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Sinema Inquires About Democrats' Proposed Tax Hike On Companies As Lobbying Intensifies For Her Vote; Pelosi's Visit To Taiwan Sparks Military Drills, Trade Restrictions; New York City Mayor Addresses Crime Spike, Slams City's Bail Laws; NASA: We're Going To Learn A Lot With Artemis 1, Universe Is The Limit. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 03, 2022 - 15:30   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: All eyes on Senator Kyrsten Sinema as the fate of the Democrats climate and healthcare spending package hangs in the balance. Sinema has yet to say which way she'll vote.

CNN has learned that GOP Senators and the business community are mounting a full-court press on the Democratic Senator to sink or change the bill. CNN's Manu Raju joins us now with his reporting. So, Senator Sinema had a call we know, Manu, with business groups, so what was discussed?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a big concern that was raised there and have also raised in private conversations with Republican Senators is about the minimum tax that will be imposed on large corporations under this legislation.

It would be about 15 percent corporate minimum tax. Democrats who are pushing this bill say this was essentially ensure there is a level playing field. Make sure that corporations cannot avoid that.

But Sinema made her concerns from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, as well as the National Association of Manufacturers about their concerns that this proposed tax hike could an impact on manufacturing.

And Sinema and comments to this group, let some of the people that were on this call to feel hardened, to feel like that she was open and listening to their concerns. Even though she did not taper a one way or the other.

Now Danny Seiden who is the president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, told our colleague Alex Rogers that Sinema asked, quote, is this written in a way that's bad.

Referring to the 15 percent corporate minimum tax, and he said it gave me hope that she's willing to open this up and maybe make it better.

Now this is significant because as you mentioned, Alisyn, there are 50 Democratic Senators, just one is enough to scuttle the entire effort and Sinema was blindsided by news of this deal that was cut by Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer when it was released last week. She has refused to say anything about this bill, only indicating that

she was still reviewing on it. She was waiting to make a decision. And she was waiting for the Senate parliamentarians review to finish before ultimately making a decision.

That's what her office has been saying. They've also declined to comment on this phone call. But she is hearing those concerns from Republican Senators who are hoping to get her to convince her to change some of this language in this bill, or at least scuttle -- or potentially even scuttle it all together.

And it's just uncertain at the moment where she will come down. Democrats hopeful ultimately, they will get her vote. But Republicans, knowing that she has raised concerns in the past about increasing corporate tax rates, could potentially get her to change on this issue, still remains to be seen if they'll succeed.

CAMEROTA: There are some really interesting chess moves there. Manu Raju thank you very much.

Now to this, a show of force from China on the same day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a U.S. Congressional delegation, met with Taiwan's president. Taiwan's defense ministry says 27 Chinese warplanes flew into the islands airspace, and 22 planes crossed the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait.

Let's bring in CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser. And Former U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke joins us now. Mr. Ambassador I want to start with you. So, is this bluster on the part of China? Is this something more dangerous and do you think Speaker Pelosi's trip was worth it?

GARY LOCKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: Well, I think certainly Speaker Pelosi had every right to do it, because she was in the region, she felt she needed to.

And given her long-standing record standing up against the human rights abuses and the anti-democracy actions of Beijing. You know, the various Chinese people and political leaders and even the Russians say this was provocative. But it would have been provocative no matter when she went to Taiwan.

She's not the first Speaker of the House to visit Taiwan and just recently, some members of the United States Senate also visited Taiwan.

What makes it more problematic is the fact that the President Xi Jinping is up for an unprecedented third term, almost a term for life. And so, he's got to demonstrate a firm resolve, resistance, to Speaker Pelosi's visit.


And so, I think in some ways, the Chinese have exacerbated and increase the tension by all the provocative moves that they are making with these flights and incursions into the Strait of Taiwan. What I worry about, is whether or not this is a new level of

engagement or incursion into the airspace and the Taiwan Straits, that will possibly lead to unintended consequences of bumping of ships, a collision of aircraft in the future, which would really set the region on fire.

CAMEROTA: Susan, what do you think this does to U.S. and China relations including the economic fallout?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, look, I think absolutely the ambassador is correct, that, you know, this represents a series of escalations and provocations on the part of the Chinese, that can get lost in the question of should she or shouldn't, will she or won't she, you know, make this trip.

And, you know, by focusing on Pelosi, I think you can get lost in the fact that Xi Jinping not only is facing his crucial party Congress in November but, you know, has made it very clear that he sees reintegration and an absorption of Taiwan as a key element of his tenure as China's leader not dissimilarly to how Vladimir Putin has denied the legitimacy of Ukraine even as an independent state.

I think you see Xi as making Taiwan fundamental to the kind of nationalism that he has brought to his leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, number one.

Number two, as to the question of Pelosi, one point I would make is that all of China's escalatory rhetoric has certainly called attention to her trip and made it much more visible than it would have otherwise been, including her concerns about civil rights inside mainland China as well as her support for Taiwan and its government.

And so certainly here -- back here in Washington, one of the messages received is that it's not just Republicans who can talk tough on China but Democrats as well. And so, I think that tends to get lost sometimes in the conversation about this too.

CAMEROTA: Well, I have a similar question for you, ambassador. Which is, do you think that the Chinese leadership on some level respects the tough stance that Speaker Pelosi took?

I mean, would they have behaved differently -- and I'm not talking about the military exercises -- but if she hadn't gone, if she had backed down, with that have made them less aggressive?

LOCKE: Well, I think that anytime there's a high ranking U.S. government official visiting Taiwan, Beijing will issue very harsh rhetoric and statements. And so, it was not unexpected that Speaker Pelosi would call out the human rights record and the anti-democracy actions of Beijing.

But -- and I think what will happen is that this will stall or somewhat delay any resumption of talks between United States and China whether on economic issues, trying to lower the Trump era tariffs that have really impacted American households to the tune of almost $1,000 extra costs for year. And also affected American businesses who want to sell made in USA goods and services into China or even talks about climate change.

But I think that after a while, these talks will resume because the relationship between the United States and China is so fundamentally important to both peoples, both countries. But they know that -- the Chinese know where Nancy Pelosi stands on so many of these issues involving Beijing, and so they should not have been surprised.

CAMEROTA: Susan Glasser, Ambassador Locke thank you.

Well, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is taking aim at the city's bail laws. He says it's contributing to the uptick in crime. We have new details, next.



CAMEROTA: Crime continues to spike in New York City and Mayor Eric Adams blames the states bail reform system. In a new report today, he highlighted 10 criminals who have been arrested and released nearly 500 times he says, since the new bail rules took effect. CNN's Brynn Gingras has the latest. Brynn, 500 times, that's a staggering number.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, listen, Alisyn, bail reform has been on the books since 2020, something that the mayor has been beating the drum about before he was even elected to be mayor of New York City and it's something he's continued to talk about during his administration.

And quite frankly, we as journalists have been asking him, well show us the numbers to back up what you're saying, that bail reform is contributing to this major spike that we are seeing in New York City. And so, that's what he gave us today. I want you to hear more from him before I get into more of those alarming numbers.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS, (D) NEW YORK CITY: This is not a battle against those who saw the need to reform the criminal justice system. This is a battle against those who are exploiting those reforms. Our laser focus are on those repeated recidivists dangerous and violent people.


GINGRAS: Again, I want to underscore what the mayor just said there. He said this isn't about taking the law off the books, there's good parts of it. He said what this is about is going after those career criminals. And he gave us numbers (INAUDIBLE) by the NYPD, an example he gave.


He said, Alisyn, 101 career arrests by one person just within the last -- (INAUDIBLE) I'm sorry -- and in the last two years since bail reform went into place, 88 arrest and that person has supposed to go before a judge more than a dozen times. So, these are the people that are just making, again, a career of

committing crimes and these are the people that the mayor said need to be targeted with reforms to that law.

But to make it clear on his end, he's saying, listen this isn't just an issue by lawmakers. This is an issue that prosecutors got to get on board with, judges got to get on board with and he said the police, of course -- backing up the police -- saying, hey listen, they're doing the best they can. They need everyone's help.

One thing I asked him in that news conference, OK, what's your number 1 solution when you're going to Albany and you're talking to lawmakers, you're talking to prosecutors and defense attorneys.

And he said, he wants judges to have more discretion when a defendant is standing there in front of them committing multiple crimes, let the judge think, hey, is this person really going to be a danger to society? (INAUDIBLE) to let this person go.

So, that's what (INAUDIBLE) this is an issue, again, like I've talked about for quite a while (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: Yes, sorry, Brynn, your audio was dropping out there but we take the mayor's point, that 88 times arrested for one person is way too much. Brynn Gingras thank you very much.

All right, we're headed back to the moon. NASA just revealed new details of the mission on what they are calling the most powerful rocket ever built.



CAMEROTA: An update now on the launch of the Artemis flight to the moon. Artemis 1 is the first part of NASA's moon-focused space launch system. It's a four to six-week journey to the moon and back.

Here now to explain all of this we have CNN's space and defense correspondent Kristin Fisher. So, Kristin, NASA administrator, Bill Nelson, calls this the most powerful rocket ever built. What can it do?

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, eventually it's going to take American astronauts back to the moon, hopefully by 2025 if all goes according to plan.

What we learned today in this briefing was that NASA is going to begin rolling this huge rocket out to the launch pad. In about two weeks on August 18th, if all goes according to plan, it will launch on August 29th. From there it'll circle the moon.

It'll take about a few weeks and then it'll splash back down in the ocean. And again, that's Artemis 1, it's uncrewed. Artemis 2 is crewed -- but they don't land on the moon. The big one is Artemis 3. That's like the Apollo 11 of the Artemis

program. And that's when American astronauts would put foot prints back on the moon again.

CAMEROTA: Exciting. OK, now tell us about -- we have these new images from the James Webb Telescope after it was able to peer through cosmic dust and it saw, as I understand it, the Cartwheel galaxy. What is that?

FISHER: It's a very rare type of galaxy. So, the milky way is a spiral galaxy, our galaxy, right. This is what's called a ring galaxy.

And it was formed when a spiral galaxy collided with another galaxy. And so, what you see there in the center of that screen is actually a black hole in the center of that galaxy.

And then think about if you just threw a rock in a pond, the ripples that would go out. Those are the two rings. They've been expanding for about 400 million years. And so, it's a very unique sight.

But what also makes it so different is, if you look at that screen right now, the image on the right, the one that's more blue, that's Hubble. That's the image that the Hubble Space Telescope took.

The one on the left is the one that the Webb Telescope took. And that shows the difference in quality and the type of light these two telescopes see. The Hubble sees what we can see, optical light.

The Webb sees infrared light. And that's what makes it so unique. And that's where we get all the red images that you can see there. That's actually cosmic dust that can unlock some of the big clues and mysteries of the universe.

CAMEROTA: This is so psychedelic.

FISHER: I know, right.

CAMEROTA: It's really cool. Kristin thanks so much for explaining all of that.

FISHER: Yes, sure.

CAMEROTA: OK, so multiple election deniers came out in top in last night's primaries underscoring Donald Trump's still grip on the Republican Party. What it signals for the midterms. That's ahead.



VIN SCULLY, BROADCASTER: You and I have been friends for a long time. But I know in my heart that I've always needed you more than you've ever needed me. And I'll miss our time together more than I can say.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: The legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully passed away

yesterday at age 94. He broadcast his first Dodgers game in 1950 when the team was still in Brooklyn. Scully captured so many iconic moments including this one when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record.


SCULLY: And waiting, the outfield deep and straight away. Fastball -- it's a high fly to deep left center field. But it goes back to the fence. It is gone! What a marvelous moment for baseball.

What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the deep south for breaking a record of an all- time baseball idol.


CAMEROTA: Fans have been leaving flowers and candles along Vin Scully Avenue outside of Dodger Stadium. The team's president and CEO called Scully a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster, but also as a humanitarian.

OK, now to this. In California photo journalist Jonathan Rivas was documenting the destruction of a McKinney wildfire when all of a sudden, he saw a glimmer of hope.


JONATHAN RIVAS, PHOTO JOURNALIST: Come here, buddy. Are you OK? Are you OK? How are you doing? Are you good? Here. Are you happy to see somebody? What's up.



CAMEROTA: That lost puppy emerging from the ashes. After giving him some much-needed water, Rivas posted that video on Twitter and that puppy was soon able to be reunited with his family.

OK that's a good news story to end our show on. And "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.