Return to Transcripts main page
Don Lemon Tonight
Presiden Biden Travels To The Capitol To Try To Break Stalemate In His Party Over His Agenda; New Reports Of Brian Laundrie Sightings; National School Board Group Asks Feds To Help With Threats; Man Who Assaulted Officer Michael Fanone On Jan. 6 Attack Will Remain In Jail; USPS To Slow Down Certain Mail Delivery Starting Today. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired October 01, 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. President Biden is going to Capitol Hill today to try to break the stalemate in his own party over his agenda. But at this hour, still no deal on the massive spending package and there was no vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Tonight, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling her colleagues more time is needed.
Plus, there are possible sightings of Brian Laundrie in North Carolina. We have the details on where some people say they have spotted Gabby Petito's fiancee.
And the Postal Service is slowing down certain mail service starting today. So, will your mail be delayed?
I want to bring in now CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod. David, good evening to you. We certainly -- man, for Friday night, we got a lot to talk about.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Yeah.
LEMON (on camera): President Biden is vowing to get his agenda through. Listen and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm telling you, we're gonna get this done.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): When?
BIDEN: It doesn't matter when. It doesn't matter whether it's in six minutes, six days or six weeks. We're gonna get it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So Democrats got this far because they had a deadline. Now, they don't have one. So what happens if this drives on?
AXELROD: Well, they don't have an immediate deadline. The time is pressing in on them, and I think they all understand that they have to come to an agreement, Don. He is not wrong. I mean, we tend to judge things in the moment. If he gets a deal, people aren't going to grade him on style points or speed. They are going to grade him on the deal itself and the fact that he got one. So, he is not wrong about that.
But this is like kind of maneuvering an 18-wheeler into a loading dock. I mean, you have to go to the left, a little to the right. You know, if you go too fast, if you turn the wheel too much, you know, you can have a kind of a wreck. So, you know, that is the process they're engaged in now.
I continue to believe that every Democrat there, whether they're moderates or progressives, understand that walking away with nothing is just a disaster for everyone involved, and so they'll find a way --
LEMON: Do you think they understand that?
AXELROD: I'm sorry?
LEMON: Do you think everybody understands that?
AXELROD: I -- by and large, I think, yes. I think they do. Everybody has skin in this game. And, you know, what we've seen is -- I've said this to you before -- Manchin and Sinema have taught a lesson in leverage. Everybody is trying to use their leverage there to get their priorities in these packages, particularly in the reconciliation package, so the moderates are fighting hard for this infrastructure package.
But I think all of them understand that if they -- I mean, it would be a catastrophic failure for Democrats if they walked away with nothing when they have a chance to do something historic, whether that is at $2 trillion or $3.5 trillion.
And, of course, the priorities matter. That is what people are fighting over. That is a longer discussion they could probably have this week.
AXELROD: But, yeah, I think Biden is right to be confident, but it is going to be a very arduous process because people do feel a sense of urgency about particular priorities and they are using that leverage to get them in this package.
LEMON: But don't they stand a chance of losing support on the other side if they let this drag on and people -- from people who are saying, well, you know, Democrats aren't really going for this and I, as a Republican, why I am doing this?
Because a few House Republicans who were previously planning to support this bill, the infrastructure bill, are now rethinking their votes after Biden's visit to Capitol Hill. I think it is now clear as ever that the bill will be linked to reconciliation. What happens if the GOP poll support for infrastructure?
AXELROD: Well, that puts more pressure on Democrats to be unified on the infrastructure bill. And progressives have said that they will vote for infrastructure bill once they have an assurance that there is going to be a reconciliation bill. And I think that is really where we are at right now. They need hard assurance that there is a bill and this is what the bill is going to look like.
The Senate is going to vote on it. The House is going to vote on it. Fifty Democratic senators in the Senate are going to vote for this reconciliation bill. I mean, these are the assurances that they are looking for. They will vote for the infrastructure bill. But, yes, there is risk.
AXELROD: Remember when Biden linked these bills in the first place, there was a tremendous cry among Republicans, and on Senate side, they have threatened the bill. But I don't think House -- I think that they would love to have House Republicans on that bill. But they shouldn't be necessary if Democrats ultimately are unified.
LEMON: Yeah. Thank you, David. I will see you next time. Appreciate it.
AXELROD: All right, bro. Thanks.
LEMON: So joining me now is Democratic congresswoman and vice-chair of the Progressive Caucus, Sheila Jackson Lee. She was in the meeting with President Biden today. It is so good to see you. It has been too long. Long time no see, as they say. So thank you for joining us on this Friday.
When I don't see you, I know it's busy and you're getting things done. It sounds like progressives heard what they needed to hear from the president, that he wants to pass both bills together, but he is also saying, according to lawmakers, the reconciliation package will need to be somewhere between $1.9 and $2 trillion. How does that all sound?
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Well, thank you so very much for having me. It is a long time no see. I would simply say that progressives got a victory tonight, members of the Black Caucus or the Right Caucus and other caucuses that are focused on the needs of vulnerable people.
We got a victory tonight because in essence, we stood fast so that the president's agenda could move forward, the very agenda that you know, Don, that he campaigned on, and the very agenda that really speaks to a seismic amount of vulnerable people in the United States. What he wants to do is life-changing.
I think what I heard today in the meeting was an affirmation of the work that was done by all of those who insisted on the two bills being one, and as well the president's commitment to work with us.
And I love that phrase: Six minutes, six days, or six weeks. It will be before that. But frankly, this gives us the opportunity to focus on the priorities, to get the "build back better" bill right, and really his work in the Senate with all senators, Democratic, and if there is ever one Republican, we welcome them, to get it right for the American people. That is our job.
LEMON: I want to put up this graphic showing what the wish list is for Biden's "build back better" plan. Things like universal pre-K, free community college, paid maternity leave, expanding Medicare, measures to address the climate crisis. What are you willing to trim to get the cost down?
JACKSON LEE: Here is what I think has to happen. First of all, we need to see what programs the Senate are going to offer. We can't do a percentage cut. We can't do across the board cut. Programs don't work that way. So we are not prepared to slice and dice. We want to hear what the Senate has. But I will tell you our priorities include housing, lowering the drug costs, and creating a care economy.
The Congressional Black Caucus is concerned with the federal Medicaid, what was dropped off for 12 states when we did the Affordable Care Act, historically black colleges, and of course all of us are focusing on the crisis in the climate.
So, I frankly believe that we're closer than we think, that we have the opportunity to look programmatically and get the gist of what we are trying to change lives with. One of the elements in the Congressional Black Caucus is, of course, the maternal health, black maternal health mortality. We are improving that.
So with the leadership of what we've done in the progressive caucus, holding the line, having the votes that would not move until we put these two bills together.
The president was, in fact, I believe, welcoming where we are today and ready to roll up his sleeves and get this done. You know, someone said, do your job. We did our job.
JACKSON LEE: Now, we got to continue to get the bills passed and hand it off to the American people.
LEMON: Just to be clear, because -- listen, I think you said this, and maybe I just didn't hear it. I don't hear it so well all the time. Sometimes, I talk too much. But just to be clear about one thing, progressives still only willing to pass infrastructure as long as a social safety net plan passes the Senate or we're seeing a framework be enough?
JACKSON LEE: We want to do what the president indicated and the president indicated that the two bills are together.
LEMON: Got it.
JACKSON LEE: And we believe we can do that. And that means that as the -- infrastructure bill is already ready, Don. You know that. We can get the "build back better" bill ready. The Senate can pass it, and then we can pass it in the House. We will be able to pass both bills at the same time. We will not be delayed so much so that the American people will be at a disadvantage. I think that should be very clear. We are getting our job done but we're doing it the right way.
LEMON: Hey, listen, thank you so much. And as I say, don't be a stranger. It's good to see you.
JACKSON LEE: Thank you for having me. Have a wonderful weekend.
LEMON: You as well. I want to bring in now --
JACKSON LEE: You're working hard.
LEMON: Thank you very much. I want to bring in now presidential historian Jon Meacham.
LEMON: He is the writer and narrator of the podcast "It Was Said." Jon Meacham, good to see you, sir. Doing okay?
JON MEACHAM, WRITER, HISTORIAN AND PRESIDENTIAL BIOGRAPHER: All in one piece. How are you?
LEMON: So what a week. What a week politically. I mean -- I'm doing very well. Thank you very much. So President Biden is vowing to get these bills done and says that the timeline isn't important. You know, as important as the folks in the media are making it out to be. That is what he says.
So when it comes to his legacy, will anyone really remember all of this wrangling and infighting if these bills ultimately get passed? Someone just mentioned that before. I think it was -- who mentioned it? It may have been Ron Brownstein. It was David Axelrod. There is my memory. So David Axelrod just mentioned it.
I remember the Affordable Care Act. There was a lot of wrangling. But I was also on the anchor desk tonight that it passed and, you know. Does anyone remember that? They just remember it is Obamacare and Affordable Care Act and it's the law of the land.
MEACHAM: That's exactly right. President Clinton used to always say that presidents are -- usually get one sentence and if they're lucky they get two. Lincoln saved the union. FDR beat the depression, one World War II (ph).
And so, no, I don't think a couple of days, weeks, whatever the president said today, matters very much. I think what does matter is that the Democratic Party and the president need to prove, as they put it, that democracy can deliver.
I think that this is an enormously consequential moment. I think one of the things I urge all of us to do is try to resist and analogue instinct for analysis, that is who is up, who is down, who won the week, who lost the week. That will define our ethos for a long time, but that was before 2017.
LEMON: It's like sports reporting, right? Fifty-yard line, he did this, these are the stats. Go on. Sorry.
MEACHAM: Yeah. And it is understandable. It's entertaining, you know. We should be honest about that. That when we follow these things as closely as you and I do and so many other people, then there is an instinct to do that.
After January 6th, in an area where 55 to 60 percent of Republicans believe a free and fair election was stolen, then this is not an analogue era. I do believe, it is hugely important, that Washington show that they can deliver for the 81 million people who have decided that Joe Biden should be at the pinnacle of power and not his predecessor.
LEMON: So, John, Representative David Cicilline told reporters that President Biden talked about how his paintings of Lincoln and FDR hung up in the Oval Office, with Cicilline saying that a deeply divided country and the biggest economic transformation, which is the kind of moment that we're in right now. What do you think of that?
MEACHAM: Well, you know, President Biden was generous enough to ask me back during the transition what I thought should hang, make recommendations for what should be in the Oval Office. And FDR is there over the mantle, not least because the argument is that in 1933, democracy was in peril. There were authoritarian movements on the move around the world. There was a question about whether democratic capitalism would survive that decade.
Over his left shoulder, as he sits there, you see Hamilton and Jefferson. That is to remind people that we have been fighting like this from the very beginning. Hamilton once said or Jefferson said that he and Hamilton were like to cocks in the pit in the first cabinet, always fighting.
And Washington and Lincoln are on the other side. Washington helped found the union, Lincoln helped save it. Rosa Parks is in there, Cesar Chavez is in there, Eleanor Roosevelt is in there, and Harry Truman is in there. It's hopefully a space that looks like the country and reminds us of what our best parts are, the best elements of who we are.
And so I think that it is hyperbole, it is very seductive. But, remember, an armed mob tried to stop the constitutional processes from unfolding on January 6th in this calendar year. And one of the great things about America is that we move on quickly. And one of the worst things about America is we move on too quickly.
LEMON: Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley described Biden's Hill meeting as an olive branch that he wasn't telling people what to do. How does Biden negotiating style compare to other presidents?
MEACHAM: Well, no president has ever had as much legislative experience, 36 years in Senate, eight years in the vice presidency.
LEMON: None. No one?
MEACHAM: Would never had -- no, no one with that legislative experience. He is our oldest president. He is our most experienced legislator, been in public life since 1972. And so he has been around a lot of these things. I can't think of anybody with comparable experience who's been there. Experience doesn't necessarily translate into success, but, you know, he knows where the men's room is on Capitol Hill.
LEMON: Okay. What about the optics of the president on Capitol Hill, meeting with all these different groups with within his party? Does he look like he's in control or losing it to progressives?
You know, look, I like seeing the president on Capitol Hill talking to people. I think it -- I think it's really important, so I don't -- maybe I characterize it wrong. I'm not sure if you see it as losing to progressives.
MEACHAM: I suspect people in America today -- we read into things what we want to read into them. I think people like President Biden see that as a wise thing to do, go up and look folks in the eye. As we know in our own lives, it's hardest, particularly if you're a politician to tell somebody know when you're looking at them. It gets easier when you're writing or on the phone.
And so a politician's unit of commerce is to create the appearance of a bond of affection and respect that then manifest itself in (INAUDIBLE). That's what politicians do. They don't -- they like the notion of fighting. But when they're in a room, you know, it's very hard to be in a room with a lot of politicians because everyone is embracing, right? It is the most (INAUDIBLE) thing you can imagine.
And I think having him there was a signal of the significance that he ascribes to this moment. And if it makes a difference, we'll see it in the vote (ph).
LEMON: Jon, thank you. Have a good weekend. Always a pleasure.
MEACHAM: Thank you.
LEMON: Thanks. So where is Brian Laundrie? Well, there are new reports of multiple sightings all along the Appalachian Trail.
LEMON (on camera): So tonight, a North Carolina sheriff tells CNN that they are monitoring tips about alleged sightings of Gabby Petito's fiancee, Brian Laundrie. The alleged sightings are coming just miles away from a major hiking trail. That as new questions are cropping up over his family's camping trip days before he went missing.
Jean Casarez has the latest.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New questions tonight about Brian Laundrie and his interactions with family in the days around the disappearance of Gabby Petito. Brian and his parents visited the Fort De Soto campground the weekend of September 6, according to their attorney, who now tells CNN Brian's sister, Cassie, was also with them for a day. Cassie spoke to ABC News in an interview that aired September 17th.
CASSIE LAUNDRIE, SISTER OF BRIAN LAUNDRIE: We haven't been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him. I've cooperated every way that I can.
CASAREZ (voice-over): CNN obtained records showing Laundrie's mother cancelled the camping reservation made for two people on August 31st, the day before Brian returned home without Gabby. Later that week, she made a new reservation for three people.
This as new body cam footage is providing insight into the strained relationship between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie. Officers in Utah caught up with the couple in mid-August after a witness called police to report a domestic dispute.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): So there's two people that came to us and told us that they saw him hit you.
CASAREZ (voice-over): In the back of the police car, 22-year-old Petito tearfully claimed she is the one who initiated that fight. After a few quick questions about her injuries --
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Kind of looks like someone, like, hit you in the face. And then over in your arm, shoulder, right here? That's new, huh? That's kind of a new mark?
GABBY PETITO, VICTIM OF HOMICIDE: Oh, yeah, I don't know.
CASAREZ (voice-over): The officers turned their focus on Petito's actions instead.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Were you attempting to cause him physical pain or physical impairment? What was the reason behind the slapping and stuff?
PETITO: I was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down.
CASAREZ (voice-over): For nearly an hour, the police questioned the couple about their relationship separately and determined Laundrie is the victim.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): So at this point, you're the victim of domestic assault.
CASAREZ (voice-over): It is something even Laundrie finds surprising.
BRIAN LAUNDRIE, SUBJECT OF NATIONWIDE MANHUNT LED BY FBI: I'm not going to pursue anything because she is my fiancee. I love her. It's just a little squabble.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Ultimately, Laundrie is sent to a hotel for the night and the police deem the interaction a mental health crisis.
PETITO: I don't want to be separated.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): You going to have anxiety?
PETITO: Yeah, no we're a team, please.
CASAREZ (on camera): What everyone wants to know is when will the autopsy be complete? What is the official cause of death? And will that help get investigators answers to their many questions? Don.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
LEMON (on camera): Jean Casarez, thank you so much. Appreciate that.
So joining me now is Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg. Dave, thank you. Good to see you once again this evening.
LEMON: The Watauga County sheriff in North Carolina has received tips about alleged sightings of Brian Laundrie in the area. The sheriff doesn't put a lot of validity to the sightings but they are taking them seriously. They have to. How important are tips like these from the public and how do you decide which ones to pursue, which ones are legit, so on?
DAVE ARONBERG, STATE ATTORNEY, PALM BEACH COUNTY: Yeah. Good evening, Don. They are really important because remember, we have only about 850,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the country with a population of over 300 million.
So, we depend upon tips from civilians. Law enforcement can't do it themselves. That even includes dog, the bounty hunter, which I think shows that he is now involved. Maybe we are really living in a computer simulation. Someone is just inserting a reality star in the mix. It has just a whole 2020 vibe to it.
But I think we depend and we need civilians to speak up. That's why we always say, if you see something, say something. But the one drawback is that it really will keep law enforcement busy because as many good tips you get, you get that many more bad tips, and so it can send a limited resources on wild goose chases in some instances.
LEMON (on camera): I want to play some of the new body cam footage that was released where Gabby admits that Brian did hit her. Here it is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Did he hit you? I mean it is okay if you're saying you hit him. I understand if he hit you. But we want to know the truth. Did he actually hit you?
PETITO: I guess. I hit him first.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Where did he hit you? Don't worry. Be honest.
PETITO: He grabbed my face. It was like -- I guess -- he didn't like hit me in the face.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Did he slap your face or what?
PETITO: Well, like he grabbed like with his nail and I guess it is why it looks -- it's like it is healing.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Yeah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So, as she said, she admitted that he grabbed her face and then scratched her. What goes through your mind when you watch that? Do police officers appear to be trained to look for signs of domestic violence? To me, it seems so, but I wonder what you think.
ARONBERG: Yeah. That was a troubling video because throughout the video, it does seem like they were closer to arresting Gabby than Brian. And now that you see Gabby admitting that, yes, Brian did grab my face, he put his nail in her cheek and left a mark, and yet still they had to be talked out of arresting Gabby because Brian was like, hey, I don't want anyone arrested. They made him out to be more the victim.
You got to look at this separately. What you have to do, Don, is know the fact that there was also a report that Brian was locking Gabby out of the van, a van that she owned in part or in whole. Plus, there was a report that he was trying to grab her phone. These were things he's not allowed to do.
So you combine that with the fact that he apparently grabbed her face and there were two witnesses that said that he slapped her. You have to wonder why he wasn't arrested. At the very least, I think there was probable cause to arrest him that day.
LEMON: We continue to learn more about the actions of Brian's parents after he returned home from this trip without Gabby. Are the laundries doing a pretty good job of implicating themselves here?
ARONBERG: Oh, they're doing a great job of incriminating themselves in the court of public opinion. But in the court of law, you need more. It is not just enough that they lawyered up or they are staying silent. That is not enough to charge them with a crime. But if they knew that Brian committed a crime and they tried to prevent his arrest or punishment in some way, then they could be charged with accessory after the fact.
So if they tried to sanitize the van or destroy evidence or if they get him a plane ticket to get out of dodge, then the law enforcement officers can be showing up in their driveway with a shiny new pair of handcuffs.
LEMON: Thank you, Dave. I appreciate it.
ARONBERG: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: School boards say that the threats against them are getting so bad that they need help from the FBI. Stay with us.
LEMON (on camera): A threat to -- it is so serious, I should say. A school board group is asking FBI, Homeland Security, and the Justice Department for help. The National School Board Association sending President Biden letter, saying, and I quote here, "As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes."
Terrorism and hate crimes? That is what our school boards are facing? Let's just listen to just some of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Calm down.
UNKNOWN: Calm down.
UNKNOWN: We know who you are.
UNKNOWN: We know who you are. You can leave freely, but we can find you, and we know who you are.
UNKNOWN: I'm going to come for everybody that comes at my kid with this stupid, ridiculous mandate.
UNKNOWN: We are the storm. We are here already. When this whole thing crumbles to the ground, we will be here to hold you accountable for your crimes against humanity.
UNKNOWN: No more mask! No more mask! No more mask!
UNKNOWN: Okay, right here. Look, right here.
UNKNOWN: So, as you can see, fists are flying. All of this on live television. Fists are flying.
UNKNOWN: You are allowing child abuse. You are allowing child abuse. You are allowing child abuse. You, with your snotty little face, you're allowing it as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Parents. Joining me now to discuss is Chip Slaven. He is the interim executive director and chief executive officer of the National School Board Association. Also Nikki Hudson, a member of the Worthington School Board.
Good evening. I'm so glad both of you could join us this evening. It's -- parents always acted that way? I have no idea. It just seems -- just beyond. Nikki, you personally have been on the receiving end of some of these threats. In the letter to Biden, the NSBA referenced that you got this mail, and I quote here.
"We are coming after you and all the members on Board of Education. You are forcing them to wear masks for no reason in this world other than control. And for that, you will pay dearly."
I mean, what is it like getting this letter as someone who is trying to take care of kids, help kids?
NIKKI HUDSON, MEMBER, WORTHINGTON SCHOOL BOARD: It is deeply disturbing, Don. You know, in part because of the fact that it is a threat against, like you said, individuals who are trying to make these decisions, decisions that are in the best interest of our students and public health.
It is being directed as us who are members of this community, who have children in our school district. And also, I mean, there are other things in that letter. And so it is also because of the amount of hate and intimidation and racism that are woven within these threats.
LEMON: Yeah. Chip, does this all start with the pandemic? I said that, you know, parents always acted this way. But this started with the pandemic or your group seen an uptick in these threats before 2020?
CHIP SLAVEN, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NSBA: Well, I really think there were three things. You are already -- we are in a volatile national election prior to the pandemic. And the pandemic hit. It shut the buildings down, obviously changed schools dramatically. And then you have, I think, the economic impact of that. That also affected many people's lives.
I would say that this isn't necessarily parents. I think they are rogue individuals who are showing up at these meetings with a set of an agenda. They're creating all of these problems. The clips you just showed, they are so disturbing. But there are so many other incidents like that that haven't even been reported.
And what we want to do is try and get the nation to take a step back, to take a deep breath, to get back to that concept that we can disagree, but then the meeting ends and we can go away agreeably. We've got to get back to that civil discourse.
Whatever your position is on masks, whether you're pro-mask or anti- mask, we can't have these disruptions. Our children are watching all of this. And frankly, they are the ones that are being the good influence right now. We need to follow their lead to get us through this pandemic.
LEMON: Yeah. Chip, it's not just COVID, safety measures, right? I mean, you've seen plenty of threats coming because of the critical race theory. I mean, tell us what you are seeing, please.
SLAVEN: Well, we're seeing a lot of things, for example, a critical race theory is not something that's even taught in K-12 schools. It is a subject taught at the high-level in law school and graduate school. So, we're combatting that misinformation around things like that, around, various things, related to the pandemic, and trying to protect students when they are in school, to protect teachers, and to make sure, importantly, that, you know, there is a positive environment for students.
When we have schools lockdown in Washington State because protesters have showed up while the students are inside trying to learn, that is a real problem and they are not isolated incidents. And we've -- we simply need to do something about it. And that's why we sent a letter. It was in part just to call attention. You know, we cited about 20 incidents in this letter. We could have cited a lot more.
But we also do believe that there is a proper role to support local and state law enforcement and public schools from the federal government to ensure we're getting the best information, we have resources available, and that we're following this issue closely and staying within coordination of each other.
LEMON: You know, Nikki, beyond the threats, this is -- has to be, you know, very stressful time for you and for your colleagues. The pandemic has been stressful for everyone. You have to make a lot of decisions with, you know, little and often changing information to keep student safe and staff safe, as a matter of fact, in your community.
So, what has that been like? What do you want people out there to know about what your -- what you guys have been doing and what you're dealing with?
HUDSON: I want people to understand that, you know, we're humans who are doing our best, right, to understand that we have been through the pandemic as well, and we make the best decisions we can with the information that we have, like you said, for the best interest of our students, and our teachers, and our community because what happens in the school then impacts families at home, and vice versa.
And you know, in the words of my 12-year-old, we were talking about this tonight, she said, it's as if people don't understand there's an actual human on the other end of their actions or their words. So, I agree, which -- it is a time to remember that we need to engage civilly and with respect and decency, and that it's okay that we disagree. We need to do that and model for children that we can do that in a productive manner and in a manner which we can actually hear each other. And you can't hear people who are screaming at school board meetings. You can't hear people who are doing the Nazi salute at board meetings, and equating you to Nazis because you're -- you have a mask mandate for public health.
That -- I don't feel like that is in attempt actually to be heard. I think it is an attempt to make a show. And the letter -- the letter says like it's not just a show. It's, you know, we're gonna come after you and get rid of you one way or another, and then we're gonna run people against you. So, it's across the nation.
LEMON: Yeah. Nikki, Chip, thank you for your time. Please keep us updated, OK? Please be safe.
HUDSON: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you so much.
HUDSON: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: So, we had a heart attack and traumatic -- and the traumatic brain injury after being assaulted at the Capitol. And now, the man who assaulted Officer Michael Fanone is being charged. More, next.
LEMON: A federal judge has ruled that a man charged with assaulting D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone will remain in jail awaiting trial. Prosecutors say Thomas Sibick was spotted on police body camera footage, ripping away Fanone's badge and radio while he lay on the ground outside of the capital. Fanone collapsed after the attack, and was hospitalized.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson says that Sibick took, quote, "unique, purposeful, independent actions to reach in and grab at Fanone's equipment." Officer Fanone has talked on this show about how horrible that day was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: Yeah. I mean, I experienced the most brutal, savage, hand-to-hand combat, of my entire life, let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades. It was nothing that I had, ever thought would be a part of my law enforcement career and nor was I prepared to experience.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Officer Fanone was tased. He had a heart attack and a traumatic brain injury. He was left on the ground before a fellow officer could save him. But Sibick has argued in court that he tried to help Fanone as all of the chaos -- in all the chaos.
Well, the judge, not buying it though. She says, and I quote here, "he may be a helpful human being in life, but he was not helping on January 6th."
Next, massive delays coming to the post office with the Trump- appointed postmaster still at the helm. What you can expect and why? Right after this.
LEMON: Starting today, Americans across the country could start seeing slowdowns in mail delivery from the United States Postal Service, the slowdown part of the controversial postmaster general's plan to modernize the USPS.
CNN's Kristen Holmes has all of the details.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After more than a year of complaints nationwide about the snail-like pace of mail delivery.
UNKNOWN: They should figure out a way to get it there on time.
HOLMES: It's about to get worse.
UNKNOWN: I feel like we already wait so much.
HOLMES: The cause? Trump-era Post Master General Lois DeJoy's 10-year plan starts today and it promises to increase the delivery time for first-class mail from three days to five. Experts say this will mostly affect mail traveling long distances, the postal service relying more on ground transportation than planes.
According to a "Washington Post" analysis, western states will experience the brunt of these changes. Seventy percent of first-class mail sent to Nevada will be delayed, 58 percent delayed to Washington State, and 57 percent to Montana. Florida will see massive delays with 60 percent of deliveries. Dejoy says the plan will save money.
LOUIS DEJOY, U.S. POSTMASTER GENERAL: It is a path to financial sustainability and service excellence.
HOLMES: Lawmakers pushing back.
UNKNOWN: Medical shipments have gone missing, many small businesses cannot get their products to customers.
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): I've gotten complaints from families who didn't get birthday cards from grandma to their grandchild or notices about things that they needed to get to on time.
HOLMES: As well as members of the postal service board of governors.
RONALD STROMAN, MEMBER, UPSP BOARD OF GOVERNORS: Intentionally slowing first-class mail and package delivery by changing service standards is strategically ill-conceived, creates dangerous risks that are not justified by the relatively low financial return and doesn't meet our responsibility as an essential part of America's critical infrastructure.
HOLMES: DeJoy remains mired in controversy, a staple of his tenure. The Trump hold over and Republican mega donor came under fire during the 2020 election as Democrats accused him of intentionally sabotaging the postal service and slowing down delivery amid unprecedented mail- in voting.
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into DeJoy's political fund-raising in contribution when he was in the private sector. DeJoy denies all accusations.
Democrats have called for President Biden to get rid of DeJoy. While Biden doesn't have the power to fire him, he can replace the board that does. But the president has shown no interest in doing that.
Earlier this year, he nominated three people to vacant seats on the postal service board of governors, but the majority installed on the board under former President Trump standing behind DeJoy.
The postmaster general telling lawmakers, he's not going anywhere.
UNKNOWN: Well, how much longer are you planning to stay?
DEJOY: A long time. Get used to me.
HOLMES: Kristen Holmes, CNN, Washington.
LEMON: And thank you for watching. Our coverage continues.