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Don Lemon Tonight

Terry McAuliffe's Poll Close With Opponent; Congressman Adam Kinzinger Retiring From Congress; Candidates Have Their Own Style In Campaigning; Investigators Still Not Done With The "Rust" Movie Incident; FDA Gives Green Light To COVID Vaccine For Children. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 29, 2021 - 22:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): All right. I'm going to be in Rome all weekend as part of CNN's coverage of the G20 summit, so as they say here ci vediamo domani, domani, I'll see you tomorrow beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern.

But right now, DON LEMON TONIGHT starts with its big star, D. Lemon. You got the President of the United States saying drinks are on you to the pope and telling him a story about Satchel Paige. What a day.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: What a day. Two of the most famous Catholics, right, in the world right now. The biggest Catholics in the world getting together. I thought it was interesting. I kind of want to relate to what is happening where we live because we know, someone we know, Father Beck who, you know, weighed in on this and now all of a sudden is not at his perish out on Long Island on Montauk near where we live. And so, I hope that the folks there are listening because a lot of people are upset that he's gone for saying something that the pope cleared up today. Do you disagree?

CUOMO: The pope has now said it twice. He called Joe Biden again. You know, look, people are like what he said -- pope, if you either respect the history and tradition or you don't. We don't hear a pope say someone is a good Catholic.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: For him to say that to Joe Biden as really him trying to be instructive of a point. It's like literally, he was saying to the U.S. bishops it's the second time I've told you this now. This guy can get communion. Focus on something else.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: And it will be interesting to see whether or not they heed Francis' call.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, I'll say sometimes church people can be really churchy and that's the church that I go to on the internet a lot, and that is the Potter's House in Dallas, Texas with Bishop T.D. Jakes. But sometimes church people can be the most judgmental. I'm just saying. Sometimes Christians can the most judgmental and maybe we should think about that when we're making these calls and making this edict.

But I got to tell you, the president has a lot on his plate there and he's got a lot on his plate back home. When you get back, when do you come back? Monday or so? We'll be covering the election.


LEMON: You'll be dealing with that. So, there is a lot going on.

CUOMO: So first real measure of the projection of Democratic power. Look, you know, I know we all have, you know, you and me both we have people on here, the Democrats spinning that this is a good thing that's going on it's robust conversation. We're going to see in this Virginia race if the masses are meet -- are going to match the media spin.


CUOMO: Because Terry McAuliffe has no business being locked up in a tied race --

LEMON: With Youngkin.

CUOMO: -- with Glenn Youngkin.


CUOMO: He's a popular former governor there. Virginia is blue. Biden won it by 10 points. The Democrats don't think that this process has hurt them. I think they may see a different lesson in Tuesday's election.

LEMON: I don't disagree with you. I think if they were going to have that message, this is the process, this is the way democracy works, then that should have been the messaging from the very beginning and it shouldn't have been all of this arbitrary deadlines and maybe they could be winning with that message.

This is how a democracy should work. We are going to negotiate, and we're going to have as many voices participate as possible. But instead, they gave deadlines and said they didn't meet this deadline, they didn't meet that deadline. What do Democrats do when they can't get it together? And now that is the message and the narrative that's pouring out.

I'll let you go. Go can go and buy some drinks for you or for anybody else or for the pope or the president. I love you. I'll see you later.

CUOMO: Yes, the pope's house is right behind me.

LEMON: I'll see you. Thank you, sir.

So, this is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Thank you so much for joining us. All eyes are on Virginia, it is the key race, the race for governor

and the decision day is just four days away as we have been discussing. The outcome will likely have far-reaching implications on our national politics. It could be an early indicator about which way our country is heading.

The Democrat in this race, Terry McAuliffe on the left of your screen versus Republican Glenn Youngkin on the right. The race is really neck and neck. The latest poll by the Washington Post and Schar -- and the Schar School has McAuliffe at a -- at 49 percent. Youngkin 48. That's really neck and neck, right?

That's in line with earlier polling by Monmouth University and CBS although a late Fox News poll shows Glen Youngkin ahead. So, let me say this. Just so you know, all right, I'm not here to endorse one candidate over another. That is for Virginia's voters to decide.

What I am doing here though I'm trying to point out to you how important this, what is at stakes here, what it indicates, how voters in Virginia could be a microcosm for the larger American electorate. Just one year out from the important 2022 midterm elections.

Democrats desperately want McAuliffe to win Virginia, and tonight his campaign getting a big boost from the Vice President Kamala Harris.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now you all know that every four years when this election happens for governor of Virginia, it's a tight election. It's a close election.


And it is a bellwether for what happens in the rest of the country. What happened in Virginia? Well, in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024 and on.


LEMON (on camera): So let me just point out the obvious hovering over this race is a specter of the former president and Terry McAuliffe who was leading but has slipped in the polls is trying to convince Virginia voters that a vote for Glenn Youngkin is a vote for you know who.


TERRY MCAULIFFE (D-VA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: He encouraged the speculation that Donald Trump could be reinstated to office.

Donald Trump.

Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has endorsed Glenn Youngkin.

Donald Trump.

Donald Trump.

We don't need a lap dog for Donald Trump.


LEMON (on camera): Just a few days ago, McAuliffe campaigned with President Biden who beat his predecessor by 10 points in Virginia, but now in that same state, this race is neck and neck. Biden is also pushing Youngkin right into Trump's corner.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Terry's opponent has made all of his private pledges of loyalty to Donald Trump and what's really interesting to me, he won't stand next to Donald Trump now that the campaign is on. Think about it. He won't allow Donald Trump to campaign for him in this state.


LEMON (on camera): Well, the Democrats' strategy worked. Will it work? We'll find out soon enough. Tuesday night to be specific and we're going to cover it for you all night. So, like I said, McAuliffe has been slipping in the polls. He wanted Biden's infrastructure and social spending bills passed by now and maybe even more than the president did.

He pleaded with Democrats in Congress to get it done. It's close but it's not there yet and too late for McAuliffe where voters have been casting ballots for weeks now.

For his part, Youngkin is trying to keep his distance from the former president and he didn't want to campaign with him.


GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, he's not coming and in fact, we're campaigning as Virginians in Virginia with Virginians.


LEMON (on camera): His strategy has been to rile up voters about what kids are being taught in schools and throwing in some fear and lies about critical race theory. It may be working. It's gaining in the polls. Again, we'll know on Tuesday, we're going to know how voters feel.

But one thing is for certain, one thing is for sure, if Youngkin wins Trump is going to take credit and claim momentum ahead of next year's midterms and a possible second run for the White House in 2024.

And the Democrats will have lost a state that President Biden won by 10 points just one year ago. So yes, there is a lot at stake in this race. Repercussions nationwide and elections to come.

We're also learning today that Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois is not seeking reelection, he is retiring from Congress. That is too bad because Kinzinger, a Republican is a fierce critic of the former president, one of very few who are willing to stand up to his slash and burn stale politics and who stands up for the truth and who stands up for our democracy. That's why it's a real shame.

Kinzinger is one of only 10 Republicans in the House to vote to impeach the former president and he's one of the only two Republicans along with Liz Cheney to agree to sit on the select committee investigating the deadly January 6th investigation making his announcement today and saying this.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): This country is in an incredibly perilous time because in this day to prevail or survive, you must belong to a tribe. Dehumanizing each other has become the norm. We've taken it from social media to the streets.


LEMON (on camera): He's right. Dehumanizing behavior has become the norm. I'm going to give you some examples. So, bear with me. Followers of the former president fed a constant stream of lies that the election was stolen. Thought it was OK to storm the capitol on January 6th.


UNKNOWN: Where do they go?

UNKNOWN: These people.


LEMON (on camera): Dehumanizing behavior. Five people died that yet. Yet, some of Kinzinger's GOP colleagues in the House amazingly out right dismissing the violence.


REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): There was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection in my opinion is a boldface lie.

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): Out right propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding U.S. citizens especially Trump voters. As a result, the DOJ is harassing peaceful patriots across the country.


It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others. UNKNOWN: When I see this sheet on our timeline and on the, let's see,

OK, at 2.07 a mob of Trump supporters breached the steps. I don't know who did a poll that is Trump supporters.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): There have been things worse than people without any firearms coming into a building.


LEMON (on camera): Adam Kinzinger calling out the former president without saying his name.


KINZINGER: We have allowed leaders to reach power selling the false premise that strength comes from degrading others and dehumanizing those that look, act or think differently than we do.


LEMON (on camera): It also applies to members of Congress who rather than debating issues on the floor of the House, which is their job, scream at their opponents on the steps of the capitol.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): You held a baby up until birth is lack of civility. Called murder. How about the border down there? Lack of civility. How about lack of laws or protecting and upholding our Constitution?


REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): We have lots of laws we follow, and you should practice the basic thing you're taught in church, respect your neighbor.


LEMON (on camera): GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene's egregious behavior is embarrassing, a member of Congress yelling at a colleague in public but sadly, not unusual anymore according to Adam Kinzinger.


KINZINGER: In Congress, I've witnessed how division is heavily rooted. There is little to no desire to bridge our differences and unity is no longer a word we use.


LEMON (on camera): So, where do we go from here? Where we go is really important. More important than ever. And when truth telling democracy defending Republicans don't think there is a place for them in their party anymore, it's time for the GOP to do some real soul searching. Think that will happen? I'll let you decide.

Now, just four days to go until the election and a very important election for governor in Virginia, up next, the experts weigh in on a race that is too close to call tonight.


HARRIS: Watch what's happening around this country. This is no joke. You think they don't think and watching this around the country think if we can take Virginia, we can do this a lot of other places? Don't let Virginia be an experiment.




LEMON (on camera): Four days to go until they decide the governor of Virginia. Voters are going to decide who is going to be their next governor. Just how important are the current and former presidents in the race?

Joining me now to discuss Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, and Mark McKinnon, the former advisor to George W. Bush and John McCain. He's the executive producer of The Circus. Look, one of my favorite people is here.


LEMON: I'm kidding, guys. Good to see both of you. Glad to have you on a Friday night. Larry, I'm going to start with you. Virginia, you know it like the back of your hand just days from the election. A new Washington Post poll has Youngkin and McAuliffe in a tight race. Come Tuesday, what do you expect?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: I expect it to be close and competitive and tight just like that is. I have to tell you, you often look and Mark has seen this so many times. You look to campaigns themselves to see what their mood is. You can read some things into it may be accurately.

The Republicans here are just through the roof with excitement and the crowds are large for Youngkin. They feel like they're finally on the verge of victory after losing everything for a decade. The Democrats are tense, they're nervous, they can't believe they're in this position where it's extremely close. They hadn't expected it this way. Now that doesn't necessarily mean Youngkin will win and McAuliffe will lose but it tells you this campaign has ended up in an unexpected place, probably for both sides.

LEMON: Yes. So, momentum, momentum, Mark, where do you pin McAuliffe's lack of momentum? How much of it can you put on President Biden's falling approval ratings or the stalled domestic agenda? Does that have anything to do with it? MCKINNON: I think it's part of it, Don. But as Larry said, there is

data out there supporting the notion that the race is tightened up. But you know, I spent a lot of time on the ground there last week and the week before and just as a guy who has been in a lot of campaigns, one of the things I look for is where is, as Larry said, where is the momentum? Where can you feel the kind of wind, who's got the wind at their back and it's absolutely the Youngkin campaign.

Their rallies have, you know, it feels very organic. People are very excited. You go to the McAuliffe rallies and it's very flat, very down. And you nkow, what's happened in this race is that Youngkin has done a really good job of keeping Trump out of it, keeping it very localize, making it into Tip O'Neill all politics as local race.

And McAuliffe has made it nationalized and it's all about Trump and, you know, plus the problem is that McAuliffe is just been around the track a lot. He's an older generation, he's not a new face, not necessarily the best nominee for the Democratic Party in the current era.

LEMON: Yes. Hey, let me ask you, Larry, what about early voting or mail in voting? Is that -- will that make a difference, and whose favor is that?

SABATO: Well, it's certainly going to make a big difference. It may not make the difference. We're going to have well over a million early votes in Virginia. It just started a system where you can vote early either in person or by mail if the mail is ever delivered.


And a million plus people will have done that by election day. But the overall turnout will be, my guess is, two and a half million, three million. So, a majority of the vote will still be cast on election day. The early vote all the modelling and both sides pretty much agree with this, the modelling suggest that Democrats have an edge of maybe 60/40 somewhere in that vicinity. They're the 60, Republicans are the 40.

So, if McAuliffe pulls it out, it's going to be because they banked a heck of a lot of early votes maybe before the race became closer people even focused on Youngkin. The voting began September 17th. That was a long time ago.

LEMON: Yes. Yes. That was a long time ago. Mark, Youngkin was first seen as your Romney type GOP candidate but the final stretch of this campaign is been fueled by the fight over parental rights, critical race theory. Listen to this.


YOUNGKIN: So, friends, on day one I will ban critical race theory from our schools. We're going to give parents choice in our public school system.

(APPLAUSE) YOUNGKIN: But friends, we know, it all starts, it all starts with


But we will not teach our children to actually compete against one another based on race.

Terry McAuliffe wants to put government between parents and children.


LEMON (on camera): It's amazing to me, Mark, how Democrats have a message of winning and we want to help the country, we want to get, you know, free nursery school, get kids in school and parents and childcare, they can't win with that but the Republicans can win with something that's not happening because he's hitting a nerve with voters.

Recent poll show that -- show education climbing and important among voters even if it's hogwash, right, that he's talking about critical race theory which is not being taught. He's winning on the culture war front.

MCKINNON: Well, they are doing something very interesting, Don. Yes, the fact is that he's put his thumb on an issue which is really hot not just in Virginia but all across the country and that's education broadly because of COVID, because of school boards, all kinds of issues.

Cultural race theory is a kind of dog whistle that they use very artfully, the Youngkin campaign. It's interesting, you heard him talk about it there. But they have run zero ads that mention critical race theory. They talk about parental control; they talk about lots of other things, but they don't mention critical race theory. So that's directed at the base.

The broader parental involvement message is for independents, you have conservative Democrats and Republicans. It's interesting, you know, they try to keep that below the radar but we had on our show Alex Wagner, my co-host interviews -- interviewed a woman who's been very prominent in the critical race theory advocacy in Virginia and it was interesting that --


LEMON: Hey, Mark, can we play that for you? Let's play it.


LEMON: Let's play that.



UNKNOWN: I've seen what the training looks like. They call it culturally responsive training. It is definitely racist. They are putting down the child for the color of their skin.

UNKNOWN: Where do you see evidence of that?

UNKNOWN: One particular sixth-grade at a middle school here, it was a rap song pushing the slaughter of the Native Americans. The lyrics of the song was putting down Andrew Jackson at the time.

UNKNOWN: Well, I mean, I think a lot of people would credit Andrew Jackson with the genocide of --

UNKNOWN: Yes, yes.

UNKNOWN: -- the native population.

UNKNOWN: Yes, but how do you discuss it without --

UNKNOWN: Denigrating whiteness.

UNKNOWN: Yes. Like, at what point do you forgive and stop segregating?


LEMON (on camera): Mark?

MCKINNON: Well, the interesting thing about her point of view is that when we went to interview her, she's not a rogue character. She actually got the sign off from the campaign to talk to us. So, the clip goes on for awhile and believe me, it gets very controversial, Don, as she says, you know, that Black kids aren't judged on the color of their skin and it's how they dress and that they aren't respectful to police and that's why they get arrested and it goes on and on.

But my point is the Youngkin campaign signed off on her being a surrogate for them.

LEMON: Wow. Larry, what did you think of that?

SABATO: Well, Don, I just want to add one thing. You know, Mark is young and you're young but I'm ancient and I have been here in Virginia since the 1960s and I've noticed one little thing. Every time a Republican is either behind or in a really close race, they find a way to drag race into the campaign. Every time. Every time. Sometimes it's immigrants. Sometimes it's blacks. Sometimes it's Latinos, other groups.

And this critical race theory discussion and Mark is right, it isn't in the ads, it's in the stump speeches. Critical race theory is a way of speaking to whites and saying to whites don't let the blacks take over.


They have already taken over. They have already taken over. Stop them. This is your chance to stop them. And I can consider that repulsive whether you're for a candidate's conservative philosophy or against. Why does race always have to be dragged into it?

LEMON: Well, can you answer that question? Why do you think?

SABATO: Because whites are still a large majority and maybe some are concerned about the fact that the society is moving toward a multi- racial society in the 2040s and they're concerned about their position in society and they want to make sure they're still on top.

LEMON: Same question, Mark.

MCKINNON: I think -- I think Larry is exactly right. I mean, what's happening is that they are losing the majority status and they think the only way to maintain power in a diversified culture is to double down on these kind of messages, which they think will amp up the diminishing white turnout that they had.

LEMON: There is no lack of material for either of you for the polls and for your show. Thank you, gentlemen. I'll see you next week and we'll be talking about this. Have a great weekend. I'll be watching this weekend as well, Mark. Thank you. Thank you.

MCKINNON: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: So, a fierce Trump critic Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger not running for reelection. Will there be anyone left in the GOP to call out the B.S.



LEMON (on camera): Another vocal Trump critic leaving congress. Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger announcing today that he won't run for reelection in 2022. Taking shots at the former president and his enablers and a retirement message.


KINZINGER: We have allowed leaders to reach power, selling the false premise that strength comes from degrading others, and dehumanizing those that look, act, or think differently than we do.

It has become increasingly obvious to me that as the country, we must unplug from the mistruths we have been fed. I cannot focus on both a reelection to Congress, and a broader fight nationwide.


LEMON (on camera): So, joining me now, CNN global affairs analyst, Mr. Max Boot. Max, good to see you. Good evening to you.

So Kinzinger was one of the top, you know, one of the Trump 10, Ok, one of the Trump 10, I should say, the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment. Now two of them are not seeking reelection, the rest are facing primary challenges, some backed by Trump. Will any of them be able to survive in the Trump GOP? MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: That's a great question, Don. I

mean, today, Trump said two down, eight to go. And he may get the other eight too. I mean, they are all facing very tough challenges, including Liz Cheney who has multiple challengers lining up to run against her.

I think it's very tough to be a patriot in today's Republican Party, because anybody who stands up for our democracy and for the Constitution is driven out. That's not what the Republican Party wants, they want Trump. People who will back the big lie, people who will back Donald Trump. Because pretty much the only thing holding the Republican Party together right now, is loyalty to Donald Trump.

LEMON: You know, Kinzinger was once seen as the future of the GOP. Served in the air force, he's a foreign policy expert, and at least for now he is not seeking reelection. He says he wants to -- he can't run, and then, you know, tried to make a broader change within the Republican Party, or within the system there.

I mean, what do you -- what do you think? Is this the Republican Party eating its own? Or politics eating its own? The big lie and all of that?

BOOT: Yes, absolutely. I mean -- I mean, absolutely, Don. There is almost no room in today's Republican Party for anybody who stands up to Trump. I mean, there is a handful of exceptions like Larry Hogan who are governors in blue states, but if you have a Republican district, or if you represent a Republican state, the voters expect you to be 100 percent loyal to Trump.

I mean, you have polls showing that, you know, something like 70 to 80 percent of Republicans want Donald Trump to vote again, and well over 60 percent believe the big lie, believe that Trump actually won the last election. I mean, this is just collective madness which has seized the party and anybody who is saying doesn't belong --


LEMON: I mean, Max, there is absolutely no evidence. The evidence all points in the other direction, even when they have the fraudits, and they do, you know, recount after recount, and it shows that none of what Trump is saying and the people who believe the big lie, none of it is true. I don't understand it. What -- what is that?

BOOT: You know, it's a collective madness, Don, which has seized the Republican Party. I mean, you've had, you know, other moments in history where people have fallen in behind authoritarian leaders who promised fantastical things and their followers, the followers have believed what seems to outsiders to be, you know, literally insane promises, or nonsensical arguments.

I mean, this is just basically a cult. It's a massive madness which is gripping the Republican Party. And it's frightening to behold.

[22:35:05] LEMON: It's really, it's fascinating just as an observer. And frustrating as an observer just watching it. Republicans are running on the culture wars. You can see it what's happening in Virginia with Glenn Youngkin. Listen to what Ted Cruz, he was defending -- what he was defending in a hearing with Merrick Garland this week. Watch this.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): During this hearing, I counted 20 incidents, cited. Of the 20, 15 on their face are nonviolent. They involve things like insults, they involve a Nazi salute. That's one of the examples. My God, a parent did a Nazi salute at the school board because they thought the policies were oppressive. General Garland, is doing a Nazi salute an elected official is that protected by the first amendment?



LEMON (on camera): OK. What is interesting is that what he was pointing out there had no truth. What he was saying about that memo, there was absolutely no truth to it. It's absurd the hysteria over masks and critical race theory has gone so far that an elected senator is defending a Nazi salute as a form of protest, and basically mischaracterizing the memo that he is using it to do that. do you understand what I'm saying?

BOOT: Yes, it's bizarre, Don, that this is the ground that Ted Cruz chooses to pick a fight. That he is, you know, enraged about a Nazi salute, and he is berating the Jewish U.S. attorney general to get him to agree that it's OK to do a Nazi salute. I mean, it's just astonishing --


BOOT: -- for (Inaudible) politics and this Republican Party and it may well be at a political of what may be vindicated, you know, all this hysteria in Virginia over a high school senior reading a Tony Morrison novel, it's kind of paying off for Glenn Youngkin.

But you know, Don, the point I want to stress here is this. That is not the issue in Virginia, it is not the issue all around the country. The issue is very simple, do you support or oppose Donald Trump's war on American democracy? And it's pretty clear that Glenn Youngkin and a lot of other Republicans don't have the courage to oppose Trump's war on democracy. And those who do like Adam Kinzinger are on their way out.

LEMON: Yes. Max, always a pleasure. It's good to see you. Thank you.

BOOT: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: The armorer on the movie set where Alec Baldwin fatally shot a crew member is breaking her silence. Her attorney is saying that she has no idea where the live ammo came from -- ammo came from.



LEMON (on camera): Multiple revolver -- revolvers, a rifle, and a replica firearm all seized from the set of "Rust" in New Mexico. Investigators executing a search warrant on the prop truck. Also, grabbing photos, ammunition, a spent blank round, and an empty box of ammo.

So, joining me now Sheriff Adan Mendoza of Santa Fe County. Thank you, sheriff. I appreciate you joining us.


LEMON: So listen there is a lot here. There is a lot here. I think the real question is, where did that round come from?

MENDOZA: Well, I think that is the focus of our investigation. How the round got there, who brought it there, and why it was there. Those are the questions that we want answered. I think that's the focus of our investigation.

LEMON: And no one has any clue about how that round got there? Because, you have all of these items. Tell me about these items that you found. And there are still more to the search on the set.

MENDOZA: Right. So, the third search warrant that we did was yesterday, we did search the prop truck and there were several firearms that were seized from the vehicle, along with more ammunition. And right now, we are going through that evidence, and we are processing it to determine exactly what type of firearms, and what type of ammunition that we have. And that may not be the last search warrant that we do.

LEMON: Yes. So, listen, the armorer for the movie, Hannah Gutierrez is breaking her silence today releasing a statement through her attorneys defending her conduct on the set. And I said -- and it says, and I quote here, "safety is Hanna's number one priority on set. Ultimately, this set would have never been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors including lack of safety meetings. This was not the fault of Hannah."

So, that -- and look, that's her side of the story, that's what she says. Released through her attorneys. She says that she was hired for two positions on this film, which, according to her it made it extremely difficult to focus on her job as an armorer. She also paints a picture of corners being cut, and a lack of safety including safety meetings.

Now I know investigators are looking for a follow-up interview with Hannah Gutierrez. Do you have any additional questions that you would like to ask her?

MENDOZA: Absolutely. We did -- we were made aware of the statement this morning, the statement has been forwarded to our investigators, but again, that statement actually brings forth more questions than it gives answers. So, we do have some follow-up questions. I think she raises some concerns in her statement, raises some issues, and we would like some clarification on her statement.

LEMON: So, what do you mean so it raises more, what questions? Like what?

MENDOZA: Well, I mean, she raises the question of safety. She stated that safety is priority, we would like to know what safety she was taking to make sure that the set was safe. So, there are a lot of questions that she brings to light in her statement, that we would like qualification on and a lot of issues that, she says there were safety issues there.


She said she was not aware of the fire -- of the rounds -- of the live rounds on set. So, we would like to have a clear picture of what the protocol were, what the process were, and how she was maintaining the safety there. So, there is a lot of follow-up questions in reference to that statement.

LEMON: So more on the statement. And the statement, she also says that guns were locked up every night, and at lunch. And that there is no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crewmembers. Does this contradict anything that we know now?

MENDOZA: Well, there's always going -- not always, but there has been contradictory statements. So, again, when there is a contradiction, we would like clarification. So, we would like her to come back in and do a follow-up interview and clarify some of these contradicting statements.

LEMON: So, when you spoke to her this, whenever she released a statement on said in the statement that was -- she did not say that when you spoke to her? This is all new to you?

MENDOZA: You know, the investigators got the statement this morning, they are comparing her statement this morning to the interview that she did initially, and so again, they'll come up with some clarifying statements, or some clarifying questions I guess, in reference, if there is any contradictions.

LEMON: Another person you're focused on has been the assistant director, David Halls. Is he cooperating?

MENDOZA: Well right now we understand that he does have counsel, and we are requesting the same from him. For him to cooperate, come in, clarify, we have some clarifying questions, and some follow-up questions for him too. So, we encourage both of them to come in, and continue to cooperate in the investigation.

LEMON: Do you feel you are any closer to figuring out what happened?

MENDOZA: We are getting closer. You know, we are gathering more evidence. We are making -- we are conducting more interviews. So, day- by-day, we are getting closer. But I think that we still have a long way to go.

LEMON: Sheriff Mendoza, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

MENDOZA: Thank you.

LEMON: A big announcement from the FDA that could impact 28 million children, kids 5 to 11 years old could be getting a vaccine as early as next week.



LEMON (on camera): Tonight, parents are closer than ever to getting their young children vaccinated. The Food and Drug Administration granting emergency use authorization of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccination for kids 5 to 11 years old. Now child size doses can begin shipping out across the country. And the CDC could give the green light as soon as next week.

So, let's discuss now. CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner is here for our Friday night house call. Good evening, doctor. How are you?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I'm good, Don. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Hey, listen, it's getting close. Thank you for joining. A friend that I know, two of his children got COVID, asymptomatic, surprise to them. So, kids can get it. They happened to be asymptomatic but not all children are so this is very important.

We're getting so close to what parents have been long waiting for. The CDC is going to meet on Tuesday. If they approve vaccines for kids, how soon could we be seeing those doses going into arms?

REINER: I expect that Dr. Walensky will approve the ACIP committee's almost certain recommendation for this vaccine on Tuesday. I expect that Dr. Walensky will approve it on Tuesday night. And as vaccines are already shipping, I expect children will start to receive the vaccine on Wednesday. So, I expect next week we'll start to get shots into arms.

LEMON: Recent polling shows that a majority of parents say that they won't vaccinate their kids right away with cases going down, some parents are wondering if it's even worth it. I think the example of what I just said. Because you know, that's -- beause that's why it's worth it. But it wasn't just the two kids, right? My friend's two kids. The two kids got it from someone at school who got it from someone at soccer practice and so on and so forth.

REINER: Right. A million kids have gotten infected with this virus over the last six weeks or so. A million children. And children are -- you know, thousands of kids have been hospitalized in the United States. And about 700 kids have died.

So if you had told me 18 months ago when we were in the deep, darkest days of this pandemic, right at the beginning, when everything was unknown, that 18 months in the future, we would be getting shots into kids' arms, first of all, I wouldn't have thought it would be possible. And I never would have imagined the majority of parents would refuse to do it.

So, this is really the heavy lifting now. In comparison to last year when we started vaccinating the American public, the big barrier to vaccination was the supply of vaccines. Now the big barrier is getting parents to bring their kids to the pediatrician to get -- to get their vaccination. And this is going to require a lot of work, a lot of education, a lot of patience and a lot of trust. And that, it's going to take some time.

LEMON: Look, there's been a lot of back and forth over whether people who have been infected have enough protection already. But there's a new CDC study that's out. It suggests that unvaccinated people are five time more likely to test positive than the people who had a vaccine in the last three to six months. Give me your takeaway on that.


REINER: Yes. So, there's been some back and forth data. Some data has suggested that natural immunity might be really robust and long lasting. Other data have suggested you get higher levels of immunity with the vaccine induced immunity.

So, this study compared really those two kinds of immunity. Natural immunity that comes after infection and immunity that comes after vaccination. And what it found is that if you were unvaccinated but had had a prior infection, you were five times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than somebody who had simply been vaccinated. Suggesting that natural immunity is not good enough.

And this has been parroted on, this notion that, if you've had a vaccine, if you've had an infection, you have a natural vaccine. You don't need to be immunized. People like Rand Paul have said this. This data from the CDC refutes that notion. And what I would, again, say to the public is, everyone in this country needs to be vaccinated. That includes people who have recovered from COVID and coming next week, children 5 to 11.

LEMON: Thank you, doctor. I appreciate it.

REINER: My pleasure, Don.

LEMON: President Biden on the world stage trying to repair America's relationship abroad and he is making a bold admission to the French president.