Return to Transcripts main page
Erin Burnett Outfront
Rep. McCarthy Claims Cheney Isn't Carrying Out GOP's Message, Ignores That The Message Has Been Fealty To Trump's Lies; House Republican: Liz Is Gone, Just A Question Of How And When; Rep. Cheney Not Backing Down, Refuses To "Perpetuate Lies"; Derek Chauvin Attorney Files Motion Asking For New Trial; JPMorgan CEO Warns U.S. Is "Gonna Have Inflation"; WSJ Editorial: Cheney "Is Daring To Tell The Truth To GOP Voters". Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 04, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Yes. Potentially very dramatic development. Brian Todd, thank you very much. And to our viewers, Thanks very much for watching.
I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Erin Burnett starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Kevin McCarthy caught on tape saying what he really thinks of Liz Cheney. This as Cheney refuses to back down. Can the GOP handle the truth?
Plus, breaking news, former Officer Derek Chauvin now asking for a new trial after a photo emerges of a juror wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt that read, get your knee off our necks.
And what one radio station is doing to make sure its listeners never forget the truth about the capitol insurrection and the politicians who fanned its flames. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, Kevin McCarthy caught on a hot mic, privately telling a Fox News anchor what he really thinks of Liz Cheney. This as Cheney makes it clear she's not going down without a fight. We're learning that Republicans will likely vote next week to purge Cheney from their leadership. The reason, she refuses to push Trump's big lie about the election.
Cheney's team issuing a response tonight saying, "This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6th. Liz will not do that. That is the issue." Cheney, of course, has not held back on speaking the truth about the election and that is what has - well it's going to end in losing her leadership role, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy making that clear.
Mediaite obtained this audio, this hot mic audio of McCarthy today before an interview on Fox this morning. Listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I think she's got real problems. I've had with her. I've had it with her, I've lost confidence. Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. That audio has been edited. It does not include the anchor's question, but it is clear he's talking about Liz Cheney. Just minutes later in the actual interview, McCarthy was a little more diplomatic. This time, though, he sent the same message instead of talking about how he's sick of her and he's done with it. He blamed other GOP members.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Concerned about her ability to carry out the message. Well, of course, the message that should matter if you're Kevin McCarthy and you're the leader of your party in the House, should be a person's record on GOP policy. So we looked at that to see what is Liz Cheney's record on that.
Well, she voted with President Trump nearly 93 percent of the time, 92.9 to be exact. She has a nearly 98 percent, nearly perfect score from the Conservative Heritage Action group. Liz Cheney is on message, if message is about policy. But that is not the message that matters to today's Republican Party. Now, this is the message that is anathema to McCarthy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ Cheney (R-WY): The notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie and people need to understand that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So this is not about Cheney's conservative principles. She aces that. This is about Trump, the GOP bosses will not accept that Cheney is not perpetuating Trump's big lie about the election. So here's where we are, a top leader of one of our two major parties is about to lose her power in leadership in spite of her perfect defense of her party's core policies. Stripped of her power, because she's telling the very basic simple truth about who won an election.
As the party punishes those who tell the truth, meantime, it is emboldening those who give air to the lie about the election. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York is an early contender to be Cheney's replacement. She fits the current mold of the party. On the day of the insurrection, she objected to the presidential election results in multiple states. She also said this in a Facebook video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): I have an obligation to act on this matter if I believe there are serious questions with respect to the presidential election. I believe those questions exist. Tens of millions of Americans are rightly concerned that the 2020 election featured unprecedented voting irregularities, unconstitutional overreach by unelected state officials and judges ignoring state election laws and a fundamental lack of ballot integrity and ballot security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. That all didn't happen. So Harvard University, Stefanik's alma mater eventually cut ties with her, removed her from an advisory board because of her decision to challenge the election results. Another current star in this new GOP, Sen. Josh Hawley. You, of course, remember this picture, a fist in the air as he greeted Trump supporters outside the Capitol hours before the deadly insurrection. Today Hawley defended that gesture.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): When I walked by, that particular group of folks were standing there peacefully behind police barricades, well off of the plaza. And I waved to them, gave them the thumbs up, pop my fist to them and thanked him for being there and they had every right to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Of course, let's just be clear, the reason that they were there was because of the lie that Trump had put out there that Hawley had given air for months. This is the utter nonsense that Congresswoman Cheney refuses to repeat. And because of that, again, to be clear, she is on the verge of being purged from her in the Republican Party despite a 98 percent perfect rating on Republican policies and a 93 percent rating of voting with President Trump.
Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill. Manu, what are the chances that Cheney survives?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very little. It almost seems certain that she is going down and it could happen as soon as next week, May 12. The next time the House Republican Conference meet. She has virtually very little support within the House Republican Conference. Members who backed her last time are not doing so this time.
And very importantly, as you laid out, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy who did defend her behind closed doors when she was pushed, her ouster was sought by conservatives in the conference back in February. This time is not. He raises these words on the hot mic that were caught, were heard, but also what he said on Fox News earlier today saying that she is not carrying the message of her colleagues.
But nevertheless, Liz Cheney is not backing down. We are hearing from multiple sources that she is not going to step aside from her leadership posts. She's going to have that vote just as she called for that vote in February that she ultimately survived. She's willing to have that vote again. But this time, almost certainly she is going to lose that vote.
We are hearing that also behind the scenes from multiple sources that Elise Stefanik, the New York Republican, is consolidating support. She's emerging as the clear favorite. The Republicans are lining up behind her. Members of the Republican leadership are supporting her as well.
So you're seeing a rapid turn of events from Liz Cheney being the number three Republican but growing increasingly isolated and made her war of words with the former president and calling out the President's election lie. Now Republicans say that is becoming a distraction for their efforts to win back the majority.
So she's going to be pushed aside almost certainly, probably next Wednesday, and then after that Elise Stefanik will emerge as a Trump - she's a Trump defender. She's in line with Kevin McCarthy, in line with Steve Scalise. The number two Republican.
And that will almost certainly, looks like, that could be their new leadership team as we head into the 2022 elections, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Manu. And I want to go now to our political analysts, Gloria Borger, along with Dan Eberhart, longtime GOP donor who joins me on the phone, having a little bit of technical difficulties with his shot. So Dan, let me start with you.
Blood in the water when it comes to Cheney. She's essentially done. You heard McCarthy's hot mic comments about her. I think she's got real problems, I've had it with her, I've had it with her. I've lost confidence. Sen. Mitt Romney is the only person on Capitol Hill who's a Republican who's actually come to her defense.
What does it say to you? She's about to be tossed out of her leadership role, because she says the Trump lost the election. Her voting record is 98 percent in favor of Republican core conservative policies.
DAN EBERHART, REPUBLICAN DONOR: Well, I think this is the exact wrong way for Republicans to be going. Look, I think we need to have kind of a Ronald Reagan's big tent party and I think there needs to be room for disagreement. And there's an awful lot wrong with what happened on January 6th. Liz Cheney spoke out. She spoke her mind and I think castigating or casting her out of the Republican leadership is really a twofold problem for Kevin McCarthy.
One, it goes against the big 10 approach, which is what if he's going to become the next speaker, he needs to be focused on. Two, I think, Liz Cheney is the highest ranking Republican woman and let's face it, for Republicans to win, we need to win in the suburbs. We need to win with suburban women and we need more females in leadership. So this creates really a two-part problem for Kevin McCarthy right now.
BURNETT: So Gloria, McCarthy says members want to replace Cheney because she isn't carrying out the message. And, of course, I've made the point, right?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: She is carrying the message if the message has conservative values and voting that way on issues, no one better. So what does this tell you about the state of the party and its voters right now that Kevin McCarthy cares about is whether you're going to say that Trump maybe won the election.
BORGER: Well, the party is still Donald Trump and that's all there is to it. And this isn't just about winning, which is what Donald Trump cares about and they want to win control of the House. So it's about regaining or gaining power in the House of Representatives. And they believe that she's inconvenient, because she speaks an inconvenient truth.
She gets in the way of them talking about Joe Biden and how much they dislike Joe Biden's agenda, et cetera, et cetera. As you point out, she is a terrific spokesperson for conservatism.
And her brand of conservatism actually believes in the constitution the Constitution. And that is not what Republicans want to talk about right now. They don't want to go back to January 6th and what occurs. They want to kind of forget about that and talk about Joe Biden and they believe she just kind of gets in the way.
BURNETT: So Dan, you've supported, of course, Sen. Josh Hawley in the past, but you have been clear ...
BURNETT: ... you're disappointed in him after January 6th. Today say he doesn't regret his actions on that day. And just to be clear, he's raised $3 million in the first three months of this year. A lot of money and he's not alone. Marjorie Taylor Greene raising about the same amount as well. What do you make of that and are you going to continue to support Hawley?
EBERHART: Well, I'm not ready to denounce Hawley, but I'm really looking for other people to support. I think that this idea that the people that run to the furthest right in the party are the ones that will reap the financial rewards for the next fundraising quarter is really a cause for concern and something that's going to lead to the Republican Party being marginalized in the medium term.
It's a shame to me that the folks in the center right that have clear conservative voices, but common sense approaches to things they're being marginalized and that the financial rewards are going to those in the furthest part of the party. To me that's a recipe for electoral loss and losing in 2022. I would like to see more fundraising prowess on those in the center
right and I think folks like Josh Hawley are going to marginalize themselves with their actions, even if they do have an enhanced fundraising grace.
BURNETT: It's an interesting point. So Gloria, this comes as Facebook says it's going to announce tomorrow, whether it will reinstate former President Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts.
BURNETT: Now, here's the thing, he's been quiet since he got banned from Facebook and Twitter. I mean, he says things.
BORGER: Sort of.
BURNETT: But it doesn't get the same amplification. It's just radically different. What would the implications be of him regaining access to those platforms?
BORGER: Well, it's really hard to know. Today, late this afternoon, he sort of opened up his own blog in advance of this decision from Facebook, as if to say, I don't really need you. I think that if Facebook says come back on board, obviously, he'll get more of a megaphone.
The question is have so many people made up their minds about Donald Trump that the people who want to follow them will continue to do that and those who don't won't.
But he is within the Republican Party, at least, still very much setting the agenda. And I think that is what we can take out of this whole Liz Cheney debacle, which is that Donald Trump is not going anywhere anytime soon and Republicans are not going to cross him.
BURNETT: All right. Gloria, thank you very much. Dan, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
And I want to go now to Historian and Author Jon Meacham. He is the host of the podcast Fate Of The Fact released under Shining City Audio. He is also advised President Biden on some items.
So let me ask you, Jon, how significant is this moment of history? You've got the Republican Party. You've got two major political parties in this country. That's how this country is run. One of them is purging one of its leaders with a 98 percent perfect score from the Conservative Heritage Action group, just because she is standing up to a lie about who won an election. What does this say to you?
JON MEACHAM, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR: It says that one of our two major parties is totally unmoored from reality. And as you say, that's not the way a constitutional republic can work. We need two vibrant vital parties that debate ideas, that debate the course of action about how we solve largely mutually agreed upon problems.
We don't need a party that just makes up their own facts when they don't find the discernible reality of eyes and ears to be congenial. And so I think Rep. Cheney's issues at the moment, I think the social media decision is hugely important tomorrow.
One of the interesting things about America is we are very good at moving on quickly. And sometimes that's great and sometimes it's not. And January 6th now in political time feels like we're talking about Thermopylae or some ancient, ancient remote thing. It was January 6th, it was this tax year, it was in the first quarter of this year and we almost lost our democracy, because of what Liz Cheney is standing up against.
BURNETT: You raised an interesting point, though, because there are some who may not have thought to this level, when you have a two party system, you do need to vibrant parties, otherwise one party steamrolls everything, controls everything. You could end up dealing with things like Mexico's had to deal with when one party is just in control all of the time and does whatever it wants, so that that's what's at stake here.
What does it do to our democracy to have one party that is completely shackled to its base? A party that in and of itself only now represents 25 percent to 27 percent of the American population.
MEACHAM: About two centuries and a half of democratic lowercase D experience is at risk, unquestionably. The founders hoped in sort of a dreamy way that we would have a supra party system that we would be above faction, that lasted about four minutes.
The first competitive race was 1796, George Washington didn't like being criticized by the newspapers and by his opponents, he thought about getting out after one term and he never had anybody run against him. So if you wonder or ever wonder where the politicians are sensitive, I refer you to George Washington.
Without this clash of parties, we don't have a capacity to move forward. And the very roots of the word, your President Biden's been talking about democracy versus autocracy. If you actually do the etymology of that, democracy means the rule of the many. The rule of the people.
Autocracy means the rule of the one. And that can be the Chinese Communist Party. It can be a dictator. It could be one ideology. It could be one worldview. But the problem and the virtue of democracy is when we all accept the rules of the game, we all have a chance to advance our interests according to the constitutional safeguards.
If you want total victory every time, which is what the Republicans want in this era, then that system falls apart and you better hope you always win. Because if you're in an autocratic system, you're in one where if you're on top, fantastic. That's great. If you're not, God help you, right?
BURNETT: That's right. Right. And as you say, they may want it, but they may end up on the losing side of it every time. The irony of that.
We all saw the moment, Jon, when Cheney fist bump with President Biden at his speech to the joint session of Congress last week and it was controversial for many in her party. And in a tweet, she's explained it, she said, "I disagree strongly with Joe Biden policies, but when the President reaches out to greet me in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives, I will always respond in a civil, respectful and dignified way. We're different political parties. We're not sworn enemies. We're Americans."
I'm harkening back to the you lie moment in one of President Obama's State of the Union addresses. Where did this civility go?
MEACHAM: Well, it's faded, really, over the last 30 years or so. I kind of date this corrosive thing from 1990, '91, '92 when George H. W. Bush decided he would break his no new taxes pledge. Newt Gingrich and others walked out of the White House when the President of the United States and Bob Dole and others went out to the Rose Garden to announce a bipartisan deal to control Reagan era deficits.
The firebrand Republicans went up to Capitol Hill and did a rally that as I recall CNN covered quite as much as they did the signing at the White House. And so you had this kind of breakdown of fundamental respect for the institutions. And fundamental respect is always up for grabs, right?
MEACHAM: I mean, it should all - and one is saying that, you have to salute. But for Liz Cheney whose father served in that chamber, he was the White House Chief of Staff when he was 34 years old for Gerald Ford, Secretary of Defense, Vice President of the United States, her mother ran the National Endowment for the Humanities. She's in the House of Representatives.
Presidents come and go of both parties. That's what we want. We want a durable Republic. And sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. And if you don't respect those rules, which is what the Republican Party as constituted and run now ...
MEACHAM: ... it can't be fixed, but as constituted and run now, they don't want to abide by those rules. They are captive to the sense of a will to power at all costs.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Jon Meacham.
And next, the breaking news, Derek Chauvin asking for a new trial. We have just obtained the official documents. So is he on solid legal ground?
Plus the CEO of the nation's biggest bank warning there could be trouble around the corner when it comes to the nation's economy. The head of the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis is OUTFRONT. And the unprecedented steps one radio station they are taking so that
listeners never forget what happened on January 6th and the politicians who fueled it.
BURNETT: Breaking news, one of the lawyers for Derek Chauvin filing a motion for a new trial two weeks after he was convicted of murdering George Floyd, citing factors including, "The interests of justice; abuse of discretion that deprived the defendant of a fair trial; prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.
The motion coming as one of the jurors explains his decision to attend last year's march on Washington, after a photo of the juror, Brandon Mitchell is his name, surfaced online which showed him wearing a Black Lives Matter cap and a shirt that reads get your knee off our necks.
Now, the motion does not specify what the alleged jury misconduct is. But the question is does this give Chauvin grounds for an appeal? Adrienne Broaddus is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRANDON MITCHELL, JUROR AT DEREK CHAUVIN'S TRIAL: I'm high school basketball coach and podcast host.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Brandon Mitchell is better known as juror 52 in the Derek Chauvin murder trial that ended last month. But now, the 31-year-old high school basketball coach is responding to criticism surrounding this photo. It shows Michel wearing a Black Lives Matter baseball cap and a T-shirt saying, "Get your knee off our necks."
Mitchell told the Star Tribune this photo was posted to his uncle's Facebook account after the march on Washington last August, commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech. Mitchell
did not confirm or deny the photo's authenticity to CNN.
That event also known as the 'Get Your Knee Off Our Necks' commitment march included demands for police reform and racial equality. Mitchell told our affiliate, WCCO, he participated in a voter registration drive in Washington, not a protest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MITCHELL: It was used to get voter turnout. And so being a part of
that and being to attend the same location when Martin Luther King gave his speech was a historic moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROADDUS (voice over): During jury selection questioning, Mitchell was only specifically asked by attorneys about protests in the Twin Cities immediately following George Floyd's death last year. He told the - he responded no to the following questions.
Did you or someone close to you participate in any of the demonstrations or marches against police brutality that took place in Minneapolis after George Floyd's death? And other than what you have already described above, have you or anyone close to you participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality.
Last week, Mitchell talked to us about his experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITCHELL: I feel like the evidence was overwhelming.
BROADDUS (on camera): Why did you want to be a member of this jury?
MITCHELL: I personally felt like it was a historic moment. By me just being on the jury alone and being a black man from Minneapolis, that alone was already a historic moment just by being on the jury regardless of what the verdict would have been.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So Adrienne, jury misconduct is just one of many reasons Chauvin's lawyer says his client deserves a new trial. What are some of the other examples that you see going through the filing?
BROADDUS (on camera): Erin, this filing is so broad. In it, Nelson writes about failure to sequester the jury. He talks about the judge denying a change of venue and he also talks about the publicity surrounding the case. It's also important to underscore he does not name Brandon Mitchell or any of the other jurors in this motion.
Keep in mind, there are 11 other people who deliberated in that room with Mitchell and we know nothing about them. Legally, he had 15 days to file a motion for a new trial. The deadline is tomorrow, Erin.
BURNETT: Right. And all this news, of course, coming out in the past 24 hours. Thank you very much, Adrienne.
I want to go straight now to Civil Rights Attorney and CNN Legal Analyst, Areva Martin. So Areva, they're asking for a new trial, as Adrian lays out, based on a variety of reasons. Do you think they'll be successful? AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think they'll be successful.
There's been some research done, Erin, particularly with appeals of verdicts, of jury verdicts like in the Chauvin case. And in 90 percent of those appeals, they are unsuccessful.
And keep in mind that a lot of the issues raised in this motion for new trial are some of the same issues that were raised pre-trial and during the trial. Adrienne talked about the request to sequester the jury for the entire trial. The request to change the venue. The complaints that Nelson raised about the publicity.
The Judge has already reviewed many of these same points and has already determined that there wasn't sufficient evidence presented by Nelson for those motions or his request to be granted.
BURNETT: So as Adrienne was laying out, their deadline to make this filing was tomorrow, so they had to do it - I mean, by tomorrow morning. They had to do it by tonight. Obviously, there's news coming out about this particular juror number six, I'm sorry, coming out in just the past day.
Jury misconduct is obviously one of the reasons that they are citing in their motion for a new trial and they don't specifically mention Brandon Mitchell or as a specific example of juror misconduct. But I just wanted to look again at one of the questions in the juror questionnaire to get your point of view on this, Areva.
The question is did you, or someone close to you, participate in any of the demonstrations or marches against police brutality that took place in Minneapolis after George Floyd's death. Mitchell told the Star Tribune he answered no.
The other question, have you, or anyone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality? Again, he said no.
Do you think that he was fully honest? Do you think he lied? How do you look at those questions, given what he now says he did?
MARTIN: I don't see any evidence in what has been reported to date to call this juror a liar. There are some headlines, Erin, that say juror lied, a ground for a mistrial. But I don't think we can jump to that conclusion. We have to look at the totality of the evidence and we also know in this case, this juror was asked specifically about his feelings on Black Lives Matter and he said that he had favorable feelings towards Black Lives Matter.
He was asked about of seeing the videotape and what his thoughts were about what he saw in that videotape and he was very honest about his concerns about what he saw in the videotape.
So I don't think we can cherry-pick those two questions. And what we do know from this juror is that he said he has been brutally honest. And, clearly, that march can be interpreted in a lot of different
ways. That march was held to commemorate the speech that Martin Luther King Jr. gave. It was held to encourage voters to get on and vote in the November presidential election. So, what this juror knew, what he was thinking at the time that he both attended that march and when he answered those questions, I don't think there's been nearly enough information presented for us to make any conclusions other than he was brutally honest.
BURNETT: Now, let me ask you this, as you point out, it says, and I'm looking here what you originally said, he has a very favorable impression of Black Lives Matter. He's wearing a Black Lives Matter cap, right, completely consistent as you point out.
The shirt he's wearing, get your knee off our necks. And, obviously, he checks the box know that he had never participated in any marches about police brutality. So, obviously, that is true, we can assume. But he had a point of view on it.
Does that give the defense any grounds to say, given what that shirt said, that it's clearly obviously in reference to the George Floyd case, that that's an issue?
MARTIN: Clearly, the shirt I think does raise some questions. And we should expect the defense to jump all over that. I'm surprised that it's not mentioned more specifically. When you look at what he does say, he being the defense attorney in that motion, it's a vague statement about the jurors engaging in some kind of misconduct. I don't think that vague statement gives the judge any reason to believe there was misconduct.
But that t-shirt could be an issue, an opening for this defense, at least to get some questions of the juror under oath by this judge.
BURNETT: All right. Areva, thank you very much. I always appreciate your time.
MARTIN: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: Thank you.
And next, promising signs pointing to another Roaring '20s economic boom. Reality or wishful thinking? President of the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis is next.
And they're accused of trapping officers during the Capitol riot and attacking them with chemicals and firecrackers. Now they're about to be presented with a plea deal.
BURNETT: Tonight, new warnings about inflation as President Biden sells his economic recovery plan.
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan giving a warning today in an interview today with "The Wall Street Journal."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN: You're going to have inflation. I mean, people -- just look at the facts. Thirty percent deficit over a two- year period, which is equal to what we did in World War II.
But in World War II, half of the GDP was going to fight a war and you were coming out of a Great Depression. It's double the kind of spending we did early on in the Great Depression. Like I said, unlike the Great Recession, you're not going to have this great global deleveraging and re-regulation of financial industry and things like that, and you have QE, which is enormous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So this comes after former President Obama's National Economic Council, Larry Summers, also warned of inflation saying, quote, all signs are of inflation starting to break out.
OUTFRONT now, Neel Kashkari, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
And I appreciate your time, Neel.
So what do you say to these concerns about inflation?
NEEL KASHKARI, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS FEDERAL RESERVE BANK: Well, Erin, we've been having low inflation, the Fed aims for 2 percent inflation. We've been having low inflation for more than ten years. And after the financial crisis, people predicted that inflation was about to come, it was around the corner, and it never came. The Federal Reserve has very powerful tools if inflation does materialize, if it surprises us to the upside, we have the tools to keep it in check.
What we've said is let's just wait, let's wait till the 8.5 million Americans who are out of work today who were working before the pandemic, let's give them a chance to get back into the labor force, let's see how the economy thrives, and if we need to raise rates, we'll do it. But let's not cut off the recovery prematurely.
BURNETT: So, the economy -- I mean, look, it is recovering by any measure, 6.4 percent growth annually in the first quarter of this year. That was before we even had max vaccinations or anything like that, right?
So, I guess, let's just start with the good news. When we look at the last pandemic that happened, right, you know, coming out of a world war and other things as well, which are not comparable. But 1918, to say 1920, 1921, and they had you had the Roaring '20s. Do you think we're about to have that again?
KASHKARI: Well, you know, hard to know, it's very hard to look that far in the future. Hopefully, we'll get a productivity boost.
You know, one of the conundrums in economics was why was productivity growing so slowly over the past ten years or so.
KASHKARI: If it turns out that we're in a higher productivity environment going forward, that would be great for the economy and for all of us.
BURNETT: Okay. So now let me just talk about what happened then. You have this boom, you have all this inflation, you have inflation, and the reason I emphasize that this growth happened before the vaccine was out, there was a lot of federal spending last year, but before this next $6 trillion was, you know -- you know, a twinkle in Joe Biden's eye. And here we are with all that coming.
What happened the last time around after the 1920s was the Great Depression. So do you have fears of that?
KASHKARI: Well, I think we'll have to see what Congress and the administration are doing in terms of future fiscal packages. There have been proposals to pay for those through tax increases. If they raise taxes to pay for new fiscal spending, those two offset each other.
So it really will be determined by the combination of taxes and spending and what that ends up getting spent on to determine whether or not that leads to long-term inflation. As of right now, what's been passed in law in terms of the CARES Act and the recovery from COVID, I'm not concerned that that's going to by itself lead to a burst of long-term high inflation.
But we do need to see what comes in the future in terms of taxes and spending.
BURNETT: All right. So, you know, as the chairman of a Federal Reserve Bank, you heard Janet Yellen today say that interest rates may have to go up to keep the economy from overheating. Obviously this caused part of a selloff today. Do you think that's right that interest rates need to go up?
KASHKARI: Well, at some point of course they do. Right now we have interest rates effectively at zero.
And we know once the labor market is fully recovered and once we get inflation back to our target, we are going to normalize monetary policy, and bring it back up to a more normal level. So we know that has to happen. The question is when.
How long is it going to take -- remember, today roughly 8 million Americans are out of work who were working before the pandemic. I assume that those folks want to work again. How long is it going to take to bring all of those folks back into the labor market and really achieve full employment?
You know, we'll see. It may take a few years. BURNETT: All right. Neel, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
KASHKARI: Thank you. Neel Kashkari, as you said, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank.
And next, one radio station taking a bold step to make sure its listeners never forget the deadly insurrection or those who field it.
And, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, she's a mother of five, daughter of a vice president, her whole life has actually prepared her for this moment.
BURNETT: Tonight, one public radio station in Pennsylvania making it a mission to never let its listeners forget about the events of January 6th or the politicians who helped fuel the insurrection by questioning the election results. WITF says it's committed to keeping the election deniers accountable.
For instance, a recent article about a Republican state senator and vaccine access included this prominently displayed that we're showing that says, in part, quote, State Senator Ryan Aument was one of 17 Republican state senators who signed a January 4 letter that asked Congress to delay Electoral College certification.
The election fraud lie led to the attack on the Capitol.
OUTFRONT now, Scott Plantar. He's a senior editor at WITF News who come up with the idea.
And, Scott, you know, it's interesting. In a letter to readers, you all said, quote, we understand this may be an unusual decision for a news organization to make, but these are not normal times. You know, tell me why you came to this decision.
SCOTT BLANCHARD, SENIOR EDITOR, WITF PUBLIC RADIO: Well, thanks. And, yeah, that's exactly how we felt about it. Pennsylvania was a battleground state from the beginning, as everyone knows. We were covering it intensely, as other news organizations were as well.
We heard President Trump talk about the election fraud and a rigged election and so forth. And our reporters are not seeing any of that out on the field. And neither was anyone else. But yet we continue to hear that.
And so, during the summer and fall, we were talking internally, our multimedia news director and our chief content officer and a team of us were talking about what was the best way to cover this as we went forward. We ended up before the election putting language on air and in stories that was basically telling people we're probably not going to know who won on election night, the ballot counting will continue, that's normal, and be patient, you know? So we did that early on. Then came election night, and more from Trump on election night, and
then a slew of Pennsylvania lawsuits that went into November and December. And then we had January 6th, where people stormed the Capitol and tried to forcibly keep the losing candidate in power.
And so that really crystallized those conversations for us into, we want to -- we felt like we needed to meet the moment really and stand up for facts and take a stand at that moment. So, we workshopped what you just showed. And we workshopped this approach, and then debuted it and vetted it with several people along the way, including our staff, and we debuted it in late January.
BURNETT: You know, it's interesting because as the example we gave, right, is that you have a story about vaccine access, right, and then you put in, we want to make sure you want to make sure you remember where this person stood. Because this is still being pushed en masse by so many, it's important to know where everybody stood no matter what you're saying about them. So I understand the premise.
But you did invite listeners, readers to share their comments. How has this been received by your audience?
BLANCHARD: The response we've gotten has been really overwhelmingly positive. I mean, people are speaking out saying that they want to support this kind of trusted journalism and journalism that stands up for facts. We're hearing that from all over the country and even outside the country actually.
So that's been gratifying. We've had some criticism, as you would expect. But really it's been overwhelmingly positive for us.
BURNETT: So when people ask you why didn't you do this for the Democrats who challenged the certification of electoral votes in 2005 for President Bush, and in 2017 for President Trump, what do you tell them?
BLANCHARD: Well, we knew we would be asked that, and we answered it in a story -- in a companion story to the one that I think you showed earlier. But the high-level view of that or basically three things. One is that those challenges were not -- did not have a heavy Pennsylvania presence or influence in them.
And we cover central Pennsylvania. We basically cover around 20 counties in central Pennsylvania. So that's one reason why our focus is here because Pennsylvania played such a large role in this challenge. The second reason is that we didn't have a sitting president at the time manufacturing things that weren't happening and that didn't happen all along the way from the beginning of the summer all the way through the end of December and into January and even now it's still happening.
And number three was we didn't have an attack on the U.S. Capitol. And that was just an assault on the electoral system. And like I said, that's what really sharpened our focus on this.
BURNETT: It made a different. All right. Well, Scott, I appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
BLANCHARD: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, politics for Liz Cheney is a family affair. That is what is helping her through toughest fight of her career.
And we're learning new details about plea deals for some of the capitol rioters who allegedly trapped police in a tunnel and attacked them with chemicals and firecrackers.
BURNETT: Tonight, "The Wall Street Journal" editorial board coming out against removing Liz Cheney from GOP House leadership, writing, she may be ousted because she's daring to tell the truth to GOP voters -- and at personal political risks. The editorial also warning and I quote, Republicans will look foolish or worse to swing voters if they refight 2020 in 2022.
Liz Cheney, of course, a politician. She's also a mother of five. Her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney. Her roots firmly in politics, preparing her entire life perhaps for that fight that she is in tonight.
Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We were at the Wyoming state fair parade in Douglas, Wyoming.
LYNNE CHENEY, LIZ CHENEY'S MOTHER: Oh, no. Not --
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Congresswoman Liz Cheney, politics has always been a family affair.
CHENEY: Does anybody else want to contribute any rules or behavior for being in a parade.
SERFATY: Parade appearances coming alongside kids' potty humor.
REP. CHENEY: I said, OK, Richard, what's your rule? He said no farting.
SERFATY: Cheney is the mother of five children from 15 to 25 years old. Her oldest son named after her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney. She's featured her family prominently over the years.
REP. CHENEY: I'm Liz Cheney and I approve this message.
SERFATY: In her campaigns. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're proud of our family's deep roots in
SERFATY: And during her father's years as George W. Bush's vice president.
REP. CHENEY: Twenty years ago, Phil and I were married here in Wyoming.
SERFATY: Her husband is Philly harry, a lawyer in Washington D.C., who served in several roles during the Bush years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is a very principled woman and, you know, like it or not, what her principles are, she's going to always draw on them and stick with them.
SERFATY: Cheney's career in politics pedigreed at an early age.
REP. CHENEY: It's in my blood, you know. I was actually thinking the other day when my sister and I were growing up and my dad was in, you know, political office, my mom was writing.
She was in the Reagan administration.
SERFATY: She now holds the congressional seat her father held for ten years.
Following in his footsteps after time as a lawyer, years at the State Department and work on her father's reelection campaign. A relationship that has remained close to this day.
DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Liz helped me a lot with my memoirs.
SERFATY: In 2013, a family rift became public.
REP. CHENEY: Same sex relationship --
SERFATY: She announced her opposition to same-sex marriages even though her sister Mary married a woman.
REP. CHENEY: I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue in which we disagree.
SERFATY: In Congress, Cheney has high ratings from conservative groups. A 98 percent score from the conservative Heritage Action most recently.
REP. CHENEY: As Republicans, you know, we believe that the government is -- the federal government is serving its best purpose when it stays at limited as possible.
SERFATY: A fiscal conservative and a defense hawk like her father.
REP. CHENEY: Our adversaries need to know we have the will and the capacity to defend ourselves.
SERFATY: And sources I spoke with today really reinforced that Liz Cheney is someone who is extremely strong willed, that she is someone who really believes in her positions. A source told me that she's someone that if she sets her eyes on something, it's very, very hard to get her to move beyond that. Certainly, all these personality traits on full display, Erin, up here on the hill as she fights for her political future.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sunlen.
And new details on possible plea deals for Capitol rioters allegedly involved in some of the most disturbing attacks against police.
BURNETT: Four Capitol rioter accused of attacking police and attacking them with chemicals and firecrackers are likely to be offered guilty plea deals during their alleged crimes. Government attorneys revealed the developments today.
The case involves one of the most violent incidents from January 6 where viral video shows a police officer screaming in pain while being crushed in a doorway. The men have pleaded not guilty. So far, more than 400 people have been charged in connection to the riot.
Thanks for joining us.
Anderson starts now.