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Erin Burnett Outfront
VP Harris At Rally For McAuliffe Warns What Happens In VA will Largely "Determine What Happens In 2022, 2024 And On"; VA Gov. Candidates Hold Dueling Rallies; Election 4 Days Away; Rep. Kinzinger Is Second Republican Who Voted To Impeach Trump To Say He's Not Running For Reelection; Trump Gloats "2 Down"; Biden Tested On World Stage In Talks With Macron, G20 Summit; Attorneys: Armorer "Has NO Idea Where The Live Rounds Came From"; Pfizer: Will Start Shipping Vaccine For Kids 5-11 "Immediately"
Aired October 29, 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: Natasha Chen reporting for us. Thank you very much.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Rome. I'll be reporting from here tomorrow and Sunday morning.
Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the final sprint in Virginia. It's still anyone's race as Vice President Kamala Harris hits the campaign trail and former President Trump hints that he may be making an appearance as well.
Plus, another one of Trump's Republican critics bows out. This time it's Congressman Adam Kinzinger.
And OUTFRONT, follow. A doctor who was crisscrossing the country spreading lies about COVID is now the focus of a congressional investigation. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Poppy Harlow in tonight for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT this evening, it is an election that will reverberate across the country for years to come. That is the message tonight from Vice President Kamala Harris on the campaign trail in Virginia for Terry McAuliffe as we are just now days away from the State's crucial race for governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because you see what happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024 and on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: And this is why the race matters so much, both parties are using this contest as a potential roadmap for how to run in next year's midterms. Those elections will determine the control of Congress for Republican Glenn Youngkin who is holding an event as we speak. He is trying to turn this race into a referendum on Biden's stalled agenda here at home while McAuliffe has spent a lot of time trying to tie Youngkin to former President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE, (D) VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: He encouraged speculation that Donald Trump could be reinstated to office. Donald Trump. Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has endorsed Glenn Youngkin.
We don't need a lap dog for Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: You get the gist. And tonight, word that Trump might be about to drop a bomb on this race, a conservative radio host in Virginia announcing Trump plans to participate in a tele-rally just hours before voters in Virginia go to the polls. Now it's unclear if Youngkin will participate in that tele-rally despite the radio host of it telling CNN, "If he'd like to be governor of Virginia, he will." Up until this point Youngkin has kept Trump at arm's length, rarely mentioning him on the trail.
If Trump stumps for Youngkin on Monday, will he use the final hours of the campaign to help the Republican in what has become an extremely close race or will trump keep making false claims about the last election that he lost, including doubling down on this ridiculous assertion that his 10-point loss to Joe Biden in Virginia was the result of voter fraud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But I did well in Virginia. I didn't campaign there, because you're told you can't win there, but I was very close in Virginia. And that's with, probably because I've heard bad things about their voting, very, very bad thing. It was largely mail-in, and I've heard a lot of bad things about Virginia because I would say I would win Virginia easily.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Well, Trump lost and he lost big. A top election official in Virginia told me just last night there was no evidence of these 'very bad things' that Trump claims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT KONOPASEK, FAIRFAX COUNTY GENERAL REGISTRAR: I want to be perfectly clear that there was no fraud in 2020.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: There is a lot on the line in Virginia's gubernatorial race
and that is why both campaigns are pulling at all the stops in the final push. Our Dan Merica is OUTFRONT tonight in Norfolk, Virginia where McAuliffe's event is underway and our Eva McKend is in Warrenton, Virginia with Youngkin's campaign. Welcome. Good evening to you both.
Dan, let me begin with you. Is the McAuliffe campaign worried about how close this race is with four days to go?
DAN MERICA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: I mean, Democrats are certainly concerned, they're somewhat predisposed to being concerned this close to an election. But there are fears that this race has been nationalized so much that it could hurt them because of the way voters across the country and obviously here in Virginia feel about the Biden administration.
And that is really what you heard from Kamala Harris tonight that this is about Virginia. Yes, it's about the things that a governor could do for Virginia, but it's also about the national mood. And what voters choose to do here will say a lot about what they feel going into 2022, 2024 and she even said beyond.
Now, why that matters is that there's a lot going on here that the both campaigns are testing out. Democrats or Republicans don't know really what it's like to run in a post-Trump era. And that has been something that Democrats have been worried about. They saw huge turnout during the Trump era. And Terry McAuliffe told me before even the primary that he was worried about what would happen during the general election, would Democrats come out in the same numbers.
There are concerns that that is not necessarily going to happen and that is why you've seen Terry McAuliffe trying to tie Glenn Youngkin, his Republican opponent repeatedly to Donald Trump saying everything, Donald Trump in khakis to a host of other things, trying to kind of gouge (ph) Trump into getting involved in this race, believing that it would turn out Democrats.
Now, obviously, polls have been really pretty steady over the last three months. There's been some variation, some move towards Youngkin over the last few weeks and that concerns Democrats as well. But I will say, this is the first year that Virginia has allowed no excuse early voting. About a million voters have already cast ballots. That really kind of negates these last few swings, because so many votes have already been banked, Poppy.
HARLOW: Good point. Dan, thank you for that reporting.
Now, let's get to our Eva McKend who is covering the Youngkin campaign. Eva, good evening. Good to have you. What do they say? Is his campaign worried at all that Trump could come in last minute in this tele-rally and do some harm to his push?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, there are no indications right now that Youngkin is going to participate in Trump's tele-rally. And, honestly, Poppy right now it doesn't seem like the campaign is all that concerned about it. Youngkin does not mention Trump on the campaign trail and his supporters honestly don't seem all that concerned about it either.
They understand the extent to which he gives sort of a wink and a nod to Trumpism via talking about election integrity. They appreciate that. But they also sort of understand the (inaudible). They know that Youngkin is trying to capture moderates, captured Trump voters, also trying to peel away some Democrats and they know that that effort involves keeping Trump at an arm's length.
So his supporters seem to be just fine with his strategy. Take a listen to Youngkin earlier today on the trail talking about how it's he and he alone on the ballot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN YOUNGKIN, (R) VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: On the ballot is Virginia against Terry McAuliffe and it's amazing what's happening right now because what these polls are really showing, this momentum and polls don't win elections, votes do. But what's happening right now as you can see Virginia just racing by Terry McAuliffe, Virginia is racing by him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKEND: So Poppy, on the trail this weekend, we are not going to see Youngkin stump with high profile national Republicans. He is largely expected to campaign in these final days alone.
HARLOW: Okay. Eva McKend, thank you for the recording along with our Dan Merica.
OUTFRONT now, John Avlon, CNN Senior Political Analyst and Larry Sabato, Founder and Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Author of Sabato's Crystal Ball newsletter. Good to have you, gentlemen.
And, Larry, let's start with you. Someone who lives in Virginia, works in Virginia, knows that state better than pretty much anyone. Where do you think his race stands tonight?
LARRY SABATO, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: It really is still very close and competitive. Though you have to say only one candidate has moved up in the last four, five, six weeks and that's Youngkin.
Now, McAuliffe hasn't lost altitude. He's pretty much stayed where he's been all along, 48, 49, 50 something like that. And it's also true, as Dan pointed out, that Democrats have a major advantage they haven't had in past elections. The ability for hundreds of thousands, well over a million actually Virginians to vote early and those votes are already banked, and they probably have a substantial democratic edge to them. But on the whole, I'd say Democrats are very, very nervous and they
should be worried and they didn't expect the campaign to end up like this and many of them say it never should have gotten this close, but it has.
HARLOW: But it has. So John, you're talking about a state where Biden beat Trump by 10 points last year, not that long ago and McAuliffe keeps trying to link Youngkin to Trump every single time he can. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCAULIFFE: He is bought and paid for by Donald Trump.
Everything Trump says, this guy is in.
He's a Trump wannabe.
He is a Trump acolyte.
We don't need a Donald Trump in khakis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: You get the gist. Why is this race so close despite Biden's strength in the State last year?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I'll tell you exactly why. Virginia, because it's in this off cycle, 10 out of the last 11 elections for governor have gone to the candidate from the opposition party to what the President who has been just elected has won, it's 10 out of 11. The exception being Terry McAuliffe 2013 where he narrowly beat Ken Cuccinelli, who is a conservative activist.
And Glenn Youngkin, you've got someone who's a former CEO of a private equity fund, a very moderate guy who's tried to walk the line with not offending Trump supporters.
AVLON: And that's why he doesn't want to talk about Donald Trump, but he wants to benefit from his base talking about 'critical race theory'.
Talking about refusing to say even in September whether he would have certified the election and he'd been in Congress.
So it's a line and that's why this is one of the reasons it's such a big bellwether election, because they're testing a 2022 post-Trump strategy in Virginia. But you got to understand that the overall dynamic historically in Virginia has actually been that it swings the governorship to the opposition party from what the President was just elected from.
HARLOW: Right with McAuliffe previously being an exception.
Larry, you've got a Democratic candidate, McAuliffe, very critical of some of his own Democrats over the last few weeks for not getting this infrastructure bill over the finish line. Well, what happened last night, another delay, what does that mean for McAuliffe?
SABATO: Well, it sure doesn't help him. He's been very, very unhappy with congressional Democrats and he's sad that Joe Biden's ratings are lower in Virginia and he's certainly right there. So I would say while the congressional democratic inaction is not determinative, that's not going to be the single factor that either elects him or defeats him, more the latter.
It's also true that they could have helped had they passed the infrastructure bill. I think he expected that and I believe he was led to believe that that was going to happen, perhaps by Speaker Pelosi or other leaders on Capitol Hill, and it didn't, and it's fallen flat and that's another factor that is hurting McAuliffe.
HARLOW: John, you've got Youngkin walking as you just talked about the sort of very fine line between not offending Trump and more importantly his supporters and also not straying too far. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNGKIN: Joe Biden was legitimately elected our president. I mean, he took the oath and was sworn in.
I said there wasn't material fraud and I believe that the election was certifiably fair.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you rally with Donald Trump if he came to Virginia this week, sir?
YOUNGKIN: Well, he's not coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Not an answer to the question that was asked, but you also have him, John, echoing Trump on issues like critical race theory, defunding the police, opposing vaccine mandates. If Youngkin wins, is this the roadmap for Republicans in the midterms?
AVLON: Absolutely. That is one of the things that really is on the ballot. Republicans are trying the strategy where they go out of their way not to offend Donald Trump or not to offend his voters. And those statements you just played were notably made after the primary.
AVLON: So in general election, he's speaking a little bit more, trying to distance himself from Donald Trump, but reinforcing a lot of that core messaging. And that's the two-step the Republican Party wants to try going into 2022. Don't allow yourself to be tied to Donald Trump in swing states, but still echo a lot of those themes. So in private you wink and nod, in public you say, well, I'm my own
guy. And Youngkin is a candidate who's not directly out of that Trump mold. But that's the strategy that's being tested. That's one of the many reasons why this election will have such reverberations in 2022, because if Youngkin is successful, that will be the model, that will be the mold.
Critical issue is he's doing well better than McAuliffe with policing and education. McAuliffe doing better than COVID. COVID fear is receding and so that opposition to mascot vaccine mandates that could have been a deal breaker a few months ago, feels, feels at the moment perhaps less urgent.
But that's a policy commitment that could have real implications for public health.
HARLOW: For sure. John, thank you. Larry Sabato, good to have you both.
OUTFRONT next, another Trump critic is leaving Congress. Is there room in the Republican Party now for a politician who crosses the Federal President?
Plus, President Biden acknowledges a blunder with America's oldest ally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we did was clumsy. It was not done with a lot of grace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: And a major decision tonight that puts the United States one step closer to vaccinating 10s of millions of children.
HARLOW: New tonight, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump announcing he will not seek re-election. This makes him the second House Republican to bow out after voting to impeach Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection. In his announcement, Kinzinger who, of course, also serves on the January 6 Select Committee taking clear shots at Trump and his allies without ever mentioning him by name. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): We've allowed leaders to reach power selling the false premise that strength comes from degrading others and dehumanizing those that look, act or think differently than we do. As a country, we fall in for those lies and now we face a poisoned country filled with outrage blinding our ability to achieve real strength. It has become increasingly obvious to me that as a country, we must
unplug from the mistruths we've been fed. I cannot focus on both a reelection to Congress and a broader fight nationwide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Let's bring in Barbara Comstock, a former Republican congresswoman from Virginia who served with Kinzinger and a board member of Keep Country First Policy Action, a nonprofit group tied to Kinzinger. Good evening.
I know, this is an evening of disappointment for you, because congresswoman, you've called Kinzinger basically the future of the party. What does it tell you about the direction of that party right now?
BARBARA COMSTOCK, (R) FMR. CONGRESSWOMAN FROM VIRGINIA: Listen, I am so proud of my friend, Adam. And I know he's still going to have a very bright future. So frankly, I think he's a little bit probably too big of a personality and has important things to say in and he doesn't need to stay there and be in the house. It's important, I think, for people to know the Democrats pretty much redistricted him out of his seat and Illinois is losing a seat.
So I think given some of the toxicity, particularly in the House Republicans, he made a choice to move on. He's been newly married, has a young family, as he pointed out in the video and he's still going to stay actively involved with his country first events and effort. And I think you are going to hear more from him, whether if he runs for governor or senator or even higher or serves in a cabinet of what I hope will be a sensible Republican, not a Donald Trump Republican in 2024.
So I think I'm proud of how he's been his own man and he has been a member of consequence, serving his country in the military. So he's not done and as someone who is also out of the House now, too, there's plenty of things you can do to have a voice in this country and I know Adam will continue too.
HARLOW: Look, Donald Trump took a victory lap very quickly after Kinzinger made that announcement. The former president ..
COMSTOCK: Yes, Mr. Sore Loser, he does that and it's silly. And Adam won a lot more races than Donald Trump ever has and ever will, because he will not be even if he's the nominee in 2024, that'll be another losing race for Republicans. So think it's better if Republicans listen to people like Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney.
And I know you were talking about Glenn Youngkin in the previous segment and I point that Glenn is a friend of mine, I'm supporting him. He too is his own man. And I think you're going to see in governor's races where people can turn, focus on issues of the state, stay out of the kind of nonsense that you've seen some of the House Republicans do. They don't need to go down, and bow and scrape to Donald Trump. They
can speak directly to people. Glenn hasn't needed to bring in surrogates and what you're seeing with Glenn is someone who's also his own man. He hasn't been in politics in ...
HARLOW: He's also really walking the line, though. He's not saying come campaign with me Trump, but he's certainly not condemning a lot of things that the former president said or did. He is toeing that line. And I wonder if that coupled with Kinzinger here is telling you that in many respects Trump is winning this battle for the party.
COMSTOCK: Well, look, it's disappointing when you see people like Marjorie Greene still there. But listen, I'm with a group who are working to get rid of her, so a couple of groups that would like to see her go. So I don't think you're going to see people like Herschel Walker or some of these nuts that Trump has endorsed ever get into office.
So while I'd like to see Republicans get elected, I'd like to see the right kind of Republicans who are focusing on issues and are people of personal character and want to focus on those types of things. And I'd point out to your audience the person who got $25,000 from Donald Trump in this governor's race is Terry McAuliffe who got it in one of his last governor's races, not Glenn Youngkin.
So I think when people look and they the reason Glenn has been successful is because that person you see speaking into the camera, talking about what he wants to do, he's a self made person, he's successful. He's a serious person who has worked in business, who's active in his church and in the philanthropical community.
And he and his wife and his family are just genuinely good people and I think that comes through. So I hope more people like that run for office. Adam Kinzinger is one of those. He's going to have a bright future.
HARLOW: We will see.
COMSTOCK: And I think people like that will be the future.
HARLOW: He did say, "I want to make clear, this isn't the end of my political future but the beginning."
HARLOW: What that holds, who knows. Barbara Comstock, thank you very much.
COMSTOCK: Great. Good to be with you.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, President Biden kicks off his first foreign trip with a lengthy meeting, 90 minutes with Pope Francis, what was said behind closed doors?
Also in OUTFRONT, follow a doctor we profiled touring the country spreading lies about COVID is now at the center of a congressional investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: SARS?CoV?2 is lethal virtually only when the patient was at or exceeded their life expectancy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Tonight, President Biden with a very busy first day of his second overseas trip ahead of the G20 Summit in Rome, traveling to the Vatican where he had a lengthy meeting with Pope Francis, 90 minutes in all. Biden a devout Catholic, of course, offering up some details about that meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We just talked about the fact that he was happy I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Well, Biden also meeting separately with the President and Prime Minister of Italy before his first sit down with French President Emmanuel Macron following a major diplomatic clash between France and the U.S. Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT with us again tonight from Rome with the President.
And Phil, Biden, of course, deeply religious, Catholic, this is the fourth time he's met with Pope Francis. There were some fascinating, some fun, some lights, some more serious exchanges that we saw, what's the takeaway?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, when you think about the fact that I think President Biden met with Pope Francis for about 15 minutes, President Trump for about 30 minutes, when you can compile all of those different adjectives that you mentioned into one meeting, it underscores that it was lengthy, it was personal.
And I think it reflects how the President views the Pope. They have built a relationship over several years. The Pope when the President was elected, sent him an autographed copy of his book. As you noted, he went to the Vatican in 2013 when the pope took the role, when the Pope visited the United States for a multi-stop trip. The President was essentially his de facto escort over the course of that period of time.
So they have communicated that the President thinks extraordinarily deeply and highly of the Pope. And this was a very meaningful meeting for the President, as you noted, goes to mass every single Sunday. He often talks about his faith, not in political terms, but in very personal terms. I think that more than anything else was how he saw this meeting.
There were the issues of climate change. There were the issues of refugees, obviously, the pandemic as well, very policy-laden issues. But there was the personal as well. The President leaning in on camera handing the Pope challenge coin, anybody who has a friend in the military has probably received one.
And then the President laying out kind of the unofficial ritual, which is if you don't have that coin, the next time the President sees the Pope, the Pope owes the President a drink even though the President doesn't drink at all, so a little levity there. But I think one of the most interesting moments given what's going on in the U.S. with the Catholic faith was the sound that you played in terms of the President saying they did not talk about abortion, but the Pope said he was a good Catholic, said he should continue to receive Communion. That is a very, very real debate inside the United States right now.
The U.S. Conference of Bishops expected to meet next month about whether politicians that support abortion rights should still be able to receive communion. The pope, if he said that, which the president says he did, seems to be leaning in on that a little bit.
HARLOW: Yeah, absolutely.
Also, Phil, before you go, France, going into this meeting in the weeks leading up to it, irate with the United States over the summer in deal with Australia that came at France's expense. But Biden seemed to really, with some contrition, be able to smooth things out quite a bit in his meeting with President Macron.
MATTINGLY: Extraordinarily candid in front of cameras before the one on one meeting and before the expanded bilateral meeting, saying what happened in the lead-up to that deal where the U.S. and Australia decided to move forward on nuclear technology which led to the Australians dropping billions of dollars in submarine contracts with the French. The president saying the U.S. hadn't reached out and laid the groundwork for that with the French was, quote, clumsy. It was something he wasn't aware of. He told that to the president shortly after that deal.
I think the main thing is what it showed for the last couple weeks, which have been intensive in terms of U.S. and French discussions, trying to, A, smooth things out, butt, B, lay the groundwork for the relationship going forward. A 1,200-word joint statement, Poppy, came out of that meeting. That is detailed, that is policy, and I think that underscores the effort that the U.S. puts in to try to change the dynamic a little bit over the course of the last couple weeks.
HARLOW: With our oldest ally, it is important.
Phil Mattingly, thanks very much.
Let me bring in for some important historical perspective here, Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and a CNN presidential historian.
Good evening, Tim.
So, let's begin on what I found to be the most fascinating of the day, that is Pope Francis meeting with Biden for 90 minutes. Biden saying the pope told him he is a good Catholic, and should keep getting communion. Phil just told us on the back on to this. What I think is interesting, as you note, it seems like Pope Francis and Biden in some respects on this issue sort of have the same opponents.
TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Oh, yes. Well, in fact, this is so different from the first time the United States had a Catholic president. John F. Kennedy tried very hard to distance himself publicly from the Vatican because of disgraceful comments that some Americans made about how he was going to be the pope's puppet.
In this era, Joe Biden and Pope Francis have some similar objectives. Both of them see climate change as an existential crisis. The pope issued what is called an encyclical, or a sort of papal statement on the environment, called "Laudato Si" in 2015, and he is very much committed to making the argument that climate change is a problem that Catholics should not just, not just Catholics, but everyone should focus on, but the Catholic Church should participate in educational efforts to get young people, especially concerned about this issue.
Of course, Joe Biden feels the same way. So, they have a similar view of the challenges facing the world, and they both face a conservative reaction within their institutions. There is a very strong Catholic leadership among the 1.3 billion Catholics that does not respect the pope's approach to social justice issues, the role of women in the church, and to climate change. But we all know what kind of opposition the president faces here at home.
HARLOW: For sure. On the other very important note today, Biden meeting with French president accepting responsibility for that diplomatic rupture caused by this U.S.-Australia submarine deal. France totally, you know, caught unaware.
Listen to how Biden put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we did was clumsy. It was not done with a lot of grace. I was under the impression that certain things happened that hadn't happened.
I was under the impression that France had been informed long before that the deal was not going to go through. Honest to God, I did not know you had not been.
There's too much we have done together, suffered together, celebrated together, and value together, for anything to be able to break this up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Is the president right? Is this water under the bridge now?
NAFTALI: Actually, the president gave the French some really concrete concessions. Yes, the contrition was very much appreciated, I'm sure, by President macron. President Macron is facing a tough reelection bid next year, and he faces nationalists in his own country. The president, the U.S. president agreed to support France's efforts to build a defense, a European defense unit.
That's a big concession.
Secondly, the United States will probably provide France with technical assistance in its fight against jihadist northern Africa.
So, there are two really important things Macron wanted out of this meeting, contrition was good, but the concrete concessions were even better. So, I can see the basis for better relations with Paris going forward.
HARLOW: We'll take it. Tim Naftali, thank you. Have a great weekend.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, investigators say they want to talk again to the person who was in charge of weapons on the set of Alec Baldwin's film, as the 24-year-old armorer takes her case publicly. What is she saying tonight? New developments on that.
And the CDC is shutting down the anti-vax talking point that natural immunity offers better protection against COVID than the vaccine. A study will tell you right ahead.
HARLOW: Tonight, we are learning more about firearms and ammunition that were seized from the set of "Rust".
Thirteen guns along with ammunition taken after a search warrant was issued for a prop truck. This comes as the movies chief armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed says and her attorney say they have no idea where her live rounds came from.
Josh Campbell is OUTFRONT.
SHERIFF ADAN MENDOZA, SANTA FE COUNTY, NM: We encourage Ms. Gutierrez Reed to come in.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Santa Fe County sheriff now strongly urging Hannah Gutierrez Reed to come in for more questioning. The 24-year-old head armorer was in charge of weapons on the set,
where the sheriff says Alec Baldwin fired a suspected live round, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
MENDOZA: She is cooperating, but the sooner, the better that she comes in. We can clarify some of these questions.
CAMPBELL: Now for the first time, Gutierrez Reed is making her case publicly. A new statement from her lawyers reads in part, safety is Hannah's number one priority on set. Ultimately, the set would have never been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. Hannah still to this day has never had an accidental discharge. The entire productions that became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meeting. This was not the fault of Hannah.
STU BRUMBAUGH, MOTION PICTURE KEY GRIP: We had a couple of discharges that were not announced on set.
CAMPBELL: A key grip on Gutierrez Reed's last film says several unannounced discharges occurred on that project over the summer, and lack of safety was a concern.
BRUMBAUGH: You know, I witnessed the things on set that I thought were unsafe and my personal opinion, the way that she was handling firearms.
CAMPBELL: When asked last month about the work on her project, Gutierrez Reed said --
HANNAH GUTIERREZ REED, ARMORER: I almost didn't take the job because I wasn't sure I was, ready but doing it went very smoothly.
CAMPBELL: She's a daughter of a longtime Hollywood armorer who grew up learning about gun safety. After the fatal shooting on the set of "Rust" last week, court records indicate Gutierrez Reed told investigators no live ammo is ever kept on set. That was contradicted this week by the sheriff.
MENDOZA: We regard the specific casing, and recovered projectile to be the live round that was fired from the revolver by Mr. Baldwin. We have recovered what we believe to be possible additional live rounds on set.
MARY CARMACK ALTWIES, SANTA FE, NM DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The entire situation has shocked me. I was under the assumption probably with most other people in this country that movie sets were much safer, and more protected, than I think that at least this movie was.
CAMPBELL: Nobody has been charged, but officials say nobody involved has been cleared of wrongdoing either.
CAMPBELL (on camera): Now, on these reports of past incidents of dangerous activity on the set, the production company issued a statement earlier this week saying that they received no former complaints. They are conducting their own investigation, they say they are taking safety very seriously.
Poppy, there have been statements flying left and right from interested parties declaring their innocence, I have talked to law enforcement officials who say they are confident that they will sort that out. Investigators are not only looking at the shooting, they're looking at past patterns to see if anything could've been done to prevent this tragedy -- Poppy.
HARLOW: So many questions, families deserve answers. Thank you very much.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT now, Jim Moret. He's the chief correspondent for "Inside Edition," also an attorney.
Jim, thank you, and good evening.
Let's begin with Gutierrez Reed, the chief armor on this movie set, claiming she had no idea how this ammo, live ammo got on set, also saying she thought the set was unsafe, it was difficult in that environment to do her job. Is that defense going to hold up?
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": I was surprised without statement, to be honest with you, Poppy. And thanks for having me on.
Who but the armor is responsible for these safe handling and monitoring of all of these firearms and maintenance? Not only the firearms, but also the ammunition.
Let's take her statement at face value. Say, she didn't know there was any level on the set. It is the obligation and responsibility of the armorer to check that gun every single time it is going to be put into somebody's hands. That means you look at the chambers, you look at the barrel with a flashlight in front of the person you are handing it to. That specifically is the armorer's job.
So, I think her defense doesn't make sense in that example.
HARLOW: What about Alec Baldwin? We are told he is continuing to speak to detectives. Are you at all surprised that he has not been cleared from facing charges yet?
MORET: I'm not surprised for two reasons. One, he was a person who actually fired the shot. He also has a responsibility as an actor to make sure that that weapon is safe before firing it. Also, you never point a weapon at an individual on a set or otherwise, because those guns are not just props, they are real guns that could fire blanks. As we see in this case, bullets.
He also wears that secondary hot as a producer. So, he's responsible perhaps for the hiring and firing, for the general safety on the set.
He should know the conditions on that said in terms of safety and in terms of any potential dangers on that set. You know, producers wear various hats, but they do have responsibilities, not just the title.
HARLOW: Jim Moret, thank you for the reporting tonight.
MORET: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, tens of millions of children could soon be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. Can you tell how excited I am as a parent after the big decision by the FDA? That's ahead.
Also, an OUTFRONT follow. CNN tried to talk to the doctor who keeps spreading lies about COVID, she did not want to talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dr. Gold, Nick Watt with CNN. Can we speak to you for a couple of minutes?
DR. SIMONE GOLD, DOCTOR WHO SPREADS COVID LIES: CNN? No way.
WATT: No way?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Now, she may have to answer Washington.
HARLOW: New tonight, Pfizer says it will begin immediately shipping a COVID vaccine for children aged 5, to 11.
This comes after the FDA granted emergency authorization for the vaccine for that age group, a big step towards protecting one of the last unvaccinated populations in this country.
The CDC vaccine advisors meet Tuesday, and if the CDC greenlights their recommendation, 28 million kids could start getting shots as early as Wednesday.
OUTFRONT now, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He advised the White House medical team, under President George W. Bush.
I already called our pediatrician to say, can I get on the list? They don't have one yet. But, I'm excited, clearly.
However, I wonder, if you think, that the reluctance among so many parents in America too, immediately vaccinating their children is really going to be the biggest barrier here.
DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I do, Poppy. A year ago when vaccines first came out, the biggest impediment to getting shots in arms was the availability of vaccines. There were very small supplies. Now we have plenty of vaccine. We have millions and millions of doses.
But the Kaiser Family Foundation poll has shown that only 27 percent of parents are like you, really chomping at the bit to get shots in their kids' arms. Another 30 percent or so of parents want to wait and see how it goes, another full third of parents say they're just not going to give their kids this vaccine.
So, all of the weight of this is really going to fall on the shoulders of America's pediatricians. They are universally trusted by parents. And we are going to rely on them to reassure parents that not only are these vaccines safe but they're incredibly effective at preventing illness in their children, which can be quite severe or even in rare cases fatal.
HARLOW: Yeah, yeah.
Well, you also have this what I think is a fascinating and really important new study from the CDC that just came out, and it shows that you get much better protection from COVID infection by getting the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccine than you do from previously being infected with COVID.
Talk about how important that is for people who say, well, I had COVID so I don't need the vaccine.
REINER: Yeah, interesting study. There's been a lot of debate, not just in the medical community but on social media about whether you're really protected if you have recovered from COVID and whether you need the vaccine at all.
And this study published by CDC today in MMWR really looks at two ways of obtaining immunity. Natural immunity acquired after an infection compared with the vaccine-induced immunity. And what they found is that you were much more likely to be hospitalized with COVID if you had recovered from a COVID infection and had natural immunity than if you had received a vaccine.
And the reasons for this probably have to do with the level of the immunity you get from the vaccine. We know that naturally induced immunity can be relatively variable. Maybe not last so long, maybe not quite be as intense. So, the bottom line is if you've had COVID, you still need to get vaccinated. Do that.
HARLOW: Do that. Dr. Reiner, thank you very much.
REINER: My pleasure.
HARLOW: Well, OUTFRONT next, a doctor we first told you about here who caught the former President Trump's attention for spreading lies about COVID, now the focus of a congressional investigation.
[19:57:57] HARLOW: New tonight, a doctor spreading lies about COVID-19 is now under investigation. The House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis is scrutinizing Dr. Simone Gold and the organization she founded. Gold is accused of profiting by peddling false treatments. Nick watt first told you about her last month. Watch this.
WATT (voice-over): She wears a white coat but not a face mask, struts to a Ted Nugent tune in a promo video, tours the country making false claims about the coronavirus.
GOLD: Asymptomatic spread is not a thing.
WATT: And about the vaccines.
GOLD: All the vaccine candidates have problems. They're all using the spike proteins but the spike proteins themselves are what we doctors call pathogenic, meaning they're disease causing.
WATT: That is not true, Dr. Paul Offit, member of the FDA advisory committee, told CNN.
GOLD: The other one that really hurt our country was saying that masks work.
WATT: Gold claims she's being canceled by big and social media. We caught up with her at that rally in San Francisco this past weekend.
Dr. Gold, Nick Watt with CNN. Can we speak to you for a couple minutes?
GOLD: CNN? Now way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Well, Nick, now she's under investigation. What can you tell us?
WATT: Yeah. Well, listen, as you just saw, she didn't want to answer our questions about what she's doing. And now this House Subcommittee is asking her for a slew of documents related to what she's doing. Why?
In a letter to Gold, Jim Clyburn, who chairs the committee, says he's, quote, deeply concerned that Gold's organization is profiting from its deliberate spread of misinformation about the coronavirus. Clyburn also quotes a report that dropped a few days after our story, and it's based on hacked documents that appear to show that the organization Gold links to from her site that provides $90 consultations and unproven medications like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, they took in $6.7 million in just a two-month period apparently.
Now, Clyburn also claims that Gold and her organization by promoting falsehoods may be putting American lives at risk and also hindering the effort to just get us all out of this pandemic. HARLOW: But in the meantime, she'll be free to spread misinformation?
WATT: Yeah, she is. And here's the big issue with that. She's also still a licensed medical doctor here in California. And that gives undeserved credence to what she says. And let's not forget President Trump was a fan. He retweeted some of her nonsense -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Right, that's how a lot of people saw it. Nick Watt, thank you for staying on this.
Thanks to all of you for joining us.
"AC360" is now.