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Erin Burnett Outfront
U.S. Tops 40 Million COVID Cases; Deaths Up 250 Percent From A Month Ago; WH Criticized Over Booster Shot Confusion: "Need Clear Guidance"; U.S. COVID Cases Up 850 Percent Since Start Of Summer Season; Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R) Louisiana Discusses About State Of Louisiana's Condition After Hurricane Ida Hit; Serious Security Concerns Over Rally Supporting Jan. 6 Rioters; Ex-Marine Charged In Mass Killing, Mom Holding Baby When Shot; VP Harris To Campaign For Gov. Newsom, Recall Vote In 8 Days. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired September 06, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: I'm Jim Acosta. Thanks very much for watching.
Erin Burnett "OUTFRONT" starts right now. Have a good day.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: "OUTFRONT" next, the U.S. passes a tragic pandemic milestone, 40 million confirmed COVID cases as schools are now seeing a surge in cases among students and staff. And there are growing questions about when booster shots will even be available.
Also, 800 nursing home residents forced to ride out Hurricane Ida in a warehouse. The condition is appalling. Seven people have died so far. I'll talk to the wife of one man who was in that warehouse about how he is doing tonight.
And a former Marine in full body armor charged with killing four people including a three month old baby, why? Hear what he confessed to police. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm so glad you're with me. I'm Poppy Harlow in tonight for Erin Burnett. Welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT.
Tonight, 40 million. The United States passing another grim milestone. The number of confirmed COVID cases in the United States since the start of the pandemic has now topped 40 million. It is a number that would have been unimaginable at the start of the pandemic. Yet here we are 18 months later.
High levels of transmission in every single state and it's not just spreading faster, deaths are also up by nearly 250 percent from just one month ago. This is not a crisis the administration thought it would be dealing with to this magnitude this Labor Day. Just look at where we were at the start of the summer, Memorial Day, May 31st, this country was averaging about 17,200 cases a day. Just two days later, June 2nd, President Biden declared this about the summer of 2021.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America is headed into the summer dramatically different from last year's summer: a summer of freedom, a summer of joy, a summer of get-togethers and celebrations. An all-American summer that this country deserves after a long, long, dark winter that we've all endured.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Instead, the number of COVID cases has spiked. The United States is now averaging 163,700 cases per day. Summer celebration scaled back, mask mandates returning, states running out of ICU beds and now we are witnessing a surge of new cases in schools as our kids go back to the classroom.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that in the 31 states where school is already underway, at least 1,000 schools have had to close because of COVID and the pandemic is hitting classrooms in the south where they were among the first to open especially hard. In South Carolina a fourth grader reportedly died from COVID last week. In Florida, 15 staffers of the Miami-Dade County Public School System have reportedly died from COVID in the last 10 days. And in Texas, an entire school district tend to shut down after two teachers died from COVID last month.
And the situation is only expected to get worse as millions of kids in the northeast and across this country head back to school this week. Now, this all comes as there's growing confusion over booster shots just two weeks before the national rollout was set to begin and the Biden ministration is no longer committing to the September 20th date. And that has governors who are on the frontlines of this crisis extremely frustrated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JIM JUSTICE (R) WEST VIRGINIA: We've got people that are well beyond six months that are 60 and older that need the booster shot and we can't give it to them because we're being held up by the nation and on the federal level right now.
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R) MARYLAND: We need clear guidance on these booster shots because it undermines the credibility of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Let's go to Kaitlan Collins. She's OUTFRONT tonight at the White House. Kaitlan, good to have you. Look, the Biden administration clearly taking heat from these governors who want clarity and they want a timeline. What's the administration saying?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. They say it's confusing because now everyone has that September 20th date in their mind of when if they got Pfizer or Moderna, they're going to get a booster shot potentially. And the White House is pushed back on this Poppy by saying all along we have said this relies on FDA and CDC approval for this to actually go forward.
But still, it does stand that people are now raising questions about booster shots. Some people are already hitting that eight month mark, so they're raising questions about whether or not they need to be getting a booster shot. But, of course, all of this will come down to the FDA and the CDC making that decision. And right now what we are expecting, according to sources inside the administration, is that Pfizer will get the go ahead for the booster shot, but it might be a little bit of a delay before those who got the Moderna vaccine do get that go ahead.
So that is something that the White House is dealing with and that we'll likely hear from this week when we do get a briefing from the COVID-19 officials. But Poppy, this comes as there is also questions about just the uncertainty generally across the nation when it comes to the pandemic, because we were in a very different place than the White House and President Biden thought we would be come September when they thought there's going to be complete reopenings and people going back to the offices.
And, of course, they are dealing with what is being driven by this Delta surge. And the numbers that you just laid out there where we are hitting numbers that we have not seen in months, especially when it comes to deaths and hospitalizations. And so that is obviously a major concern inside the White House.
It's affecting President Biden's poll numbers, because according to a new poll that was out from The Washington Post and ABC, Poppy, his numbers are down 10 percent of the approval of his handling of the pandemic compared to where they were in late June, which of course is right before the President held his July 4th speech on the South Lawn saying they weren't out of the woods yet, but they're in a much better place.
So we are expecting the President to give another major speech on coronavirus this week outlining the next steps that they want to take to try to get the coronavirus under control with this Delta variant. And a lot of people will be watching to see what the guidance is coming from the federal administration on that.
So expect some news in that speech potentially on vaccines and what their plan is going forward, but very much not where the White House expected to be in September. And, of course, a lot of this is unknown, a lot of it is driven by the Delta surge and this is having an effect on the economy as well with the President blaming that anemic jobs report from last week for the month of August on the Delta variant.
HARLOW: That's right and will they make a move, bolder move toward more federal mandates. We'll see. Kaitlan, thanks a lot.
Let me bring in Dr. Aileen Marty, Professor of Infectious Disease at Florida International University and Dr. Lance VanGundy. He works in an Emergency Room in Iowa dealing with the surge in COVID patients right now. Good evening to you both and thank you for joining me.
Let me begin with you, Dr. Marty, because you advised the Miami-Dade schools on masks even in the face of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing that executive order banning masked mandates at schools. And now these reports that 15 people in the district; teachers, staff members have died from COVID in the last 10 days. How concerned are you about where we are in this pandemic tonight?
AILEEN MARTY, PROFESSOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE, FIU: So I am extremely concerned about what we've been experiencing. Please bear in mind that the people who are reported to have died acquired COVID quite a few weeks ago. So it's not really reflective of exactly what's happening right now and that's a really important thing to bear in mind.
We are getting a slight decrease in our number of people hospitalized, but we still have an extremely high rate of hospitalizations here. And I think it's really important that people understand that our communities need to have as much good, solid information and truthful without a lot of emotions so that people can take the actions that encourage them to do the right things.
Many studies have already shown that nations that effectively communicate with their population and get cooperation not only have fewer cases, fewer hospitalizations, fewer death, but their economies are better as well.
HARLOW: Right. It hits all of those elements. And Dr. VanGundy, do you, I mean your state, Iowa has been dealing with a relentless surge and hospitalizations at 46 percent from just two weeks ago, you do have 61 percent of the population over 12 years old fully vaccinated.
But just the other day you shared your frustration in this video, this Facebook video that really went viral. I watched it. It was incredibly touching. I want our viewers to see part of it. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. LANCE VANGUNDY, ER MEDICAL DIR. & PHYSICIAN, UNITYPOINT HEALTH, MARSHALLTOWN, IA: We are drowning in people who are dying with this illness. In my ER, I had to hold on to a meningitis case, a stroke case, a heart attack and a blood clot in the lung and these are all people that should have been transferred out to ICUs right away and there are no ICUs in the State of Iowa. They're awful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: You've said, this is like walking a marathon and not knowing where the end is. What inspired you to post that video so everyone could see what you're dealing with?
VANGUNDY: I felt like after a long week of struggling to find novel solutions for people, I had met a really nice couple who were in the early phases of COVID, but you could just see where their illness was going to go because they were both very high risk. And I just wanted to know why they chose not to get vaccinated and it was a very friendly conversation.
And what I left with was they were scared. I think they had a lot of misinformation and they also thought it would cost them money. And so I just was very frustrated because of some bad information and communication, here's another couple that was probably going to contribute to the problem and not the solution and so I felt like I needed to say something.
HARLOW: Yes. Of course and hopefully your message resonated with a lot of people. Dr. Marty, there is a lot of confusion on top of this dangerous misinformation and disinformation out there about the vaccine.
There is legitimate confusion because of all of these back and forth on boosters. The White House initially said Americans who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should be able to get boosters for both on September 20th if they were eight months past their second dose. Now, they're saying essentially we don't know when the FDA is going to give the green light. When it does, we're ready to go. What's the impact of confusion like this on public health?
MARTY: It goes back to what we were talking about a few moments ago. And the bottom line is we have to communicate very clearly as to why we're holding off on doing the boosters. It's the process that we have to make sure that we do it right the first time. That's what the FDA is all about.
And there is a lot of different data that has to be taken into consideration and that's exactly what they're doing. But it shouldn't lead anyone to think that the vaccines are not effective, they are extremely effective. There's a huge difference in risk, not just the risk of severe disease and death, which of course there's a huge difference there, but even just the risk of even getting sick. There's many studies that show that now.
So the truth is we have to do it right, show that yes there is a dropping of immunity from the vaccine and therefore many countries have already started giving either a booster or a third shot depending on the condition of the individual. And we probably will as well, but not until all the data is in and analyzed.
HARLOW: Right. That's the process that it has to go through.
Dr. VanGundy, do you, in addition to the medical crises that you and your teams are dealing with every day, you're battling this crisis of misinformation that you talked about in that video and you also said it feels like a third world country sometimes. What else are you hearing from patients that you want to respond to so that they know the facts?
VANGUNDY: Yes. I want to respond that Dr. Marty is right, the vaccine is effective and it's safe when you hear that 88 percent of our ICU COVID patients are unvaccinated. That alone should tell you how effective the vaccine is. I'm not taking care of anybody in the ER who comes in with a vaccine related problem. I have yet to see that.
I am every day mitigating the complications of COVID and the way that it ripples across the medical community and saturates our overburden system. And so be part of the solution, go get your vaccine and contribute to getting on board to fight this disease.
HARLOW: Yes. Save yourself and help everyone else, Dr. VanGundy.
HARLOW: Thank you, Dr. Marty. Thank you both so much.
OUTFRONT next tonight as President Biden prepares to visit some of the hardest-hit areas from what was Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, the suffering is getting worse. Nearly half a million people they're still without power. The State's Lieutenant Governor joins me next.
Also, Capitol Police scheduled to brief lawmakers this week about an upcoming rally. Raising serious concerns about potential violence on Capitol Hill.
And Emmy nominated actor, Michael K. Williams, who starred in The Wire and Boardwalk Empire has been found dead in his apartment. Details ahead.
HARLOW: President Biden traveling to New Jersey and New York tomorrow to assess the widespread damage caused by remnants of Hurricane Ida. Biden today approving a major disaster declaration in parts of both states 45 of the 52 deaths across the Northeast occurred in New Jersey and New York.
And in Louisiana painful and slow recovery, nine days after it made landfall. Right now New Orleans and the surrounding areas are under a flash flood watch from storms capable of two to three inches of rain. This comes as nearly half a million people are still without power nine days after it made landfall.
OUTFRONT now Republican Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser of Louisiana. Thank you, Lieutenant Governor, for being here tonight.
LT. GOV. BILLY NUNGESSER (R) LOUISIANA: Thank you.
HARLOW: You've got 500,000 people without power across your State. The energy provider says, look, there are some places where they're not going to get power back until at least September 29, so that would be more than four weeks after Ida made landfall. Is that an acceptable timeline? Can you speed it up?
NUNGESSER: Well, it's never acceptable. Hopefully, we can cut some of that time off of that, but we're having to make use of the shelters. We're now only accepting residents that have lost their homes into our state parks and make every opportunity to make do. And it's a tough time to be without power in Louisiana and we're hopefully they can shave some time off of that for some of those critical areas.
HARLOW: I mean, you've facing heat of 100 degrees across the State, many gas stations out of fuel or they don't have the electricity to pump it. People can't get fuel to run their generators on and on and on. I'm wondering if you are concerned like the parish president I spoke with this morning is that you may see more deaths now in the wake of Ida because of this.
NUNGESSER: That is true. We've got areas like Archon ph, which still has water and six feet of marsh grass inundated that community. Those people won't be going home for a while. They're in crowded shelters. And in with COVID, it just doubles the exposure to having people get sick or die. So it's a critical situation here that we're juggling a lot of balls trying to accommodate as many people as safely as possible.
HARLOW: Yes, of course. Let me ask you about the alarming deaths of these nursing home residents who were evacuated to a warehouse. The death toll is now seven, after more than 800 people endured absolutely squalid conditions at this warehouse. We're hearing reports of people laying in their own urine in their own feces.
As difficult as that is to say that is what they lived through crying out in vain for help. I know the State Attorney General is investigating. Can you update us on anything learned so far?
NUNGESSER: Well, I don't have any updated information except that we're learning about the incredible number, I think over 50 calls to 911 of the lawman, relatives of those people cries for help. And to pack that many people into one warehouse, it's just unthinkable.
And how can this happen after we've gone through Katrina and had those deaths in the nursing homes then and set things in place, so this would never happen again. It's just unthinkable. It's embarrassing. And I don't know what you tell the people, these loved ones that lost their family members because of these horrible conditions in the way these people were handled.
HARLOW: Well, to dig into it a little bit more, Lieutenant Governor, it appears that a plan like this may have been actually signed off on previously by the State. The Times newspaper, as you know, is reporting plan submitted and approved by Louisiana's Department of Health in the State said the warehouse would be used as an alternate care facility in the event of an emergency. So were you aware of this was the plan, was it a mistake to approve the plan and I wonder if this policy now change?
NUNGESSER: I'm sure it will change. If that was approved by the state, which I've heard the same thing. I haven't verified that. But to put 800 people in a warehouse is never a good thing. So if that plan was approved by someone, without looking into it more detailed, it was a bad plan to approve in the first place.
So we've got to look into every aspect of how this happened and make sure it never happens again. We've said that before for Katrina, but I promise you, there's going to be some changes here in Louisiana to where this could never happen again and that there's more checks and balances of who's approving plans, how those plans get approved and that the local elected officials that really care and the people that really care in this industry have a say so in those plans. HARLOW: Yes. Look, that's such an important message, especially for
these families reeling with grief. So thank you for that, Lieutenant Governor.
NUNGESSER: Thank you.
HARLOW: And good luck.
Well, speaking of the families, Andrew Hicks was one of the more than 800 nursing home residents forced to ride out the storm in that warehouse. His wife found out after her brother saw this photograph that we're now showing you of her husband, Andrew, being taken out of the warehouse.
OUTFRONT now is Andrew's wife of 33 years, Terry Hicks. Terry, good evening. Thank you for your time tonight.
TERRY HICKS, HUSBAND EVACUATED FROM LOUISIANA NURSING HOME TO WAREHOUSE: Good evening. You're welcome.
HARLOW: That photo of your husband. His face, clearly he's in pain. Clearly he's grief stricken. It says so much. And seven people who are with him in that warehouse died. I know his foot, as we can see it, heavily bandaged right there, is very mangled. And you even told one of my colleagues that it needs to be amputated. How is he coping tonight?
HICKS: He's not coping well at all. He's still traumatized from that. I don't know what to call it, but he is very traumatized and he's not himself. It's not the Andrew that I know.
Before the hurricane, Andrew was full, he was jolly and he was talkative. Now, he's not talking as much. He's in a lot of pain and he's also very upset from what he went through during that time. And I just can't describe how I've seen him and then seeing other people love ones in the way how he was laying on those mattresses, I think, it was horrible. And for me, it was very, it was very hurtful to see him, so it's like he was in distress.
HARLOW: Of course. As I was reading about what you've gone through, you were calling for days for answers just to know where your husband was.
HICKS: Yes. Yes, I was. And it was hard that I have to find it myself because two days later then the Louisiana Department of Health, they call and say that, oh, we have your husband. I said, "You have my husband?" "Yes, we have him at the Carl Maddox indoor track facility at the LSU campus." And I say, "No, I have my husband. He's at the hospital. He's at Our Lady of the Lake hospital." I said, "I found it myself." Instead of waiting on them calling me to let me know where my husband was, I did it myself. I didn't wait for them to call. They call after the fact and that is very unacceptable.
HARLOW: It shouldn't be like that. And I know that you have said over and over again, look, I want answers, accountability.
HARLOW: I want to understand how this could happen and I wonder as of tonight now, nine days after Ida made landfall has anyone from the nursing home, from the State Department of Health given you an explanation?
HICKS: No, ma'am. Not at all. I haven't received one call, not one email. I haven't received anything from anyone.
HARLOW: I'm so sorry. I hope that them seeing this, hopefully they will call and give you the answers you and all of these families deserve. Terry Hicks ...
HICKS: I was hopeful.
HARLOW: ... we're thinking about you and, of course, about your husband. Thank you.
HICKS: Thank you so much. Thank you.
HARLOW: Well, OUTFRONT next, CNN learning serious discussions are now underway to reinstate fencing possibly around the Capitol as lawmakers are about to be briefed on an upcoming rally to show support for the insurrectionists.
Plus, disturbing details emerging tonight about a former Marine who allegedly went on a rampage killing four people, including a three- month-old baby. Police say he didn't even know the victims. The details ahead.
HARLOW: Tonight CNN is learning the U.S. Capitol Police Department will brief lawmakers this week about a right wing rally that is raising serious concerns about potential violence on Capitol Hill. Hundreds of people are expected to protest outside the Capitol in support of the January 6th rioters, the insurrectionists, who they are calling political prisoners.
Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT.
MATT BRAYNARD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOOK AHEAD AMERICA: We're going back to the Capitol, right where it started on September 18th.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former Trump campaign operative Matt Braynard is blasting out plans to get hundreds to the U.S. Capitol next Saturday, to support the 600 plus rioters who are now facing federal charges. Braynard calls them political prisoners who have been wrongfully prosecuted even though many of them were caught on tape January 6th. BRAYNARD: We're going to push back against the phony narrative that
there was an insurrection.
SCHNEIDER: Braynard's plans are prompting security concerns on Capitol Hill, especially after succession of violent incidents post- January 6. In April a car slam into a police barricade killing one officer and injuring another. In mid-August, a man claiming to have a bomb set off a five-hour stand off with police before surrendering. No bomb was found.
CNN has learned D.C. Police will be fully activated on September 18th days off cancelled for officers and civil disturbance units will be on stand by. The department is monitoring online chatter and travel bookings to gauge the possible crowds. CNN HAS learned Capitol police have already requested support from neighboring police departments in Maryland and Virginia to be fully prepared even at the crowds don't materialize.
CHIEF TOM MANGER, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: We don't know what to anticipate and it could be if 5,000 people show up instead of 500, we need to be prepared for that and so, we're going to -- we're going to make sure we have enough folks in place to handle the demonstration.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will not accept political persecution.
SCHNEIDER: Braynard supporters have staged small rallies around the country, including in Washington in recent months. Prominent Republicans have also echoed the false narrative.
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): Are we housing political prisoners? We need to know the answers.
SCHNEIDER: Braynard insists September 18th will be peaceful and says he wants members of extremist groups to stay away.
BRAYNARD: If you're a member of another organization, this isn't the day to wear that clothing. What we're looking for is pure patriotism.
SCHNEIDER (on camera): And there is question and concern tonight about whether members of the Oath Keepers or even the Proud Boys could show up at the September 18th rally. One extremist expert I talked with Poppy said there is some doubt this rally will actually attract big numbers but despite that, there is serious talk of rebuilding the temporary fencing that surrounded the Capitol complex for months after January 6th putting it back up as a precaution according to law enforcement sources -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Jessica Schneider, thank you for that reporting.
OUTFRONT now, Andrew McCabe, former FBI deputy director, and Juliette Kayyem, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Good evening. And let's begin there, Deputy Director McCabe, how seriously should
law enforcement take this threat given what we saw play out before our eyes on January 6th?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Poppy, I think they should take it very seriously, they should take it more seriously than they took the same sort of intelligence they likely saw on January 5th.
I think there is a few factors that maybe are leaning in their favor this time. If you think about it, January 6th was a failure primarily because you have a massive group of people and a complete failure of preparation. In this case, it looks likely that they'll get somewhat smaller crowd with, you know, things like the Proud Boys telling some of their members not to come. You don't have a sitting president actively fanning the flames and trying to get people to attend the rally.
And on the other hand, it looks like from all indications our law enforcement partners are well prepared for this and are taking intelligence seriously, which raises the question whether or not they did on January 6th but that's another issue.
And in terms of dealing with what could happen, Juliette, as Jessica just reported, sources tell CNN serious discussions are underway about maybe reinstalling the temporary fencing around the Capitol's perimeter ahead of the rally. Is it necessary, do you think?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: At this stage, it probably is temporarily because they don't have a permanent solution yet. Crowd control is much more sophisticated than a wall or fence. I think until we get that sophistication as was recommended in the review about January 6th, more surveillance, more biometric, more identification around the building, identification checks that we probably have to put the fence back in for a short period of time but I think Andrew is exactly right a point that we cannot minimize.
The combination of not having Donald Trump working these people up, plus not having him deny or make intelligence agents nervous about moving forward suggests that the public safety apparatus is going to be much larger than any organization and that's a good thing. I think it's about time that we started showing really these insurrectionists or punks is a better way to put it sometimes that we're not fooling around anymore and these prosecutions and shows of force and saying this is no joke, the Republicans may think it a joke, that is important right now.
HARLOW: And, Director McCabe, this rally comes after several sitting Republican lawmakers have fueled this narrative that these rioters are somehow political prisoners. Just listen to a few of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): These January 6th defendants are being treated like political prisoners of war?
GOHMERT: They're being treated worse there than the blood thirsty terrorist at Guantanamo.
REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): The reason they are taking these political prisoners, they're trying to make an example.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HARLOW: You hear that over and over again from sitting lawmakers. I mean, what is that do to national security, Director?
MCCABE: Well, Poppy, it's just remarkable to me. I don't know that we've ever seen a situation where you have active members of Congress elected officials who are embracing what they know to be lies, false truths, conspiracy theories and by doing so, validating the extreme -- the domestic extremists, the far right extremists that are actually posing a threat to our Capitol.
So they're not only validating those folks and raising their ridiculous false conspiracy theories to some level of legitimacy but they're actually working against our law enforcement and intelligence officials. They're making the situation worse creating a bigger risk by encouraging those who might be motivated to act violently. It's head-spinning but I guess it's a sign of our political discourse today.
HARLOW: I mean, and, Juliette, on that point, I should note it's not a major majority of Republican lawmakers by any measure that is saying that but you have a very outspoken Republican member of congress, Adam Kinzinger hitting on the house committee investigating January 6th say this weekend that his party needs to start embracing the truth and stop embracing conspiracy theories, you know, or they can effectively lead in a ma majority he said that to Dana Bash but he's sort of on an island in calling out his party like that directly.
Can you speak to national security implications if you don't have a majority of a party, of his party echoing what he's saying which is "stop this nonsense"?
KAYYEM: So, it is a challenge from the security perspective because it breeds the radicalization that we're seeing and this is where I don't -- you know, not my job to fix the Republican Party but here is a suggestion. This fire will never go out with more gas. I mean, in other words, they keep thinking if I just ignore it, if I just cater to him, if I just whatever that all of it goes away.
It doesn't as we've seen so there is only two options. One is the fire just keeps burning and brings that house down or the other is that they want it. I am now of the belief that the Republican Party wants it only because this is part of an election strategy to undermine, you know, people's confidence in the vote, to voter suppression, all of it is linked to that undermining democracy.
So, now, this is why I'm sort of like done sort of, you know, wondering why anymore and I just think these shows of force, these prosecutions, the surveillance, the guys turning on each other, the deplatforming, all of it, all of it because this is no joke and until Republicans realize it's no joke we have to assume they're deadly serious to bring down the next election. I think -- I think we're at that stage now. It's not like they don't know what is happening.
HARLOW: Right. Thank you both. Juliette Kayyem, and Andy McCabe, let's hope for a very peaceful rally ahead.
OUTFRONT next, new details about four victims. One of them is a 3- month-old baby allegedly shot and killed by a former marine who did not know.
Also, California Governor Gavin Newsom sounding the alarm as the campaign to recall him enters the final stretch.
HARLOW: Tonight, quote, "I'm a sick guy," police say those are the words of an ex-marine sharp shooter charged with shooting and killing a 3-month-old baby and three others in Lakeland, Florida. The victims, complete strangers, and police say the gunman claimed god told him to do it.
Our Nick Valencia is OUTFRONT.
REPORTER 1: The sheriff says these people were begging for their lives, why did you shoot them?
REPORTER 2: Why? Why did you do this?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His eyes closed and hands cuffed behind his back 33-year-old Bryan Riley ignored questions from reporters as he was led into the back of a police car on his way to jail.
The Polk County sheriff says that the former Marine confessed to shooting several people at this Lakeland, Florida home, but they still don't know why.
Four people were killed, including a 33-year-old woman and her 3- month-old.
SHERIFF GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: We had a madman with a lot of guns that shot and killed innocent people.
VALENCIA: When sheriff's deputies arrive at the horrific scene early Sunday, they saw a truck on fire and they say they encountered Riley in front of a home outfitted in camouflage and body armor. The suspect then quickly retreated inside before police say they heard a woman scream followed by gunshots and the whimper of a baby.
[19:45:00] Bullet holes and broken glass showed the aftermath of the shootout with law enforcement. Riley eventually surrendered after being shot at least once.
JUDD: We're not dealing with a traditional criminal here. What we're dealing with is someone who obviously had mental health issues at least this last week, had PTSD, and whether or not we follow that back to the military, we don't know.
VALENCIA: Riley spent four years as an active duty marine, a designated sharp shooter who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He spent another three years as a marine reservist. According to the Polk County sheriff's office, Riley's fiancee told police the combat veteran's PTSB had become noticeably worse this last week. She said he was acting erratically and according to an affidavit had recently come home after working as a security guard at a church to say he believed he could speak directly to god, adding to the disturbing details, police say Riley confessed he shot the infant because I'm a sick guy.
A self-described survivalist, police say Riley admitted to being high on meth during the killings. At this stage of the investigation, police say there is no known connection between the victims and the suspect.
JUDD: If he had given us the opportunity, we should have shot him up a lot but he didn't because he was a coward.
VALENCIA: Riley made his first court appearance earlier today where a judge denied his bond. He's currently being held on four counts of first-degree murder and what police really want to figure out, Poppy is why he would drive 45 minutes to a stranger's home to do this. They say he initially arrived at the Lakeland area residence sometime Saturday evening and pled before police arrived to come back nine hours later to carry out his shooting rampage.
And just really quick, an 11-year-old was shot up to seven times according to police. They're expected to survive -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Thank goodness but what a tragedy. Nick Valencia, thank you.
OUTFRONT next, the Senators Klobuchar and Warren, now the vice president, all making their way to California to help Governor Gavin Newsom. Can they stop Republicans from taking over this crucial seat in a recall?
Also, Emmy nominated actor Michael K. William who's starred in "The Wire" and "Boardwalk Empire" has been found dead at the age of 54.
HARLOW: Tonight, time is running out for California Governor Gavin Newsom. The embattled governor on the campaign trail tonight with just eight days left to save his job. Vice President Kamala Harris heading there later this week to help drum up the needed support.
Our Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: Let's vote no, no, hell no, no, no, hell no, no, no, hell no.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On a sweltering Labor Day weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom rallied the foot soldiers who fought for him before, leaning on organized labor to keep him on the job.
NEWROM: We embrace unions. We embrace social justice, racial justice, economic justice. All of those things are at risk if we don't turn out the vote on September 14th.
LAH: That's the last day to vote in the Republican-backed recall of the Democratic governor. The Los Angeles Federation of Union said it spent $2 million to protect Newsom, calling half a million voters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Doing good.
LAH: Union member Hugo Soto-Martinez, so of immigrants, has helped knock on 60,000 doors in Los Angeles, aiming to hit 100,000 before voting ends.
HUGO SOTO-MARTINEZ: Organized labor has been key in making sure this becomes a deep blue state. So, the values of the state reflect the union values. Those are workers. Those are immigrants. Those are people who work for a paycheck in this country.
LAH: National Democrats boosting Governor Newsom this holiday weekend have called the recall an attack on unions.
From Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren --
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): The SEIU, all the unions are in the house.
LAH: -- to Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Vote no on this recall.
LAH: The Newsom campaign says unions have contributed $14 million to fight his recall, a worthy investment, believes union member SHAVON MOORE-CAGE, AFCSME LOCAL 36.
SHAVON MOORE-CAGE, AFCSME LOCAL 36: I am for Gavin Newsom. And so whatever I have to do to keep him in office, to keep the people empowered, I'm going to do that. Larry Elder doesn't represent everybody. He doesn't represent all colors and all nationalities. He may say he does, but his action speaks louder than words. LAH: Republican challenger and conservative radio host Larry Elder
has slammed the union money backing the governor, especially the California Teacher Association.
LARRY ELDER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL MEMBER: The number one obstacle to school choice is the teacher's union. What's the number one funder of my opponent? Teacher's union.
LAH: It's a criticism the governor brushes off, especially with just over a week to go before the election.
NEWSOM: It's about energy. It's about boots on the ground, door knocking. It's about text messaging. It's really about turnout. Labor knows how to turn out.
HARLOW: Kyung joins me now.
Kyung, we just saw Senators Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren in your piece, Vice President Kamala Harris is going to be in the state with the governor on Wednesday. What is the impact do they think of this prominent Democratic women coming to California for Newsom in the final stretch?
LAH: Well, like what Governor Newsom is hoping to do is energize that progressive base. And it is women who helped him win in 2018, and he needs those women to come back and drop those ballots in the mail and to vote. That's what you're seeing the governor do. He's nationalizing the race saying there's Democratic principles, and there's a lot of discussion about what is happening in Texas and what is happening in Florida.
You heard Senator Warren talk about the abortion laws.
So, these are things they're hoping are going to get women to vote for the governor.
HARLOW: We'll see, eight days to go. Kyung Lah, thank you for the reporting.
LAH: You bet.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, a sad development, reaction just coming in about the death of actor Michael K. Williams, the star of "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Wire", next.
HARLOW: Sad news to share with you this evening. Actor Michael K. Williams has been found dead in his Brooklyn apartment. He was a towering presence, bringing power and grace to the many unforgettable roles he played, most notably as Omar Little on "The Wire." He was also Chalky White in "Boardwalk Empire". And this year, he earned an Emmy nomination for best supporting role
in the drama "Lovecraft Country." Williams' death is drawing waves of sorry from fans and actors alike. Former costar Alec Baldwin calling Williams a startling raw and powerful actor. The city's medical examiner will determine his cause of death.
Williams was just 54 years old.
Thanks for joining us tonight.
"AC360" is now.