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North Korea Claims Success Of New Long-Range Missiles; New York City Schools Resuming In-Person Classes; Hospitalization In Tennessee Hit Highest Level Of Pandemic; Interview With Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) About North Korea Missile Launch And Afghanistan Withdrawal; Final Push Ahead Of California Recall Election; Capitol Police Says Cases Against Officer Don't Diminish Heroism Of Most Officers; U.S. Open Highlights. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired September 12, 2021 - 18:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president's actions in a mandate hardens the resistance. This is an unprecedented assumption of federal mandate authority that really disrupts and divides the country.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, SURGEON GENERAL: We have to use every lever of government and we all in the private sector have to do everything we can to tackle this virus. The requirements the president announced are an example of that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's bad to the bone. I recommend everybody wash their hands, do what they got to do, stay home, stay socially distanced, because it's bad. Trust me, it's bad.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the final push in California ahead of the governor's recall election. Could Gavin Newsom be the second Democrat in 20 years to be removed from office?


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Sunday. And we have breaking news tonight out of North Korea.

The state-run news agency there is reporting that new long range cruise missiles were tested fired successfully. CNN's senior national security correspondent Alex Marquardt joins me now.

So, Alex, what is the significance of this?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pam, I think it's very significant. And of course right now we are waiting to see whether this has been confirmed. We have not heard from the South Koreans or the U.S. which are of course the two countries that keep closest eyes on this. But what we know is entirely coming from North Korean state media. They say that they have tested a new type of long-range cruise missile.

They say that it flew above territorial land in waters of North Korea and hit targets around 1500 kilometers away. That's around 1,000 miles. And they say that they had been developing the missile over the past two years. Now in this official announcement from North Korean state media, there was no mention of the dictator Kim Jong-un, whether he was there to see the launch. They say, again, this is state media quote, that this type of missile is yet another effective deterrence means for more reliably guaranteeing the security of our state and strongly containing the military maneuvers of the hostile forces against the DPRK.

Now again, we have reached out to the State Department and the Pentagon for comment. We have not yet heard back from them. We should not lose sight of the fact of when this happened. This happened over the weekend here when this country was very much focused on commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Certainly the North Korean regime wants the Biden administration to pay attention to them and they would certainly have it if this launch is confirmed.

President Biden has in the past back in March said that there would be responses if North Korea continued to test launch their missiles. Back in March they did a test of ballistic missiles.

Interestingly, Pam, we just saw another one of these big military parades out of North Korea just a couple days ago. It happened just after midnight on Thursday. But it was seen to be a relatively toned- down military parade for the North Koreans. It wasn't one that was flaunting those huge long range and short-range missiles which we've seen in the past. You can see dictator Kim Jong-un there, people making note of the fact that he looked skinnier than he has in the past.

He did not give a speech at this rally when he has in the past previously, saying that North Korea would continue to grow its nuclear arsenal.

BROWN: I want to bring in Paula Hancocks right now. She's in South Korea. So this is a claim made by the state-run news agency, Paula. What more can you tell us? How credible are these claims?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, this is how we learned about missiles. If this is from the state-run media, then this did happen. So certainly it's interesting timing. What we had seen last week was a military parade by North Korea, but it was unusual in the fact that it didn't show off the missile capabilities that North Korea has, which quite frankly is one of the main reasons that they do have these military parades, to show to the rest of the world exactly what their capability is.

It was a different kind of military parade. And yet just a few days later over the weekend, according to state-run media, you have this missile launch. It is important, though, to point out, and I think it was just pointed out, that this doesn't actually violate any of the United Nations' Security Council resolutions. It's a cruise missile according to state run media. So it's not the kind that is going to concern the region too much or concern the United States as much as if it was a ballistic missile, using the technology that is banned by the United Nations. But it is something that we really haven't seen too much from North Korea recently.


North Korea has been more focused on COVID-19. It's been more focused on its food crisis, which it has publicly acknowledged. So we really haven't seen the focus return back to its nuclear and missile capabilities in this same way. So it is an interesting development, the fact that it does appear to now be focusing once again on its missile capabilities. Nobody believes that over the past 18 months during COVID-19 while North Korea has shut itself off from the rest of the world, shut its borders that these programs were stalled.

There was an expectation that they were continuing to develop their capabilities. In fact, just recently the IAEA said that it believed that the Yongbyon nuclear plant had been restarted, something that 38 North, which focuses on this kind of satellite imagery, believed to be the case as well. So certainly there was this expectation that even while we weren't hearing too much from North Korea when it came to the missile capabilities, that they were continuing to develop their capabilities -- Pamela.

BROWN: And now North Korea claiming the successful launch of a new long-range missile. And Alex, North Korea is believed to already have missiles that could reach the U.S. homeland. So put this into context for us, the significance of this in that context.

MARQUARDT: Well, certainly there is that belief that the missiles that are currently under the North Korean arsenal could reach the U.S. homeland in under an hour, which is obviously very troubling. The fact that this is a new missile, we believe in North Korea's arsenal is certainly going to be something that is going to concern American officials. This comes on the heels of the previous military parade that we were just talking about in which they unveiled a new kind of submarine -- a new kind of intercontinental and submarine launched ballistic missiles.

This comes at a time when the conversations over the development of the weapons program and denuclearization with North Korea is completely at a standstill. Of course, this was something that President Trump had very much tried to do and has since fallen apart. And the Biden administration has said that there has to be some form of diplomacy, but it has to be conditioned on denuclearization.

Now that is somewhat separate to the development of these weapons, but it just goes to show that right now in this moment the talks between North Korea and the U.S. are at a standstill. They're really not going anywhere. In fact, the U.S. special representative for North Korea is traveling to Tokyo this week to have conversations with Japanese and South Korean counterparts. BROWN: And as we have seen historically, North Korea will do this to

get the attention of America. You know, that there is also a part of this that is symbolic, too, on the date when it happened.

Thank you so much, Alex Marquardt, Paula Hancocks.

And on this weekend of 9/11 ceremonies honoring those lost and the sacrifices of that tragedy's heroes. A sobering reality check, the COVID pandemic claims a larger number of lives every two days. A preventable disease is killing more than 1600 Americans per day, largely because millions of people believe masks and vaccines are too great of a sacrifice. The seven-day rolling average is the highest in months.

Tomorrow, students return to the classroom in New York City, the nation's largest school district. It will be their first in-person learning experience in 18 months. And as more schools struggle with surging cases, a glimmer of optimism. Former FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, predicts vaccines could be available to children 5 to 11 years old by Halloween.

And over in metro Atlanta COVID outbreaks are forcing at least seven schools to return to remote learning at least for now. New York City has mounted a series of precautions to minimize the risk and CNN's Polo Sandoval explains.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a return to class about 18 months in the making. For the first time since the pandemic interrupted in-person teaching New York's roughly one million public school students are physically returning to the classroom.

KAVIN JACOBS, HISTORY TEACHER: We'll be as safe as we can be.

SANDOVAL: Kevin Jacobs, who teaches history and coaches soccer at a high school in Manhattan, has been anxiously waiting to welcome back his ninth graders.

JACOBS: It's going to be a change from what it's been but I'm really excited to see students again. Zoom was not a great way to teach. And I think for kids it wasn't a great way to learn.



PORTER: Good. Good, good, good.

SANDOVAL: It's Meisha Porter's first year at the helm as the head of New York City's public schools. As chancellor, she and her department have been working to reassure both parents --

PORTER: Have a great year and we're here for you.

SANDOVAL: -- and staff that schools are as safe as they can be in this pandemic era of teaching.


With no student vaccine mandate in place, New York school officials are seeking consent to randomly COVID test unvaccinated students on a biweekly basis.

PORTER: We're testing our students, 10 percent of our population every two weeks. And we are also having all of our faculty be vaccinated. And so, you know, I think doing those two things together is going to really continue to like build that level of protection around our students who are not eligible to be vaccinated.

SANDOVAL: The testing, part of a multi-layer approach, New York City public schools are touting their PPE supplies, cleaning procedures and improved ventilation. At least two HEPA air purifiers in every classroom across the board, says Chancellor Porter. And starting this week hundreds of district sites are offering vaccines to eligible students and staff. About 74 percent of faculty received at least one shot according to Porter. The remainder have until September 27th to get theirs.

PORTER: I'm the greatest cheerleader to get everyone vaccinated because it's not only about coming back to work and getting kids to school, that is super important, and it's so important for our community, but this is a moment we're talking about the public safety of the entire community.

SANDOVAL: As students head back to class, inspectors head onto the streets enforcing New York City's new proof of vaccination requirement for indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues, the first such requirement in the country.

Monday will also mark the first day all New York City municipal workers are required to get vaccinated or subject themselves to weekly COVID testing.


SANDOVAL: And ahead of that September 27th deadline that you just heard us mentioned, an independent arbitrator ruling actually in favor of a local teachers union here saying that any teachers who do not -- who choose not to get vaccinated and have a documented religious or medical exemption that they should be reassigned to a non-classroom environment, Pam. The Department of Education saying they are aware of that decision. They will be reaching out to those employees so that they can make special accommodation as parents get ready to send their kids back to school tomorrow. It'll be a big day.

BROWN: It certainly will be. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much for bringing us the latest there.

And now over to Tennessee where the rate of COVID-19 infections has gone up and up since the Delta variant took hold. Right now the state's health department says there are more than 3700 people hospitalized with the virus. That's the most since the beginning of the pandemic. Hundreds are in the ICU and the great majority are unvaccinated.

Dr. Stacey Vallejo is a pulmonologist in Nashville and she joins me now.

Doctor, thank you for making some time for us tonight. Talk to me about what you're seeing in your hospital?

DR. STACEY VALLEJO, PULMONOLOGIST: Thank you for having me. So you described it well. We are seeing a record number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions in our hospital. We are taking care of more COVID patients than we had ever before and we are tired, we are working really hard.

BROWN: Sorry, I didn't mean to take the lead from you there, but I mean, the bottom line is, it's a -- you know, this is code red right now, it seems like, in your hospital given what you're experiencing. Tell me about how stressed you and your colleagues are right now compared to the earlier days of the pandemic.

VALLEJO: We are tired. You know, we've been doing this for 18 months now. And we feel like as health care workers we have given our all and we want the community and everyone else to be doing their part and to be getting vaccinated, and wearing their masks, doing everything they can to stay out of our ICU.

BROWN: I just want to note for our viewers that Tennessee's Governor Lee just signed an executive order letting parents opt out of mask mandates imposed by local school boards. A few days ago unmasked parents heckled a student in Murfreesboro Borough, Tennessee, who voiced support for a mask vaccine at a school board meeting. Let's listen to that.


GRADY KNOX, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: This time last year, my grandmother, who was a former teacher at the Rutherford County School System, died of COVID because someone wasn't wearing a mask. This is a very --


KNOX: This is a very --



KNOX: This is a --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, guys, we're here to act professional.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: So this video shows just how resistant so many are to masks, going as far as to heckle a student talking about his grandmother dying of COVID. How do you get through to people like that. What is your message to those who are still resistant to wearing masks in schools, for example?

VALLEJO: We just want to keep getting out the message that masks do save lives and that the vaccines do save lives and we want to try to really, you know, just let people know that we're standing behind the science and we want them to understand that.

BROWN: And it's not just adults being impacted. As we know, children are being impacted, dozens of those in Tennessee hospitals right now are children. How do you handle that?


VALLEJO: That's right. And at my hospital we only have adults, but we are certainly hearing about the pediatric hospitalizations. And obviously everyone just wants to keep the kids safe. And so I know that people in my ICU and patients in my ICU have expressed to me wishing that they had gotten the vaccine. And so that's what we want our message to be, is for everyone who can and who is eligible to get the vaccine.

BROWN: I want to ask you, do you think unvaccinated COVID patients should be given a lower priority for emergency care and a diminishing supply of hospital beds? I mean, given what's going on right now and how the resources are being strained, what do you think about that idea?

VALLEJO: You know, I think that's a slippery slope that we don't want to have to cross. I think we just want to keep taking care of everyone. We want to keep taking good care of all of our patients, but we do want people to get the vaccine.

BROWN: All right, Dr. Vallejo, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it and thank you for all of your hard work there on the front lines fighting this pandemic.

VALLEJO: Thank you so much.

BROWN: Could California have a new governor this week? Voters are casting ballots ahead of Tuesday's recall election. And we continue to follow the breaking news North Korea says it just tested two new missiles. I'll talk to a member of the House Intelligence Committee up next.



BROWN: And back now to our breaking news out of North Korea. State media there says the country has successfully test fired new long range cruise missiles.

Let's bring in Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois. He is on the House Intelligence Committee.

Congressman, thanks for joining us.


BROWN: These tests apparently happened this weekend. How concerned are you after hearing about this?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I'm concerned. I think, first of all, we have to verify that this actually happened. Secondly, I think that, as you know, these cruise missiles are different than ballistic missiles. The United Nations has put sanctions and we have worked with our partners with regard to trying to tamp down developments in the ballistic missile arena and now we have to do the same with the cruise missile program.

And then third, we're going to have to work with the Chinese government, which has maximum leverage with North Korea to do everything possible to first end this cruise missile program and stop with the provocative measures and then perhaps begin some type of talks, although we can't rush to, you know, have our leader meet with their beloved leader Kim Jong-un, similar to Donald Trump's overtures. It has to be very structured and there has to be concrete goals that have to be met before further developments.

BROWN: And so often as we know historically from North Korea, these tests are an attempt to send a message. And in this case, it happened over the anniversary, the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. On that note, do you think America is safer today than it was in 2001?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: In some ways, yes. In other ways, probably not. And I think that with regard to counterterrorism, I think that our homeland is safer. However, as you know, we have new threats on the agenda, including domestic terrorism, which is a big concern for many of us. North Korea remains a big challenge for us, as well as other threat vectors. But this is something that we have to deal with in a concerted way and in a multilateral fashion as well.

BROWN: As a congressman on the Intelligence Committee, though, what is the national security threat that keeps you up at night, that worries you the most?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, gosh, I think that, you know, certainly what's happening in East Asia is very worrisome. I think what happens with the Chinese communist government is very worrisome, especially them throwing their elbows around in the neighborhood, whether it's with regard to Taiwan or the South China Sea or India or whether it's their moves in Hong Kong. And now we see more volatility introduced to the situation when North Korea, you know, tests their cruise missiles and make these provocative moves that further destabilize the neighborhood. Those are the types of threats that really concern me quite a bit.

BROWN: And then you have, of course, Afghanistan. Intelligence officials are predicting that al Qaeda could reconstitute in Afghanistan in as little as 12 months. As someone who has seen the intelligence, how concerned are you about the potential of al Qaeda reemerging in Afghanistan?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I'm very concerned. They've had long standing ties, al Qaeda and the Taliban, and although the Taliban says that they're not going to allow al Qaeda to find safe haven there, at least use it as a base to launch attacks against the United States, I think we have to see because, you know, they've been known to lie in the past. And quite frankly, them naming this Mr. Haqqani who's a known terrorist as their minister of the interior, in this interim Taliban governor is a bad sign. And we have got to not just watch what they say but see what they do and hold them to their actions.


BROWN: You've been critical of the U.S. handling of the exit in Afghanistan. And I want to play a clip of President Biden defending the exit once again yesterday. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Seventy percent of the American people think it was time to get out of Afghanistan spending all that money, but the flip of it is they didn't like the way we for out. But it's hard to explain to anybody how else could you get out. For example, if we were in Tajikistan, we pulled up a C-130, and said we're not going to let, you know, anybody who was involved with being sympathetic to us to get in the plane, you'd have people hanging on the wheel well. No.


BROWN: So do you agree that the chaos we saw in Kabul was inevitable as the president was trying to argue there?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I respectfully disagree. I think that the biggest question that folks like myself and others have is, you know, we knew about at least 20,000 special immigrant visa applicants for months. It's not a year since Donald Trump announced that we were going to be withdrawing from Afghanistan.

I agree 100 percent with Joe Biden that the American people want us to withdraw our military presence from Afghanistan. But the manner in which we withdrew and then brought our Afghan allies along matters. Those 20,000 SIV applicants along with their dependents could have been evacuated much sooner. And quite frankly, we have a lot of people still in Afghanistan that we're trying to get out, including vulnerable populations.

My office alone is trying to track the cases of 198 individuals that are still in Afghanistan and for whom we have not received information from U.S. CIS, the State Department or other authorities. And so I think that is a big problem for a lot of us right now.

BROWN: And you say these individuals, are they Afghan allies, U.S. citizens? Can you give us any more information? KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, it's mainly going to be Afghan nationals. It's

going to be people who are in vulnerable populations, some SIV applicants. I was able to get three SIV applicants out of the country, thankfully, but that's just not enough. I've got 198 other people that I'm responsible for at least trying to get them out. And, you know, we do still have leverage here and we've got to use that leverage to get these people out expeditiously along with accomplishing our other goals, which is making sure Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for terrorists and that we make sure that we do everything possible to also try to guard the rights of women and girls, vulnerable populations like LGBTQ folks as well as the media.

BROWN: All right, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, thank you for joining us tonight.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you so much.

BROWN: And be sure to join Jake Tapper as he asks the tough questions about America's longest war. "WHAT WENT WRONG IN AFGHANISTAN," the new CNN Special Report begins tonight at 9:00 p.m.

Well, time is running out for California's governor to convince voters why he should remain in office. Gavin Newsom's recall election is less than two days away. Maeve Reston and Ron Brownstein break it all down for us up next.



BROWN: On Tuesday California voters will decide the fate of Governor Gavin Newsom. Millions, mostly Democrats, have already cast mail-in ballots but Republicans are banking on a big turnout on Tuesday.

There are two questions on the ballot. Should Gavin Newsom be recalled, and if so, who should replace him? There are 46 contenders including reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner.

CNN's senior political analyst and senior editor for "The Atlantic" Ron Brownstein joins me, along with CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston.

Great to see you both. Maeve, let's kick it off with you and look at the latest polling from the Public Policy Institute in California that shows 58 percent of voters would not opt to recall Newsom right now compared to 39 percent who would. And we know President Biden is scheduled to campaign in California for Newsom this week.

Do you think that's risky given his popularity has taken some hits in the past couple of weeks?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It has, but, you know, Pam, as you know, this is not a persuasion election. This is a turnout election for Newsom. And what he wants is President Biden to come in as the closer. As you mentioned off the top, things are actually looking pretty good

for Democrats right now. We've got about 33 percent of the vote in as of Friday. And right now Democrats are really overperforming their registration advantage in this state. And in order for Republicans to pull this off, they have to pull off a huge turnout on election day to make up for that math problem that they have in this very blue state.

And so what Newsom has been doing is just going out across the state. He was speaking with Latino leaders a little while ago in L.A. County, trying to push people to return their ballots and really make this a high turnout election for Democrats to keep him safe.

BROWN: And Ron, I want to go to you. Just looking at big pictures here because you had this op-ed in "The Atlanta" this week where you say Newsom's campaign strategy targeting the pandemic may actually offer a road map for Democrats next fall. And you say this in your piece, "Newsom has focused less on selling his accomplishments than on raising alarms that his Republican opponents will exacerbate the coronavirus pandemic by repealing the public health protections such as vaccine and mask mandates that he has imposed to fight it."


So how could the strategy work for Democrats in the midterms?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think there are two big lessons here. I mean, the first and really the most obvious and striking is the arc of the roll of the COVID pandemic in this campaign. Because it was a gust of discontent in the most conservative parts of the state over Newsom's stringent policies on COVID last year that allowed this to get on the ballot in the first place.

But in the last few weeks he has clearly taken control of this race by leaning into his support for vaccine mandates for educators and health care workers and government state employees, and putting Republicans on the defensive by linking them not only to Donald Trump but also to the governors in Texas and Florida.

And I think there's a very clear message there for Democrats that there is in effect a silent majority of the vaccinated that are ready for tougher measures against the unvaccinated. Newsom in the two latest polls is winning two-thirds of vaccinated Californians.

The other big lesson is what you cited. Democrats' inclination for 2022 has been to kind of center the coming campaign on what they may be able to pass in Congress. I think what Newsom is showing is that motivating Democrats and even reaching swing voters, it may be more effective to focus on what Republican power, Republican control of Washington would mean. That's certainly been his message at the state level.

BROWN: And Maeve, what do you think about that? Do you think Newsom's arguments could hold water with voters across the country, particularly independents?

RESTON: Yes. I mean, you know, Newsom's advisers will tell you over and over again that this race comes down to COVID, COVID, COVID. That they saw when the Delta variant started to take hold in this state, Democratic voters really started to freak out about the possibility of a Governor Larry Elder, who says that before his first cup of tea, he would repeal Newsom's mandates on vaccines or testing for state employees. And a lot of people just really didn't react well to that.

In our interview with Larry Elder, he also said that he didn't think that the science supported young people wearing masks, which we know is just completely inaccurate. And so I think you have a lot of parents around the state in particular who are watching the cases in children rise exponentially who said, OK, actually maybe this could happen and maybe I do need to participate in this election because I don't want my state going the way of Texas and Florida.

BROWN: And you're seeing in some of these states that don't have the mandates, schools are having to close because of COVID outbreaks and have to go back to remote learning.

So, Ron, though, it's not just the pandemic at play here. Newsom is also going after that new Texas abortion law as further example of why Californians shouldn't want to recall a Democrat and replace him with a Republican.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Yes, look, I mean, traditionally, Pam, the biggest problem for the president's party in midterm elections, the reason the president's party almost always loses seats in midterm elections is that their voters feel less urgency about voting than the side that is out of the White House. It's kind of logical that way.

But what I think Newsom is showing very clearly is that you can motivate Democrats and reach independents by focusing on what Republican governance would mean. Now, you know, California is a solidly blue state. The playing field is more favorable here for Democrats than almost anywhere else, but the basic concept I think of what you're watching in these last few weeks as he is taking control of this race I think is a template that is going to be very relevant for Democrats in 2022 both on the specifics of leaning into mandates, as a pointed distinction between the party.

We've certainly seen Republican governors, you know, camping out a strong position in defending the rights and choices of this quarter of the country that is unvaccinated over the needs and interest of the three quarters that are. But also more broadly what would Republican control of Congress mean. And in many ways as I said what's really striking is that they're doing this not only by linking the Republicans to Trump but to these governors in Florida and Texas. And I think that's a big kind of tactical development in the political debate.

BROWN: And meantime you have the leading challenger, conservative talk show host Larry Elder taking this cue from the GOP playbook, Maeve, talking about election interference, mail-in ballot fraud days before the actual election. Sound familiar? Obviously he has laid the groundwork that the results can't be trusted. Do you think, Maeve, that that's going to be just another common tactic next November, the big lie living on? RESTON: Well, absolutely. I mean, I think that right now, you know,

Larry Elder is probably looking at the numbers and seeing that they don't look that great for him. We don't know yet obviously until election night. But so you're seeing that Trump playbook looking -- he talks about potential shenanigans and saying that he's going to be ready with lawsuits.


The Newsom team also says they are fully armed and ready with their lawyers. So I think we will see the same kinds of battles play out here even though there's no evidence whatsoever to suggest any kind of voter fraud here at this point.

BROWN: All right, Maeve Reston, Ron Brownstein, great conversation. Thank you both.

RESTON: Thank you.


BROWN: And be sure to join CNN for special coverage of the California governor recall election starting Tuesday night at 10:00 p.m.

And still to come tonight, new details on Donald Trump's pressure campaign to overturn the presidential election.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Hello, Francis, how are you? Hello, Brad and Ryan and everybody.



BROWN: The calls, the texts, the voicemails, plus the local election officials who were on the other end. Stay tuned for the CNN Special Report coming up at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

Well, preparations are underway at the Capitol right now as law enforcement officials brace for potential violence just days from now. We'll be back.



BROWN: Well, police and members of Congress are set to be briefed tomorrow as concerns grow about an upcoming rally at the U.S. Capitol. Far-right groups are set to protest Saturday in support of people charged in the January 6th Capitol attack, claiming they're political prisoners. Now this comes as Capitol Police recommend some officers be punished for conduct related to the insurrection.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is on Capitol Hill for us tonight. So what are you hearing, Suzanne?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pam, the U.S. Capitol Police are recommending disciplinary action for six cases of misconduct for their conduct on January 6th. It started off as internal investigations, 38 of them. Of those, they were able to identify 26 officers. Of that 26, however, 20 of them they deemed there was no wrongdoing. So this really is a small number of cases here.

Just to give you some examples, they're talking about three cases of conduct unbecoming of U.S. Capitol Police. One, failure to comply with directives, one improper remarks, one improper dissemination of information. And none of these acts were deemed criminal. The Justice Department will not be pursuing them.

You might recall, Pam, in February there were six officers that were suspended with pay as these investigations were going on. What might they be addressing here? Well, the dozens and dozens of pieces of video evidence as well as anecdotal evidence of January 6th. For instance, the alleged officer who took a selfie with some of the rioters, another officer who put on a MAGA hat during that time.

That is the kinds of things that they're actually talking about. But they want to give this greater context. There were 1200 Capitol Police personnel who were there on that day, the day of the riots. And many of them, as we saw, were beaten, tortured and tasered. They actually went before Congress and testified about their experiences. So part of the statement from U.S. Capitol Police reads, "The six sustained cases should not diminish the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police officers on January 6th. The bravery and courage exhibited by the vast majority of our employees was inspiring."

You might recall, Pam, as well that five who lost their lives that day, one officer who had a stroke and then died afterwards, four from suicide. There have been more than 600 people related to the riot that day who have been charged.

The big worry now, Pam, of course, is Saturday another rally. Sympathizers of those people who have been arrested at this point. There are going to be a series of meetings with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the leadership with Capitol Police on the security measures that will be taking place, including possibly getting that fencing back around the building -- Pam.

BROWN: All right, Suzanne Malveaux, thank you for bringing us the latest there from Capitol Hill.

Well, the last man to complete the Calendar grand slam in tennis did it in 1969. Tonight was Novak Djokovic's chance to add his name to the short list of players to pull it off. So did he make history? Carolyn Manno at the site of the U.S. Open with an answer up next.


[18:53:24] BROWN: With tennis history on the line, in a match that just ended Novak Djokovic failed to end a 52-year men's grand slam drought, losing to Russian Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.

CNN Sports correspondent Carolyn Manno joins us from the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York.

So tell us what happened, Carolyn.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Reporter: Well, it was certainly a surprising result, Pamela. I'm not sure that many expected this, although I wouldn't call it one of the greatest upsets in tennis because Niil Medvedev is the second ranked player in the world for a reason. He's one of the greatest hard-court players in the world and he just moments ago call Novak Djokovic the greatest player. And I think that that's why this so difficult to swallow for Novak and why we're seeing him get so emotional now in the moments after the match is that there was an incredible amount of pressure on him coming into this match and he had a tougher road to the final than Daniil Medvedev did.

Medvedev was able to play with a little bit more levity. He had a much easier road, played fewer sets. And so, you know, when you were listening to the crowd, they were so squarely in Novak Djokovic's favor, they wanted to will him to this victory so badly. I mean, it was palpable. And you could you feel the heaviness that was on him.

You know, being the greatest in the world is wonderful but it also comes as something of a burden and he's wanted to defer a lot of that pressure, a lot of those questions about what this accomplishment would potentially mean, winning every single grand slam in a calendar year and now we know why. It proved to be too much. Straight sets I think surprised a lot of people but Daniil Medvedev deserved it. He played incredible tennis.

BROWN: And let's just quickly before we let you go talk about the women's final, right? I mean, two teenagers coming out of nowhere.


MANNO: Absolutely, yes. Anybody who got a ticket to this weekend, and really this entire tournament, has been in for such a treat because we have just seen one remarkable thing after the next. And you had a pair of teenagers, prodigies, phenomes, likable stars endearing themselves to not only those who are in New York but people around the world.

You know, these are two young women, Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu, who were really unknowns before this tournament. You know, a lot of people knew Raducanu from Wimbledon. She endeared herself to some people there, ended up withdrawing from that tournament, and taking some time to prioritize her mental health.

Leylah Fernandez has an incredible story, comes from immigrant parents, she's Canadian, and they both showed up to this stage with such confidence, such poise, and they battled each other, and ultimately, Raducanu was successful this time. And she is wading what must be tens of millions of dollars in lucrative sponsorship deals because she is just a complete package.

But hopefully what tennis fans feel like this is, is a rivalry that's going to last for a long time because Leylah Fernandez is one talented tennis player as well. And so the two of them were introduced on the world stage and they didn't shy away from this moment. It was really special to see.

BROWN: They did not. They are two tennis stars. That is for sure.

All right, Carolyn Manno, thank you so much for bringing us the latest there.

And when we come back, I'm going to speak to a Georgia professor who could face disciplinary action for making students wear masks in his classroom. We're going to have that story, up next.

And be sure to join Jake Tapper as he asks the tough questions about America's longest war. "WHAT WENT WRONG IN AFGHANISTAN?" This new CNN Special Report begins tonight at 9:00. And here's a quick preview.


ANNOUNCER: $2 trillion. Thousands of lives lost.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Was the war worth it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before I go to my grave, I want that question answered.

ANNOUNCER: What went wrong in Afghanistan?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we had a good definition of winning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Corruption was one of the reasons of how things turned out.

TAPPER: Was Pakistan our enemy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. But Pakistan was not our friend.

ANNOUNCER: The tough questions that still need answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If everybody gets an A but the overall effort is still an F, who do we hold accountable?