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Three Killed in Drone Attacks in Abu Dhabi; Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) are Interviewed about Computer Chip Bill; Maxwell Ends Fight to Keep Names Secret; Prince Harry Wants to Pay for Police Protection. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired January 17, 2022 - 09:30   ET




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: This next story practically out of Hollywood. Developing this morning, deadly attacks in Abu Dhabi. State media reports three people were killed, at least six others injured, after police said suspected drone attacks caused multiple explosions in different locations there.

CNN's senior international correspondent Sam Kiley, he is in Abu Dhabi with details.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The United Arab Emirates officials have confirmed that three civilians, one Pakistani and two Indians, have been killed in an attack conducted by the Houthi rebels out of Yemen. Now, this is the first time that anybody has actually been killed on Emirati soil in an attack attributed to the Houthis. This is an attack that the Houthis have claimed responsibility for. Security officials here say that at least two drones, or objects flying in the sky as they put it, were seen in the area, one in the area above the complex behind me, an oil storage facility, somehow it was exploded in this alleged drone attack. As part of that, a chain reaction causing a fuel tanker to also explode. It's believed that that is what's caused the casualties. Six other people have also been injured in an attack that also focused on the area of the new airport in Abu Dhabi that's still under construction. In that environment, no casualties, no massive damage was caused.

But this has been a major blow, not least to the Emirates' intent to withdraw itself from Yemen. Over the previous year or so they've been withdrawing troops, they've withdrew on support for militias there, trying to reconstruct their foreign policy as a friend to everybody and an enemy to none. This has been a major setback. Houthis are saying following increased

support, though, perhaps covert support on the ground to a number of militias during recent campaigning.


Sam Kiley, CNN, in Abu Dhabi.

SCIUTTO: Alarming use of new technology there.

Sam Kiley, thanks very much.

Well, South Korea says that today's launches of two suspected short- range ballistic missiles from the North do nothing to improve relations between the two countries. A South Korean spokeswoman called the actions, quote, very regrettable. North Korea has launched four missiles just this month.

Still ahead, there is a global computer chip shortage, but a new bipartisan piece of legislation here could invest tens of billions of dollars into returning chip manufacturing to the U.S. Is there enough support to pass it? I'm going to speak to two members of Congress, a Republican and a Democrat, who are working on it. That's coming up.



SCIUTTO: All right, you need them in everything, your phones, your cars, you name it. But right now a global computer chip shortage is driving up prices and limiting the supply of everything, from iPhones to new cars. To help combat that, a bipartisan piece of legislation, you heard that right, called the Chips for America Act is waiting to be passed by the House. The bill would invest tens of billions of dollars into U.S. manufacturing of computer chips over the next five to ten years. There's a lot of urgency around this from both parties.

So we're joined by folks from both parties, Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Republican Congressman Don Bacon of Nebraska.

Gentlemen, good to have you on this morning.

Josh, if I could begin with you.


SCIUTTO: Thirty-seven percent of semi -- the U.S. had 37 percent of world semiconductor production a number of years ago. Now it's down to 12 percent. Taiwan and China still dominate production.

If these bills pass, there's one in the House and the Senate, how quickly does that change?

GOTTHEIMER: I mean this bill would be a game changer. You just pointed out the biggest problem here is that we used to have dominance in the United States over these chips, which, you know, which are critical to everything, from ventilators, to cars, to refrigerators. We need to increase our domestic manufacturing. If Covid taught us anything, it's how important it is to improve and increase what we do here at home. This would make a significant investment with helping encourage domestic production and research and development, which is what's needed.

As Don will tell you, this is an area where we completely agree.


GOTTHEIMER: The Problem Solvers Caucus, which we're both in, are fully behind. It's not out of the Senate waiting in the House for action. We've got to get this done. There's no reason we can't.


GOTTHEIMER: We came out overwhelmingly bipartisan in the Senate. Now it's time for us to act and get moving here.

SCIUTTO: Yes, one of those areas where the parties are in agreement.

Congressman Bacon, how much of this is based on fears of China's threat to Taiwan, a possibility of invasion there, and then immediately, you know, you lose a big portion of the world that we depend on for these chips?

REP. DON BACON (R-NE): Hey, Jim, that's a very good point. Taiwan is under threat right now from China. We rely quite a bit on Taiwan for our semiconductors and we can't be dependent on overseas for such a big part of our economy. What you see with our automobiles, as Josh already mentioned, without those semiconductors, you know, people are waiting seven, eight, nine months to get a new car right now.


BACON: And so -- but you're right, Taiwan is vulnerable. We get a lot of our semiconductors from Taiwan. And that's a huge issue.

SCIUTTO: Yes, I mean cars basically now they're like computers with four wheels, right? I mean everything's dependent on chips.


SCIUTTO: OK, I want to get to Build Back Better, OK. So here's something that did not, of course, have bipartisan support, but there are pieces of it that have bipartisan support. So I'm curious if you two guys who worked well, for instance, together on the bipartisan infrastructure bill see a way forward of agreement.

First of all to you, Congressman Gottheimer, are there pieces of this you'd be willing to take out of BBB and work with folks like Congressman Bacon to get passed?

GOTTHEIMER: Well, I'm always willing to work with Congressman Bacon. And, you know, I want to thank him for the bipartisan work we did on the hard infrastructure package. Don and others voted for it. We did it in a bipartisan way as the historic infrastructure package, roads, bridges, rails, tunnels, water, electric vehicles, you name it, for our physical infrastructure to make sure that we're competitive with countries like China, which are key for our economy.

I think there are plenty of pieces of Build Back Better that I'm hoping we could work together on. Whether that's dealing with clean air and clean water, making sure we've got prescription drug costs down. Obviously, I'm for supporting and getting behind reinstating the state and local tax deduction to get taxes down in Jersey and others. But I think if we sat down, I know it, there are places we could find common ground. But let's just say, Jim, that we still are going to get that passed. I'm not willing to walk away on getting Build Back Better done.

SCIUTTO: Congressman Bacon, would you, for instance, support a separate provision that sought to control prescription drug prices? I mean that's an issue both parties seem to be on board with.

BACON: Absolutely. Yes, we're paying too much for prescription drugs right now. And I -- it's just the devil's in the details because some proposals cut into the research and development.

But the areas that I think that there would be broad support is in the Medicare realm where our seniors are having a hard time getting dental care, hearing aids, eye glasses.


BACON: And I think that that's an area that we could build on because, I mean, I have an 81-year-old father, I have two in-laws that are in their 80s and dental care, and eye glasses, hearing aids are all issues. And I know it's not -- it's not just my family. I know that it's all over America right now. That there -- that is an area that I think we could work on and make a big difference for our senior citizens.


SCIUTTO: Yes, I mean that's a point Bernie Sanders has made, right, about expanding that kind of coverage.

I do want to talk big picture for a moment here, Congressman Gottheimer, do you worry that the Democratic leadership, both in the House and the Senate, but also the president, overshot in terms of how broad they went with BBB, but even voting rights, right? I mean 50/50 majority in the Senate, slim one in the House as well, was that a problem here?

GOTTHEIMER: I think you need to set out an aggressive agenda for the country and to help families. I think that's exactly what presidents should do.

What we've always been focused on in the Problem Solvers Caucus, the 29 Democrats and 29 Republicans, is looking for places where we can get things done and across -- and over the finish line. SCIUTTO: Yes.

GOTTHEIMER: We did that on the infrastructure package. I think, as you just heard, there's areas where we can work together, whether that's child care, or making life more affordable for our seniors.


GOTTHEIMER: There are plenty of places where I think we can -- we can come together. And I think now it's our responsibility to do that. And I think, you know, I'm hoping this week we obviously get that piece of legislation out of the Senate on voting rights. I think that's really important.


GOTTHEIMER: And if we need to sit down and work together, which I think we should, we have a responsibility to do, then we should do it. And I think that's (INAUDIBLE).

SCIUTTO: Just quickly, Congressman Bacon, because we're running out of time, I did want to give you a chance for even balance here. Your former president wants to you get primaried just because you voted for a bipartisan infrastructure bill. Is there a future for Republicans who are willing to work with Democrats?

BACON: Absolutely. I'm a patriot first. I love my country. And if we don't start finding consensus areas, China's going to surpass us and we won't be the world's superpower. I need to work with people like Josh, who's willing to work in the middle to find consensus areas.


BACON: And he's done a great job with that. And I appreciate his leadership on the Problem Solvers Caucus.


BACON: But we have to find consensus areas if our country wants to move forward and compete with China. I want our country to be the strongest, most competitive country in the world and it's going to take working across the aisle to get that done.

SCIUTTO: From your lips to God's ears.

Congressman Don Bacon --

GOTTHEIMER: I would just -- I would just want to add to that, Jim -- can I just add to that.

Don -- that's why Don't a great patriot and a great American because he's actually willing to put country ahead of party and making sure that we win as the United States.


GOTTHEIMER: That, to me, is what kind of leadership we need working together.

SCIUTTO: I hear you.

GOTTHEIMER: That's the best way we're going to make sure our economy grows.

BACON: We've got (INAUDIBLE) on this.

SCIUTTO: Congressman Gottheimer, Bacon, you're always welcome on the show. Thanks so much for joining me.

BACON: Thank you.

GOTTHEIMER: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Coming up next, Ghislaine Maxwell ending her fight to keep secret the identities of eight so-called John Does named in a sealed lawsuit. We're going to have a live report, next.



SCIUTTO: Convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell will no longer fight to keep secret the identities of eight so-called John Does named in a sealed defamation lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought by Virginia Giuffre, the woman who says Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her and aided Jeffrey Epstein in abusing her when she was under age.

CNN's Kara Scannell has been following the story closely for us.

So, Kara, tell us the significance of this, the potential for these names to be unsealed.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Well, Jim, I think the significance will really turn on who these John Does are. And as you mentioned, this is part of this lawsuit from accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Maxwell. Already thousands of pages of documents have been unsealed, including deposition transcripts, which name names and identified several people who Roberts have accused of sexually abusing her over the years.

Now, the issue before the judge is whether these John Does will be unsealed. Maxwell initially objected to that. She wanted it to remain sealed ahead of her trial saying that if it was made public, it could potentially prejudice the jury.

Well, as you said, she was convicted and now her lawyers are saying they no longer want to address this. That they'll leave the arguments to the attorneys for the John Does who have already argued a number of privacy concerns they have about their identities being unsealed.

Now, Giuffre's attorneys have said that there's no reason to keep this unsealed any -- there's no reason to keep this sealed anymore, that it should be unsealed because she's gone to trial, she's been convicted, and she's saying that a number of the John Does have wanted to keep this sealed because of the potential for embarrassment because of the potential media hounding from their associations with Epstein and Maxwell. But she did say that two of the eight don't oppose the unsealing.

Now, this is something that there will continue to be legal briefs on. So a decision is not expected on this for several weeks, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Kara Scannell, thanks so much.

Another story we're following this morning, Prince Harry says it is too dangerous for his family to visit the U.K. without protection from the British police. And so he is challenging a government decision that would prevent him from personally paying for such security.

CNN's Max Foster joins me now.

Max, Harry, we should note, willing to pick up the tab here, so not a cost, for instance, to British taxpayers. So what's the objection? What's the issue?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you know, he does have his own private security team. And he's comfortable with that in the United States. But in the U.K. he says he needs state support because of the nature of the threat that his family faces here. Extremists and also people sort of obsessed with the couple, you know, these particular individuals they're concerned about. Also Harry was here last year. His car got chased by photographers. He thought his security was compromised there.

As you say, he wants police support. He says he needs that. He's willing to pay for it. But that offer has been turned down by the British authorities. So what he did was go for a judicial review hoping the home office, the government, will change their minds about that, allow him to pay for it.

But this is a point of principle for people that you speak to behind the scenes, saying it would allow any celebrity to come in and effectively hire British police, which isn't an acceptable position to be in, they say.


Home office saying the U.K.'s government, the U.K. government's protective security system is rigorous and proportionate. Also, some people saying Harry knew what he was -- the privileges he was giving up when he left his royal role. So, he's now realizing what that involves. But Harry obviously very concerned about the safety of his family if he does come back, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Understood.

Max Foster, there in London -- in Hampshire, rather, thanks so much.

Still ahead, the winter storm pummeling the southeast, now making its way north. Millions of people impacted. Hundreds of flights grounded. CNN's live team coverage coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)