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Congressional Delegation Makes Surprise Trip To Taiwan; House Dems Request Intel Damage Assessment; DOJ Seizes 11 Sets Of Classified Documents From Mar-a-Lago; Pennsylvania Man Charged With Two Counts Of Murder Driving Into A Crowd And Killing Another Woman In An Unrelated Incident; Study: Antarctica's Ice Shelves Crumbling Faster Than Thought; GOP Voters In Wyoming To Decide The Fate Of Rep. Liz Cheney On Tuesday. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 14, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: Well, thanks for joining me today. I'm Alex Marquardt in today for Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin this hour with a surprise visit to Taiwan by a U.S. congressional delegation. The group is saying that the trip reaffirms American support for Taiwan and it comes on the heels of the controversial visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a visit which sparked a furious response from Beijing, which included live fire military drills off the coast of Taiwan.
The delegation is being led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey. They are set to meet Taiwan's president during their two-day visit.
CNN's Blake Essig is in Taipei. Daniella Diaz is here with me in Washington, D.C. Blake, let's start with you. How much of a surprise was this, is this congressional visit?
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alex, look, these kinds of visits happen from time to time. And we don't often hear about them until after the arrival. And in this case, while Taiwan's ministry of foreign affairs said that the visit was unannounced, it's the timing of this visit that's perhaps the biggest surprise here, especially after China reacted so strongly against Speaker Pelosi's visit.
That reaction involved nearly a week of live fire military drills surrounding Taiwan and involved a large number of war planes and military vessels as well as ballistic missiles that flew over the self-governed island for the first time ever.
Now, this is the second time just this month a U.S. congressional delegation has made this surprise visit to Taiwan here. Nearly two weeks ago, it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
This time, it's a delegation led by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. During their two day visit, Taiwan's foreign ministry says that the group of U.S. lawmakers is going to meet with the democratic island's president and foreign minister, and will discuss security and trade issues with members of parliament.
Despite escalating tensions between Beijing and Taipei as a result of visits just like this, Taiwan's ministry of foreign affairs took to social media to thank Senator Markey and his delegation for their timely visit and unwavering support.
Now, China hasn't commented on the latest congressional visit, and we don't know how Beijing will react, but it is fair to say that China will respond, although it could be scaled back. And that's because the lower profile nature of this delegation, which includes one senator and four members of the House compared to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who is third in line for the presidency.
Again, as a result of Pelosi's visit, Beijing held six days, at least six days of war games surrounding Taiwan that marked a significant escalation in tensions.
And now it's going to be interesting to see how China responds, if they do, to another congressional delegation visiting Taiwan, Alex.
MARQUARDT: It will be very interesting.
Daniella, we just saw the photo of that delegation there on the tarmac. Why are these members eager to visit Taiwan right now?
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: It's the goal of congress right now to really continue reaffirming their support for Taiwan in the wake of, of course, these rising tensions between the United States and China, Alex.
Look, in a statement, I spoke to a spokesperson for Ed Markey earlier today and in a statement she told me that the goal of this delegation was to meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss shared interests including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and expanding economic cooperation including investments in semiconductors. Now, semi-conductors really being the key here because Congress just passed that bill to increase competitiveness and continue isolating China with trying to increase production of semi- conductors. That is something they're discussing on this trip.
Now, it's just as Blake said, it's in the wake of it's just been 12 days since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, of course, cementing her legacy. she became the first house speaker to visit the island in 25 years.
And of course, it's just as Blake said as well, there were increasing tensions. China, of course, doing military exercises to try to send a message to the United States that they do not condone their, you know, shared unity with the Taiwanese people, but remember, you know, we don't know exactly how China is going to respond to this. They haven't said anything.
It's also, you know, just Senator Ed Markey. He's the chairman of a Foreign Relations subcommittee, not the House Speaker, but it's pretty notable that this group visiting the self-governing island.
MARQUARDT: Daniella, just quickly. Pelosi's visit was expected. It wasn't announced but it was expected. Was this a complete surprise?
DIAZ: Complete surprise. That's normally what happens with CoDels, Alex, you know, this (INAUDIBLE) that they are normally for security reasons not told ahead of the time to reporters. Reporters don't normally attend these CoDels. But pretty notable that, of course now, while they're still visiting the island that we know that they're there.
MARQUARDT: All right. Daniella Diaz in Washington, Blake Essig in Taiwan -- thank you both for your insights.
Let's bring in Josh Rogin. He's a CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist, and of course, a fervent China watcher.
Josh, as you heard from Blake, China hasn't responded yet. But the incredible anger that we saw over Pelosi's visit, including firing missiles over the island, what does that make you think the reaction is going to be to this surprise visit?
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's clear that the Chinese Communist Party is viewing these visits by U.S. congressional delegations differently now. They're asserting a more aggressive response to make the point that China is powerful enough to exert control over who can go to Taiwan and who can't.
Now, it won't be as big as the Pelosi delegation because as Daniella pointed out, this is not the third in line to the U.S. presidency, but they will feel compelled to respond and we're likely to see a tightening of the economic and military coercion that they're subjecting the people of Taiwan to, which has included cutting off Taiwanese exports, arresting Taiwanese businessmen, shooting missiles over the island, surrounding the island with military exercises.
We're in a new era, Alex, of increased hostility coming from Beijing toward Taiwan. And each one of these visits will be used as an excuse, as a pretext for the CCP to turn the screws.
MARQUARDT: It is obviously important to note that this is a much more junior delegation. This is not the person who is in that line of succession.
But what, aside from showing U.S. support for Taiwan might this delegation be trying to accomplish?
ROGIN: Well, there's a lot of business between the United States and Taiwan, not just over technology, not just over trade. There's just a growing and robust relationship between the two democracies. And there is some value to showing up. The Taiwanese government, Taiwanese people appreciate it when people come to the island, especially U.S. lawmakers, to show that the Chinese government can't isolate them.
But we'll have to wait and see what comes from this trip. You can be sure that there are deals to be made that will bolster not only the diplomatic relationship but the economic and trade relationship as well.
MARQUARDT: When Pelosi was there, the White House took pains to say she's the Speaker of the House. She can basically do whatever she wants. We saw there, that delegation did fly on a U.S. government plane that very clearly said the United States of America across it. So that means that the Biden administration clearly knew that they were going.
So what do you think the White House's reaction would be to this?
ROGIN: Well, you know, the White House's senior Asia official Kurt Campbell (ph) briefed reporters on Friday and said very clearly that they support continued congressional delegation trips to Taiwan. They were against the Pelosi trip privately for a specific reason because they knew that the Chinese government was planning to overreact and that they would have deal with that.
But now that that's over, they're trying to enforce the status quo, and the status quo is that U.S. delegations can go whenever they want, and when they go, the U.S. military and the U.S. government supports that.
And keeping -- holding that line is really important for the Biden administration because they know that if the Chinese government is allowed to stop these delegations, then their appetite will only grow. It would be (INAUDIBLE) and they'll try to exert more power and control over Taiwan as time goes by.
MARQUARDT: Again, these military drills that we saw in the wake of the Pelosi visit, the anger that we heard from Beijing in the wake of the Pelosi visit, do you think that that makes it more likely that we would see military action, war, over Taiwan versus the peaceful reunification that Beijing insists it wants with Taiwan?
ROGIN: Right. I have argued in the "Washington Post" that Beijing's overreaction and retaliation against Taiwan after the Pelosi visit shows that they have changed their view. That no longer are they seeking peaceful reunification as they claim because they're not trying to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people. They're trying to scare them to death and coerce them.
And I think it's more and more Taiwanese officials and U.S. officials believe that they are preparing for an attack, and they are leaving aside peaceful reunification.
Now, that doesn't mean that war is inevitable. What it means to me and to a lot of people that I trust is that we need to increase the deterrence by supporting Taiwan, by arming them to the teeth so that the Chinese government doesn't think that they can attack Taiwan easily and take it. That should be the lesson from Ukraine is that you try to stop the war by giving the smaller country help before the attack, not after the attack. But it remains to be seen whether or not we're actually going to do that.
MARQUARDT: Right. Of course, President Biden in that situation was worried about provoking President Putin. There is reporting that President Biden may meet with President Xi Jinping this fall in November.
Do you think delegations like these last two that we have seen make it harder for the two men to make progress in talks?
ROGIN: I think there's an interest on both sides in having President Xi and President Biden meet either at the G-20 or at another opportunity this fall. It makes a lot of sense.
ROGIN: You don't want to have the two world's superpowers where the leaders can't talk to each other. That's not a good thing. If the Chinese government wants to use these visits to avoid setting up a meeting between Xi and Biden, well that's on them.
But the bottom line is that these visits are going to continue. And eventually, the Chinese are going to have to either like it or lump it.
MARQUARDT: All right. Josh Rogin, thank you so much for you expertise.
ROGIN: Any time.
MARQUARDT: Appreciate you coming in.
All right. Well, still ahead, top lawmakers on Capitol Hill are demanding a damage assessment from intelligence officials after highly classified documents were found at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. What we know about the information that the FBI found. That's coming up next.
Plus, one person is dead and more than a dozen injured after a car plowed through a community fund-raiser event in Pennsylvania. We will have the details coming up.
Stay with us.
MARQUARDT: Today, there are new demands for answers after that unprecedented FBI search at Mar-a-Lago. The Democratic chairs of the House Intelligence and Oversight Committees are now calling for a full damage assessment of the classified documents that were stored at President Trump's home. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Some of those documents were marked "Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information". That is among the highest designation in terms of the extremely grave damage to national security that could be done if it were disclosed.
So the fact that they were in an unsecure place, that is guarded with nothing more than a padlock or whatever security they had at a hotel is deeply alarming. And I have asked for along with chairman Maloney, a damage assessment by the intelligence community and a briefing to Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Last week, the FBI seized 11 sets of documents that were marked as classified from Mar-a-Lago and sources are telling CNN that the Department of Justice received assurances from one of Trump's lawyers back in June that the former president was no longer in possession of any classified materials.
Joining me now with more is CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider.
Jessica we heard Chairman Schiff there, of the intelligence committee, asking for this damage assessment from the Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence. Is there any indication that that's going to happen?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well you know, they just sent it over the weekend. You know, this is the letter, and what they're demanding here, you talked about it, you know, they want the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to conduct what they call an immediate review and they're saying it's because of the national security implications here.
So here's a little bit about what they both laid out in this letter, Congressman Schiff, Congressman Carolyn Maloney. They said "A recently unsealed court authorized search warrant and the inventory of property recovered at the Mar-a-Lago club described numerous classified documents held by former President Trump, including Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information material, among the most sensitive and highly protected information in the U.S. government.
Former President Trump's conduct has potentially put our national security at grave risk. This issue demands a full review in addition to the ongoing law enforcement inquiry."
And you know, in addition to that, Alex, they're also asking for a classified briefing here. And that's because of really the 11 sets of classified documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago under that search last Monday.
And it's broken down like this. There was one set of that Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information. Of course, that's information that's only supposed to be viewed in these secure government facilities. People aren't even supposed to bring in cell phones.
Then on top of that, four sets of Top Secret information, three sets of Secret documents, and then three sets of Confidential documents. And we're really getting a better glimpse of the timeline here. It's beginning to flesh out over the weekend.
Of course, we knew that the National Archives had gone back in January, recovered those 15 boxes. But then in this time since, they had -- federal investigators have had interaction with Trump's attorneys. They talked to them, they've met with them, and then of course, our team reported that it was in June when that Trump lawyer sent that letter testifying and certifying that there was no more classified information.
Well, we know now after the search and after the unsealing of the search warrant that that isn't true. So now the question is, what comes next here? When we saw the unsealing of the information on Friday, it laid out three different laws that might be implicated here, potential crimes. You know, violations of the Espionage Act, also obstruction of justice, criminal handling of government records.
And so we heard from the former president this weekend as well. He's saying that he declassified all these documents. But the key here is that we haven't seen any documentation as to whether he did or how he did declassify this.
So you know, notably though, these statutes that were written in this search warrant and then the receipt, none of them require classified material. And they only really require intent to injure the interests of the United States or even to destroy or conceal documents that were part of a government proceeding. We know that there had been an ongoing investigation here.
So a lot of questions remain, including how this is going to play out in Congress as well as in the criminal realm. I'm sure it's going to be a busy week ahead.
MARQUARDT: And even if, and it's a major if, these documents have been declassified, they still could be a major threat to national security.
SCHNEIDER: Absolutely. Yes.
MARQUARDT: All right. Jessica Schneider. Thank you so much.
Let's talk more about this with CNN Legal Analyst, Ambassador Norm Eisen, who served as ethics czar in the Obama administration and was the House Judiciary legal counsel in Donald Trump's first impeachment trial.
Norm, thank you so much for being with me this afternoon. As Jessica was saying, we now know that there were 11 sets of classified documents, of different ranges going all the way up to that very high level of classification known as TS/SCI, those were retrieved from Mar-a-Lago after President Trump's lawyer in June saying -- said there were no documents left, no classified materials left. So who's going to end up in hot water for that lie?
NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Alex, thanks for having me.
Certainly, whoever the lawyer was who signed that written statement that there were no classified documents left faces serious legal jeopardy, but that legal jeopardy runs more broadly up to and including the president himself, the former president. We have seen that in the past, often, when a lawyer is dishonest, if
they do it at the behest of the client, it gets them both in trouble. So it could very well be former President Trump too.
MARQUARDT: We're now hearing Republicans asking for more clarity. First it was we want to see the warrant. Then the warrant was unsealed. Now we're hearing some Republicans say, well, we want to see the affidavit. So precisely what is among these documents? What is your reaction to that?
EISEN: Well, I think that the Republican circling of the wagons around this very concerning, possibly illegal, criminal behavior by the president and others around him is unwise. Because I know from myself practicing criminal law for over three decades, often when you have that execution of a search warrant, you have those three crimes as to which probable cause was found that are named there.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. I think we have seen a little bit of backing off, but look, it's not reasonable to ask for that affidavit, Alex, because it will reveal information that could compromise the criminal investigation. In effect, when they're asking to see the affidavit, they're asking to see classified information.
Hasn't enough damage been done to United States national security by having these documents at Mar-a-Lago? So I think that it's the worst kind of politics without thinking through the consequences. They should focus on our national interests, not on protecting the leader of their party.
MARQUARDT: These are Republican lawmakers saying that they do have access to classified information so show us that affidavit. But Norm, I want to get your sense or your reaction to this consistent downplaying by Republican lawmakers of what these documents might contain, despite the fact that they were classified.
Take a listen to Republican Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Do you take home documents marked special access?
REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): No.
KEILAR: And yet you're casting doubt --
TURNER: Quite frankly, I have been in the Oval Office with the president.
TURNER: I would be very surprised if he has actual documents that rise to the level of immediate national security threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUARDT: So also in that interview, Turner said that there might be TS/SCI documents, but they might not be important anymore, essentially, they were marked that at one point and they just didn't have the marking taken off of those documents. Do you think Norm, there's any chance that the Attorney General Merrick Garland, would have approved the request for this search warrant if these documents were not highly sensitive to national security?
EISEN: I don't, Alex. I worked with Congressman Turner when I was an ambassador. He knows better than to say that.
Look at the pattern here. You have documents that are taken, the government finds out about it. They ask for them back. They don't all come back. A subpoena is issued. Still, they don't get all the documents in response to the subpoena.
A document is signed. Now we learn that the signature on the document was attesting to a falsehood that all of the classified information was returned. Only then did Merrick Garland approve the search warrant.
Mike Turner has no idea what is in these 11 document sets and for him and the rest of the GOP to circle the wagons this way around the former president, put your country's interests first, please.
MARQUARDT: Norm, there's a lot of debate over the classification of these documents, whether they were classified, whether they were not. but even if they weren't classified, they could still be of real importance to U.S. national security, and that could still be very dangerous legally for Donald Trump, right?
EISEN: Yes, Merrick Garland is no fool. And none of the three criminal charges -- Section 2071, Section 793 and Section 1519, the obstruction charges, none of them require the documents to be classified.
EISEN: Now, the Section 793, the Espionage Act, does require that the documents be harmful to our national interests. But these are all documents, all 11 sets, Alex, are documents that bear classification markings. So whether they were, as the president claims, he waved a magic wand and automatically declassified them, I doubt it. That's not how it works.
But it doesn't matter. They shouldn't be there, and clearly, we have a situation where what he was doing was dangerous to our national security. That won't cut it.
MARQUARDT: And he had plenty of chances and plenty of requests to give those back. Norm Eisen, thank you so much for your time.
EISEN: Thanks for having me, Alex.
MARQUARDT: Coming up, we're learning new details about the suspect who allegedly plowed his car through a community fund-raiser in Pennsylvania, killing one person and injuring dozens more. That's coming up.
MARQUARDT: A man in Pennsylvania has been charged with two counts of murder after police there say he drove his car into a crowd at a fund- raising event in Berwick, Pennsylvania. That was on Saturday evening. He killed one person, allegedly, and injured 17 others. Then after driving away from the scene, he beat another woman to death in a separate incident.
CNN's Nadia Romero joins us now.
Nadia, this is just horrifying. What are the authorities saying?
NADIA ROMERO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Well, Alex, we're talking about two very active crime scenes and two separate counties that aren't that far from one another. So, you just mentioned the woman who was beaten to death. Police say that they believe that the same suspect who did that was the same man who ran into that crowd.
We now have the coroner's report and the autopsy results show that that woman was 56-year-old Rosa Reyes and it says there had cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries. The manner of death, a homicide. Circumstances there was that she was hit by a car and then assaulted with a hammer. Dying from those injuries.
Now, that victim, her last name is Reyes, and it's the same last name as the suspect, 24-year-old Adrian Reyes. Law enforcement officials have yet to tell us if there is a connection between the two, as they share the same last name. They may release those details later on.
But here's what we know about the suspect. He's facing two charges of criminal homicide. He had a court appearance just this morning but his bail was denied. His next court date later this month.
But we know that that is the same man police believe ran into that crowd, and the crowd was there at a fund-raiser. Just weeks ago, there was a large house fire, ten people died, some of them family members, and so the community gathered again to raise money for those victims. And now, there are even more victims.
Here's one Pennsylvania state police major talking about this added trauma to this community, already in mourning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJOR CHRISTOPHER PARIS, PENNYSLVANIA STATE POLICE: Our heart and prayers go out to those injured this evening, certainly it was an event for a noble cause and through no fault of anyone's there at the incident in Berwick, we're dealing with this terrible tragedy. So, it's an awful tragedy. There's no way around it, and no effort will be spared to try and conduct the most complete, competent, and thorough investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMERO: That investigation includes multiple agencies working together, trying to piece together exactly what happened, and that's why they're asking the public if they have any pictures or videos, information about the fund-raiser where they believe the suspect drove his car into, killing one person, injured 17 others, many of them are still in the hospital recovering from the injuries.
And if you have pictures, information, video surrounding the suspect and that 56-year-old woman, Rosas Reyes, to come forward as well.
Alex, this is something that has really rocked a small community already in mourning from that house fire, now dealing with this as well.
MARQUARDT: What a horrible tragedy. Nadia Romero, thank you so much for your reporting today.
Well, extreme heat, flash floods, ice sheets, literally crumbling. It seems like there's no end in sight, of course, the impacts of climate change. So what can we do to slow the effects of climate change?
We'll be speaking with an expert. That's coming up next. Stay with us.
MARQUARDT: If there ever was a week to discuss the dangers of climate change, this was it. And the American Southwest, devastating monsoon rain sending floodwaters flowing down the Las Vegas Strip. Just look at that water coming down right inside some of the casinos there.
In neighboring California, hot, dry conditions helping to form a stunning phenomenon called a fire tornado. How scary is that?
Millions are under a heat advisory today. The week ahead expected to be even hotter.
Over in Europe, drought conditions leaving some of the world's most iconic rivers bone dry.
And then get this, a new NASA satellite analysis shows that Antarctica's ice shelves are shedding icebergs faster than previously thought, raising new concerns about just how quickly global sea levels could end uprising.
Now, here to discuss all of this with us is Bill McKibben. He's an author, educator, activists and founder of Third Act and 350.org.
Bill, thank you so much for being with us today.
BILL MCKIBBEN, ENVIRONMENTALIST: A pleasure to join you. MARQUARDT: I want to ask you first about this NASA analysis. Is this
something that is reversible in Antarctica or now just a question of slowing this as much as possible?
MCKIBBEN: We're getting the same signals from up north. There's a big study this week showing that Arctic warming is going at 2 1/2 to 4 times faster than people had imagined.
There's no way at this point to stop that from happening. We have already locked in a lot of warming on this planet. The question now, all the work that everyone is doing, this new bill passed by the Congress last week, they're all an attempt to slow the pace of global warming enough that it doesn't cut civilization off at the knees. And that's going to be, as you point out, a difficult task.
Those pictures from the European rivers, remember, these are places where we have been -- people have been watching and measuring and looking at them for millennia. And this is phenomenon that people have never seen before. We're in uncharted territory and we're going to go deeper into that territory.
So the need to move as fast as we can to get off coal and gas and oil has never been more urgent.
MARQUARDT: The bill that you just mentioned, it just passed the House. It has nearly $370 billion in it for clean energy and climate. That's the largest climate investment in U.S. history. We have heard a lot of praise from climate activists. It's good news.
But how much of an impact do you think that's going to have?
MCKIBBEN: Well, depends on what happens next. There's both good news and bad news in that bill. A lot of support for clean energy. But Senator Manchin shoehorned in a lot of support for dirty energy too.
I think one of the next big battlefields is going to be not Washington but Wall Street. And activists, including my colleagues at Third Act, are gearing up to pressure the big banks, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, to stop funneling money to the fossil fuel industry for their expansion.
Scientists have made it very clear that we cannot, cannot build more pipelines, more LNG terminals. We have to stop doing that and put every bit of our -- every bit on sun and wind, which thankfully is now the cheapest way to generate power on this planet. But that's what we have to accelerate if we have any hope of, well, of making this conversation ten times worse ten years from now.
MARQUARDT: As opposed to legislative efforts in the past, this bill contained a lot of carrots and fewer sticks.
Do you think that incentive-based approach versus regulatory can be effective? MCKIBBEN: It was a lot better bill when it was first proposed. In that
case, it had a lot of regulatory effect that would have forced utilities to do the right thing. Acting at the behest of the fossil fuel industry, Joe Manchin took those out. We're left with what we're left with. So that money is going to have to, we hope, really push a virtuous cycle.
If we're lucky, that $300 billion in federal money will leverage far more private investment, and we will see an explosion in the EV market, in the use of air source heat pumps in homes, in the spread of wind turbines and solar panels, but it's going to take all of us working to make it happen including dropping the kind of spurious aesthetic objections to looking at wind turbines and the other things that have slowed down their progress.
MARQUARDT: The climate efforts in this bill, the money allocated for that, that was just part of it. There were other things -- you know, overall, it was called the inflation reduction act, climate change just one part of this. It passed both the Senate and House, but with zero, zero Republicans voting for it.
Why do you think that climate change is such a partisan issue in this country?
MCKIBBEN: I think because the oil and gas industry essentially purchased one of our political parties. And it's going to be a remarkable black mark in American history that not one Republican, not one, was willing to vote in favor of action on the single deepest crisis that human beings have ever faced. I don't think we have ever seen political abdication and responsibility of that magnitude before.
MARQUARDT: Do you see that reflected in the general American population, or are Americans generally in favor -- go ahead.
MCKIBBEN: Not at all. When you poll Americans, it's fascinating. The thing that Americans tell pollsters they like the most is solar energy and more government support for it. You see that from Republicans, independents, and Democrats. The numbers in all cases are about 80 percent. They may be coming at it for different reasons.
Sometimes conservatives like solar power because their home is completely their castle and they depend on no one. Liberals may like the fact that we're all networked into the groovy power of the sun. That doesn't make a difference. Those are the kind of differences we can work with. What we need is real moral action across all political persuasions, just the way that environmentalism used to be a bipartisan cause long ago before the oil and gas industry did its best to gum up the works.
MARQUARDT: All right, Bill, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time.
MCKIBBEN: Thank you.
MARQUARDT: And this quick programming note. CNN takes you behind the scenes with our crews on the making of "PATAGONIA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD". Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: They are no longer afraid of him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's fantastic. They couldn't really care less about me. They were all over the housing. It was a very magical moment because you realize they don't have fear of you.
It is really beautiful to have them on top of you. You see their webbed feet. You see their face and their little whiskers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Now, that is some behind the scenes. You can catch the new episode tonight at 9:00 p.m. on CNN.
Can Liz Cheney survive the Republican primary for Wyoming's only house seat in that state? Voters are going to be determining her fate in just two days' time. We will have a look at where the race stands. That's coming up next.
MARQUARDT: In just two days, voters in Wyoming will be heading to the polls and deciding whether Congresswoman Liz Cheney gets to continue representing the people of the state. She, of course, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president after the January 6 insurrection.
Congresswoman Cheney is also the vice chair of the January 6 Committee investigating the attack at the capitol.
With me now is Victoria Eavis. She is a state politics reporter for "The Casper Star Tribune".
Victoria, thank you so much for joining me this afternoon.
VICTORIA EAVIS, STATE POLITICS REPORTER, CASPER STAR-TRIBUNE: Thanks for having me.
MARQUARDT: So, this race is in the home stretch. Voters head to the polls on Tuesday. Does Cheney stand a chance of keeping her seat?
EAVIS: Polls say no. But as we have seen in races like 2016 anything can happen. But from what I hear on the ground, I think people are pretty fed up with the representative.
MARQUARDT: And from what we have seen in this campaign, she hasn't been very public in her campaigning, has she? EAVIS: No. Nope.
MARQUARDT: Is that for security reasons? Is that because she believes it's a foregone conclusion?
EAVIS: I think a lot of it is security although the campaign doesn't comment on security. It is hard to figure out but based on the reports it seems to be security and also just time occupied with the January 6 committee. She has to be in D.C. obviously.
There was a parade the other day in Wyoming where Harriet was waving to the voters and meeting people and at the exact same time Cheney was cheering a hearing one of the hearings. So it was a pretty stark contrast in campaign style for sure.
MARQUARDT: Harriet being Harriet Hageman, the challenger in this race.
Liz Cheney as you know, Victoria, has been reaching out to Democrats, trying to get them to register as Republicans and vote for her in the primary. It seems kind of a, you know, a last minute ploy. Do you think this is a tactic that could have any real impact in this race, especially in a state that's as Republican as Wyoming?
EAVIS: Numerically it won't win it for her, especially how wide the margin appears to be between her and Harriet Hageman. But if it starts to get close a few thousand Democrats could make the difference.
The important thing to remember is that in these heated Republican primary the independents can really swing a vote. So, those are the ones that she should be looking at if she wants to secure a victory.
MARQUARDT: Hageman is a supporter of Cheney's in the past. What do you think drove her to challenge Cheney in this race, to challenge someone who she has said she once admired?
EAVIS: I mean, who Cheney is and her reputation in Wyoming has done a full 180, so I think a lot of things changed since she voted to impeach the former president and Trump doesn't shy away from endorsing candidates who used to oppose him. So, it's not super shocking to me honestly.
MARQUARDT: You say she said did a full 180 but she has voted with the former president over 90 percent of the time. Is that an indication that for Wyoming this is bout her voting to impeach the president and the role in the January 6 committee?
EAVIS: I think that plays a big role. I don't think it's with us that. We have to remember that Representative Cheney has never been challenged truly in a primary, so I think a big part of this is that she has a real formidable challenger. And the first time she is facing that.
Another part of it is that, you know, she has continued to criticize the former president relentlessly and I think that whether or not this is a correct interpretation I think voters are fed up with hearing it. I hear it when I interview people on the street is they're just sick and tired of hearing about the same thing from her.
MARQUARDT: Do you believe that most people will be voting for Hageman or against Cheney?
EAVIS: Against Cheney.
MARQUARDT: All right.
EAVIS: Polling indicates that's the case. University poll said that most voters are voting against Representative Cheney. There could have been candidates that would have had a similar effect.
MARQUARDT: Yeah, the polls tell a rather stark story, but regardless Tuesday is going to be a fascinating day where you are in Wyoming.
Victoria Eavis, thank you so much for joining us today.
EAVIS: Thank you for having me.
MARQUARDT: Now, also on Tuesday, voters in Alaska decide whether they want Sarah Palin, the former governor of that state, to represent them again. Of course, she was the vice presidential candidate back in 2008 with John McCain. She is now running for an open congressional seat. Palin is one of four candidates who advanced from a June primary and the win ore of Tuesday will feet the seat of late Congressman Don Young. He died in March.
Still ahead, we're going to be going live to Jerusalem where eight people, including five Americans, were injured in a shooting near the western wall in East Jerusalem. We'll have details about that incident. That's coming up.
Stay with us.