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Roe V. Wade In Jeopardy As Texas Effectively Bans Abortion; Biden Orders Declassification Review Of 9/11 Documents; Interview With Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA); Six Deaths Tied To Louisiana Nursing Home Temporary Shelter; Rand Paul: "Hatred For Trump" Blocking Research Into Horse Drug Ivermectin As COVID-19 Treatment; CNN KFile: GOP Gov. Candidate Larry Elder Once Implied Female Accuser Was Too Ugly For Claim To Be True. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 04, 2021 - 16:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. It's the year 2021, but right now in Texas for a woman's right to choose, it's effectively 1972. Before "Roe v. Wade" gave women the legal right to an abortion.

Texas abortion clinics are already being forced to turn patients away after the Supreme Court this week punted on intervening with the Texas law which bans abortions after a heartbeat can be detection which is around six weeks. That's before many women even have a clue that they're pregnant. The law makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

And here's the thing. It's not the government who will be coming after these clinics. The law effectively puts power in the hands of regular citizens who can not only sue providers for alleged violations but anyone who allegedly helps a woman violate this law. So wannabe Texas Rangers are already setting up Web sites encouraging tip-offs. Critics say it's a bounty hunter system.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The most pernicious thing about the Texas law, it sort of creates a vigilante system. It's as seems -- I know this sounds ridiculous. Almost un-American.


ACOSTA: And perhaps almost un-Texan, considering that independence and individual liberties have long been hallmarks of the Lone Star State along with its size. You know the saying, everything is bigger in Texas. Keep in mind this means some women will have to drive hours to reach the next state line if they want a safe and legal abortion. That is if she can afford it.

With me now is victim right attorney, Gloria Allred. She represented Norma McCorvey who was Jane Roe years after the landmark "Roe v. Wade" Supreme Court ruling in 1973.

Gloria, first, what was your reaction when you heard the news that this law in Texas would be allowed to stay on the books? What did you think about that?

GLORIA ALLRED, REPRESENTED "JANE ROE" AFTER ROE. V WADE: Well, of course I immediately thought that we have to fight against this. We have to do everything we can legally, politically, emotionally. And we have to get to the streets as well, put our bodies on the line to support the women of Texas who are going to be hurt by this, Jim. And they are going to be hurt. And it's not just because there's a ban on abortion, because it's not really a ban on abortion.

Because women are going to continue to get abortions in Texas, but they're going to have to go to those who are not licensed doctors or health care providers. They're going to have to do it in secret. They're going to have to possibly be in a bathtub and almost hemorrhage to death from the abortion because it's going to be provided by people who are only going to do it for profit and who don't know perhaps do a legal and safe abortion.

Women will die. Poor women, minority women, rural women who maybe don't know that some companies will provide funds for them to travel to other states to get abortions, or maybe they can't leave their home. Maybe they've got children there to take care of. So I know from personal experience what it's like to live in the United States and to have to get an abortion when it was illegal to do so because that happened to me before "Roe v. Wade" in 1973 when I was in my 20s.

And I ended up going on a date with a physician who was a Mexican doctor, and on the date, he said first he needed to make some house calls, which we did, and then he said he had a patient in a motel. He needed to see that person. And we went together and we went into the room. There was no patient. He pulled a gun and raped me. Ultimately I became pregnant. I returned to California where it was a crime in 1966 because that's before "Roe v. Wade" to get an abortion.

And so ultimately I did get that abortion from an unlicensed health care provider, somebody who just did it for the money. I got a 106- degree fever as a result. I called him, he said he couldn't help with the aftermath. I was taken to the hospital where they had a special ward just for women who were dying from illegal abortions, and a nurse said to me, even though she didn't I know I was raped, but she said, this will teach you a lesson.

Of course, I did learn a lesson, Jim, and the lesson was that abortion has to be safe, affordable, legal and available to everyone. And that is why I support "Roe v. Wade," that is why I supported Norma McCorvey when she was the Jane Doe of "Roe v. Wade." And after it became unconstitutional for states to criminalize abortion, I have been passionately in support of legal abortion ever since 1973.

ACOSTA: So it's not just a theoretical discussion obviously. Let me move to this.


ALLRED: And that's important if you say that.

ACOSTA: Yes. ALLRED: Because this law is dangerous. It's not just extreme. It's

dangerous to the safety, to the health, to the welfare of these vulnerable women in Texas, and there is a trend. It's not going to be just Texas, it's going to be other states as well, more than 20 states now have very restrictive abortion laws, and we have to continue to fight against it. That's what we're going to do.

ACOSTA: Yes, and I wanted to ask you about the part that is really sending chills down the spines of a lot of people around this country. It's this part of the Texas law that allows citizens to sue anyone who assists somebody getting an abortion. And in fact, a site that was soliciting anonymous tips were shut down by its Web hosting company. Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court wrote in her dissent that this law deputized the state's citizens as bounty hunters.

What do you think about that provision of the law. Some people are saying that is the provision of the law that is going to end up having it taken out at some point by the Supreme Court. What do you think?

ALLRED: Well, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is another one of my heroes, in addition to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, called it unconstitutional. And it is unique. Reportedly this ban on abortion is unusual and was suggested by a law clerk to former and late Justice Scalia, whom we know was very extreme and anti-choice. So there's going to be a lot of litigation about it.

There was a temporary injunction issued in a lawsuit yesterday that Planned Parenthood brought against Right to Life in Texas, but that's a very narrow ruling. It's a temporary injunction that will last two weeks, and then we'll see what happens. But the idea that any stranger could sue an Uber driver or a Lyft driver or anyone who they say is aiding and abetting a woman that they don't even know to get an abortion is -- it will have a chilling effect.


ACOSTA: Yes, what about a parent of a girl who was raped? Right. I mean --

ALLRED: Right. A mom. A mom who drives her pregnant daughter to get an abortion and brings her home could also be sued, or dad, you know, or the young woman's husband. I mean, this is more than extreme. It is unusual. I do anticipate at a certain point it's going to be declared unconstitutional if and only if some votes change on the United States Supreme Court. Because they refuse to accept this case.

They had an opportunity to do so this week. It was a 5-4 ruling. So the three justices that were appointed by President Trump, in other words, they were nominated, they were confirmed by the Republican U.S. Senate committee, and they're on the Supreme Court as a -- and they're going to be the same ones who are going to get to decide this issue when it finally does get to the United States Supreme Court, if it does.

So everybody can do something. There is going to be a national protest day on October 2nd on this law. Everybody needs to go to the streets. Everybody needs to support Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her desire and work to pass the Women's Health Care Protection Act. There is quite a bit that we can all do. We're glad that Uber and Lyft decided they're going to pay the legal fees if their drivers are sued for taking women to abortions.

A lot of other big companies and corporations stepping up to the plate, and they're going to help to provide funds also to transport some of their employees to other states to get an abortion. But why should any woman have to leave home in order -- and her own state in order to go elsewhere to get an abortion? Why do we need to have an underground railroads so to speak for these vulnerable, poor women, rural women, women of color?

It's just outrageous. And, you know, as always, women who are affluent will have the funds to go elsewhere. But that's not most women. We can't let these women be maimed and die or forced to take a pregnancy to term and deliver when they are not in a position to do so.

ACOSTA: Well, Gloria Allred, we know the discussion is not going to end here. It's going to be continuing for many weeks ahead, but I just want to say thank you for sharing your personal story on this because it hammers home that message that it's not just a theoretical discussion.

ALLRED: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Gloria Allred, thanks so much for your time. We appreciate it.


ACOSTA: This afternoon. Thank you so much.

ALLRED: Thank you, Jim.

ACOSTA: And make sure to check out Gloria's book "Fight Back and Win: My 30-Year Fight Against Injustice and How You Can Win Your Own Battles."

Gloria Allred there this afternoon for us. We appreciate it.

And this just in, former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the 9/11 remembrance ceremony at Ground Zero next week to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks.


That news coming just after we learned that President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will also travel to Ground Zero as well as the remembrance ceremonies at the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

In the meantime, on Friday President Biden issued a new executive order that directs the Justice Department and other federal agencies to review and possibly declassify documents related to the FBI's investigation of the attacks. The order requires the attorney general to release any declassified documents publicly over the next six months. CNN White House correspondent Arlette Saenz is in Wilmington,

Delaware, where the president is spending the weekend.

Arlette, Mr. Biden was under some pressure from victims' families to issue this order. Tell us about that.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, President Biden is trying to make good on a campaign promise, and in signing that executive order that orders the Justice Department to conduct a review to declassify documents relating to the 9/11 attacks and investigations. The president gave Justice -- Attorney General Merrick Garland a six-month deadline to release any declassified material.

And he said in a statement yesterday, "When I ran for president, I made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. As we approach the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, I am honoring that commitment."

Now this comes after President Biden was facing immense pressure from the families and survivors of these 9/11 attacks. They had written a letter to the president last month saying that if he did not authorize the release of declassified information that he would not be welcome at Ground Zero and other memorial sites as this 20th anniversary is approaching next week.

One thing that these families are hoping is that these documents might contain information about whether there is any links between the government of Saudi Arabia and the hijackers. They wrote in that letter to the president, "Since the conclusion of the 9/11 commission in 2004, much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks.

Through multiple administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks." The president has said that his hearts are always with those 9/11 families and that their voices and insight will always be welcome through this process.

Of course, it's not known what exactly will be released when this declassification is completed or when it could come at any point in those six-month period. And this also comes as we're learning those details of how the president will be commemorating the 20th anniversary of those 9/11 attacks.

He will visit Ground Zero, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as well as the Pentagon. As you said, former President Barack Obama and the former First Lady Michelle Obama will be on hands at Ground Zero. Former President George W. Bush will deliver remarks in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at the site of that Flight 93 crash.

And the Vice President Kamala Harris will also attend an event in Shanksville before meeting the Bidens at the Pentagon next Saturday, which is shaping up to be quite a somber moment as this country reflects on that deadly and horrific terror attack that affected our country 20 years ago.

ACOSTA: All right, Arlette Saenz, thank you very much for that update.

Coming up, U.S. Capitol Police will be providing a security briefing to lawmakers next week at a rally to support jailed January 6th rioters. Congressman Eric Swalwell joins me live next to discuss that and more. There he is. There is the congressman right there. We'll talk to him in just a few moments.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: A right-wing rally planned for this month has officials bracing for violence at the U.S. Capitol once again. Sources tell CNN U.S. Capitol Police will brief lawmakers next week on the security situation ahead of the so-called Justice for J-6 rally scheduled for September 18th in support of jailed Capitol rioters. We already know D.C.'s Metropolitan Police will be fully activated that week and there are discussions to reinstall the security fencing around the Capitol.

Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California joins me now.

Congressman, I can't believe, I hesitated for a moment there when talking about the fencing going up again potentially around -- I can't imagine that fencing would go up again, but my goodness, that's the world we're living in. As you know, this rally is organized by a former Trump campaign staffer and some of your GOP colleagues have held events supporting these jailed Capitol attackers.

Do you think we could see a repeat of January 6th just two weeks from today?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): We can't, Jim. Although the ingredients still exist as far as these radical groups still mobilizing and aiming their hate at democracy, and former President Trump stoking them and my colleagues in Congress continuing to embolden them by propagating the lies. But here, let's talk about what this rally celebrates. It celebrates cop killers. And you know what, this is America. They can peacefully assemble.

They can celebrate whatever they want, but Americans should know that in a couple of weeks, Republicans are going to come to the Capitol to celebrate cop killers. And these are the same people that tell the other lie. Because there's twin lies right now that are literally killing us, the lies about the election and the lies about the vaccine. So these unmasked individuals celebrating cop killers, creating, you know, more and more mutations that are threatening our kids will be in Washington, D.C.

We just have to make sure that if they are ready to get violent that we're ready again in a better way than on January 6th to defend the Capitol. ACOSTA: Yes. And the other lie about January 6th is about what took

place that day. I mean, there are those lies as well, you're right. Let's talk about the January 6th --



SWALWELL: Yes, Jim, these are -- this isn't Martin Luther King in Birmingham jail that they're, you know, going to try and break out. They go to the jails in D.C. to try and help people that abused cops like Officer Michael Fanone and Danny Hodges and Sergeant Gonell, and Harry Dunn, the heroes of that day.

So we have to remind people every day that, you know, they are celebrating people that beat cops, people that were a part of the circumstances that killed a cop and we have to remind Americans that. Otherwise they will seek to erase it.

ACOSTA: And let's talk about the January 6th Select Committee. The committee wants the phone records of several Republicans preserved, including the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. I'm sure you saw this past week, McCarthy has warned phone companies not to cooperate. As a matter of fact, you have seen this because you said that this was the equivalent of snitches get stitches. What does it say, though, is these telecom giants yield to McCarthy's demands?

SWALWELL: That they were intimidated, and that McCarthy, you know, has effectively, you know, broken the law to intimidate witnesses. Look, we're a country of law and order and when a lawful subpoena is served on a company, if they don't think that they should have to turn over the records, there is a process for that. And they can go to the courts and the courts will ultimately rule. But if this is just a standard subpoena that happens in the everyday course of business as these companies are used to, then they should honor it.

And for Kevin McCarthy to do this, one, it shows that he's got a consciousness of guilt, but, two, it also shows that he's willing to use his power to intimidate companies suggesting that if he's ever speaker of the House, they'll pay. And as I said, when I was a prosecutor, where I came from, I prosecuted people for much less with much less evidence and on a much smaller scale. So I hope the Department of Justice is looking at this.

ACOSTA: And there is also speculation of -- about a Trump 2024 run. That's been heating up. I'm sure you've seen that. There is this comment from Trump loyalist, Congressman Jim Jordan, that is making the rounds. Let's watch.


REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): President Trump, he's going to run again.


JORDAN: I know so. I talked to him yesterday. He's about ready to announce after all these craziness in Afghanistan.


ACOSTA: And an official in Trump's office told me, quote, "There's no announcement that's imminent, and he did not tell Representative Jordan that he is running," but despite that denial -- we should also mention we've reached out to Jordan's office for comment, but despite that denial, what do you think of another Donald Trump run I guess in this -- you know, in this area of January 6th and everything else that we've been talking about?

I suppose he could come back potentially and inflame things further.

SWALWELL: If Donald Trump runs again, he will lose again, but he will again incite, assemble and aim a mob at the Capitol to try and overturn the results of the election. That's why we worked so hard to impeach and convict him in the Senate, and we came close. And while he was not convicted in the Senate, and he is able to run again, I do believe, Jim, he was convicted in the court of public opinion.

And Americans recognize that he's so detest democracy and the rule of law that he never again can be trusted with the power that we've vest in our presidency.

ACOSTA: Can I follow up on that? What does it say, though -- would you be disappointed if there aren't any charges brought against the former president for his actions not only on January 6th but leading up to January 6th, twisting the arms of --

SWALWELL: I'd be disappointed. Yes.

ACOSTA: Election officials and so on?

SWALWELL: I'd be disappointed if the recent charges were not brought was that prosecutors just wanted to move on and sweep it under the rug. Look, if they independently look at the evidence they have against Donald Trump and cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, then that's fine. That's the independence of the rule of law that Donald Trump did not afford others as he rewarded his friends and punished his enemies.

But I really do not like this idea that we just need to move on and it's not good to bring charges against the former president. This is not any old former president. He was impeached twice and really worked hard to take a wrecking ball to the rule of law. So if independent prosecutors see charges there, they should treat him no better or worse than any other potential suspect.

ACOSTA: And Congressman, I know you know that your governor is facing a recall election in 10 days. It's coming up fast. Democrats are concerned that the Senate majority is in balance. Here's what Larry Elder, the top GOP challenger according to the polls, said about potentially filling a Dianne Feinstein vacancy. Let's listen.



LARRY ELDER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL RECALL CANDIDATE: God forbid Governor Elder should replace Dianne Feinstein, that nobody's seen in weeks. And I'm told she's in worse mental condition than Joe Biden. They're afraid I'm going to replace her with a Republican which I'm most certainly would do and that would be an earthquake in Washington, D.C.


ACOSTA: Congressman, in order to protect the Democratic majority in the Senate were Larry Elder to become the next governor of California, do you think it would be wise for Senator Feinstein to step down and allow Gavin Newsom to replace her in the remaining days that he has in office?


I know that's a hell of a hypothetical. But how concerned are you about this prospect of Governor Larry Elder could potentially put a Republican senator representing California in the Senate?

SWALWELL: Yes. We're just not going to let that happen, Jim, and that's why people in California should vote no on the recall, leave the other candidates blank. There's no one qualified and we're all in for Gavin Newsom. And it's also very rich that Larry Elder is commenting on somebody's, you know, mental capabilities.

You know, this is somebody who continues to push anti-vaccine propaganda in the state, and that's why we can't allow him or any other radical Republican to win because we would backslide in California where we're nearly 60 percent vaccinated and companies are opening again, our kids are back in school again.

We would see kids back to distance learning, back to working from home. Your vacations would be canceled, your conventions that you were looking forward to would be gone because California would be a petri dish like Texas and Florida if we voted anything other than no on the recall.

ACOSTA: And just for -- what is your read on the recall? Do you think Governor Newsom survives this?

SWALWELL: Yes. Yes. Because people recognize that what people are upset with are largely acts of Mother Nature. You know, wildfires, pandemics. But the governor has worked hard. We have a surplus that was returned to the people of California, whether it's traffic tickets being waived or rental assistance that has been disbursed or individual family relief. He's a pro-family, pro-working family governor, and I really believe, Jim, he's going to be the governor on September 15th.

ACOSTA: All right. Congressman Eric Swalwell, thanks so much for your time this afternoon. We appreciate it.

SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thanks, Jim. ACOSTA: All right, coming -- all right, thank you.

Coming up, Louisiana's attorney general launching an investigation into the deaths of nursing home residents evacuated to a remote warehouse during Hurricane Ida. The details about the appalling conditions inside, just awful, including mattresses on the floors and insects crawling everywhere. You're not going to believe this. That's coming up next.



ACOSTA: There are now six deaths confirmed among the Louisiana nursing home residents who were evacuated to a warehouse during Hurricane Ida.

The temporary storm shelter was overwhelmed with hundreds of elderly people packed together under deplorable conditions.

CNN's Brian Todd has details.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Local leaders now looking for answers for what went wrong.

ROBBY MILLER, PRESIDENT, TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA: That nursing homeowner should be held accountable. As far as an investigation, we understand there is one.

TODD: The warehouse at Independence, Louisiana, served as a temporary evacuation facility for more than 800 patients from seven area nursing homes. The conditions inside were appalling.

MILLER: Crowding, mattresses on floors instead of beds, Port-a-Potties instead of bathrooms and probably not enough of them. It is just things that none of us would want our family members to go through.

TODD: And according to one patient who was inside, insects were crawling all over the mattresses.

The Independence Police chief says the facility was prepared for a certain number of residents, but the number nearly tripled quickly.

FRANK EDWARDS III, CHIEF, INDEPENDENCE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, I believe that the corporate management planned for 350. For whatever reason, they sent in 850.

And where they failed was in not proactively seeking to move those patients to appropriate facilities.

TODD: Renaldo DeRosas' (ph) 84-year-old mother made it out, but she suffered for several days with a 103-degree fever.

RENALDO DEROSA (ph), MOTHER WAS SENT TO WAREHOUSE DURING HURRICANE IDA: I could tell she was upset but at least I knew he was alive. And if we would have known it would have been a place like this, I would have took her with me.

TODD: With no power, generators required to provide patients oxygen failed, and the heat was oppressive.

The state says the Health Department tried to intervene Tuesday when they heard about the deteriorating conditions.

GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D-LA): LA inspectors visited the site, and I will tell you, were expelled from the property and prevented from conducting a full assessment.

TODD: CNN obtained property records showing Bob Dean owns all seven of the nursing homes, plus the warehouse.

Dean has a history of poor disaster management. A local investigation from found he made a similar plan to evacuate residents to a warehouse during Hurricane George in 1998.

MILLER: I would hope that his license for nursing homes is revoked. It would be the outcome that he doesn't get to do this again.

TODD: The governor committed to a full investigation, a promise relatives will not let them forget.

SABRINA COX, AUNT IN NURSING HOME: Why didn't you contact anybody for help? Let somebody know what was going on. Contact one person.

But people shouldn't be treated like that. You should be held accountable.

TODD (on camera): We reached out several times to Bob Dean, the owner of the nursing homes and this warehouse facility, for comment and any explanation for what happened here. He didn't respond to us.

But he did tell CNN affiliate, WVLE, quote, "We did good taking care of people."

Brian Todd, CNN, Independence, Louisiana.


ACOSTA: Coming up, Joe Rogan, one of the biggest names in the podcasting world, has COVID. And he's telling his millions of followers he took a drug that doctors are begging people not to taking. That's next.


You're live in CNN NEWSROOM.


ACOSTA: One of the biggest names in the world of podcasting with more than 13 million followers says he has COVID. Joe Rogan told his enormous audience this week that he's treating his illness in a way that doctors are begging people not to. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE ROGAN, PODCASTER: It turns out I've got COVID. So we immediately threw the kitchen sink at it, all kinds of meds, monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, Z-Pak, Prednisone, everything.



ACOSTA: In case you missed it, Rogan said Ivermectin. Yes, that's the de-worming medicine made to kill parasites in farm animals and, weirdly, is being promoted by right-wing media figures and even some politicians as a COVID treatment.

The FDA says -- yes, the actual FDA is so frustrated about this, they tweeted out: "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, you all, stop it."

Joining me now is former FOX News politics editor, Chris Stirewalt, and Molly Jong-Fast, editor-at-large of "The Daily Beast."

Molly, how influential is a guy like Joe Rogan, would you say? Or do you say nay to this controversy.

MOLLY JONG-FAST, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "THE DAILY BEAST": He's really influential. He has millions of people who really listen to everything he says.

I think that -- and these are younger people who really we need to get vaccinated. So it is the case of kind of -- he has historically sewn doubt about the vaccine.

Even with this, if he gets better, it will likely be because of the monoclonals and not because of the horse de-wormer.

ACOSTA: Right, he's taken the monoclonals. That's been proven effective. The other stuff, he might as well eat Cocoa Krispies, it doesn't matter.

Chris, let me ask you this. Republican Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, has a theory about Ivermectin. He claims that the animal medicine is not being taken seriously because people just hate Trump and that's why it's not being taken seriously.

What do you think?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FORMER FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: Well, Rand Paul is trying to hack the game.

Rand Paul is artful, I give him credit, at finding positions that sound technically crazy but still somehow manage to be in the middle.

So his phony baloney business on this, well, I'm not convinced. I don't know, I'm just asking questions. What am I but a curious ophthalmologist looking for answers in the world? But then he argues that the reason Ivermectin and these other things are not being studied and used in the way they should, of course, is that people hate Donald Trump.

And that the medical industry, science itself, is a raid against humanity because they hate Donald Trump. And that way he can have his cake and eat it, too.

ACOSTA: And I can't believe people are taking his side over Dr. Fauci in all of this.

Molly, former President Trump is saying he's unlikely to get the booster shot of the COVID vaccine.

Telling "The Wall Street Journal," "I feel like I'm in good shape from that standpoint. I probably won't. I'm not against it but it's probably not for me."

I guess that mean he's going to get his booster shot. Is that it, Molly?

JONG-FAST: I mean, you can't really historically believe anything that Trump says so I wouldn't trust it.

He did get the vaccine. He got the second dose. He was an early person who got monoclonals, too. So he probably has pretty high antibodies. So maybe he's waiting for that. And maybe he already gotten it and it just lying about it.

We saw him shop vaccines the other day at a speech where he sort of tried to almost suggest that people get it.

And his people have been so brainwashed that they're already anti-vax. I don't know if he could, even if he wanted to, walk it back now.

ACOSTA: He was almost sort of presidential there.

Chris, I want to talk about the California recall, the Republican frontrunner, Larry Elder. Who would have thought Larry Elder could become the governor of California?

He has said a lot of terrible things over the years about race and women and just about everything.

But he's also talked about a woman who has accused him of sexual harassment. He has strongly denied this.

Let's listen to something that was dug up by our "KFile." This is from back in 2011.


LARRY ELDER, (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): If you had seen her, you would know that the picture would be a complete defense, I'm just saying.


ACOSTA: I mean, it's sort of echoing -- I guess Donald Trump maybe echoed Larry Elder, I suppose.

STIREWALT: Yes, yes, yes.

ACOSTA: It's the same excuse.

STIREWALT: Obviously, a person who would make a joke about an accusation made by a woman, saying she's too ugly to be to be abused, whatever, is gross.

What is more gross, if I may, is a system in California, because people may not understand the system, and because thousands of ballots were mailed out to people, 22 million ballots were mailed out -- Larry Elder could never beat the sitting governor, Gavin Newsom, in a head- to-head race.

But if Gavin Newsom loses to someone else on the first question on this, Larry Elder, with 20 percent of the vote overall, might become the next governor of California. That's a system that is clearly -- that must be crazy.

ACOSTA: Right.


And, Molly, to make it even more crazy, somebody with 20 percent of the vote could potentially appoint a Republican Senator if Diane Feinstein, for whatever reason, can't complete her term?

JONG-FAST: He's already sort of promised it today, Larry Elder. We heard him say Diane Feinstein hasn't been seen and she's the same as Biden.

It was pretty Trumpy stuff there. And he's pretty excited about it. It sounds a lot like the way Trump talked about RBG. So, yes, I mean, it's incredibly disgusting.

He also said a lot of stuff. He's going to get rid of COVID restrictions. He's going to get rid of a women's right to choose.

And California is an enormous, enormous state. It's going to change America if this happens.

ACOSTA: Molly, I did want to get your take on the Texas abortion law because I know you've been writing about this. This is an earthquake that happened this week.

JONG-FAST: It's a huge -- it's huge. Basically, what happened is that on the shadow docket, the Supreme Court, these five justices, overturned Roe in the middle of the night by not doing anything.

And now you see so many red state governors are going to follow suit.

We're going to have six-week bills that used to be thought of as the absolute fringe or fringe -- remember, they came from Ohio - those, quote, unquote, "harpy bills," are going to end up being the thing these Republican governors do to prove they are Trumpier than Trump.

And I'm really -- I think it's never going to affect affluent women in blue states. It's going to affect poor women in red states. Women are going to die and it's going to be very bleak.

ACOSTA: Very quick, Chris, this might backfire on Republicans?


ACOSTA: There's a thought there.

STIREWALT: It depends on how they want to approach it. This could be the situation where they are the dog that caught the car. There's been a lot of test litigation out there.

And you can even tell from the majority opinion that if Samuel Alito is feeling queasy about the legal space, we'll see who else wants to run through the breach.

ACOSTA: Chris, Molly, thanks, guys, so much. Great to see both of you. We appreciate it.

A classroom of second graders, a president, and a moment that forever unites them 20 years later. Find out what happened to the kids in the 9/11 classroom. The CNN special report, "FRONT ROW TO HISTORY, THE 9/11 CLASSROOM," airs tomorrow night at 10:00.

And we'll be right back.



ACOSTA: You have to check out this incredible video. This is off of the coast of southern Argentina where a curious whale checked out a paddle boarder.

A local photographer captured this video using a drone. The whale appears to be enjoying doing a dance with the paddle boarder. Just a normal day of paddle boarding off of the coast of Argentina. Amazing stuff there.

In the meantime, some very sad news to report. This just into CNN. Legendary television weatherman, Willard Scott, has died.

Scott was a fixture delivering the weather forecast on "The Today Show" for more than three decades. He was known for his high-spirited personality and his tradition of celebrating fans who turned 100. He would read off their names one by one.

A current "Today Show" co-host, Al Roker, announced Scott's passing online, writing, quote, "He was truly my second dad and where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was truly a broadcast icon." [16:53:15]

Of course, we pass on our condolences to his family and our friends at NBC. Willard Scott was 87 years old. He'll be missed.



ACOSTA: Imagine using space-age technology to cut your air- conditioning bill. That's the subject of this week's "MISSION AHEAD."


RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION & SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Air conditioners and electric fans account for 10 percent of all global electricity consumption. As the planet warms, the demand for this type of cooling is expected to triple by 2050.

ELI GOLDSTEIN, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, SKYCOOL SYSTEMS, INC: The more electricity we use for cooling, the more challenging it is to operate and divide electricity reliably.

CRANE: That's why the company, SkyCool, wants to make existing cooling systems to run more efficiently, by taking advantage of a natural phenomenon called radiating cooling.

Almost all objects give off heat in the form of infrared radiation, cooling down in the process. But some objects radiate so well, they become cooler than the air around it.

Like these frosted blades of grass, a phenomenon observed only at night and out of the sun.

So SkyCool created a new material with radiative cooling properties that work 24 hours a day. It's hundreds of tiny optical layers that emit a range of radiation to maximize cooling, but it's also highly reflective, staying cool even under direct sunlight.

GOLDSTEIN: That combination of properties has never been found in nature.

CRANE (on camera): Have they actually ever physically cooled to the touch?


CRANE: Yes, they're much cooler than I would expect. It's a hot day and that's cool to the touch.


CRANE (voice-over): The panels work by chilling water running through pipes imbedded behind them.

Then, that cold water flows into a building's cooling system, helping to chill refrigerant liquate, which eases the workload for the condenser. The less your condenser runs, the less you pay in an energy bill.

This grocery store in Stockton, California, saw a notable difference after SkyCool installed panels on its roof, despite an increase in electricity rates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've saved on average about 33,000 a month.