsibility for acts committed in the past by other individuals of the same race or sex." Does that sound like a dog whistle for critical race theory to you?
JOSH KAUL, WISCONSIN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thanks for having me, Don. The language of the bill here is essentially a Trojan horse because the bill is written in a way that probably is not objectionable in and of itself. But as you referred to just a minute ago, there's a laundry list of words that the author has identified as potentially being violations of this new law and it includes things like equity and social justice and a number of the other terms you mentioned.
What this really would be doing is putting an enormous burden on our teachers and it is a bill that doesn't trust our teachers to do their jobs.
LEMON: These are conservatives, right, who are doing this?
KAUL: That's right. I believe this was passed on a party line vote and --
LEMON: So, I thought conservatives didn't believe in censorship or banning things or cancelling things?
KAUL: This is cancel culture on display here. That's right.
LEMON: Go on. What did you say?
KAUL: This is cancel culture on display here. I mean, this is an effort to stop our kids from learning about concepts that are important for them to learn about, including pieces of our history.
LEMON: Yeah. So, the language is so broad, it seems like this bill would criminalize any teacher that ran afoul of a parent. [23:44:58]
LEMON: How do you teach basic American history with the threat of lawsuits hanging over your head?
KAUL: It would be really difficult and what's really concerning about this bill --
LEMON: Oh, we lost --
KAUL: -- critical concepts --
LEMON: There he is.
KAUL: -- and being able to teach about equity, for example --
KAUL: -- would be hugely problematic.
LEMON: Yeah. We lost you for a second but we have you back there. So, look, this still has to go through the state senate and then the governor would have to sign off on it. Do you think it has any chance of actually becoming law?
KAUL: I'm very confident that our governor is going to veto this bill if it comes to his desk. I frankly hope that the bill stops where it's gotten because again, we need to empower our teachers to work with our kids. We've got great teachers. Let's trust them rather than have the legislature put this list of banned words in the state statutes.
LEMON: What has happened to -- why people become so ignorant? What is this? They are spending all this time working on something that they know won't happen just to appease their base. I mean, it speaks volumes about the divide in our country and this is what our politicians are spending time on.
KAUL: The purpose of our government is to solve problems and there is no problem this is solving because, as you mentioned in the opening, this isn't something that is being taught and K through 12 schools. What this is about is trying to divide people and to use race as a wedge to pull people apart and to focus on issues that are not being taught in schools, and distract people from issues we do need to make progress on like gun safety legislation, like universal background checks.
LEMON: Well, Mr. Attorney General, I appreciate you joining us. It is fascinating. We will see. You don't believe it will pass, but one never knows in this day and age. I mean you can't say systemic. They don't want you to be able to teach or say systematic racism or structural inequality or white privilege or white supremacy or the woke. Okay. Thank you, sir. Best of luck to you.
LEMON: Yeah. I mean -- really? A deaf man slammed into the ground, a 75-year-old tased without warning, and multiple lawsuits coming at one police officer. Those stories, next.
LEMON: A deaf man in Colorado filing a lawsuit, alleging police abuse during a traffic stop in 2019, claiming mistreatment because he could not hear the officer's commands and they did not recognize his deafness.
Brady Mistic's arrest was captured by police body cam video. He's also suing government officials, alleging humiliation, isolation, and discrimination while in jail for four months following his arrest.
More on the story from CNN's Lucy Kafanov.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Zebra, victor, 17.
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In September of 2019, two Colorado police officers pulled into a parking lot of an Idaho Springs laundromat for traffic stop after a car allegedly ran a stop sign.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Sit back in your choir.
KAFANOV (voice-over): Body cam footage shows the driver, then 24- year-old Brady Mistic, out of his car.
NICHOLAS HANNING, POLICE OFFICER (voice-over): Excuse me, who do you think you are?
KAFANOV (voice-over): Officers Nicholas Hanning and Ellie Summers slammed him to the ground.
ELLIE SUMMERS, POLICE OFFICER (voice-over): Arms behind your back right now or I'm going to tase you.
KAFANOV (voice-over): In a statement, Idaho Springs Police said that Mistic resisted an assault at an officer and that a physical alteration took place, adding that one of the officers was injured with a broken leg due to the restrictive actions of Mr. Mistic.
But there was a different reason for his confused behavior. Mistic couldn't hear them. He is deaf in both ears, isn't able to lip read, and primarily uses American sign languages to communicate. At the hospital, Mistic explained his actions to Officer Summers.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): I thought maybe it was someone else. I didn't know that I was the one. I didn't know what the reason was. But I couldn't see.
SUMMERS (voice-over): I understand that, but you should have stayed in your vehicle.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): I'm surprised (INAUDIBLE).
SUMMERS (voice-over): Resisting arrest and assault in the second degree, and a stop sign violation.
KAFANOV (voice-over): Mistic spent four months in jail, only to have the charges against him dropped, the suit says. Now, he is suing the two officers, the city of Idaho Springs, and the Clear Creek Community Board of Commissioners, arguing that police violated his civil rights when they arrested him without warning.
RAYMOND BRYANT, ATTORNEY: They didn't stop behind the vehicle to let him know, hey, I'm pulling you over. They alleged to have observed my client running a stop sign a block away from the laundromat where he was intending to go.
KAFANOV (voice-over): The Idaho Springs Police chief at the time reviewed the incident and determined that the officers' actions were appropriate.
HANNING: Put it down.
SUMMERS: Put it down.
KAFANOV: Officer Hanning was accused of excessive use of force in a separate incident. In May, Hanning was involved in a brutal incident where 75-year-old Michael Clark was tased at his home without warning.
HANNING (voice-over): Put your gun away. Put your gun away.
KAFANOV (voice-over): According to a lawsuit filed in federal court this July, the officer was also accused of putting a knee on Clark's neck and causing an injury on his carotid artery that required surgery.
KAFANOV (voice-over): Body cam footage shows Hanning cuffing the elderly man as he lay faced down after being tased and dragged out of his apartment.
HANNING (voice-over): What's your first name?
MICHAEL CLARK, TASED AND DRAGGED BY POLICE: Mike.
KAFANOV (voice-over): Hanning has been charged with third degree assault and is no longer employed by the police department.
Lucy Kafanov, CNN, Denver.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
LEMON (on camera): Wow! Lucy, thank you. Thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. We could be just an hour away from a vote in the House of Representatives that will pave the way for Democratic lawmakers to deliver on many of the promises that got them and the president elected or we might not. The whole thing could crater. It is truly minute by minute at this time.
We will be joined tonight by one of the key players, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.