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Biden's Legal Team Found Another Batch Of Classified Documents In Search Of Second Location; Regulator's Gas Stove Comments Create New Political Flashpoint; Damar Hamlin Released From Buffalo Hospital; IL Governor Signs Extensive Ban On Firearms And High-Capacity Magazines. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired January 11, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Tonight, more classified documents from Biden's time as vice president found at a second location. Source telling CNN the president's legal team discovered this batch during a search conducted after the other classified documents were found back in November. It's just really adding to the chaos and maybe the delight of some in Washington D.C. tonight.
If you look down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to Congress, investigations are brewing. You can argue that some are absolutely warranted. You can argue some are absolutely not. But this is President Biden's new reality as he navigates the next two years with Republicans controlling the House.
I want to bring in former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, CNN political commentator Ashley Allison, and Tia Mitchell, Washington correspondent for "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution."
Look, Biden does not have the smoothest of paths ahead of him. We can say that with a straight face and perhaps a little bit of a smile or a frown when you think about this.
But Ashley, Republicans have said as much, that they are hell-bent on being not just a thorn in his side, but maybe even taking him down and making sure are Republicans in the Oval Office come 2024. How does the White House keep its eyes on the promised prize of even their own campaign?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They have to continue to look to deliver, and they need to draw the contrast of Republicans trying to take one man down rather than delivering for the people, and continue either putting legislation forward, maybe knowing that it's not going to pass in the House and not get to his bill but calling those votes and make each elected official stand by what they believe policy-related.
I also think they have opportunities on administrative action. They can take different positions with issues that people really care about. We know from this last midterm that the American people were not satisfied in the direction that the country was going. But it wasn't just about the economy. It was about protecting our democracy, cutting out this nonsense and getting and improving the lives of American people.
And that's what I would do if I was the Biden administration. I wouldn't take the bait of the Republicans. They are going to throw out red meat. Let them pander to that portion of the base. If they do and do these investigations on Hunter Biden and whatnot, I think it backfires on Republicans in the long run. The Biden administration needs to focus on governing.
COATES: Tia, she makes a really strong point about the idea of if the focus is bringing one person down as opposed to lifting maybe millions up, especially in the economy that were in and beyond, the focus has been and may have not been shy on the campaign trail.
And frankly, Republicans have reclaimed the majority in the House and their platforms were not hidden about investigating the investigators, the origins of COVID-19, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Hunter Biden, the Biden finances more broadly.
This seems to be a lot about the political optics because they can't really force anything legislatively, right?
TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Right. We don't expect substantial legislation to come out of Congress for the next two years because the House is being moved further towards the right. Meanwhile, not only is the Senate more -- the Senate Republicans are more moderate, but we know Democrats are in control in the Senate. Of course, Democrats are in control in the White House.
So, absent of that substantial legislation and quite frankly gridlock that we expect in the House just among Republicans in the House, that does get the White House opportunity to focus on things like implementing the infrastructure bill, implementing the CHIPS and Science Act.
You know, the White House can say, we'll let them fight it out, we've got work to do, because they did have a successful last two years. So, they've got a lot of things on their plate that they can build off of.
Now, things like the confidential documents found at President Biden's private office, he's going to have to deal with that. It is a distraction. It is a way that his critics can say, see, he's just as bad as the things he's -- you know, the things Democrats say President Trump has done. But to Ashley's point, the White House can say, we're not going to let that distract us from the work.
COATES: I mean, it's clear that -- I mean, there's going to be the argument that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. But others who have been in the White House have had to deal with something similar. Not perfectly analogous but, I mean, Obama had to contend, of course, with Benghazi in his term. You had George W. Bush about the identity of the CIA agent and beyond.
Presidents don't always have the ability to have their own party in the majority in both houses and chambers of Congress. Is there something different about this time that you think this might play differently?
JOE WALSH, PODCAST HOST, FORMER ILLINOIS REPRESENTATIVE: Yeah, and I think it plays to Biden's benefit. If done right, this is an enormous opportunity for President Biden. As you said, Laura, the next two years are going to be investigations on steroids. It's going to be utter chaos in the House.
Biden got elected in 2020 because Trump was so chaotic and Biden was this calm in the storm. He can do the same thing with these next two years and just kind of defensively respond to all the chaos that's going on in the House, which legislatively won't do anything for the American people. I think it's an opportunity.
COATES: What do you think, though, Ashley, about the idea -- I mean, you've got the quiet part being set out now in terms of it is obvious that politics is part of the retaliatory perception people have of Congress right now. But they promised this before they were elected in time of the Republicans in November. It wasn't as if this was a shock to the voters.
Does that indicate that this is -- there's an appetite for this or even if there was one, does that mean it's not going be sustained?
ALLISON: I don't think that appetite is as strong as some people might think.
ALLISON: Look at the outcome of the 2022 election.
ALLISON: People -- this red wave was like a drizzle, you know? Where was it? It didn't manifest because the voters -- what is happening in Washington D.C. and the Republican Party is disconnected to what is happening to every day Americans across the country.
And the Republicans, by any stretch of the imagination, should've taken governors seats, not had many state legislatures flipped. Secretaries of states should have been governors. The House did go to -- excuse me, should have been Republicans -- the House did go to Republicans but not by the margins at all that we suspected. And then the Senate stayed in control for the Dems.
It's because people don't want oversight, unnecessarily. They want our government to function properly. They want the three branches of our government to be checks and balances among them. They feel like there was some overreach on the judicial branch. And I think the voters sent a message. I don't think it was investigations, investigations, investigations. COATES: And yet, Tia -- I want you to respond to this as well, Joe. I mean, you do have this idea of the weaponization. You're talking about the idea of the allegations, that the former president was not weaponizing the federal government or DOJ. Now, the allegation is that Biden is doing this very thing. The investigation of the investigation is to now look at the so-called weaponization of the federal government.
I'm wondering, what the endgame is there? Is it on the one hand, obviously, to tarnish Biden? But is it also to rehabilitate Trump and could that work?
MITCHELL: I mean, I think that rehabilitating Trump and giving talking points, you know, almost that they're talking to Trump by having these investigations currying favor with Trump, currying favor with Trump supporters, those MAGA Republicans that a lot of rank and file Republicans believe that's the kind of support they need to stay in office, to seek higher office, the risk is, will Republicans in the House overplay their hand?
They're playing to their base right now, not just with the special investigations that they're already setting up, but with the bills they're passing, the antiabortion legislation and things like that.
Yes, it speaks to their base, it is a message that resounds in conservative media, but in a wider swath of voters, again, I don't think that's necessarily what voters want their members of Congress to be focused on.
The question is, if they do this too much, and especially if it starts leading to gridlock when it comes to things that matter more like the farm bill that needs to be reauthorized, like government spending, like the debt ceiling, will that turn voters off and could that lead, you know, to some Republican losses? The midterm is 2023. We're talking the next election in 2024.
COATES: When you're thinking about the idea of us versus them, political world, it comes down to, is it him or the rest of us? That will be the priority.
We are coming back to all of you. Don't worry. And I'm sure you've been hearing a lot lately, probably wondering, why so much people yelling -- I mean actually yelling about gas stoves. Not politics but the gas stoves lately. You're probably wondering why that is. Well, believe it or not, this kitchen appliance is the latest front in the culture wars. Of course, politics is not far behind. I'm going tell you why and give you the facts about gas stoves, next.
COATES: Have you been hearing a lot about gas stoves the past couple of days? I bet you have. That's because they become the latest political flash point after comments from a Consumer Product Safety Commission interview with Bloomberg. Richard Trumka, Jr. telling the outlet, gas stoves are a -- quote -- "hidden hazard" and that -- quote -- "any option" -- unquote -- is on the table, including banning them.
Well, that set everybody off. President Biden even weighed in with the White House saying -- quote -- "The president does not support banning gas stoves." This comment comes at a time when, of course, he is fending off attacks about classified documents. Think about the priorities of how big of an issue this has become.
The head of the CPSC later clarifying Trumka's comments on Twitter, writing, I want to set the record straight, contrary to recent media reports, I am not looking to ban gas stoves, and the U.S. CPSC has no proceeding to do so.
More on the facts about the health hazards of gas stoves in just a moment. First, let's bring back in Joe Walsh, Ashley Allison, and Tia Mitchell. We all kind of giggle about how can this can be an issue and how we talk about this. But replace some of the words for gas stove with other issues that happened.
For example, Ronny Jackson from Texas tweeting, I'll never give up my gas stove. If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold, dead hands. Come and take it.
Joe Manchin saying, this is a recipe for disaster. Federal government has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner. I can tell you, the last thing that would ever leave my house is the gas stove that we took on.
I couldn't help but thinking as I read these tweets, I thought, I feel like I've heard similar arguments in every culture war, even about guns, the idea of the government coming in to take things away. Is that what this symbolizes? Is this the next frontier of what the government is trying to take away?
WALSH: Laura, as the only former Republican and former right-wing radio talk show host at the table, let me just say, Democrats, Laura, better nip this gas stove thing in the bud right now or it's going get him.
Three years ago, a couple of people on the left said, we need to defund the police. And Republicans tagged the whole Democratic Party with that. They are doing it, and they will try to do the same thing with this gas stove business. I know because I used to do that.
You paint the Democrats as out of touch with regular folk who depend upon these gas stoves. Democrats need to fight this head on.
COATES: Really, even the president addressing it immediately because, obviously, the reason they had to address it is because it had gotten out there, that it was no longer about a connection possibly with asthma or conversations about the emissions, even if it was off in terms of the pilot being on, in some respects. It was what the government is trying to do to get you, the common person, and attack these industries.
Is that what has to happen to nip it in the bud? Is it already too late?
MITCHELL: I think it's a messaging issue. This is a good lesson. You know, Trumka's remarks probably weren't the most precise, maybe not the most comprehensive in explaining it, but there has been journalism that has explained it more accurately. But then there are a lot of, you know, the conservative media sphere kind of put their own spin on it that did not accurately portray what was going on.
Again, this at the core is about childhood asthma, which is not just a serious disease that causes a lot of money and keeps kids sick. Children die of asthma attacks every day.
So, we're talking about the federal government looking at something to say, what can we do to make things better for children? Could that possibly mean in the future not selling new gas stoves? But that's the conversation these to be had in a way that's much more delicate than the Trumka roll out. And so, that's a lesson for the Biden administration.
COATES: I don't mean to cut you off, but there is also already bans in different states about new developments in New York. For example, not being able to have or trying to essentially age out all these because of what you're talking about.
But it also reminds me of -- the phrase that comes to mind was special interests, Ashley, because it was seized upon. The idea of this comment, as you mentioned, in a "Bloomberg" piece, talked about the health risks.
You had the American Gas Association, Ashley, put out a statement against Trumka's comments. Obviously, they were not favorable about anyone trying to in any way hint that gas was not a good idea.
Is this an indication of just how our politics really operates that special interests will control the day?
ALLISON: Yeah, this was so unfortunate and unnecessary. I think everyone, former Republican, Republican, Democrat, progressive, would agree we don't want children to be suffering and dying from asthma attacks. I think that's a baseline.
But we don't talk about issues like that. We talk about it like the government is trying to take this from you or you're trying to come into my private home. Look, I grew up learning gas cooks better. That's how my grandmother taught me.
COATES: Cooking with gas was the phrase.
ALLISON: She stays cooking with oil. But literally, it was like gas is -- cooks better. So, when I saw this, I said, why are they talking about banning gas stoves?
You do a little more research. It is about how you present information to people. If you talk about this through the lens of children and we want to keep our children's healthy and safe, the first thing that comes to mind, to be honest, is not banning a gas stove. It's like getting climate change under control. It's stopping pollution. It doesn't seem like you just jump to gas stoves.
So, again, it feels like you're a little out of touch with the everyday person when you say like in order to stop childhood asthma, ban gas stoves. That's not a winning campaign line. I don't know any voter in any party who's going really side with that. But talk to people about the everyday experiences they have, and the Dems can get this back up.
COATES: Are we a little bit at fault, though, in the sense, Joe, of -- look, the whole article it seems was not about trying to go hyperbolic, right? But the way it's been received and the way it's seized upon is really the crux of so many issues.
That statement, perhaps it was innocuous, perhaps it was benign, perhaps it wasn't. It was seized on to the president of the United States, has to weigh in that today, all of a sudden, you're losing your gas stove in your House.
WALSH: Laura, it's just like defund the police. That was seized upon because a couple of people on the left said that and the Republicans painted the whole party with that.
In December, 20 congressional Democrats asked the commission to consider banning gas stoves. You've got Democrats in New York and California who are pushing this. I just think it is an issue where Democrats look out of touch. That's a weakness of theirs.
ALLISON: And Republicans are talking about this with truth.
ALLISON: If you actually talk to people who believe in defund the police, it's about police reform.
ALLISON: It's about reinvesting in communities, it's about keeping Black and brown people safe from police officers who disproportionately are stopped and killed by police. That's what the movement of defunding the police, whether you agree with it or not. But Republicans take it and say --
WALLACE: You're coming from a gas stove --
COATES: This just proves a point. Who knew we go from gas stoves to defunding the police?
(LAUGHTER) COATES: It proves that politics always finds a common thread and how we dealt with. I can imagine the headlines tomorrow about this very issue.
I actually want to bring in Joe Allen, who is the director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I'm hoping you can help to set the record straight in some respect because how politics gets involved, people have a whole different viewpoint of what was said, what the impact is, our gas stoves being taken out or they banned, what's the deal? We haven't talked about gas fireplaces in homes, by the way, but that's a separate issue. What is the real deal? The December study said what?
JOE ALLEN, DIRECTOR OF HEALTHY BUILDINGS PROGRAM AT HARVARD'S T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, AUTHOR: Yeah, so thanks for having me on. I'm happy to talk, step back and talk about the science and what it says about health. What we're finding is really quite interesting. And stepping back from all the mixed messaging out there, Laura, it's not imminent that we're going rip out gas stoves.
If you go back to the science, you see that gas stoves can emit toxic gases like nitrogen dioxide or NO2. We know it irritates the airwaves. It can aggravate existing respiratory diseases like asthma. It causes coughing and wheezing. And if you're exposed to it long enough, it can lead to the development of asthma in kids and adults. It can also influence cognitive performance of kids. It's bad for heart health. So, take this all together, that's what driving the story.
There's a concern that burning this toxic gas in the home or having it in the home leads to these adverse health effects. Here's two surprising facts for your audience. The first is this. Certainly, when you're using a gas stove, the emissions are higher and your exposure is higher. But they emit, they can emit even when they're off. That surprises a lot of people, when they're not in use.
The second one is this. This recent study found that 12% of current asthma in kids is attributable to gas stoves. In some states like California, Illinois, New York, it's about 20%. One in five, one in five kids with asthma can have attributed to this toxic gas being used in the home. I think if you think about it under that lens, then this conversation makes a lot more sense.
Just in the science, it's a good idea to limit exposure to toxic gases in the home that can lead to and could contribute to asthma.
COATES: As a mom, I'm concerned in particular because I wonder about the amount of time say a gas stove is even on in the home, talk about the limit, the cooking hours, the kids are around in some respects around the parents cooking. Even that limited window would lead to the one in five result you're talking about is really stunning for me to hear.
But also, the cities you named. There are cities like San Francisco, cities like New York as well, that have actually banned natural gas hookups and used specialized -- the idea of thinking about the safety of buildings and environmental concerns and whatnot. So, how much responsibility do cities actually have in their legislation to get ahead of this issue or to course correct?
ALLEN: Well, I think a lot of that has been driven by the electrify everything movement, which is we have to get off fossil fuels because of climate change and part of that is limiting gas hookups.
The conversation with our gas stoves is less focused, I think, on these bigger issues around climate and more on the immediate impacts. I'm a father of three kids. It's hard for people to think about the abstract -- seemingly abstract impacts of climate change. You talk about my kids' health? Yeah, then I'm going to start thinking about it. I'm going do something about that gas stove. So, it's really important that we're having this conversation.
But I also want to put it in the context of what we already know about things like nitrogen dioxide, one of these gases. You know, it surprises me that there's so much focus on this. We've regulated NO2 as an outdoor air pollution for over 50 years. In fact, sometimes, the gas stove can lead to N02 levels in the home that would be illegal if it was outside.
So, I know this concern seems new, it's in the news, but we've been talking about NO2 exposures outdoors and regulated that for 50 years. And now, the attention is coming on these indoor exposures that are happening. Now, something really important, what to do? So, what we do about this?
ALLEN: I think it's practical, pragmatic, feasible, affordable to go out and rip out your gas stove right now. Simple things you can do, when you're cooking, make sure your exhaust hood is on, invented to the outdoors. If you don't have that, just crack the window open a little bit. That's when your exposure is highest. Then, when the time comes, make a purchase, think about or definitely get an electric stove or an induction stove. Until then, ventilate to keep exposures low.
COATES: I mean, is there an NO2 monitor, one can have in their home to detect the levels they have right now?
ALLEN: You could. I think that's more on the scientific instrumentation side. I don't think every homeowner has to go out and do that. I don't think it' something you have to be thinking about, worrying about every single night.
I think when you are making better -- we can make better decisions going forward. A new building stock, and I agree with these laws that are kind of limiting the hookups. But in the interim, when you're going make a change, switch to a better product, an electric stove or an induction stove. And before that, just ventilate a little bit better. Every stove should have an exhaust hood over it that's vented to the outside. You got to turn it on when you cook.
COATES: So important, Joe. I'm also thinking about those who are renting or don't have the ability to make those purchases and make those choices. I hope everyone is listening tonight as well. Really important to hear your perspective, Joe Allen. Thank you so much.
ALLEN: Thanks for having me on.
COATES: There's some good news to report tonight. Damar Hamlin is out of the hospital today. But his terrifying collapse has players (INAUDIBLE) all across the league, frankly, many leagues, with the NFL grappling with the realities of their own sport. Stay with us to hear why.
COATES: So, after now 10 days in two separate hospitals, Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, well, he's finally home tonight. He was discharged this very morning from Buffalo Medical Center.
It's a remarkable feat considering it was just last Monday that he suffered cardiac arrest on the field. The Bills coach says it will be up to Hamlin to decide when he returns to the team.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN MCDERMOTT, HEAD COACH, BUFFALO BILLs: We'll leave it up to him. His health is first and foremost on our mind as far as his situation goes. When he feels ready, we welcome him back as he feels ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Joining me now, former NFL player Marcus Smith II and CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan. Good to have you both here. The last time we were speaking, it was a very different set of circumstances. We were hoping he'd be able to go home, hoping he'd have a chance to recover, wondering a lot of things.
But you heard the Bills coach player, Marcus, talking about this. I almost called you player. I was talking about the Bills coach talking about the player. And I wonder, do you believe that there really is this shift about prioritizing the players, about prioritizing it's his decision, because so often, because the way the contracts are written, sometimes, there isn't incentives for players to play hurt?
MARCUS SMITH II, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Right. Yeah. I think there is a shift with the NFL. I think they're pushing for this mental health thing. And I really appreciate -- it's the work that you do as a life coach. But I really truly feel like they're pushing more for mental health because we as players feel that we need mental health in the NFL. I really truly believe that we need that in the NFL.
COATES: It's important because, of course, talking about mental health as opposed to his physical health, the players who were on the field and many who are watching and now still are reeling about what they saw, and it has impacted how they feel about the sport, about their own confidence in playing, and you really can't play if you're reluctant or nervous about getting hurt.
SMITH: Right. No, you -- so, when you get hurt, you can't really play like how you want to. And I think that most people, they think that players have this galaxy warrior-type mentality and we can't even have emotions. We can't even think about certain things because we're always thinking about the next play. And that's what we always have been taught.
So, the next play, the next play up, you notice, when you look at a football game, when a player gets hurt, they move the ball up, and they resume the game. So, when you look at all those things, too, as well, it's like, well, the emotion side of it, when are we going really tap into our emotions? From experience, tapping into my emotions is speaking about what I've seen and what I've been through.
SMITH: And so, that's how I think that we should kind of continue to move forward as the NFL and we need to continue to speak that as players so we can really tap into our emotions and be better and healthier.
COATES: Christine, if this had happened 20 years ago, 30 years ago, sometimes you'd say even five years ago, would we be at a point where we're talking about even tapping into that emotion or even addressing the priority of those players?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Absolutely not. Absolutely not, Laura. What Marcus is saying, it is such a step forward. I think the NFL, as we've talked many times, is the behemoth. It is our most popular sport by far.
And in this way, it is coming along with our culture. Think back to the summer of 2021, the spring and summer. Naomi Osaka, obviously, was the first to really bring up the issue of mental health and her struggles as she was leaving tournaments during the summer, the French Open.
Michael Phelps, the great swimmer, has talked about it, written a book, has had a documentary about his struggles with mental health. + If the great, wonderful, all powerful Michael Phelps can tell us that he's struggling, well, then the NFL can also say, hey, we've got human beings here. As you said Marcus, we need to address this.
COATES: We had Simone Biles opting not to compete, which was really the next even horizon.
BRENNAN: You took the words right out of my mouth because that same summer, I mean, Phelps actually has been talking about this for a while. But you have Naomi Osaka. Within a month or two, a couple months, you have Simone Biles story at the time that the world is watching, the Tokyo Olympics, and she says, I can't compete. And so, it took these incredibly strong athletes, world renowned athletes, and so now the NFL is also dealing with this and saying, hey, we just -- you know, the athletes, the players union has been really strong on this. Athletes like Marcus, others speaking about this, Laura, and saying we have to focus on the mental health of these giants who also, by the way, are human beings.
COATES: And Marcus, on that point, this is also a business as much as it is a sport. And the phrase, are you not entertained, comes in my mind, right? And there's a big dollar sign attached to the priorities that a league will make to figure out how best to market it. And maybe that gladiator perception in persona is what sells tickets. But should there be a culture change to say, look, there is even a market to case for why it's a good idea to focus on the whole player?
SMITH: When you think about the player, you want him to be successful in every which way possible. So, if the league and the NFL want the players to be successful mentally, physically, spiritually, then they will do everything that it takes to get them the training, the life coaches, the mental health that they so desire.
And the work that I continue to do and the work that I continue to push for them is -- when you have players, right, the players in the sense, by one player, I'm going say this, one player, he was explaining why he was crying, right? He was explaining that. And as men, why do we have to explain why we weep?
And so, for me, I truly believe that we have to get to a point where we're not explaining that and that's just us being men and that's what a real man looks like. So, as players, we have to take our manhood, put it on the football field, but also be human about it and do it that way.
I think if the NFL kind of looks at it that way, then I think it will be some changes. I think it's going that way. I really appreciate that, for them doing that.
COATES: Real quick, Christine, does the mighty dollar dictate more than -- for this league, what's going happen next?
BRENNAN: Well, certainly, yes, except I think there's also the public pressure. And when you saw those coaches saying, we can't keep playing this game, that again something, as you pointed out earlier, would never have been said two or three years ago, certainly not five or 10 years ago.
And this idea that the NFL players are much more than just this strong, physical player, I think that something that the NFL has to deal with. The nation, the world is saying, you have to deal with the mental health of these athletes.
COATES: Really important point. Thank you so much.
Also, we are learning about one state that is passing a sweeping gun control bill today as legal challenges to another states law is playing right out in the court. We'll tell you where things stand and what Supreme Court justices are saying about all of it, next.
COATES: Well, the Supreme Court today allowing a New York State gun law that puts restrictions on carrying concealed firearms to remain in effect while legal challenge plays out in the appeals court.
That as Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation today introducing sweeping new measures that do everything from cap the sale of high-capacity magazines to expanding the power of state courts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
Joining me now is CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem and CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams. Just to break this down for people, last summer, the Supreme Court struck down the original New York conceal and carry law. Now, it's being challenged again. How is it going to play out?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, look, they put a new law in place in effect following the Supreme Court's decision that, number one, sort of restricts where folks can have firearms in sensitive locations, churches, schools, parks and so on.
And number two, sets up a permanent scheme where in order to get a gun, in the first place, these are the steps you have to go through, these are both a little bit controversial only in so far as the Supreme Court cracked open the door last summer saying, these things might work in some ways, but we're not going tell you exactly what's going to be okay.
This is going back to the Supreme Court. I think it's hard to see how there's not going be another legal fight over this.
COATES: From a law enforcement perspective, I mean, the idea there is a challenge, the idea of not being able to ascertain a threat and evaluate one, if everyone is able to conceal and carry, everyone is able to not be challenged, that poses a threat, right?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Law enforcement, the idea that law enforcement is sort of pro-no gun restriction is ridiculous. In other words, the assault rifle ban, all of them are supported by legitimate police organizations that understand that if you're in a restaurant and you think one person has a gun and another person as a gun and two people have concealed guns and there is an argument over a tip, that that is going to elevate relatively faster than something in which people are just going to use words and argue.
So, this is -- the amount of -- the number of states with concealed weapon law is historic, in the number it is right now. So, what you're seeing in terms of the counter in New York is people are trying to figure out where is this middle that Elliot was talking about, which is that the Supreme Court left breadcrumbs in terms of what restrictions can be. Where is the middle?
But there's also political side to this, which is important. I don't want people to think that just because you're going to lose in court is over. Part of what this is about is to keep pushing so that those who would defend, those who do not support reasonable gun legislation, for example, red flag laws, assault rifle ban or those things, are put on the defensive, and that's what you want because that's the only way we're going to get movement.
I'm not talking about tomorrow, next month or next year, we're going to get movement five, 10 or 15 years ago. This is the same kind of strategy that we've done with other social movements in this country. This is not going to happen tomorrow with this court.
COATES: There is the expectation, to her point, that the courts are going to be sort of the panacea of everything, they're going to solve everything and there will be a challenge, and suddenly, we'll have no more gun-related accidents, deaths or violent crimes.
This week, by the way, we are talking about a six-year-old having access to a gun and shooting his first-grade teacher. There is the PR component about this. There is also the expectation of what we expect of the Supreme Court. Is this the right way to go about this?
WILLIAMS: Who knows? Look, the devil in any of these things is in the details. Even when you use the term like an assault weapons ban as in the case in Illinois right now, how do you define what an assault weapon is? The Supreme Court certainly is going to tell you what that is.
Illinois says if it is a rifle, that can be modified with detachment of magazine and has a pistol whip and there are like 58 different things that might define what an assault weapon is. That might be legal. It might not.
But the Supreme Court, even in folks wanting to sort of paint them as overwhelmingly conservative, they left open a lot of ground as to have to define all of these things. It's actually a little bit chaotic right now in the state of the law as to what actually is going to survive and what is not.
Now, again, certainly, there is the ideological leanings of the current Supreme Court. I'm not going to weigh in on any of that. But this is an open area of law. It just hasn't been decided yet. I think it's not clearer than it was six months ago.
KAYYEM: I think one way to look at this as someone who does not think about it in the legal context but just in terms of sort of public safety and keeping children safer is part of this litigation, part of what you're seeing these governors do or mayors or kind of restrictions that you're seeing put into place, is to also begin a conversation again about what it means to be a gun owner and reasonable gun ownership. At the same time that this is happening, we now have two cases against parents, who clearly knew that their children should not have access to guns and helped their children get access to guns and ultimately resulted in deaths. That is good, right? In other words, that is the kind of behavior that you want to begin to concentrate on, that parents are responsible for their children. If you think that your neighbor is dangerous, report them. So, it's not over, as Elliot said.
COATES: There are different avenues of deterrence, right? The idea that it can't just be one branch of government that is determining everything, putting the balance of power and how it fits. So, what will be the next steps? Of course, we are talking about at the state level as well as the federal level, and what the courts will say about it. Really important points from all of you. We will be right back.
COATES: First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is back at the White House tonight after spending most of the day at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where she had two cancerous lesions removed. Physician says Dr. Biden had successful surgery to remove a lesion above her right eye, which was recently discovered during a routine skin cancer checkup. The lesion was confirmed to be basal cell carcinoma.
But during the pre-operative consultation, doctors discovered an area of concern on the left side of the first lady's chest. It was also successfully removed and confirmed to be basal cell carcinoma as well. The first lady is said to be feeling well tonight.
Thank you all for watching. Our coverage continues.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with a congressman who cannot do the same for himself, and the House leadership who so far won't do it for him. The leader now in his own district and his own party are trying to -- they want him out, so does the New York State party chairman.
We are talking, of course, about George Santos, the freshman Republican congressman from New York, who lied about nearly all aspects of his life to help get himself elected.
Late today, another freshman New York House Republican, Brandon Williams, joined the call for him to quit. As for Santos, he says he is not going anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNKNOWN: Will you resign?
REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-Y): I will not. We are in the middle of a little space here.
UNKNOWN: Republicans are calling you a disgrace. You will not resign?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Of course, who knows if that's true? Almost nothing he has said about his life and career has been so far.
This is the same George Santos who said he worked to Goldman Sachs, which was a lie. He said he worked at Citigroup, which he didn't, meaning that, too, was a lie.