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Brian Laundrie's Dad Now with Police in Florida Reserve; Deal Reached to Extend Debt Limit Until December; Poll: Biden's Approval Rating Dips to All-Time Low of 38%; "This Is Life" Airs Sunday at 10:00 P.M. Eastern and Pacific. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired October 07, 2021 - 13:30   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: CNN's Leyla Santiago is at the Laundrie home, not far from the nature reserve.

Leyla, what have you learned?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, this morning we saw that, Brian Laundrie's father, Chris, left his home right here and we saw him going into a park that backs up into the Carlton Reserve.

That reserve where teams have been searching for weeks. And where yesterday, when we obtained a police report for an abandoned vehicle, we learned that the family's Mustang was reported as an abandoned vehicle there on September 14th.

Now, according to the attorney for Laundrie's parents, they said that about three weeks ago they gave authorities information about where Brian likes to go in that area.

But that they felt that being on site now for assistance would be better. And so, according to the Laundrie's attorney, that's what Chris Laundrie is doing there right now.

And we did. We saw his truck go in and then we saw him be escorted into the park by law enforcement. And we haven't seen it come back out. That's where the activity is focused today for the search.

I've got to say, we've been here for almost three weeks. And just in the last few days, we've really seen things pick up, if you will, over at the Carlton Reserve, seeing additional resources being requested by teams out there.

And again, now seeing Brian Laundrie's father joining that effort to try to answer that question of, where is Brian Laundrie? The attorney for the Laundrie family saying they still believe that he's in there -- Ana?

CABRERA: Leyla Santiago, thank you.

I want to get CNN law enforcement analyst, Anthony Barksdale, in here with us. He served as acting police commissioner of Baltimore. Anthony, police asking Laundrie's father to help in this search,

bringing him to this nature reserve. What do you make of that? Is that unusual or is this routine?


The only thing is you've got a lot of ground there to cover. Maybe the father has some type of mileage where Brian preferred to go in that area. I don't know.

But with all of that manpower, needing to bring in the father issued to me. And I really wonder what they are trying to do with this.

CABRERA: Well, and there was this campsite discovered that we learned about in the last 24 hours or so. This is a sprawling 24,000-plus acre wilderness area.

So to find remnants of a recently used campsite. What kind of deal is that? And what does it mean for the search going forward?

BARKSDALE: It's significant. I mean, if you found a campsite, you need to recon it if that's where they were. Is this part of the crime scene. We don't know.

So that's a great find, OK? Whether it's the site of the homicide or some type of other activity, that's a positive.

So the police still have to do their work and the FBI still has to do their work with this found campsite.

But until we have Brian Laundrie, we really don't have much.


But how -- how do they go about determination whether Laundrie was at that campsite? And how quickly could they make that determination?

BARKSDALE: Well, you could -- you could look at forensics. You could you look for evidence. Maybe some personal effects may be there. Maybe something there belonged to Gabby. I don't know.

But that is something that they must threat as a possible crime scene. So it has to be protected. It has to be gone through by forensic specialists, you know, CSI, and look for anything that could be an indicator that could link it back to Mr. Laundrie.

CABRERA: Speaking of his parents' role in all of this, their timeline, their story has changed in the last couple of days, including the last time they say they saw their son.

They originally said it was September 14th, but it turns out, on the 14th, they were already searching of their son in that nature reserve area.

And police had found an abandoned vehicle that belonged to the family. And then, on the 15th, we've learned that the parent even went back and got the vehicle. This is according to their family attorney.

As an investigator, Anthony, what does that behavior tell you?

BARKSDALE: It's not good. It's suspicious.

Look, when you're talking to the FBI or any law enforcement, you want to have your story straight. And if they have a private attorney, which they do, that's something that the attorneys should be --

CABRERA: OK. Tech gremlins got us today. Unfortunately, we have to end the conversation.

Anthony Barksdale, really appreciate your time, your insights.

And this is such a mystery. And we'll stay on top of the latest developments. We'll bring you any new information as it becomes available.


Meantime, Republicans backing down and Democrats declaring victory after Senate leaders agree on a deal to raise the debt limit. But those celebrations won't last very long. How we could be looking at another crisis in less than two months.


CABRERA: On Capitol Hill, a deal is struck, and a crisis averted. Or at least delayed.


A short time ago, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a short-term agreement to extend the debt ceiling after a three-month stalemate with Republicans.

So the immediate threat of a first-ever government default is kicked down the road a couple of months until December.

CNN's Lauren Fox is on Capitol Hill.

And, Lauren, disaster averted but not for long.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Ana. And they still have some details to work out on this short-term increase to the country's borrowing limit.

Just because Schumer and McConnell agree doesn't mean that every single member is ready to move this along quickly.

One of the holdups that we're getting a sense of at this hour as lawmakers are going into their private lunches is that, on the Republican side, there are some objections to going ahead and moving this with just a simple majority vote.

Instead, what some conservatives want to see is they want to require a vote, at a 60-vote threshold.

Now this sounds kind of in the weeds, but the reason that it's important is because this would give Republicans an opportunity to have to vote, in part, to help Democrats increase the debt ceiling.

Because, remember, it's a 50-50 Senate. If you have a vote, and you need to advance that legislation, you're going to need some Republicans to help you with that step.

Right now, there's a question: Which Republicans would be willing to help Democrats advance this legislation?

Republican leaders had hoped, and they are still hoping in this private luncheon, to talk their members off the ledge, to just let Democrats have this vote at a simple majority threshold so they can pass it on their own without any Republican fingerprints.

But you can see here why the Republican leaders are in a little bit of a conundrum. They are trying to work through it. We'll see if they can in the next hour or so.

CABRERA: This would obviously then provide Democrats the opportunity to focus on some of the legislation that they have been battling over internally.

Where do things stand right now on infrastructure?

FOX: The expectation, of course, is that the debt limit will be increased one way or the other.

But then Democrats, like you said, can go ahead and pivot to the bipartisan infrastructure bill that needs to pass out of the House and that bigger social safety net bill.

We know Joe Manchin was at the White House earlier today having some discussions. He's been one of the key holdouts, given his concern about the top line number.

He wants it to be around $1.5 trillion. Originally, it had been sitting at $3.5 trillion. Democrats realize they will have to shrink this bill a little bit.

And some of those tough conversations are still in the works. And it's going to take several weeks for this to play out on Capitol Hill.

So, yes, Democrats are going to be able to pivot soon to that process. But there will be a lot of weight on their shoulders as they try to figure that out -- Ana?

CABRERA: Lauren Fox, great job. Thanks very much.

A debt crisis appears to be averted for now, but as we just mentioned, the president's economic agenda still hasn't passed.

There's ongoing fallout over Afghanistan and the border crisis, and, of course, we're still in the pandemic. And all of that have sent President Biden's approval rating to an all-time low.

Just 38 percent of Americans approve of his job performance, according to this new Quinnipiac University poll. That is down from 42 percent just three weeks ago.

Other recent surveys aren't quite so bleak, however, for the White House. A CNN average of recent polls puts Biden's approval rating at 46 percent.

And an average of recent surveys done by Research Center at Quinnipiac shows President Biden's agenda on infrastructure and expanding the social safety net are largely popular among Americans.


Turning a corner on COVID. Pfizer just asked the FDA to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for kids younger than 12. And some experts believe this is the first step towards ending the pandemic.



CABRERA: Welcome back. The national women's soccer league returned to play last night with the fallout from the league's sexual misconduct scandal front and center.


ANNOUNCER: This was a similar scene about half an hour ago between Courage and Washington Spirit.



CABRERA: During the six minutes of each of the league's games last night, the players stopped the game, gathered on the field, and locked armed in solidarity. You could hear the fans cheer. They and gave a standing ovation.

This all follows an investigative report by "The Athletic" last week in which players Paul Riley, the now former head coach of the North Carolina Courage, used his influence and his power to sexually harass player. And in one instance, allegedly coerced a player into sex.

The Courage immediately fired Riley and the league's commissioner resigned.

This Sunday, CNN brings you an all-new season of "THIS IS LIFE" with Lisa Ling. And this Sunday, Lisa will tackle some of the most challenging issues that have defined the past year.

In the first episode, Lisa looked at what was happening to the American economy 40 years ago, and how it triggered a rise in hate towards Asian-Americans that still exists today. Here's a preview.


LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE" (VO): By 1982, one in five Detroit residents were out of a job.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's few and far between. Jobs are hard to come by. How about you? Are you hiring?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing I can say is, move somewhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suddenly, after a lifetime of well-paying jobs, where they could afford a house, two cars, a recreational vehicle, a summer cottage, suddenly, it was wiped out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only answer is charity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People became destitute. The frustration turned into anger. People want to know, why is this happening to me? Who can I blame?

In the beginning, the workers blamed the companies. Factories blamed the workers. The politicians blamed each other. And in the end, they kind of all reached a consensus, let's blame Japan.


CABRERA: Joining us now is the host of "THIS IS LIFE," Lisa Ling.

Lisa, good to see you.

In this premier episode, you look at this terrible hate crime that ends up happening, the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American man in Detroit.

Tell us more about that and why it's so important.

LING: Well, Ana, we're looking at this event in history because we're doing something a little different this season.

We are grounding all of our episodes in something that happened in America's past that we didn't learn about in our history books because, in so many ways, it has impacted where we are today.

And in the case of Vincent Chin, who was a young Chinese-American man who was living in Detroit in 1982, he was out at a bar celebrating his bachelor party.

And two out-of-work auto workers started taunting him. An altercation ensued. The two men were kicked out. And they waited for Vincent Chin outside of the bar.

When Vincent Chin went out, the two men chased him down and beat him to death with a baseball bat. And those two men never served a day in jail or prison. They were fined $3,000 and had to serve some months of probation.

But you look at what's happening today, Ana, and in the last year and a half, since COVID got rooted here in America, Asians, Asian- Americans have been scapegoated and blamed for bringing the virus to America and all over the world.

And in so many ways, it has just continued this pattern of scapegoating that really dates back over 100 years.

And it's important to recognize these stories from the past, these stories that didn't make our history books, because, if we're ever going to move forward, we have to recognize where we've been in order to be able to move forward and do something different.

CABRERA: And why focus on Vincent Chin specifically? That's not a name that most of us have heard. Perhaps, some of us.

But why do you think that his case hasn't had, I guess, more publicity or that it isn't something we talk about more commonly?

LING: Well, it was a case that really galvanized the Asian-American community. And it became the first civil rights case involving an Asian-American in American history.

And again, you know, Vincent Chin's case is an example of this continuous scapegoating that Asian-Americans have endured in this country.

And all of the episodes this season, you know, they're very different. We cover an episode -- or we have an episode about a time in American history when gay people, during the 1950s, were considered a threat to our national security.

We also have an episode about the Chicago race riots of 1919. We're talking about something that happened a century ago. But you can draw a line from that race riot and the segregated housing that ensued to what's happening in the streets of Chicago today.

CABRERA: What shocked you most about what you have discovered?

LING: I think the thing that has shocked me is just the parallels to what is happening today.

And, look, Ana, I mean, it's confounding to me that one of the biggest debates happening in government, in local legislatures, in school boards, in families, is around the teaching of history.

And I think it's so important to teach a multifaceted or adopt a multifaceted approach to history because this is when young people learn empathy.

And by understanding the contributions but also things that other communities have endured, this is how we build tolerance and become more empathetic to our fellow Americans. CABRERA: I'm so, so looking forward to seeing your reporting, Lisa.

You always do such a wonderful job in bringing to light a lot of what isn't always discussed or at least isn't top of mind and is important for us to understand.


Really appreciate it. Good luck with the season. I hope it's a huge success.

And be sure to tune in to an all-new season of "THIS IS LIFE," with Lisa Ling. It premieres Sunday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, only on CNN.

That does it for me. Thank you for being with us. Until next time, follow me on Twitter, @AnaCabrera.

The news continues right after this.