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Trump And Republicans Blast DOJ Over FBI Search; Voters In Four States Head To Polls; Competitive Races In Wisconsin Test Future Of Republican Party; Mike Pompeo Meeting With January 6 Committee Today; Biden Pushes Forward With Plan To Stretch Monkeypox Doses. Aired 3:30- 4p ET

Aired August 09, 2022 - 15:30   ET



ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: ... no one is above the law. the law. Attorney General Garland said no one is above the law. But also, no one should be subjected to selective application of the law. And that appears to be what's happened here.

People are asking themselves, what was it that cause the DOJ to go to such lengths. There are so many questions, not just Republicans but Democrats as well, saying the DOJ, the Attorney General's office needs to answer questions and now. Because I can tell you, that the absence of answers is not a fine line. It does not age well. The further they go along without answering these questions, people are just going to be more enraged.

I've talked to Republican members of Congress, their phones and texts are blowing up from constituents who are outraged. Social conservative groups that have really turned their back on Trump in terms of looking for another candidate moving forward, their members are furious. They say that the Biden administration and the DOJ have stepped on a hornet's nest to the degree they just don't know because people are angry, and they are turning to Trump.

Look, we have many questions that need to be answered. Was there some type of mishandling of this information or government documents, we need to know. And I understand, I heard Alberto Gonzalez say that typically you don't answer questions in the middle of an ongoing investigation. This is far from your typical investigation. Members of Congress I've talked to said, sure, they would like to talk with the DOJ, but they also need to answer questions for the public to put some of this frustration at ease.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: All right, Alice Stewart, Congressman Dent, thank you.

STEWART: Thanks, Victor.


BLACKWELL: Primary day in several states, including Wisconsin, where there is another proxy battle between the former president and his VP Mike Pence. Key races to watch, next. [15:35:00]


BLACKWELL: Voters in four states, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, Connecticut, are headed to the polls today. Once again, it's a proxy battle between former President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. They have each backed a rival GOP candidate for governor of Wisconsin. CNN's political director David Chalian is with us now. So, David, what are you watching for in Wisconsin?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That top marquee race that you just noted there, the Republican gubernatorial primary between the outsider businessman Tim Michaels who has Donald Trump's support, and Rebecca Kleefisch, the former Lieutenant Governor who searched under Governor Scott Walker who has Mike Pence's support. This is round three of this Trump/Pence battle. We saw round one in Georgia. Pence won that one when Brian Kemp won his primary there. In Arizona, Trump won, Kari Lake, you know, became the Republican gubernatorial nominee here. So, we'll see how it shakes out in battleground Wisconsin tonight. So, that is one key race to watch.

I should also note, you know, it's no longer just do you believe the 2020 election was rigged because both of these candidates say that it is, but Rebecca Kleefisch does not believe that the vote in Wisconsin can be decertified whereas Michaels sort of suggests everything's on the table for that allegiance to Trump in pursuit of this continued lie about the results of the election.

In the Senate contest, Victor, in Wisconsin, this is going to be one of the biggest races this fall. Ron Johnson, the Republican running for reelection, Mandela Barnes, the current Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin, the entire Democratic establishment, all opponents coalesced around him, thought he was going to have a competitive primary, ends up he's basically just being crowned the nominee today, and this big time general election battle gets underway that could impact balance of control in the Senate.

And the last Wisconsin race is the assembly speaker's race in Wisconsin. Robin Vos, he has Adam Steen as a Trump backed challenger. Why is Trump getting involved in this state legislative race? Very simple, Robin Vos would not go along with Trump's pleas as recently as just a few weeks ago, to decertify the election. Adam Steen is Trump's candidate here because he will support any opportunity on that election lie. This is still the divide that is playing out in the Republican Party.

BLACKWELL: A year and a half after the inauguration, still calls to decertify the election there in Wisconsin.

All right, Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut, what else you looking for?

CHALIAN: Yes, well, up in Vermont there's a House race. This is a Democratic primary. You know that Vermont only has one at large House district. Between these two women, the president pro tempore of the Senate is Becca Balint. She is the more progressive candidate, has the Sanders backing. You have Molly Gray, who has the backing of the outgoing Senator, retiring Senator Pat Leahy.

The historical note here, Victor, is if one of these women ends up being the winner come November to go to Congress that will be the first time that Vermont has sent a woman to Congress, the 50th state to finally do so on that front.

And then I would just note in Minnesota, there's an actual special House election tonight for the remaining term of a late Congressman Hagedorn who died earlier this year. And this will be watched to see, are we seeing signs here in this Republican leaning district of Democrats trying to make a comeback this midterm season or is this a really big Republican year. We'll watch this special election tonight to see if we can read some tea leaves -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, we'll watch along with you. David Chalian, thanks.

CHALIAN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: A source tells CNN that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting with the January 6th committee today. Details on the panel's focus in this conversation next.



BLACKWELL: The committee investigating the January 6th attack is hearing from two key figures today. A source tells CNN that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting with the panel virtually, and we know lawmakers just wrapped their Q&A with Doug Mastriano. He is the Trump backed Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania. CNN political correspondent Sara Murray joins me now. So, Sarah, let's start with Mike Pompeo, what's the focus?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, when it comes to Mike Pompeo, this is someone who was pivotal in the administration. He was a CIA director. He led the State Department but he also had a number of misgivings that were publicly reported after January 6th. There were reports that he was involved in some of the discussions related to the 25th amendment, and this has been a big focus of the January 6th committee. Particularly when it comes to cabinet members is to try to assess what the conversations were like around January 6th and in the after math. And what the conversations were like about the 25th amendment and the possibility that they would try to get Donald Trump removed from office -- which of course didn't happen.

You know, when it comes to Doug Mastriano, I think, you know, the committee may have had high hopes for what they could get out of him. He was someone who was behind the scenes supporting Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the election. Publicly he was chartering buses to the Capitol on January 6th. We are told that his appearance before the committee lasted only 15 minutes. His attorney cut it off very quickly, and he did not answer any questions.

BLACKWELL: All right, Sara Murray, thank you.

The Biden administration has a plan for getting around the monkeypox vaccine shortage. We will explain, next.



BLACKWELL: Just in to CNN, the Biden administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization to help stretch out the nation's limited supply of monkeypox vaccine doses. The FDA just announced that providers can now use one-fifth of the dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine normally administered. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard is here. So, Jacqueline, is a fifth of the dosage as effective?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Well, Victor, the reason why this can be given as a fifth is because it will be administered in a different way. It will be administered intradermally according to the FDA's announcement that just came out moments ago issuing an Emergency Use Authorization for this vaccine. So, here's the difference.

The vaccine currently or has been given subcutaneously, so it's administered into the fatty tissue below the skin. But when you use that smaller dosage, it could be now given intradermally. That's administered in between the skin layers. So, that requires a shorter syringe, and that's why, Victor, using this method, the intradermal method, that's why we can use smaller doses with this method. And that's the Biden administration's effort to really increase vaccine supply. To go from one dose given one time to now one dose will equal five doses because it will require a fifth of what's used now.

So that's what's happening, Victor. We do need more research on exactly the effectiveness and how this new method, the intradermal injections might differ from the subcutaneous injections, but it looks like, Victor, this is the administration's response to increasing supply at this time during a public health emergency.

BLACKWELL: Got it. All right, thanks for explaining that. Colleges and universities about to start these fall semesters. Should parents -- and students too -- be concerned that these colleges and campuses will be hot spots?

HOWARD: That's a good question, Victor, because there has been some concern. But my colleagues here at CNN Health, we did speak to some universities and colleges. Texas A&M, Florida A&M, Elon University, some of these universities told us that they already have infectious disease protocols in place in case there is a monkeypox case. So that includes educating students about the virus, that includes testing capabilities and isolating cases if they do have isolation policies in place to address a potential case on their campus.

So, they do have these preparations, Victor, and it's very important, especially for the universities in cities that already have a high number of cases. Because when you think about a college campus environment, the close contact students have with each other, it does present the perfect environment for a virus to potentially spread. But it sounds like, Victor, many colleges and universities, they're getting their protocols in place to be prepared -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, good. Some good news here. A possible vaccine for Lyme disease. Tell us about it.

HOWARD: That's right. Pfizer announced that it's starting its phase three trial for its Lyme disease vaccine. This is big news. You see here the plan is to enroll about 6,000 participants. These will be people ages 5 and older. This study will be conducted in Europe and the U.S. at up to 50 sites where Lyme disease is endemic. So, that's the plan right now. And currently, there is no Lyme disease vaccine on the market here in the U.S. So, Victor, that's why there are people very excited about this.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jacqueline Howard, thank you so much.

HOWARD: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: More on the FBI search of former President Trump's home. What GOP lawmakers and even Trump's former Vice President Mike Pence are saying about it.



BLACKWELL: Finally, some encouraging news in the Fed's fight against inflation. According to a report by Adobe, online shopping prices dropped by 1 percent in July. Doesn't sound like a lot. Compare this to the same month last year. That ends a stretch of two years of persistent inflation during the COVID pandemic. And gas prices are still dropping. AAA says today's national average is $4.03 per gallon.

All right, I've been looking forward to this. An unlikely doppelganger -- it's my first time seeing the picture.


The side-by-side photo went viral for the striking similarity between a 9-month-old in Northern Ireland and actor Woody Harrelson. Baby Cora -- her mother tweeted, OK, but how does our daughter look like Woody Harrelson? And she does, though. I think it's -- is that the nose, is it -- all right. She was delighted when the actor responded with his self-titled "Ode to Cora" seen here in the upper right-hand corner. He says you're an adorable child. Flattered to be compared. You have a wonderful smile. I just wish I had your hair.

"THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.