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Interview with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA); FBI Agents Execute Search Warrant at Home of Giuliani Ally; Pres. Biden Delivers Speech to Joint Session of Congress Tonight. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired April 28, 2021 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So even what they described doesn't make sense. I think it's a - even the sheriff is baffled by why the judge is doing this.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: You know something else that wasn't clear, an argument made by one of the attorneys trying to block release, was that if you release the video without explanation and full context, that people will reach their own conclusions that are possibly erroneous. You know what's been happening for seven days without the video, people reaching conclusions because there's no clarity from the sheriff's office or from the county.
JONES: That - it's exactly right. I mean, I think that you have seen in other situations and scenarios things get worse when there's no trust, things get worse when there's a sense that there's a cover-up, things get worse -- for instance, you know, the district attorney didn't like the characterization of this being an execution by one of the attorneys.
Well, you don't like the - this person describing it, well then let other people see it. There's a simple way to - to resolve this. I know that the governor is very interested in reviewing this law and changing this law. You want more transparency, not less. I think, you know, a jury - I think juries throughout this entire period over the past couple of years have proven that they can come down on one side or the other no matter how many videos are out there in the public.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: I mean, there was also suggestion that maybe Andrew Brown was driving towards the deputies and their lives were in danger. Wouldn't it - if - generally, if there's something exonerating of the police officers, don't they release that video?
JONES: Yeah, it usually gets out there, but even - listen, the crazy part is what they are describing themselves they did is unlawful by their own description. Listen, I - there was a case in the late '90s, Sheila Detoy, who was shot by a San Francisco Police Officer.
He fired one shot at the front of the car. The car went by, he fired another shot and then he fired into the back of the car. The first shot is lawful. The second shot is questionable. The last shots in the back of the car are absolutely unlawful. That's just - I mean, this is not hard stuff here.
BLACKWELL: Hey Van, let's turn to the president's address tonight, and he will be, we know, dedicating a significant portion of his address to passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We also know that Republican Senator Tim Scott is going to deliver the response for the Republicans. He's working with Democrats on potential negotiations.
What does the president need to say because he's got to not only convince some of the Republicans in the room in the Senate but also people at home, according to our latest polling on how American people feel about policing?
JONES: Well look, there's a lot of common ground, shockingly, on policing. You wouldn't think so if, you know, listened to all the hubbub. But I think that there's a majority of Americans now that don't feel comfortable with these chokeholds. That could be addressed on a bipartisan basis.
There's, I think, a majority of Americans feel like if a cop like Chauvin has a long record of complaint after complaint, that registry should be recorded and available for people to know so that people know, you know, what's going on because cops go from precinct to precinct and from department to department.
I think there's also a discomfort with the idea that if a police officer sees another police officer breaking the law, that the police officer has no duty to intervene. That's not - so there are some things that are just bipartisan that have come out, the no-knock warrants, there's some stuff that's bipartisan, that's come out, let's at least get that done.
And I think that Tim Scott is in a very interesting position because he is so conservative on so many issues. He's African-American, but he is a conservative African-American, but he could play a kind of a Jack Kemp role, which we haven't had anybody like that in the Republican Party for a long time, to bridge the water on some of these racial issues to get some - to some common sense and some common ground.
We'll see tonight if he's able to - to hold that conservative position, but also give a nod to Biden's efforts on police reform.
BLACKWELL: All right. Van Jones, thank you.
JONES: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Okay, our breaking news coverage continues. New details surrounding the raid of Rudy Giuliani's home and office. He and the former president are the targets of a lawsuit by several Democratic lawmakers, and I will speak to one of them about today's big development.
[15:35:00] BLACKWELL: We've got new details in our breaking news. The federal agents today raided Giuliani - Rudy Giuliani's Manhattan apartment, seized electronic devices. Rudy Giuliani served as former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer. He's been the focus of an investigation concerning his activities in Ukraine leading up to the 2020 election.
An attorney for Mr. Giuliani tells CNN that federal agents also searched his New York City office, and CNN's Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez joins us now, and you have new details about another attorney who was targeted in today's raid. What do you know?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, that's right Victor. The attorney is Victoria Toensing, she's a former federal prosecutor. And in recent years, she's been very, very much involved in some of the activities that Giuliani's been doing, meeting with these Ukrainians, the efforts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, and, in particular, she, apparently according to a spokesman, the federal agents arrived at her home in - here in the Washington, D.C., area and they took her cell phone.
And so, it appears that she is also, according to the information in the warrant that was served there, she's also part of this, at least - at least a witness in this investigation that's being run out of the southern district of New York, prosecutors there in Manhattan looking into foreign lobbying, whether or not there - whether Giuliani and others may have violated foreign lobbying laws.
Now, Toensing is a curious figure. She's a - was involved in some of these meetings with Giuliani and some of these Ukrainian associates.
On the day that Giuliani's two associates from the Ukraine, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested, they all were supposed to be on a flight to Vienna that day. For some reason, at the last minute, Victoria Toensing, her husband Joe diGenova, and Rudy Giuliani all canceled and did not go on that flight or did not make it to the airport.
Fruman and Parnas were all - were arrested that day. So, at this point, we don't know much more about what happened in that raid, but we know that her cell phone was taken.
CAMEROTA: Okay, Evan. Thank you very much for all of that reporting. Come back to us with anything else.
CAMEROTA: Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State. Congresswoman, great to see you. We should just mention, you are one of multiple lawmakers who joined the NAACP lawsuit in April against Giuliani and former President Trump for, you say, conspiring to incite the riot and insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. So what did you think of the raid on his apartment and office today? REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Well, going back to the first impeachment
trial, Alisyn, and by the way it's great to see you in this new spot, going back to the first impeachment trial, we knew that Rudy Giuliani was a very important figure in everything that was happening. And so I'm not surprised by this. I think it's an important development, and we have to keep people accountable. And I'm glad that the FBI is doing what they're doing.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Let's move on to President Biden and how he's doing. One of your progressive - your fellow progressives in the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says that he's exceeded her expectations and expectations for progressives. Do you agree?
JAYAPAL: I do. You know, I think that this has been a really interesting time for us to see how the progressive movement, at large, all the progressive voters, young voters, voters of color that came out and turned out for the president in November, helping us to win the White House, the Senate, and the House, and the pandemic and the way in which it has just really shined such a bright light on all the inequalities that have existed, I think President Biden has risen to the moment.
And I really do give him an A in what he's done so far. It's been bold, it's been progressive, it's been what the country needs, he hasn't shied away from it, he has leaned into it, and we're hoping the same continues to happen as we go through the process to pass the Jobs and Families Plan.
CAMEROTA: I mean, that said, I know you haven't been completely on board with all of his plans, and you've expressed some disappointment, the refugee cap, for instance, and in terms of his public polling, it's about how he's handling immigration that he gets some of his lowest marks. So what do you need to hear from him tonight?
JAYAPAL: Well, on immigration, I have spoken with the White House directly about this. They are going to fix the refugee cap issue. You know, I think it was a big mistake. I've told them that. I said it publicly. I said it privately. But they're going to fix it.
On immigration, the president has, you know, he's sort of gone back and forth. He released a very strong day one immigration bill, and we really applaud him for that, it's a great vision coming from the top.
But if we are going to be successful, Democrats cannot do what Democrats and Republicans have done for too long, which is, you know, use immigrants as a political football and run away from the issue or cave in to people who are using immigrants as a political football.
So, I want to hear from him that he is deeply committed to getting this done, and that he's going to lean into the incredible, you know, promise that immigrants have. And I, as an immigrant member of Congress, of course, feel very strongly that we contribute so much and we want to be recognized for that contribution and for the values that America holds so dear. They are so grounded in welcoming immigrants.
CAMEROTA: In terms of what we're going to hear from the president tonight, and what he's already done, you know, these are big dollar -- big dollar items, big ticket items. So, you know, the $1.9 trillion stimulus that passed, the $1.3 trillion infrastructure plan that's proposed, the $1.8 trillion American Families Act that you're talking about.
And some people, all - I mean, all republicans, but even people like Senator Joe Manchin are not comfortable with these dollar signs. And so are these proposal just kind of pie in the sky hopes or do you think that he'll really be able to have trillion dollars worth - many trillions more in spending?
JAYAPAL: I think we're going to get this done. And the reason, Alisyn, is because the American people support us. On the infrastructure plan, the Jobs Plan that the president released, 68 percent of the country supports that plan. On the Families Plan today, 65 percent of the country supports the plan already. So, these are incredibly popular because the country has faced so much devastation around jobs, around infrastructure, around the economy, around health care.
And they are ready for a government that cares about the people and is ready to help people get back on their feet again and give opportunity to people. So, the president is going to be on great footing if he continues to be bold, and if he continues to do the things that put food on the table, money in people's pockets, and address their health care.
This is an area that I've been clear with the White House about. I think we need to include drug pricing savings into this Families Plan, and we need to lower the Medicare eligibility age to at least 60 and expand benefits because this is such a crucial piece of dealing with the pandemic are these rising health care costs, and I don't think we've done enough yet.
CAMEROTA: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, great to see you. Thank you very much for being on with us.
JAYAPAL: Thank you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Okay. So next, as the number of fully vaccinated Americans nears 100 million, Podcaster Joe Roggin is telling much of his audience not to bother getting their shot. Hear what Dr. Anthony Fauci had to say about that.
BLACKWELL: So the U.S. is seeing the biggest drop in new COVID cases and deaths in months. More than 96 million Americans are fully vaccinated, and the CDC is voicing some optimism that the U.S. may be returning to some sort of normal.
CAMEROTA: Now the effort turns to vaccine hesitancy, and CNN's Alexandra Field has the latest on that. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It's even better than what you would have expected.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the real world the effectiveness of COVID vaccines is surpassing already high expectations set by clinical trials.
FAUCI: That's the reason why you hear all of us in the public health sector essentially pleading with people to get vaccinated.
FIELD: Nationwide, the average number of new infections, the lowest it's been in five weeks. The average number of COVID related deaths, the lowest it's been since last summer.
FAUCI: The numbers are coming down, and I believe as they come down you will see more liberal guidelines.
FIELD: It's happening already, but not fast enough for many who got their vaccines and want to get back to normal much faster.
JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: They haven't really gone far enough, they really need to tell Americans that if you are vaccinated, you are immune.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Why put any restraints on the vaccinated?
ANDREW SLAVITT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 ADVISOR: Well, let me roll it out this way. Everything you do is safer if you're vaccinated. Everything. Go to a wedding, to go a restaurant, hang out with friends, go to a barbecue, go to work - everything you do is much, much safer if you've been vaccinated. If you haven't been vaccinated those things are still dangerous.
FIELD: Even so, many states lifting mask mandates - almost half the U.S. without, even before the CDC issued new guidance saying masks aren't necessary outdoors for the vaccinated, except in very large crowds.
Louisiana dropping its mask mandate today. Masks will still be a must in places like schools and government buildings. The Governor of Tennessee declaring the end of the COVID-19 health emergency with thousands of new cases there daily, and just 25 percent of the state's population fully vaccinated.
In California, Disneyland opening its gates to California residents only for the first time in more than a year during a soft open. Los Angeles County is moving to its lowest level for restrictions, and New York City now planning to lift curfews for restaurants and bars next month.
All this while the White House takes its campaign into overdrive, encouraging more people to get their shots. That as some popular voices share opinions at odds with the medical experts advice. JOE ROGAN, PODCAST HOST, THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE: If you're a
healthy person and you're exercising all the time, and you're young, and you're eating well - like, I don't think you need to worry about this.
FAUCI: And then you'll pass the infection onto someone else who might pass it on to someone else, who might really get seriously ill, and might die. So you have to put a little bit of societal responsibility in your choices, and that's where I disagree with Mr. Rogan.
FIELD: So that's what Doctor Anthony Fauci has to say about that, if you were wondering what a doctor would say.
Beyond that, Victor and Alisyn, some good news coming from Pfizer today. Their CEO says they are working on an antiviral treatment for COVID in the form of a pill. Albert Bourla, the CEO says he's hopeful it could be ready for authorization by the end of the year. Of course the focus right now on what we can do today, and that is, vaccinate.
BLACKWELL: All right. Alexandra Field for us there in New York. Thank you so much. And we're staying on our breaking news, federal authorities raid the home and office of Rudy Giuliani. They also searched the home of an attorney he's worked with in the past. Details on what the agents were looking for.
CAMEROTA: A juror from the Derek Chauvin trial is speaking out. Brandon Mitchell, juror number 52 told CNN that watching the testimony was painful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRANDON MITCHELL, CHAUVIN TRIAL JUROR 52: Inside the courtroom for me was extremely stressful, extremely draining on a day to day basis, it 100 percent was not easy at all. Each day just coming in because watching somebody die each day - that's a tough thing to watch. It was like a funeral, I mean, it literally was like a funeral. It's like you're walking into a dark space and you feel it - you feel the energy, and it's just not - it's not pleasant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Mitchell also said that the deliberations took longer than he expected, and that everyone was not on the same page initially. When asked what sentence he thought that Chauvin deserved, he should get?
He said that that is up to the judge.
CAMEROTA: I think it's really interesting to hear from the jurors and how -- why the deliberations took longer than some people expected.
JONES: Yes, and some people thought they would be over sooner. "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.