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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

NJ Governor Phil Murphy Wins Reelection in Nail-Biter for Dems; Democrats Scramble for New Strategies Following Election Setbacks; Trump Lawsuit Claims Exec Privilege Over 1/6-Related Documents. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 04, 2021 - 05:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, it is Thursday, November 4th. It's 5:00 a.m. in New York. Thanks for getting an EARLY START with us. I'm Christine Romans.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Laura Jarrett. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world.

We begin this morning with breaking news overnight. CNN can now project New Jersey's Democratic Governor Phil Murphy has pulled out a narrow victory against Republican Jack Ciattarelli.

Murphy's far than expected win is a drop of good news in a larger barrel of trouble for Democrats.

ROMANS: Right. The best example of that is Virginia where Republican Glenn Youngkin beat Terry McAuliffe despite Democrats' recent gains in that state. Already the finger pointing, theorizing and forewarning is well underway within the party.

JARRETT: President Biden addressed Democratic setbacks last night. He didn't exactly own them, but he says the time for action is now.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I do know is I do know that people want us to get things done. They want us to get things done.

People are upset and uncertain about a lot of things, from COVID to school to jobs to a whole range of things. What happened was I think we have to just produce results for them to change their standard of living and give them a little more breathing room.


JARRETT: Congressional Democrats are searching for answers, searching for that breathing room, and taking some tactics along the way. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing for a vote both on the Build Back Better plan and the hard infrastructure bill, about $3 trillion in total. And she wants it as soon as today, although that is considered unlikely by other members of her party.

CNN's Daniella Diaz joins us live from Capitol Hill.

Daniella, good morning.

We have the possibility of a vote today and paid leave is now back in the bill. What's the back story there?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Laura, Democrats are feeling the effects of this loss in Virginia where Terry McAuliffe lost the race to Glenn Youngkin and this narrow victory we just announced by Democrats in New Jersey. And as a result, as you said, there's a lot of finger pointing happening here.

There was a lot of blame placed on House progressives for holding up this bipartisan infrastructure bill to try to have a vote with this separate economic bill, the massive economic bill we've been talking about that, as you said, paid leave has now been added back into it after it was stripped when originally House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said again and again she wanted the House to vote on the exact same bill as what the Senate was going to vote on.

But now it's looking like that is not going to happen. As you said, the finger pointing continues as Democrats say Americans are feeling the effects of what's happening in the pandemic. Rising gas prices, inflation, these culture war issues that Glenn Youngkin ran on in Virginia that Democrats did not do a good job at responding to.

And as a result, Democrats are now realizing they have to shift their strategy ahead of the 2022 midterms because a lot of seats are up in the air in the House, or Democrats don't keep their majority. Take a listen to what moderate Democrats said yesterday, a day after these results in Virginia and across the country.


SEN. BEN RAY LUJAN (D-NM): It's not enough to tell the American people why they should vote against someone else. You need to show them why they should vote for you and inspire them and encourage them to come out to vote. And I think that we need to do better across America.

REP. SUZAN DELBENE (D-WA): Yeah, I think doing things faster is helpful because then people see the impact and know what we're doing. They feel it already. We don't help anybody until we get legislation passed.

REP. DEAN PHILLIPS (D-MN): A lot of tens of millions of Americans have prioritizing issues that are not being felt right now by Democrats.


PHILLIPS: Supply chain issues, inflation, the border crisis is an issue. I think we have to listen more, as Democrats represent less and less of rule America, we don't have that daily contact that we need to reestablish.


DIAZ: Now, these moderate Democrats are, of course, pointing fingers to progressives for holding up this bipartisan infrastructure bill which they say that Terry McAuliffe could have ran on in the days leading up to election day. Progressives, of course, defending themselves saying they were fighting for Joe Biden's agenda for both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the massive economic bill that would expand the social safety net.

But yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a closed door meeting announced a shift of strategy, not directly saying it, but when the House was originally planning to pass the economic bill, they wanted to pass the same version as what the Senate would pass. That's looking like it's not going to happen anymore.


They have added back paid leave, something Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate of West Virginia, does not agree with. He does not want that provision in the bill, but it seems Democrats are moving forward to pass their own version of this bill, leaving it to the Senate to strip out whatever provisions they think they need to strip out.

But progressives and moderates and moderates here in the House side want to move forward on this and Speaker Pelosi realizes she needs to do something to win back voters they might have lost in Virginia.

JARRETT: Yeah, it has been a huge progressive priority and huge disappointment when it got stripped from the bill. We'll see whether they can get Manchin on board, a critical vote for sure.

Daniella, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Little shots in little arms. Kids getting shots in arms. The images are actually adorable.

JARRETT: They're so brave.

ROMANS: They were telling reporters, I want to go to the movies. I want to help my community. It's good for the world. It was so sweet.

Some nervous parents want to wait, but health officials advise vaccine sooner rather than later. Doctors note COVID shots don't interfere with the flu vaccines.

New York City will be ready to vaccinate 35 to5 to 11-year-olds start drives next week.

ROMANS: And, sadly, almost a year after the first adults got their first vaccines, 750,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. That is the highest death toll of any country on earth. It is also greater than the total population of Alaska or Vermont or Wyoming or the District of Columbia for context. Just think about that.

Four hundred fifty-one thousand Americans have died since the first vaccine authorization by the FDA.

ROMANS: All right. A welcome development in the job market. Jobs market in upheaval.

Payroll processor ADP showed 571,000 jobs were created in the private sector last month. Official government tally comes on Friday, of course. That's where economists forecast 385,000 jobs added back in October against two disappointing months of gains. This against the backdrop of what's being called the Great Resignation. Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers, millions since this spring.

Look at that, in August alone, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs. So where are the workers? They're taking -- home taking care of kids and elderly relatives. They are starting new businesses in record numbers. Some are afraid of the virus and they are awaiting COVID before returning to, would.

The sheriff retirees in the working population is almost 20 percent. That's the highest since 2005. And among people who are working, job hopping, ADP's chief economist Nela Richardson raising wages, especially finance information and professional business services.


NELA RICHARDSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST ADP: Some of them have retired. Some of them are still in the work force and they're not getting hired. I think that's a bit overlooked. Some of them are sitting out because they're waiting to see how the pandemic evolves. Some are waiting as long as they possibly can to go back to the jobs that they had to leave, for good reason. They weren't probably the greatest most fulfilling jobs to begin with. And so to find the workers means to reshape the work force.


ROMANS: You're not going to match the jobs that people used to have to the workers who are out of the labor market right now. Living through a chapter in history, folks, that has changed how people view their jobs.

JARRETT: Speaking of reshaping the work force, in Iowa, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds appears, appears to have found a way around President Biden's vaccine mandate and it is leaving business owners in a bind. Iowans who lose their jobs because they refuse to get vaccinated against COVID will now be entitled to unemployment benefits. Governor Reynolds cited freedoms for Iowans as she signed the bill into law.

Back in May, Reynolds cut off the $300 federal employment boost. Business leaders say it leaves them caught between the federal vaccine mandate on one hand and state law on the other. It will increase unemployment insurance costs.

Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tried a similar gambit banning businesses in the state from mandating the vaccine. Many corporations headquartered there said that they would follow the federal rule instead and it failed to pass in the state legislature.

ROMANS: It's interesting some states project them selves as pro- business states but they put their employers and companies in a real bind trying to decide between federal mandates. One person was saying yesterday, look, you have employers in Iowa who have to decide whether they're going to pay for you think employment benefits or OSHA. Companies in Iowa have to pay more into the unemployment pool, so essentially, you know, they cut off unemployment benefits early during COVID.

But now, they're going to make sure anti-vaxxers get on unemployment benefits.

JARRETT: But so far, the businesses have been choosing to go with the federal rule. They seem more intimidated by the fed coming after them than the states.

ROMANS: All right. A profile trial for the killing of a Black jogger will be heard by an almost white jury, almost all white jury. It is not sitting well with Ahmaud Arbery's mother or the judge.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

In Georgia, the jury hearing the case of three white men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery is finally seated. But the racial makeup of these jurors with 11 white people and only one black member is drawing the attention. Even the judge, Judge Timothy Walmsley, says he found intentional discrimination, but has allowed the case to go forward.

Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper Jones said potential black jurors were questioned more harshly.


WANDA COOPER-JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: The thing that the African-American jurors come in, and they were questioned so harshly by the defense team. I'd seen them all struggle. It was very hard.

It was like unreal. I mean, I can't put it into words.


I was very shocked we only had one black African-American man, and I mean that was devastating.


JARRETT: Arbery's murder gained attention after the video of the shooting was made public. The 25-year-old black man was jogging when he was shot to death.

ROMANS: An explosive start to the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, new FBI aerial surveillance video shows some of what took place before the teenager shot three people, killing two.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus reports from Kenosha, Wisconsin.


ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Kyle Rittenhouse looked on, prosecutors played video after video of the gunshots that started a night of horror.

First, a single shot. Then seven more. The shooting and what happens next have Rittenhouse facing life in prison for the worst of five felonies. First degree intentional homicide. Both sides agree Joseph Rosenbaum was the first Rittenhouse killed, but the defense jumping in to make clear their client didn't fire the first shot heard on the video.

MARK RICHARDS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But, Mr. Washington, there was a first shot which was not Mr. Rittenhouse's shot.

BROADDUS: Instead, all sides agree a third person fired that first shot. The defense questioning an eyewitness who live-streamed the incident to make its point that Rittenhouse was not an aggressor.

COREY CHIRAFISI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You described Rosenbaum as acting erratic, right?

KOERRI WASHINGTON, LIVESTREAMED DURING SHOOTING: From all of the moments that I was around that you can notice, yes.

CHIRAFISI: You described Rosenbaum as erratic and Rittenhouse as chain smoking? Yes?

WASHINGTON: I suppose you could say nervous, I guess, would be a fairer way to say it.

BROADDUS: But prosecutors say this grainy FBI aerial surveillance video will show Rittenhouse did move toward Rosenbaum while the defense says it shows Rosenbaum hid behind cars before chasing Rittenhouse who opened fire. The most graphic of the video showing the moment Rosenblum was shot four times.

And shortly after when he was carried by bystanders and driven away. A detective confirming Rosenbaum was unarmed.



BINGER: No knife?


BINGER: No bat?


BINGER: No club?


BROADDUS: Rittenhouse who pleaded not guilty was looking down during the most dramatic video which included the shot where he shot two more people. Killing 26-year-old Anthony Huber and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz. The case rests on each side's portrayal of Rittenhouse's intent. The prosecution saying in opening statements that Rittenhouse acted as a vigilante, igniting fear in a crowd after shooting an unarmed man.

BINGER: As he's running, word spreads from the crowd on the street that there is an active shooter running through the area. And the citizens there, attempt to stop him.

BROADDUS: Rittenhouse's attorneys argue self-defense and that he only fired his rifle after he was attacked.

MARK RICHARDS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The other individuals who didn't see that shooting attacked him in the street like an animal.

BROADDUS: Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Kenosha, Wisconsin.


JARRETT: Adrienne, thank you for that. So much going on in that trial.

All right. Still ahead for you, the former president wants more than 700 pages of documents kept from the January 6 committee. A judge will hear the case today with potentially historic ramifications for the reach of executive privilege. That's next.



ROMANS: All right, welcome back. We could get insight into the power of a former president. A judge will hear arguments whether Donald Trump can keep old White House records from the January 6 committee investigating that insurrection.

JARRETT: CNN's Katelyn Polantz joins us live.

Katelyn, you have been following this case from the very beginning. You are going to be in court there for us today. What are you going to be watching for?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Laura and Christine, good morning. This is a very big day for Donald Trump in court. He has not gone to court like this as the former president. He went to court a lot as the president, and now he is trying to block more than 700 pages of records that are held currently by the National Archives from his White House from being turned over to the house of representatives because he's saying as the former president he should have some sort of control over these documents that were created under him when he was in the White House.

Now, that's things like visitors logs, call logs, written notes. They are from his closest advisers in their files. Right now, with this court case, the table is already set. The National Archives is set to turnover these records on November 12 and that's where Trump comes in. He's going to court. He's asking a judge where he is being -- pitting himself against the Biden administration and the House. He is asking a judge to rule in his favor, offer at least give him a little help to put a court order on all of this and say, no, those records should not be turned over yet until we look at these big questions about Trump's role as a former president. That's where we are now.

JARRETT: Yeah, one of the primary goals is to slow this train down as much as possible, delay, delay, delay, a classic Trump lawyer tactic. Interestingly, they are asking the judge to look at these documents at least some of them in secret, what's known as in camera, to first examine them for privilege issues first.


It'd be interesting to see whether she takes that approach.

Katelyn, for you, how -- how does what the judge decides here, Judge Chutkan, how does what she decides affect the rest of the investigation? Some of these depositions for other people are already on hold. So where is this going?

POLANTZ: That is absolutely right, Laura. There is a pause essentially in the investigation where the house isn't getting access toe these documents at the moment because they are being processed by the National Archives. If there is a court order, that could block it further. There are dates where the National Archives is set to turn things over on November 12, later in the month, theoretically after that.

Chutkan, Judge Tanya Chutkan, this is the judge in the federal court in D.C. could put a stop to that as things get figured out. There could also be appeals that put stops to things. As you mentioned, there are lots of witnesses who have files in these records that the House is interested in having testimony from.

So there are people like the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, and other top White House advisors. They've already been subpoenaed. They haven't gone before the thousand.

So, all of this is sort of hanging around what happens to these records, what does the judge decide about how much control Trump has on what can be shared from his presidency. And in the past, you know, we can't forget that Trump as president used this tactic quite a lot to slow things down, to block the House while he was in office, from getting access to things. We know that the midterm elections are next year, and so the question is as former president, how much is he going to be able to do something like that.

JARRETT: And some of the documents I think we might have gotten a little more of a peek behind the curtain from the national archives who, in their response to Trump's brief, actually described some of them in a little bit more detail than we had seen before, making them perhaps even more interesting.

Katelyn, thank you for following this for us.

ROMANS: Thanks, Katelyn.

JARRETT: Appreciate it.

POLANTZ: Thank you.

ROMANS: Our friends from "Sesame Street" are back on CNN. Join Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Erica Hill, Big Bird and the crew for ABC's COVID vaccines. The CNN "Sesame Street" Town Hall for Families, Saturday at 8:30, only on CNN.