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Plane Evacuated At New York's LaGuardia Airport For Security Incident; Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Texas' Restrictive Abortion Law; Trump Allies Told To Cooperate Or Face Criminal Charges; Mitch McConnell Vows Not To Provide Assistance To Democrats On Debt Ceiling Again; Donald Trump Hints At 2024 Presidential Run With Iowa Rally; What The Latest Jobs Report Reveal About U.S. Economic Fate. Aired 7- 8p ET

Aired October 09, 2021 - 19:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Top of the hour now. I'm Pamela Brown in Washington and you are in the CNN NEWSROOM. It's great to have you along with us on this Saturday.

And we begin tonight with breaking news from LaGuardia airport in New York. A passenger aboard an American Eagle flight is in custody after forcing an emergency landing.

This was the scene on the tarmac where passengers were forced to deplane. One person aboard the flight says as soon as the plane came to a halt the pilots and flight attendants began shouting for everyone to evacuate.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is gathering all the latest information. What have you learned, Polo?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So the key detail here, Pamela, is that all the passengers and the crew aboard that flight are OK at this hour as this investigation just gets started here. Now in terms of the flight itself it's touched down in LaGuardia strangely enough at about the time that it was scheduled to land after its service from Indianapolis. This was Republic Airways flying as American 4817. Again service from Indianapolis.

Port Authority investigators telling us that towards the end of that flight there were some passengers aboard that plane that reported to the crew that there was one of their fellow passengers that was behaving strangely, erratic is the way they described it. At one point even suddenly reached for his luggage. So as a result the aircrew then relayed that information down to the ground crew here where emergency responders quickly deployed here.

A huge presence that we saw a few hours ago which has since cleared out here. That plane landed safely here at LaGuardia and then shortly after that, according to the airline, the pilots then move from that active runway onto a taxi way which is when, as you mentioned a little while ago, that flight crew then called for that immediate evacuation. The goal here was for authorities to then board the aircraft to make sure that there was no immediate threat.

Now as we see these pretty dramatic pictures, Pamela, it's important to remember that at this point there is no indication, at least we don't have any information that would lead us to believe that the person appears to be detained in that video is in fact the passenger in question. Of course we could learn that down the road but at this point it's too soon to tell. Also still too soon to tell if any actual criminal charges have been filed in connection to this.

BROWN: We just lost Polo there. He froze there, mid-sentence. All right, we'll check back with him later. But for now I want to bring in CNN transportation analyst Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general for the U.S. Transportation Department.

Mary, nice to see you. First of all, what is your reaction to what played out there?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN TRANSPORTATION ANALYST: Well, it's so familiar looking because I was at the Detroit airport on Christmas Day in 2009 when the plane with the underwear bomber land at Detroit and the response was very much the same. The plane taxied to the far end of the runway, it was met with emergency vehicles, fire and police, and passengers had an emergency deplaning. And of course in that case and on that plane they did identify that there was a threat.

And before that, of course, was the shoe bomber where the response was somewhat the same. So it does look from the way the response was there was some sort of a threat vector, a bomb threat, some kind of a threat made. And whether or not there's a device remains to be seen.

BROWN: So what does it say to you that the passengers were evacuated on the tarmac rather than the gate? Is that standard operating procedure if there is a potential threat?

SCHIAVO: No, Pamela, and you're exactly right. That's a huge clue. Now if someone's just misbehaving on the plane what often happens is the officers will come on the aircraft and remove that person first. Here, because the passengers were ordered off first, that tells us there was some sort of a perceived threat to the safety of the passengers or maybe even the safety and integrity of the aircraft because it did not go to the gate.

If it went to the gate and of course the plane had some sort of a device on it, then the plane becomes a tactical weapon. So those are two very important clues that some kind of a threat was perceived on that plane that could endanger the lives of the passengers and also we did not want the aircraft next to the terminal.

BROWN: The passenger was apparently causing concern with erratic behavior, the passenger we're seeing in this video from a phone on the ground there with the authorities, and it was fellow passengers who alerted the crew. How essential is it that passengers speak up when they see something suspicious?

[19:05:06] SCHIAVO: It's very important. And, you know, September 11, 2001 was a turning point. And the passengers on all the flights -- we hear about Flight 93 but the other three flights as well had plots under way to try to take back the aircraft from the hijackers. And that really sent a message to all airline passengers to, you know, help fight back, that matters into your own hands if you can.

And by the way, there's a federal law that if you as a passenger act on that aircraft to help save the aircraft, the flight, the flight attendants, the crew, you can't be prosecuted or sued. So you have every incentive to help and save yours and other lives and save the plane.

BROWN: We're awaiting to learn some more details about all of this. But of course, this comes after a series of events on airplanes where passengers exhibited erratic behavior in recent months. What do you think is going on on that front?

SCHIAVO: Well, you know, and it's not just on aircraft. I mean there is so much anger, you know, across the country, around the world. But on an aircraft this is especially dangerous because after September 11, 2001 the threat vectors changed. Since then we've had as I already mentioned the underwear bomber and the shoe bomber. We've had attempts made with cellphones where cellphones were disguised weapons or cellphones could set off bombs.

We had a plane that was not in the United States but in Europe. That was brought down, believed to be with a bomb in a pop can. It's called the Schweppes bomb. And we had a plot out of the Middle East to put explosives in ink cartridges and printers. And that was, you know, fortunately, only foiled because of some tips the United States got, intelligence information on that.

So the threat vectors changed. And so when you do -- when you don't comply with the orders of the flight attendants, for example, take your phone out when they've said, you know, put them away or whatever, those have posed threats. And those are now considered potentially items of danger because they have been used in other attempted plots.

BROWN: All right, Mary Schiavo. Thank you so much for giving us perspective on this.

Well, there is more legal whiplash in Texas over the state's controversial abortion ban. A federal appeals court panel has temporary reinstated the law that bans abortions as early as six weeks, no exceptions for rape or insist.

CNN's Natasha Chen is following the very latest twist in this battle over a woman's right to choose.

Natasha, two courts, two very different rulings this week leaving Texas women completely unsure about their options.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, right now the law is in effect in Texas and that is because of the actions last night of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. They're based in New Orleans. They put a temporary hold on the lower court's order that was issued just two days before that. So on Wednesday the U.S. District Court had blocked the abortion ban at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice.

So this most recent ruling actually asks the DOJ to respond to the Fifth Circuit by 5:00 p.m. Central Time next Tuesday. So we're going to see what happens then. It's likely that that court will then come up with a final ruling. And then there could be some more back and forth in this situation, further legal wrangling and possibly could end up before the Supreme Court, which had already rejected a claim brought earlier by abortion clinics requesting the Supreme Court to block the law.

In the meantime, you can imagine the confusion and we're hearing from abortion clinics outside of Texas that they have recently seen a lot more women coming from Texas for services, Pamela.

BROWN: And the first ruling earlier this week meant that Texas abortion clinics could actually reopen. Do we know if any of them did?

CHEN: Well, so between Wednesday and Friday, right, there was a short window where that U.S. District Court, a ruling was in effect. So on Thursday an organization that has several clinics in Texas said that its staff had resumed providing abortions for women who were more than six weeks pregnant, but they did do that with some legal risk. Because this Texas law actually allows enforcement actions for abortions that are done during a court ordered block if that order is later reversed.

So you can see how the people behind this law likely knew that a lot of legal back and forth was about to come. And so even doing so that Thursday was like I said with some legal risk, Pamela.

BROWN: All right, Natasha Chen, thanks for bringing us the latest on that front.

And up next on this Saturday evening, investigators now saying a broken pipeline may have been leaking oil for as much as a year before it was finally discovered. What they now think caused the crack.


Also ahead tonight, former Trump aide Dan Scavino finally gets served his subpoena and the January 6th committee now promising to pursue criminal charges if Trump insiders refuse to cooperate.

And then we talk to the creators of "Squid Game" about the show's runaway success. Have you seen it? There's been so much frenzy about it. Sudden frenzy for South Korean entertainment especially.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be right back.


BROWN: Well, the fight for answers suddenly gains momentum after the Trump inspired attempted coup of January 6th. These are all the former president's men who now face subpoenas. Two of them are, quote, "engaging with the panel."

One, Dan Scavino, finally accepted his subpoena Friday after the committee spent days looking for him. They finally sent a process server to Mar-a-Lago with Dan Scavino telling someone there to accept it while he was at home in New York.


But Steve Bannon isn't anywhere close to talking. He is citing Trump's claim of executive privilege as an excuse to keep silent.

Now a Trump spokesman said this week that, quote, "Executive privilege will be defended not just on behalf of President Trump and his administration but also on behalf of the Office of the United States and the future of our nation." So there's just one problem with that. The office of the current president responded Friday by saying it won't assert executive privilege to block the committee's request for documents.

Did you take all that in? That's a lot. So let's try to understand this a little more with Page Pate, he is a constitutional law attorney.

Thanks for being here. All right, Page, so help us understand this. You have the former president trying to invoke executive privilege or insinuating that he believes it's covered here. You have the current president saying that he won't assert executive privilege for this first group of documents. Who has the most say here? Who has the upper hand on this fight?

PAGE PATE, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ATTORNEY: Well, Pamela, I think that's going to be a question that we're going to find the answer out in real time. It is, I think, relatively clear based on an old Supreme Court decision that a former president does have some right to claim executive privilege. It does not just belong to the current person who's in that office. But I do believe in a situation like this where you have a disagreement, the incumbent president says I don't think executive privilege applies, the former president says I think it does.

I think in that case, you have to give the benefit of the doubt to the incumbent president because executive privilege protects the office of the president, not the individual who may be holding it.

BROWN: So can Trump stop witnesses from speaking to investigators?

PAGE: Not if the witness wants to speak to the investigator regardless. Trump can say, look, I want to assert executive privilege here, I don't want you to talk to the investigator, but ultimately the individual who's been subpoenaed has to make that decision for themselves.

And what I think will happen here if Congress is going to be aggressive about it, if they mean what they say when they issue these subpoenas, is they will refer these individuals for criminal prosecution to the Department of Justice. And that's, I think, the first time we'll actually see these witnesses

facing real serious consequences for refusing to testify.

BROWN: But that is a process -- if they do that, that could take a long time. I mean Democrats could run out the clock, right? I mean if this goes to court, this could take a long time.

PAGE: Well, it could. But there's a way to do it faster. See, in the past especially when Trump was in the White House and the DOJ more or less answered to him, what Congress would do when they were trying to enforce the subpoena is first go to court, try to get a court order and then require the person to appear.

And then if they didn't appear try to get the court to hold them in contempt. There's a way to bypass that. Congress can go directly to the Department of Justice and say, look, this person was lawfully served with a subpoena. They either didn't show up or they showed up and didn't answer questions, so you need to consider criminal prosecution.

Now those witnesses will have a defense. They can say, look, we didn't have to testify, executive privilege applies, but that would be played out in court and I think that would be a lot faster and a way to really move the investigation forward other than taking that longer step through the court process.

BROWN: So hypothetically these aides could wind up sitting in jail. If they refuse to testify, if the committee goes that route and if they're found guilty, that could be the outcome here.

PAGE: That's right. It is a misdemeanor offense so we're not talking about years in jail, but it does carry at least 30 days in jail. Now, again, there's still going to be a criminal process. Just because they refer it to DOJ doesn't mean the Department of Justice is automatically going to take these people to trial.

They have to go through the indictment process. I'm sure the witnesses will raise defenses. But that process in a criminal case is usually much faster than in a civil case when you're trying to get a court to uphold a subpoena issued by a congressional committee like this.

BROWN: So we have the January 6th Select Committee. We have this damning report from the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was a preliminary report. Among other findings it says Trump asked the DOJ to undermine the election result nine times.

What can be done to prevent a future attempt to overturn an election? What can be done legally to prevent those efforts in the future, to protect future elections?

PAGE: Well, Pamela, I think that's really the ultimate question here. What can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again?


It's not going to be issuing another report. That's not going to ensure it doesn't happen again. If you look to what people do in criminal cases, what prosecutors do. we look for deterrents. What is going to deter someone from acting on behalf of a president who wants to stay in office when those actions are unlawful? It's prosecution.

So I think if Congress goes ahead and is very aggressive as they've said they're going to be in enforcing these subpoenas, that's a good first step. Let's send a message that we mean what we say, we're taking this seriously and people are going to be held accountable.

BROWN: So I see your point but do you think that the committee waited too long to get going given the midterms barely your way, and the possibility that this whole probe gets shutdown depending on how the midterms go? What do you think?

PAGE: Well, I mean, that's possible. I know that they have gathered some documents. They've talked to some individuals. They're gathering some evidence. The process is by its nature a slow, deliberative process. There's really no way around that. But I think if Trump and the people who are listening to him are really going to force the issue, we could see some of these legal questions playing out in court very soon well before the midterm elections.

BROWN: All right. Page Pate, great to have you on. Thanks so much.

PAGE: Thank you, Pamela.

BROWN: One week later and the oil spill off the Southern California coast near Huntington Beach is still spreading. Investigators now say that a small crack in the pipeline that caused as much as 130,000 gallons to spill into the ocean may have happened up to a year ago. Balls of tar have also started washing up on beaches in San Diego nearly 100 miles south of the original spill.

Well, Congress may have avoided crashing through the debt ceiling to default but only until December. And Senator Mitch McConnell is telling the president, hey, don't look at him for the help on the debt ceiling again.

We're going to have more on that just ahead.



BROWN: Just days after the Senate narrowly averted the U.S. government defaulting on its bill, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is now telling Democrats not to ask for his party's help to raise the debt ceiling next time around.

On Thursday, Congress reached a bipartisan agreement to cover the government's expenses through December. Setting the stage for another debt ceiling showdown right in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Doesn't that sound like fun? I'm kidding.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is following the story for us. I mean, wow.


BROWN: Really? Really?

MALVEAUX: Again. Again and again. Pam, I have to tell you, I mean, the claws are being sharpened going into this weekend on all sides. We've got Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell facing criticism from those in his own party for offering a lifeline to the Democrats for temporarily raising the debt ceiling.

Well, he is now lashing out in a scathing public letter to President Biden. He writes, "I will not provide such assistance again if your old Democratic government drifts into another avoidable crisis. Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed they lack to address the debt ceiling through stand-alone reconciliation and all the tools to do it."

Now the Senate voted 50 to 48 Thursday in favor of the extension after 11 Republicans including McConnell joined Democrats in a separate vote to overcome the filibuster. The 60-vote threshold needed to stop debate.

It was a retreat for McConnell and Republicans that now has them even more determined to put raising the debt ceiling squarely on the Democrats. So Tuesday the House is expected to vote on the two-month extension, send it to Biden's desk for the signature, averting an economic calamity.

So without this extension it would be expected that the U.S. markets could tank, the U.S. dollar could lose value, interest rates could rise, the credit rating could be downgraded and there would be a big ripple effect on consumers, small businesses, military and federal workers and benefit payments would stop.

But whether to raise the debt ceiling is not resolved. It's only kicked down the road as we're going to see in the weeks ahead. Republicans are trying to force Democrats to own this issue, pay politically and tie it to the $3.5 trillion spending bill.

The only way they can achieve it is by forcing Democrats to vote for it solely on their own by 51 votes. The process known as budget reconciliation. So while Chuck Schumer says no way, it's too risky, time consuming to use that strategy not to mention unfair for Democrats to take responsibility for Republicans' contributions to the debt, but Democrats did use reconciliation to pass the $1.9 trillion American rescue plan, and they're aiming to use it again to get their Build Back Better spending bill into law.

So it's not like it hasn't been done before, but they're crumbling about it now. It is politically dicey. And we're going to see how this plays out in the next couple of weeks.

BROWN: And just after that you had that fiery Chuck Schumer, that partisan speech from him, then this letter from Mitch McConnell, and you're thinking we're going to be going through this again in December. What is going to happen? Tensions clearly running high.


BROWN: Again.

MALVEAUX: We're going to go through it again.

BROWN: Again. All right, Suzanne. I know you'll be --

MALVEAUX: I'll be back.

BROWN: You'll be right back here talking about it. We laugh, but, man, that's not something any of us are looking forward to given the stakes that you laid out there. Thank you. Thank you so much.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Pam.

BROWN: And meanwhile former president Donald Trump is just moments away from a rally in the first presidential caucus state of Iowa as a new poll shows Iowans like him now more than ever.

Joining me now is former Republican congresswoman Barbara Comstock and Democratic strategist Paul Begala.

Great to see you both. Love having you on together.


Congresswoman Comstock and Democratic strategist, Paul Begala. Great to see you both. Love having you on together.

Congresswoman Comstock, I am going to start with you. You were a vocal proponent of forming a congressional commission to investigate the events of January 6. But the reality is at this point, with these subpoenas being issued and Trump in the letter he sent, he could run out the clock in a court battle over these documents. How aggressive do you think the committee will be to get what they are looking for?

BARBARA COMSTOCK, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I am very hopeful, they will be aggressive, and I highly recommend that they become more aggressive. As Paul knows, you know, back in the 90s during the Clinton administration, I did contempt against the Clinton administration when I was a chief counsel on the committee and we were aggressive on this.

And I think this case against Trump is far stronger than what we did in the 90s. And so there is a lot of investigation pieces that the January 6 Committee can do, even if these people won't cooperate.

You can get their phone records, their text records. You can get their bank records, their business records. And then if they don't cooperate, and you pass these contempt proceedings. It must first require a majority in the House, it can go over and they can start prosecuting it.

And if they are convicted in a D.C. Court, which I expect they could be, then they can be fined up to $100,000.00, as well as the legal bills and/or go to jail for a year. So, I hope they are very tough on this process, because it's important, and as we'll probably see tonight in Donald Trump's speech, he is still an ongoing threat to the country.

BROWN: And so you do believe that they will involve the D.O.J. if it comes to that, if these advisers to Trump don't talk to them, because we know Steve Bannon, for one is saying he is not going to comply.

COMSTOCK: Well, there is no executive privilege for a podcaster who talked to the President. At that time, he was an indicted podcaster. The President pardoned him. There is no executive privilege for that, and they will be rightfully laughed out of court by what I hope will be conservative judges and justices who will once again kick Donald Trump's lame arguments, legal arguments to the curb.

BROWN: You know, Paul, we have seen the Democrats try to engage in these investigations before with Russia, with Ukraine. And in some cases, they were played by the Trump White House and people who work for Trump because they just ran out the clock in court.

What do you think Democrats need to do differently this time around? Do you think they're being aggressive enough? Should they be more aggressive? What is your view of it as a Democrat?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it begins with what Barbara is saying. She did give me a flashback. She used to fire subpoenas over at me, and I was at the White House, she was on the Hill. I think she probably didn't like the Democrats who run the White House. I didn't like the Republicans who were running the Congress.

Guess what? Every subpoena that came, I honored, I replied. I complied. If something was responsive, we sent it up there.

I didn't like it. I thought it was partisan. It didn't matter. It was constitutional. It was legal.

So I do hope they punish any law breakers. There is no insurrectionist privilege as Barbara points out. Mr. Bannon had been out of the White House for over three years when the insurrection happened.

But here is the big difference, Pamela, between those other investigations. When Democrats were looking into the Ukraine scandal or even the 1/6 scandal, Trump was largely in control of the executive branch, and so he could hold back a lot of information.

Even if he keeps Mr. Bannon and three or four others from testifying illegally, there is a lot of information the Democrats have access to. They will know. There is all of that social media, God bless them, these adorable little rioters, they filmed everything, and they posted everything.

And there are a lot of records that you can get from phone companies and social media. We will know, the committee will know who Trump called or who called Trump.

And I think the final thing is, it's much more bipartisan than the impeachments were because God bless her, Liz Cheney, she is a remarkable -- she is way more conservative even than Barbara. I don't agree with her on any policy, but she reveres the Constitution and she is going to go after this every bit as hard, even though she is a Republican as any Democrat.

And so I think that lends an enormous amount of credibility to this effort.

BROWN: You know, you can't lose sight of what this effort is all about, too, right? And I mean, I know that there are claims that this is just what the Democrats are trying to do for political reasons. But really, what is at stake here is future elections and preventing something like the insurrection or efforts to interfere with the peaceful transfer order of power, right?

And last night, Bill Maher on HBO had this bleak prediction for the 2024 election and I want to play a clip and get your reaction on the other end.


BILL MAHER, TALK SHOW HOST: Even if they win, Trump won't accept it. But this time, his claims of illegal voting by immigrants or mail-in ballots coming in after the deadline or the system was hacked by Venezuela or whatever Giuliani comes up with on the fly --



MAHER: They will be fully embraced by the stooges he is installing right now.

What happens when two presidential candidates show up on Inauguration Day both expecting to be sworn in like a bad sitcom pilot?


MAHER: The ding-dongs who sacked the Capitol last year? That was like when al-Qaeda tried to take down the World Trade Center the first time with a van. It was a joke. But the next time they came back with planes.

I hope I scared the [bleep] out of you.


BROWN: It is scary, right? I mean, you know, you see that, and it's sort of like you can see potentially what could happen in the future. But Congresswoman, you tweeted that Republicans see Trump as a sore loser, that people should stop fearing this delusional man. But in the context of that, what we just saw, do you think you're underselling the threat he poses with some of this behavior?

COMSTOCK: Listen, I certainly think he still poses a threat, but he is weakened, and he is delusional, and he has what Bill Barr called these clowns around him who don't understand the law. So I think many of these things that are being pushed that they try

and push into law and these clowns that he's endorsing, A, they won't win, and B, many of their legal -- the bills they put in are so ridiculous, they'll get thrown out.

So I do think a lot of this is going to backfire. As a Republican, I wish he wouldn't run. But I am confident that Herschel Walker will never be a senator from Arizona. Kari Lake who is this nut in Arizona that he endorsed. She will not be a senator or governor, whatever she is running for out there. She's one of the conspiracy theorists that he has endorsed. So I do think this is going to backfire on Republicans, and it's going to weaken them.

Now the biggest problem Democrats have is they have a President thinking fast also, and not doing well. So that is -- you know, that's the problem that the Democrats have on their side. But I do think the fact that a lot of these bills will not be found, again, by conservative justices, because they will not be found as constitutional because the people who are putting this together are not thoughtful legal scholars.

They are just Trump acolytes and sycophants who -- you know, Rudy Giuliani has already gotten disbarred. I think you're going to see more Trump lawyers who are involved in the insurrection be disbarred.

So you're not -- he doesn't even have lawyers right now. I don't think he has real lawyers, maybe he has somebody, but most people aren't going to want to sign you know, his legal claims. Because if you go into court and make these frivolous, ridiculous claims, your bar license is threatened.

That's why people like Bill Barr and Pat Cipollone who I expect will testify in Congress to talk about those clowns and what they suggested, but they will not have good lawyers that will be able to pull it off.

So I am not -- I trust in the American people, I think probably more than Bill Maher does.

BROWN: Just really quick. So you think that Pat Cipollone and Bill Barr will be talking to the January 6 Committee?

COMSTOCK: They need to be subpoenaed to talk as most lawyers --

BROWN: You think they will?

COMSTOCK: Yes, and they'll tell the truth and it will not be flattering for Donald Trump.

BROWN: OK. I want to ask you, Paul, I'm going to bring you in on this conversation. There is obviously this big question about whether Democrats should be doing more also to sound the alarm. But I do need to ask you about this new Quinnipiac poll showing Biden with his lowest job approval rating so far, including a 12-point drop among Independents since August.

What do you attribute that to?

BEGALA: Oh, to the fact that we're in the middle of the sausage making, and it's ugly, it's vicious. You saw Suzanne's coverage, which is exactly right, and as she always is, about how McConnell is gumming things up. He gums things up and Joe gets blamed, the President gets blamed and that's just politics.

The Democrats had by God better pass the President's plans, both for infrastructure, and the Build Back Better social safety net agenda. They had better do that.

The reason it is down right now is quite rightly, we're all focusing on the process, on the sausage making and it is ugly, it's nasty, and it's petty, and it's childish. If they get it passed, though, that will evaporate and we will be able to focus on the fact that your childcare costs will go down. Your mom and dad will be able to get hearing health and dental health and vision health through Medicare.

People will be healthier and wealthier and their cost of living will go down. Then Democrats will come back and Biden will come back, but right now, I don't doubt that poll. I think it's very serious.

And my gosh, Democrats had better pass this stuff and stop worrying about preserving the racist filibuster. They need to worry about preserving the democracy.


BROWN: All right, Paul Begala and former Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, great to see you both, as always, and we're going to be right back.


BROWN: Well, the latest jobs report underwhelmed and under delivers. But experts say there is reason for optimism as the COVID battered economy tries to recover. CNN's Matt Egan is in New York to explain.


MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Pamela, America's economic recovery is experiencing more delta variant induced turbulence. Just 194,000 jobs were added in September according to government figures, that's less than half what economists anticipated. It was the weakest job growth of the entire year.

But there were some positives, too. The unemployment rate dropped to a COVID low of 4.8 percent, and hiring was revised higher for July and August. Big picture, there's no reason to panic over the state of the economy according to economists.

This was never going to be easy just given the sheer number of distortions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. And even after this jobs dud, Bank of America is still calling for the unemployment rate to drop to 3.5 percent by the end of next year. That's pretty incredible given that the unemployment rate hit nearly 15 percent in the spring of last year.

And Wall Street is still expecting the Federal Reserve to forge ahead with its plans to slow down its bond buying stimulus program. Economists say, the latest numbers in the jobs report are probably good enough to keep the Fed on track.

There is reason for cautious optimism because businesses clearly want to hire. This is not a demand issue. There's a record number of job openings.

Wage growth is growing at the fastest pace in seven months, but there is clearly a supply problem. Employers are having trouble finding workers. Some have retired, others are demanding higher pay and more flexible work, and parents are still dealing with childcare and school headaches.

Just look at how 309,000 women dropped out of the workforce last month alone. Employment at schools also unexpectedly declined in September, and this is supposed to be a month when hiring was going to rebound.

Again, all of this points the impact of COVID-19 and this mismatch between what employers need and what workers are willing to do. We do need to zoom out though to understand where we are in this jobs recovery.

The good news is that more than three quarters of the jobs lost during COVID have been recovered. The bad news is that we're still down by five million jobs, and at the current pace, it would take two full years to fully recover.

Pamela, hiring clearly needs to accelerate. It's just going to take some time to sort out these mismatches in the labor market.

BROWN: All right, thanks for that perspective, Matt Egan.

So, I'm sure you've heard of this by now right, the South Korean series "Squid Game." It has become an overnight sensation on Netflix.

And up next, we ask the show's creator what's driving its success?



BROWN: Well, if you haven't seen it yet, chances are you've heard about it; and if you haven't, that's okay, too.

Netflix's "Squid Game" has only been out for two weeks, but it is already on track to become the most watched show in the platform's history.

CNN's Paula Hancocks talks to the creators about the show's runaway success.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): On social media, these images are everywhere. On television --

JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: We are here with the cast of "Squid Game."

HANCOCKS (voice over): Everyone is talking about it.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos tweeted, "I can't wait to watch the show." Already hitting number one in 90 different countries on Netflix, "Squid Game" is a South Korean TV show where 456 debt ridden contestants compete in childlike games for a prize of nearly $14 million. But the penalty for losing is death.

Show creator, Hwang Dong-Hyuk has wanted to make this show for more than a decade, but studios rejected it.

HWANG DONG-HYUK, CREATOR, "SQUID GAME" (through translator): When I showed it to people, a lot of them said that it was unfamiliar. It is strange and unfamiliar. What is this? What the hell is this? They said this in a negative way.

HANCOCKS (voice over): South Korea already has a strong film industry with deep talent pools and large profitable studios, but its TV shows were predominantly romantic soap operas until Netflix arrived.

DONG-HYUK (through translator): I suddenly thought, will I be able to bring the show to life as I wanted if Netflix is involved? I took that script from 10 years ago and showed it to them. Netflix said they loved it.

HANCOCKS (voice over): Netflix says it has already invested some $2 billion on Asian content and will invest another half a billion on making new Korean content alone this year.

MINYOUNG KIM, VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT, NETFLIX: I think in the past couple of years we've seen Korean content viewing grow four times in the region.


HANCOCKS (voice over): This is a Golden Age of Korean cultural exports. One win after another, music, films, TV shows dubbed Hallyu or Korean wave and it's swept far beyond Asia where it has been popular for the past two decades. Hwang says that this show's message resonates around the world.

DONG-HYUK (through translator): The world is getting much harder to live in. Even in the last 10 years, wealth disparity is growing, nations are facing economic strife, and the added element of the COVID pandemic has made the wealth gap even worse.

HANCOCKS (voice over): Social disparity mirrored in Oscar winning Korean film, "Parasite." Film experts say that content from South Korea with its turbulent history of war and military dictatorship traditionally carries a strong political message.

HYE SEUNG CHUNG, PROFESSOR OF MEDIA STUDIES, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY: Media is not just means of entertainment like in the United States or in the West, the media has been always considered a very important tool for political enlightenment or political resistance.

HANCOCKS (voice over): But it's not all politics.

SEUNG CHUNG: It is still relatively cheap to produce dramas in South Korea compared in America and the "Squid Game," each episode costs less than $2 million, which is half of the price Netflix invested in each episode of "House of Cards."


HANCOCKS (voice over): The younger generation is far more open to foreign language content.

JASON BECHERVAISE, PROFESSOR OF ENTERTAINMENT, SOONGSIL CYBER UNIVERSITY: If you look at those who watched "Parasite," a big, big number of the kind of audiences or the audience that went to see "Parasite" in the United States was younger people and they were -- they've been really keen to kind of break that one inch subtitle barrier.

HANCOCKS (on camera): The success of "Squid Game" is already helping other Asian content to trend on Netflix while other streaming platforms are looking to replicate this enormous success.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


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