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Insurrection Investigation; President Biden Urges Republicans to End Obstruction on Debt Ceiling; Texas School Shooting. Aired 1- 1:30p ET
Aired October 06, 2021 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This Is CNN breaking news.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being with us.
We begin with breaking news out of Arlington, Texas. That's in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where right now an active search is under way for an 18-year-old male who police shot multiple people inside this high school and then fled the scene.
Now, investigators believe that suspect may have left the campus in a car. They do not believe he is on scene. That's why you are seeing the steady stream of students now exiting the building. But they warn, the suspect maybe armed and dangerous.
We are told four people were injured, one person suffering minor injuries and was treated at the scene, three others take into the hospital. We have got live pictures right now of Timberview High School. This is where that shooting took place on the second floor of this sprawling campus just after 9:00 a.m. local time, Central time there.
We know the FBI and the ATF are on scene assisting with the investigation. And we have been watching now for a while as these students are leaving the school, which indicates typically that that lockdown has been lifted, obviously, and that the building has been secured and there's no additional threat there to students on scene.
Let's go live to that high school with CNN's Ed Lavandera, who's there for us.
What more do we know about this suspected what happened, Ed?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that suspect is a 18-year-old male by the name of Timothy George Simpkins.
In the moments after the shooting, that suspect was able to get out of the school. And that is why authorities and investigators here in the Arlington, Texas, area have launched a search for his whereabouts. They have described that he left the scene here in a 2018 silver Dodge. They're actively searching for him at this moment. In the meantime, here at Timberview High School, you can see there way
off in the distance on the south side of the school a fleet of yellow school buses that have arrived here on the scene. And over the course of the next hour or so, we suspect that we will begin seeing students cleared out of this building.
Investigators say they have been going through the school to make sure that there was no one else involved. At this point, investigators say they are confident that the threat is over, that there are no other shooters or any other kind of danger inside the school.
But investigators here are -- tell us that this all erupted after a fight between this 18-year-old suspect and some other person inside that classroom, when -- that is when the shooting erupted.
They don't know how many shots were fired, and haven't told us exactly what kind of weapon was used. And investigators so far haven't been able to tell us exactly how this 18-year-old was able to get inside the school with this weapon and unsure about whether or not there are metal detectors at the school.
So, all of this unfolding right now as the investigators continue to search for the suspect, as you mentioned, four victims. None of them have died. Three of them, we are told, our students and one teacher, so a great deal of anxiety unfolding here for parents who have rushed here to the scene.
And, right now, school officials are in the process of trying to move out all of the students inside the high school to a nearby performing arts center. And that's where they are told they can reunite with their parents and family members. And officials here are in the process of doing that right now -- Ana.
CABRERA: And I'm sure so many parents are grateful to hear that the shooting situation, the active shooting situation, has abated. However, there is still this threat potentially out there, because no one is in custody yet.
Josh Campbell, you're with us. You're a former FBI agent.
Tell us more about the manhunt that's happening right now. How our police trying to track him down?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there are a couple unusual aspects of the shooting, Ana, that we don't typically see.
The first is, is that authorities of ascertain motive very quickly. Again, when these happen, we often wait minutes, sometimes hours, sometimes days to determine why someone opened fire. Here, authorities saying that this appears to have followed a fight.
And the reason why that's important is because it does not appear, at least from the information we have right now, that this authority -- came to the school wanting to cause indiscriminate loss of life. It appears as though this followed some kind of altercation. Nevertheless, as you mentioned, there still is a threat, not at the
school, but now with the general public, as this manhunt is now under way. We have seen these hundreds of law enforcement officers from different agencies descend on that school. They're now being focused on trying to actually catch this fugitive.
Authorities describe him as armed and dangerous. We know that he has already used a firearm. And so that is something they want the public to know. They don't want people to approach this individual. They want them to call 911.
Finally, it's worth noting that there will be a host of resources poured in. We will show you the map there of that area, this area only an hour-and-a-half from Oklahoma, different states, and Louisiana, Arkansas as well.
And so they're going to have a lot of resources both in Texas, the feds and other states around that area on the lookout for this individual, Ana.
CABRERA: OK, Josh Campbell, Ed Lavandera, really appreciate both of you.
We are going to continue to monitor this situation and continue to do digging in terms of getting more information about what happened and the ongoing developments as they search for this suspect.
Stay with CNN for that.
Meanwhile, the federal government is now projected to run out of cash in less than two weeks. That's days sooner than expected, and not acting by this so-called X-date would almost certainly plunged the country into economic catastrophe, experts say. We're talking trillions of dollars wiped of 401(k)s, surging interest rates for loans, plunging stock markets, potentially millions of jobs lost.
To avoid all of this, Congress has to raise the nation's debt ceiling. Remember, this is for money already spent, like paying your credit card bill. And the president is speaking about this right now.
Let's listen together.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I'm going to make some brief comments, maybe ask a few questions.
And then we will yield and get down the road here. And maybe we can, all of us both virtually, as well as in person here, we can hopefully make some progress.
I want to thank the secretary of Treasury, Secretary Yellen, Commerce secretary Raimondo. I see her on the screen there.
It's good to see you.
And the leaders of some of the most important businesses and institutions, the American Association of Retired Persons, the AARP, Bank of America, Citibank, Deloitte, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Nasdaq, the National Association of Realtors, and Raytheon, and -- for joining me today for talking about the need to raise the debt limit.
We haven't failed to do that since our inception as a country. We need to act. These leaders know the need to act. The United States pays its bills. It's who we are. It's who we have been, it's who we're going to continue to be, God willing.
That's what's called the full faith and credit of the United States. Let me be clear. Raising the debt limit is paying our old debts. It has nothing to do with new spending or what may be coming this year or other years. It has nothing to do with my plans on infrastructure or building back better, both of which are paid for, but they're not even in the queue right now.
It's about paying what we owe and preventing a catastrophic event occurring in our economy. I'm glad these leaders are here to talk about the real-world impact this is going to have on people and on our position in the world.
Today's discussion won't be partisan. It shouldn't be. Raising the debt limit is usually bipartisan. Let me speak for myself here. I want to be clear, so the American people understand what's going on. There is a Senate vote today to raise the debt limit. Traditionally, it needs only 50 votes.
I was -- we were informed by our Republican friends that they had to be all Democrat votes, they weren't going to help. We said, OK, we will provide 50 votes. The definition, and the Democrats, we have the votes. The Democrats are willing to step up and stop this economic catastrophe, if Senate Republicans will just get out of the way.
But our Senate Republicans are planning to block the vote to raise the debt limit by using the procedural power called the filibuster. To say that in plain English, it means you have to have 60 votes when there is a filibuster, 60 votes, a supermajority, instead of 50, to get anything done.
It's not right, and it's dangerous. The reason we have to raise the debt limit is in part because of the policies of the previous administration, which incurred nearly $8 trillion in bills in four years, some of which Democrats voted for, more than a quarter of all the debt now outstanding.
We had to raise the debt limit three times when Donald Trump was president. And the Republicans moved to raise it each time, and each time, the Democrats supported the effort to raise the debt. But now Republicans won't raise the debt limit, despite being responsible for what the debt limit -- why it has to be raised, for the bills that are outstanding.
They won't raise it enough through -- and, if we don't, we are going to defaulting on a debt that lead to self-inflicted wounds that risk the market tanking and wiping out retirement savings and costing jobs.
Defaulting on the debt, which Secretary Yellen said could happen at any day after October the 18, as we run out of money, means that Social Security benefits will stop. Salaries to service members will stop. Benefits to veterans will stop, and much more.
The failure to raise the debt limit will undermine the safety of the United States Treasury securities, threaten the reserve status of the dollar as the world currency and the -- that the world relies on, downgrade America's credit rating and result in a rise in interest rates for families, talking about mortgages, auto loans, credit cards.
My friends -- and they are many of my friends -- the Senate Republicans' position I find to be not only hypocritical, but dangerous and a bit disgraceful, especially as we're crawling our way out of a pandemic that cost Americans 700,000 lives thus far, and we're still battling it.
Our markets are rattled. America's savings are on the line. The American people, your savings, your pocketbook, are directly impacted by this stunt.
It doesn't have to be this way. My Republican friends need to stop playing Russian roulette with the U.S. economy. If they don't want to do the job, just get out of the way. We will take the heat. We will do it. We will do it. Let us do it.
Let the Democrats vote to raise the debt limit without obstruction or any further delays. House Democrats have already passed the bill that would do that, raise the debt limit and keep the government functioning. It's sitting in the United States Senate right now, where Democrats, with no help from Republicans, have the votes today to pass the debt limit.
The path Republicans offer would take us right to the brink and cause irreparable economic damage, in my view. So let's vote and end this mess today. That's the only way to eliminate the uncertainty and risk that will remain for American families and our economy if we don't.
For more than 200 years, America has built this hard-earned reputation of the strongest, safest and most secure investment in the world. And that's why the United States is the financial rock the world looks to and trusts.
Now, on one cynical, destructive partisan ploy, just for politics, our Republican friends are teetering on that brink here. They're threatening to boot that all away. Now it's a meteor headed to crash into our economy. We should all want to stop it, stop it immediately.
This shouldn't be partisan. And I'm thankful for the leaders who share the urgency on why we need to act. And we need to act now. Many of them are here with me, not next week, now. Look forward to hearing from their perspectives and will now get this meeting started with the -- my colleagues' permission. I'd like to start off, if I may, with a question for Jane Fraser, the
CEO of Citi.
By the way, congratulations on your award.
You run one of the largest banks in America. And what impacts are you seeing or do you think you will see from this obstruction? What does it mean for the small businesses and everyday people if we renege on the debt here?
JANE FRASER, CEO, CITIGROUP: Thank you, Mr. President, for inviting us all to talk about this critical issue.
CABRERA: This conversation, the president has this meeting with business leaders and CEOs from across the country.
We just heard him make the case for how dangerous the situation could be if the U.S. were to default on its debt. And he is placing the blame right now with Republicans, who are refusing to pass this in a bipartisan way, to raise the debt ceiling.
I want to bring in CNN's chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins and CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju to give us the breakdown as far as the state of play right now.
Kaitlan, first, as we just heard from the president, it sounds like this is a public pressure campaign of sorts to try to get some movement on this issue. Are Democrats even confident that they could raise this debt ceiling in time?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the question that they're facing is really the deadline, because, of course, we know now it is less than two weeks away. That's that date that the Treasury secretary has warned about.
But even that is really not a firm date, because you could start to see the effects of this sooner. And so that was what the president was trying to convey to everyone, everyday Americans there, by saying that Social Security benefits will stop, paychecks to military members will stop, benefits for veterans.
This is really a message that you're seeing White House economist tried to hammer home today as they do try to increase pressure on Republicans.
And that is clearly what the White House is doing with this meeting, because this is something that they had put together in the last 24 to 36 hours or so, inviting these top business leaders to meet with the president on this, because they're hoping that will help, that either it will be -- cause Republicans to vote with Democrats to raise the debt limit, or let Democrats do it on their own with a simple majority, something that we know our Hill team has reported Republicans are set to block this afternoon, saying instead they need to do that complicated process known as reconciliation to pursue this instead.
One thing the president did not mention, there is something that we know Democrats are discussing behind closed doors, and that is this idea of the nuclear option, which is changing the rules to the Senate filibuster to allow them to get this passed with only 51 votes, instead of having 60 votes potentially.
And that is something that President Biden told me last night, Ana, was a real possibility, taking that route, if they feel they don't get the support from Republicans. So they are trying to make that last- ditch effort just now to get Republicans on board.
CABRERA: So, Manu, let's talk about that option, this idea of gutting the filibuster just this once on this one specific issue. Are senators Manchin and Sinema on board, because, in the past, they haven't been on board?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And they have not expressed any interest in doing that right now.
In fact, Kyrsten Sinema, we have asked multiple times about whether she would support a one-time change. She's not responding to questions in the hallway. Her office has not said whether she has changed her position in any way.
And Senator Joe Manchin, he has been clear for months that he will not change the Senate filibuster rules. He's concerned about what it would do to this institution and that it could ultimately impact future minority rights and let the majority of this body run roughshod over the minority on a whole host of issues.
But on this issue of dealing with this specific carve-out, just allowing the debt ceiling to be increased by a simple majority, changing the rules of the Senate, so it cannot be filibustered by 60 members, to agree that it would be required 60 members to overcome, he's still making clear today that he has not changed his position. He still supports maintaining that 60-vote threshold.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): My caucus leader and the majority leader is Chuck Schumer, and the -- basically, the minority leader is Mitch McConnell.
I implore them to engage, start working. Work this out. This should not be a crisis. I have been very, very clear where I stand, where I stand on the filibuster. I don't have to repeat that. I think I have been very clear. Nothing changes.
QUESTION: Do you think there will be 50 votes, Democratic votes, to change the filibuster?
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): There may very well be.
There's a lot of passion in the caucus about not allowing Senator McConnell to derail our advancing the Build Back Better agenda. (END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So that last point from Chris Coons, a close ally of the president's, believes that ultimately, when push comes to shove, the senators like Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema will come on board, realizing that they have no choice but to change the Senate filibuster rules because to do that they need all 50 Senate Democrats to vote to make those changes to the rules.
They need Manchin. They need Sinema. Democrats ultimately think, if there's no other option, if they're staring at default, that is the only choice at the table, that they will make that choice, but we're not there yet. We're still 12 days away from that October 18 deadline.
Will that change, something change with Joe Manchin and Sinema over the next nearly two weeks? We will see. But Democrats believe the pressure will build, especially since Republicans are showing no interest in voting or allowing a vote to happen straight party lines in just a matter of days.
CABRERA: Even though Republicans under Trump voted to raise the debt ceiling a few times, in fact, and we know the U.S. has never defaulted on its debt.
Manu Raju, Kaitlan Collins, we will be watching closely. Thank you.
A defiant Mark Zuckerberg responding to the whistle-blower who says the company is dangerous and puts profits over the public good. Why he says her claims don't make sense.
Plus, where is Dan Scavino? The January 6 select committee can't find the former Trump aides as they attempt to serve him with a subpoena. But he's still finding time to troll that panel on Twitter.
CABRERA: Mark Zuckerberg speaking out and firing back at damning claims from a whistle-blower that his company for years has been putting profits before people's safety, specifically the safety of its youngest, most vulnerable users.
The Facebook founder's response? That's not true.
In a statement, he says in part -- quote -- "We have an industry leading research program so that we can identify important issues and work on them. It's disheartening to see that work taken out of context and used to construct a false narrative that we don't care."
And this all follows stunning testimony yesterday from former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who says it's time for Facebook to declare moral bankruptcy and admit they need help solving a problem they created.
Lawmakers are vowing action. We will keep following developments in this story.
Meantime, it was nine months ago today Trump loyalists attacked the U.S. Capitol and democracy itself. And, today, a former Trump insider is thumbing his nose at the congressional investigation into that attack. The House select committee hasn't been able to physically hand and serve Dan Scavino a subpoena.
Yet Scavino remains active on social media, even trolling members of that committee, but he has been physically out of reach for days. So the subpoenas have a deadline tomorrow for a compliance with requests for documents. Another deadline comes next week for the depositions.
CNN law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild is here to break it down.
And, Whitney, does Scavino's disappearing act have any impact on this time frame?
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, it could.
As you mentioned, they're supposed to turn over documents by tomorrow. But they're not on the calendar for depositions until mid-October, so October 14, October 15. It could possibly be that if they still can't contact him by October 14 or 15, when he's actually supposed to appear for a deposition that could be stickier.
However, we have no indication that the other three people have not been served with their subpoenas. So, as far as we know, the other three who are also very important to figuring out what happened on January 6 and the lead-up to that have been successfully served.
We know, for example, Kash Patel has admitted that he's been served with a subpoena. And he has said that he will continue to tell the truth about what happened. So that's where we are here.
But it raises this bigger question, Ana, what is the legal strategy for those people who were close to the former president? And right now we just -- it's just not clear. We have reached out to about a dozen people who are in this Trump world to find out what the legal strategy is.
And we don't have any clarity on that yet. So that's what we're moving forward with, I think, trying to figure out here, as this House committee moves forward, .We do know that there are 11 other people who were part of the rally that led up to January 6, and we know that some of those people are already cooperating or outwardly admitting that they plan to cooperate.
So, absent of Dan Scavino's information, there is still a wealth of information for the House select committee to work with, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Whitney Wild, we appreciate that.
I want to continue this conversation with our legal expert. Carrie Cordero is here with us now, CNN legal analyst and former counsel to the U.S. assistant attorney general.
Carrie, is there anything illegal here in Dan Scavino just ducking the subpoena?
CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think there is some risk for him, Ana.
The committee is going to have to decide how far it is willing to push to enforce its subpoenas. One would think that the committee gave a lot of thought into issuing the subpoenas to begin with to individuals who were close advisers of the former president.
So the question is, if Dan Scavino or any other potential witness who is served with a subpoena, if they do not comply, if they evade service of the subpoena, is the committee willing to refer it to the Justice Department for criminal contempt? And that really is the vehicle that the committee chairman has available to him if he wishes to pursue it.
CABRERA: This whole thing with Dan Scavino reminds me of what happened with Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, as he evaded a subpoena for months when Congressman Eric Swalwell was trying to serve him with a subpoena after filing a civil suit over the January 6 Capitol attack.
Now, eventually, the process server did catch up with Mo Brooks. Again, though, that was a civil suit. Is the process any different with a congressional subpoena? Does that have to be hand-delivered?
CORDERO: Well, the difference here is that what the committee can do is, it can refer the matter to the Justice Department for criminal contempt, and that's whether a witness decides that they are just simply not going to appear.
Or I think one thing the committee will need to consider is, if he continues to evade service, which is what it sounds like, based on the reporting, he is doing, then they potentially could send a referral, a criminal referral for obstruction of justice. In other words, his actual evasion of a subpoena, if that's what he's doing, could be a criminal referral for obstruction of justice.
So the committee has to decide if they're going to play hardball here and if they really are willing to pursue these criminal investigative avenues that would require the involvement of the Justice Department.
CABRERA: Now, Scavino and three other Trump aides and confidants, Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Kash Patel, they're all supposed to give witness testimony next week.
Sounds like at least some may be willing to cooperate. Unclear what their legal strategy will be. However, we have heard from the former president in the past that he is ready to use executive privilege to try to muck up this investigation.
Can he do that? Does he have authority as a former president?
CORDERO: I think there's a very weak argument there. The executive authority belongs to the president of the United States.
And right now, that is Joe Biden. So it is the president's authority to assert executive privilege. Now, sometimes, presidents do assert executive authority, because they want to preserve that for the presidency itself.
But in this case, so far, the indications are from the Biden White House that President Biden is not interested in thwarting the investigation of the January 6 committee, and there's no indication that he is going to assert that authority for the January 6 committee's investigation so far.
CABRERA: OK. We will watch. Again, October 14, October 15 are two key dates, deadlines for these subpoenas.
Carrie Cordero, I always appreciate your expertise and insight. Thanks for being here.
CORDERO: Thanks, Ana.