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Biden, Trump Loom Large Over Virginia Governor's Race; Soon: Manchin To Give Statement On Biden Agenda; "Washington Post:" Trump Lawyer Blamed Pence For 1/6 Attack. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 01, 2021 - 12:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let me explain it. It's never been taught in Virginia, he's ending his campaign on a racist dog whistle. We have a great school system in Virginia. Dorothy and I have raised our five children, of course, parents are involved in it.


JOHN KING, CNN HOST: That has become the parent's rights, school choice, critical race theory has become a vehicle for frustrations over masks, over books, over just about everything.

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL- CONSTITUTION: Yes, and I think it's also, you know, become this proxy conversation about race, racism, and a lot of those things that people don't hit head on.

But they feed into the identity politics in the cultural wars that define politics across our country, but we're seeing it play out in the Virginia governor's race. So again, they say it's about school boards and masks and critical race theory, but it's about something a little bit deeper, and something that shaped our politics for a long time.

KING: For a long time, especially in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And look, this is going to be a roadmap that are Republicans trying to take back the House and the Senate next year, even if Youngkin can loses, if he loses narrowly, it still will be particularly in the suburbs, and in districts in which Donald Trump carried and which were Democrats are holding seats and states, right, you know, moderate leaning states, that's going to be how Republicans are going to push on that.

So even though this is just one state here in it's, you know, maybe you shouldn't read too much into it, the psychological effect of a Youngkin win on the Democratic Party at this moment would be significant.

KING: And it's interesting, because even Democrats will concede privately Youngkin has done a pretty good job of keeping Trump at arm's length. He wants those Trump supporters. I just talked with Kyle down in the southwest corner of the state, he needs them. He doesn't just want them. He needs them to turn out. He has to win those smaller counties, not just by big percentages, but by big raw numbers.

But listen, Dana Bash would not to see him in Alexandria, not far from Washington, one of the suburbs, Democratic leaning suburbs. Listen to Glenn Youngkin. There's a big rally tonight, a radio host in Virginia is holding. A Trump is going to call in Glenn Youngkin says, nope.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The former president is doing a telerally on Monday. Will you attend and do you welcome him to Virginia?

GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA), GOV. NOMINEE: Well, so I haven't been involved in that. The teams are talking. I'm sure I've been out there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard they would love to have him.

YOUNGKIN: I'm not going to be engaged in the tele town hall but we have more people helping us than you can possibly believe this is about unity.


KING: He says this is about unity. This is not about Trump. He says it's about Youngkin in Virginia, but the former president issued a statement, Jeremy, this morning, you covered the Trump White House. So you understand the dynamics here. I'm not a believer in the integrity of Virginia's election. Lots of bad things went on and are going on. Most of that's not true. I'll probably -- all of that's not true. But here's what he says.

The way you beat it is to flood the system and get out the vote. That is a different tone from Donald Trump, who has condemned, again, unfairly lies said things about 2020 that are not true, but to say flood the system. He's telling voters in Virginia A, to get out and B, a lot of Republicans see this as Trump want some credit, if Youngkin somehow pulls it off.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, for sure. And look, I think they practice two very different brands of politics. Donald Trump is a, all based politics guy. That's what he does. He's all about turning out the base and very little focus on the folks in the middle. Glenn Youngkin, has tried to forge a different path.

But, you know, look, I think it's telling that you saw Terry McAuliffe in the final days of this campaign start to change his tune on whether or not this race is all about Donald Trump, it's not usually a good sign when a candidate changes his central message in the final days of an election.

But look, what Glenn Youngkin has done here cannot be replicated in every other state. This is very unique to Virginia, a largely purple state, perhaps more of a blue state in recent years. But nonetheless, it's not a strategy that can be replicated elsewhere. So what lessons will Republicans really be able to draw out of this, they'll be able to draw lessons for certain districts and certain states. But it's not an across the board kind of strategy.

KING: That's a great way to put it. That doesn't mean that's how it'll play out though. Often people take these one elections in both parties go jump to conclusions that might not necessarily apply elsewhere. This very important programming note for us join us tomorrow night is Election Night in America. The stakes are high in the race for governor both in Virginia and up in New Jersey, plus who will be victorious in the fight to lead New York City. Our special live coverage starts tomorrow 6:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.


And when we come back, this is connected to that, a critical and potentially historic week ahead for the Biden agenda. Two big bills and progressive say they're ready to vote yes on both, but there are still a few final wrinkles.


KING: Today we learned Tuesday means sometime this week. In other words, there are final hurdles still to be cleared. So plan votes Tuesday on the Biden agenda could slip. The House Rules Committee already has postponed a meeting to give negotiators more space. And Senator Bernie Sanders urging progressive Democrats on the House side to delay no votes, he says until everything is locked in, including commitments from all 50 Democratic senators.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): I think there has got to be a framework agreed upon in the Senate, that all of us know is going to be implemented before the members of the household. Yes, I do. You're going to have a piece of paper which will say this is going to be in the bill. You don't have to have all of the legislative language, but you have to have a statement, which says a B, C, D, and E is going to be in the package and 50 members of the Senate are supporting it.

KING: Let me start with Mr. Manu Raju and one of those 50 who we expect to hear from today, Joe Manchin still not there.

RAJU: He's still not there and I caught up with him this morning and he said I'm going to give a lot more clarity about where things stand right now and that could be very significant. Now he could if he suggests that he wants changes to this bill that could change the whole dynamic of where the agenda is going forward.


Now, I've heard he's had concerns about the Medicare expansion for one. He has publicly raised concerns about including dental vision and hearing. This proposal would just include hearing. He still has concerns about that. The price tag is that he's OK with that. He told me last week 1.75 trillion he's OK with. But there are a lot of other issues in here.

He has not weighed in the very specific details on a whole range of things. Well, it's a $550 billion on efforts to deal with climate change, or anything else. So we'll see if he offers some suggestion that he might not be for this. Or if he does say, yes, I'm for it that could change the dynamic as well. But my expectation is that he'll say, this needs some work.

KING: Look, we're at a fascinating moment in the sense that this would fundamentally change the role of the government in the social safety that it would whether it's pre-K, whether it's helped with child care, so many other things, but it's not there. And as long as it's out there, and they're still negotiating, people are going to raise their hands and say, what about me, "Punchbowl" reporting today, three Progressive House Democrats say their votes are in jeopardy, unless you get some immigration included in this.

You know, and so as long as it -- until this is done, until the House votes in the Senate follows up, people are going to raise their hand. The Senate parliamentarian has already said you cannot do any aggressive immigration efforts. Are there some modest efforts at play here? Or is this just as long as this is on the vine, people are going to argue about it.

MITCHELL: Yes, I think I think it's really unlikely that immigration gets into the bill. I mean, the House can try, but the Senate's unlikely to pass immigration policy as part of this bill. But I think maybe what these progressives would like is some assurances that come with their vote. But to your point until 50, senators signed on to this bill.

Everything's on the table, like the consent the, yes vote of the 50 members is what I think will lock things down and allow the House to move forward with votes. But until then, everybody's trying to get their things back in the bill.

KING: And there are some people who think if there is a Republican win, or even a very close race in Virginia tomorrow that that could upset Democrats and cause things to go one way or another person who does not think that is the President who yesterday says we're going to get there.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe we will pass my Build Back Better Plan. And I believe we will pass the infrastructure bill. You've all believed it wouldn't happen from the very beginning and the moment I announced it. And you're always seemed amazed when it's alive again. Well, you may turn out to be right. Maybe it won't work. But I believe we'll see by the end of next week at home that it's past.


KING: Jeremy, what do they say in the White House about the political importance here for the President? I just want to show you this is the NBC poll from over the weekend. Is the country on the wrong track? Is the country on the right track, 93 percent of Republicans say that we live in polarized times. Maybe that's not shocking. Overall, though, 71 percent of Americans say that, 70 percent of independents say that, and nearly half, nearly half of Democrats, the President's own party think we're off on the wrong track. And if you look is we're going to watch Virginia results tomorrow, as we head into the midterm election climate, who's stronger, the poll ask, on border security, Republicans by 27 points, on inflation's, Republicans by 24 points on the economy, Republicans by 18 points, only on the coronavirus and climate change did the Democrats have an advantage. They must understand at the Biden White House, they need to get these bills to the finish line.

DIAMOND: Yes. And that has been their position the whole time is that the stakes are too high to not be able to pass these bills. And therefore that has kind of buoyed their kind of relentless optimism and confidence that this will eventually get done.

And the White House also hasn't had their hair on fire about these poll numbers. My sense is that they believe that it will straighten out once they do pass these bills and there is still a year until the midterm elections, but they do know how critical it is. That's why we see the President so focused on this. And they do believe that they can get it done.

RAJU: And John that was the same argument they made in 2010 to pass the Affordable Care Act. What happened that fall, they lost the House so that is still the concern. They may get this through, but --

KING: The implementation, yes, the implementation becomes -- the implementation quickly and competently becomes absolutely essential then, that's why we got a fascinating week ahead for us.


Up next for us, another fascinating story, handwritten notes by his chief of staff, a chronological record of every call and meeting. New details of the documents former President Donald Trump wants to block the January 6th committee from ever seeing.


KING: One hundred and eighty seven minutes, 187 minutes. That's how long President Trump waited to intervene as the January 6th insurrection unfolded that according to some stunning and detailed new reporting from the Washington Post dismissing please Mr. Trump did from his inner circle as he watched what you're seeing right there. His supporters attempt, yes, a coup in his name.

Also from the post stunning insight into the mindset of Trump Attorney John Eastman, Eastman wanted Mike Pence the Vice President to refuse to accept the Electoral College count. Mr. Pence, of course refused. And as the Trump mob rush the Capitol and Pence was rushed to safety, Eastman sent this e-mail to a vice presidential aide. The siege is because you and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened. More on Mr. Eastman now, CNN's KFILE over the weekend dug this up. Eastman asked by Trump ally Steve Bannon on January 2nd four days before the insurrection if the sixth would be quote a climactic battle in the fight to keep Trump in power.



JOHN EASTMAN, AMERICAN LAW PROFESSOR: Well, I think a lot of that depends on the courage and the spine of the individuals involved.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST AND SENIOR COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: That'd be a nice way to say, a guy named Mike, Vice President Mike Pence?



KING: When you add it all up, and kudos to "The Post" for some incredibly detailed reporting about that day, 187 minutes, the President of the United States doing nothing, while his inner circle was saying, Sir, sir, sir, 187 minutes.

DIAMOND: Yes, it's remarkable. And obviously, it was remarkable at the moment, we knew a lot of the contours of this at the time, and in the days afterwards, the President's lack of action, but to see the details to see these e-mails actually written out, which drives it home so much more, and just makes clear the extent to which this was premeditated, and the extent to which this was reckless endangerment, frankly, of everybody on the Capitol.

KING: And so you were both at the Capitol that day, you are at risk as well. Every member of Congress, the Vice President of the United States, the staff, the reporters in the building, this court filing is fascinating, because we know a former President Trump alleges that he has executive privilege. The Biden White House says no, you don't. But he is trying to block access.

And if you go through the inventory of the documents here, it's breathtaking three pages of handwritten notes by his chief of staff, Mark Meadows. The White House diary, which records every second of the President's Day, essentially, where was he?

Who was he meeting? Which phone calls did he take? Which phone calls did he initiate? Donald Trump wants history and this January 6th Committee to see none of that, because they don't want to know what he was doing. While you and the Vice President and everyone else were at risk.

RAJU: Yes, look, even though he may have not a very good chance of winning in court, he wants to drag this out as long as possible appeal, appeal, appeal, see how long it takes, hope that eventually Republicans take back the House in the midterms next year. And they will almost certainly squash this investigation. If they do it, and then he'll never they'll never -- just never see the light of day. That's been his playbook all along. That will work as another question.

But these reporting all shows that there's just so much more that has to be learned about exactly what happened. The discussions that were happening in the White House, everything that has gone on there still, even though we saw a lot of this with our own eyes, there's so much still that is has yet to be unearthed.

MITCHELL: And I think what we're learning is Team Trump was would not take no for an answer. Because even in looking at these memos, what they want it Pence to do is a little bit of rewriting the history of what actually happened that day Congress was meeting and there were challenges to the Electoral College votes that were underway when the siege was taking place. But it's clear that all Trump wanted was -- he wanted, yes, he wanted yes in anything that was slowing down or going through the processes. He was not willing to accept.

KING: All right, one subplot to all of this is you have Democrats now frustrated with the pace of prosecutions by the Justice Department. This is Ruben Gallego, a progressive Arizona essentially saying to Merrick Garland. Get with it.


REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): Look, either Merrick Garland steps it up or needs to step out. And he's failing because he wants to stick to some norms. There is no norms when there was an almost coup of this country.


KING: The President himself a week or so ago, tried to backtrack at the CNN town hall saying he got out over his skis saying he wanted, you know, people held accountable, realizing that he said in the campaign, Trump politicizes, the Justice Department. We Democrats will not with the White House view that is helpful, I get the frustration. But the Justice Department supposed to be independent? It's independent for everybody.

DIAMOND: Yes, look, I mean, I don't think the White House has a view on whether or not outside pressure, you know, helps or not, or if it's OK, one thing that they're making clear is that they themselves are not going to engage in that. And that's why the President was so careful, even though he hadn't said I'm going to pressure Merrick Garland.

He had simply said, yes, I do believe there should be charges. He has since made very clear that he's not going to speak with him about the matter at all. And ultimately, that an independent Justice Department can be frustrating when you're a partisan, but that is the reality of what the Biden White House wants --

RAJU: Yes, I mean, look, the time is not Democrats friend right now. I mean, these investigations take a lot of time to put together the 9/11 investigation took years to get come together. So can they get it all done next year? That's a big question.

KLING: If you look through the inventory, I would love to read these files. I think is history would be history benefit, it's not a joke. History would benefit from reading this information. Join Jake Tapper for new CNN special report Trumping Democracy, an American coup it airs Friday night 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.


When we come back today, right now the vaccine mandates in New York City employees is in full effect but one critical department has a big warning.


KING: Topping our Political Radar today the White House press secretary Jen Psaki has tested positive for COVID. Psaki did not travel with the President overseas this week, she said she last saw Mr. Biden on Tuesday outside and they were both masked, Psaki also shared she tested negative several times before ultimately testing positive on Sunday. President Biden has been tested during the trip, the White House says he tested negative on Sunday.

The Federal no fly list should be on the table for violent airplane passengers that according to the transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg right here Sunday on CNN. This comes after American Airlines flight attendant was hospitalized last week after a passenger attacked her. The FAA has reported more than 4,600 incidents of unruly passengers this year.

This morning several companies of the New York Fire Department closed because of staffing shortages and a total of 2,300 firefighters have called out sick according to The FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. The union president says many of these calls are because officers are experiencing side effects from vaccinations.

But the Fire Commissioner warned quote, irresponsible, bogus sick leave by some of our members is creating a danger for New Yorkers and their fellow firefighters. They need to return to work, the commissioner says, or risk the consequences of their actions. The city's vaccine mandate took effect Friday at 5:00 p.m.


Thanks for your time today in Inside Politics. Hope to see you back here this time tomorrow Election Day. Bianna Golodryga picks up our coverage right now.