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Biden: There Have Been No Mass Firings, Worker Shortages Due To Vaccine Mandates; Judge Says Jan. 6th Cmte Requests Are "Really Broad"; CNN: Kinzinger "Probably" Making Decision On Whether To Run For Gov. Or Senate In IL. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 04, 2021 - 12:30   ET



DR. JEANNE MARRAZZO, PROF. OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIV. OF ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM: And what does it really look like in everybody? It's probably not the same in everybody. It's probably not as robust. And it probably doesn't last as long in other -- everybody. The vaccines in contrast, we know very well what kind of antibody? What kind of immunity you get? So there's no question that combined, they're probably fantastic. But with the vaccine, you're really going to do well for at least six months.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Let me ask you in the context, we're waiting for that mandate to kick in. You see a lot of this happening in the private marketplace. Much as I'd prefer to listen to a scientist and a doctor and a politician. I think we should listen to a scientist or doctor over journalists as well. But when I look at these cases, I just want to go through the case count right now in the United States.

And you look and, yes, we are way down from where we were in August and September, right, we've come down from 107,000, just a month ago, 72,000 new infections is the average right now, if you look at that. But if you look at the very end, it's starting to trickle up a little bit, or at least it has plateaued, maybe, then you look at hospitalizations. And what do you get there? Yes, we're well down. It's nice to come down a slope.

But in recent days, if you look at, it's another flat line a plateau, having lived through the previous plateau and then up in the wintertime. I know it's different this year, because vaccines are so much more widely available. But are you worried that we're not consistently coming down that we've kind of at least flattened out?

MARRAZZO: Of course, I'm worried. And I'm worried for a couple of reasons. One you mentioned is that it's winter. And we know that the transmission of respiratory viruses happens a lot better in winter, which is why we all get colds and why flu loves the winter.

The second is the variable rates of immunization, as we just talked about. So there are some places where you can feel a lot more comfortable being indoors with people, being at Thanksgiving, for example, with people if you know that they're all immunized. And then the other thing is that kids remain unvaccinated, very good news yesterday about vaccinating kids. And I think a very strong hope that if we can get that group substantially immunized, we may be able to interrupt the chain of transmission, but we are not there yet. And you're right, we have been there before. We don't know what's coming. We don't know whether there's going to be another mutation.

And we really need to take advantage of this pause, right? Between surges to try to get back on our feet and be as prepared as we can in case there is another one.

KING: Well, to that point. Let me circle back. You mentioned children getting vaccinated, I'm going to get an appointment for my 10-year-old as soon as I can. The question is the broader population. This is why the administration says, look, we didn't want to do this. But we have to do mandates because if you look at the, just initial vaccinations in the United States, it's trickled up a little bit in recent days, 190,000 Americans initiating their vaccination on Wednesday.

But if you see the numbers down here, you know, they're pretty low. They're pretty modest. And there's still a large slice of Americans who have not been vaccinated. That's why the administration says, look, we have no choice now because we need to get that other slice of America vaccinated. Scientifically, does that make sense? I know it gets politically crazy.

MARRAZZO: Scientifically, it makes fantastic sense. So you're seeing outbreaks now that are directly related to refusal to get vaccinated. The latest things we're seeing are in places like Trieste in Italy. That was a hotspot of vaccine protests. There's now a substantial outbreak there related to that very protest. We're also seeing it and we know this throughout the United States. You can directly oppose the rates of vaccination with reductions and hospitalization in cases.

So from a scientific standpoint, it makes sense. From a political standpoint, the question is, is it just contributing to the divisiveness and trying to really split people, again, against having being told what to do. And I think that's the really big challenge. We should be messaging, the necessity and all the positive aspects about immunization.

KING: Yes, the politics part is we've all been through the last 18 months or so gets kind of dicey and at times confusing, which is why Dr. Marrazzo grateful for the important insights from the medical community. Appreciate it. We'll talk again. Thank you.

MARRAZZO: Thanks, John.


KING: And head for us right now, a high stakes federal court hearing underway, that on Donald Trump's effort to block the release of more than 700 pages of documents, Trump wants to keep them from the January 6th investigation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Right now, a federal judge is hearing arguments that should decide whether Congress and ultimately all of us get to see a trove of records detailing just what Donald Trump and his aides were doing on January 6th, and of the days leading up to the insurrection. The records requested include all kinds of potentially revealing materials including White House visitor logs, phone records, handwritten memos from top Trump aides and the then President's detailed daily schedule.

Mr. Trump's lawyers are trying to keep those papers secret, hidden on the basis they say of executive privilege. House investigators say former president has no such right. Both parties before a federal judge right now, as is the Biden justice department. Our panel is back with us, also joining us CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero.

Carrie, you've been here before to make the point that a former president does not have a privilege. The privilege lies with the current President and President Biden has said, I'm not exercising in this case. I want to ask your opinion. "The Washington Post" has some fascinating reporting in recent days about January 6th, but one of the wrinkles they add to this privilege argument is Trump campaign payments for command centers at D.C. hotels could undermine executive privilege claim that they were using campaign money to pay, help pay for some of the activists who were in Washington planning.

Does that, even if you could make an argument he was President at the time, does that add politics and say see you later bye?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, look, this case is fundamentally about whether Congress can do its job. It's whether Congress can get access to this information so that they can conduct their investigation, which is a credible investigation into the events of January 6th. The former President is making his arguments in court. So in some ways, he does have a venue to be able to try to claim the executive privilege.


But it is the current president who has the authority to be able to assert that privilege definitively. And so what the Trump team is going to have trouble doing is arguing that the information the Congress is trying to obtain is credible executive authority documentation. In other words, all of the things that pertain to January 6th are not a lawful exercise of the then president's business. He wasn't doing presidential actions on January 6th and the events surrounding it.

KING: And so we wait this very important ruling. And it's fascinating because the judge started off by being highly skeptical of the Trump team saying, you know, stop when they were essentially saying Congress has no right to this. They're making your point that, it's like, you know, that's Congress's house. That was the building that was attacked. If Congress has a right to investigate anything, it's January 6th and the insurrection.

Since then, though, the judge has also challenged the House Democrats saying you're asking for the kitchen sink here essentially saying it's overly broad. What you're asking, and it's burdensome. So the judge seems to be responsibly kind of walking through the issues to get to a point. Here's the documents, the former president's trying to keep secret, 700 plus pages from top advisors, White House visitor logs, his daily schedule, phone records, handwritten memos, list of briefings.

Essentially, the Committee is trying to put together a history of what happened on January 6th, but importantly, before January 6th, and that is how you detail what did Trump know, on January 4th, 5th, and then what did he do on the 6th?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: What strikes me is this, that he's using -- these lawyers are using the exact same playbook that the former president used to try to protect his right, his business records, his tax returns, even down to the note -- legitimate legislative purpose, which we're hearing in this case. And we heard that when he was -- when they were trying to shake loose issue subpoenas to Capital One and Deutsche Bank.

In that case, the judge said it was unpersuasive, we'll see what happens with this judge. But the fact, this is very much the same legal strategy we've seen in the past. But we're talking about documents that are public records. And I know there's executive privilege, there's it's more complicated than that. But things like White House visitor's logs. That's something that a lot of presidents have willingly released. And the fact that they're trying to keep even something like that secret, it just -- it you have to ask why.

KING: And you mentioned the parallel to previous Trump efforts to block transparency. Another one is this is the from their legal family, members of the committee have already decided the former president is responsible, no matter what the evidence says, essentially, forgive me recycling witch hunt, that anything anybody does, you know, essentially of what they've always said is that, you know, essentially, Trump's position is I can do no wrong, and anybody who's trying to investigate me, is therefore politically motivated.

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right? And that all of these documents, you know, he doesn't have to turn them over. But it is funny because these documents pertain to government business. And, as Jackie said, some of these documents are typically just handed over willfully made public by past and present, administrations when Trump hasn't. You know, what's interesting, also about what you brought up, John, in terms of the judge asking questions of DOJ, of House Democrats about why are you asking for such broad documentation that goes all the way back to April 2020.

And what they said is because they think that Trump's efforts and those surrounding Trump were trying to subvert the election all the way, you know, to a year prior to January 6th.

KING: Right. To that point, for legal perspective, Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State of Georgia was just on with Kate Bolduan last hour, and he said his lawyers have been contacted by the Committee. So obviously, they want to focus on January 6th, the main thing that day, but to the point about what -- from an -- if you were building an investigation as a lawyer building your investigation, what would his value be obviously took the phone call from Trump saying, I need you to find me some votes.

CORDERO: Right. He was subject to the intense political pressure from the President, and he has information to provide that indicates the President really was trying to undo the rightful outcome of the election. So Brad Raffensperger potentially is an important factor witness who can talk about the actual efforts that the President was engaged in, but also this point about the court looking at the specific types of categories of documents, you know, that's actually consistent with the way executive privilege normally is negotiated. It's normally in a negotiation over particular documents or categories of documents.

So with the courts, as a body of government normally want the executive branch and the congressional branch to do is they want them to come to some kind of compromise.

KING: You mean a reasonable process to negotiate a reasonable settlement. It'd be nice if Washington could figure that out. It's been a long time actually, since it operated that way.

We'll be back in a minute, don't go anywhere. Join Jake Tapper for new CNN special report. It's called Trumping Democracy, an American Coup begins tomorrow night 9 o'clock Eastern here at CNN. Important reporting, you want to watch that.


Up next, leading Trump critic, Adam Kinzinger, not running for reelection but some new CNN reporting sheds light on his future political ambitions.


KING: It's brand new reporting now about the political future of a big time Trump critic, Adam Kinzinger, the Illinois Republican Congressman who announced his retirement from the House last week tell CNN's Melanie Zanona quote, he's definitely not ruling out a White House run in 2024.


Kinzinger also is mulling a race perhaps sooner maybe run for governor or Senate saying he'll quote, probably make a decision by January. Our Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona is with us now. Fascinating in the sense that he has been a Trump critic, he's one of the two Republicans on the Investigative Committee statewide in Illinois would be a dicey prospect, but he is trying, I don't want to be snarky about this. But he's trying to find a place in a party that really doesn't want him.

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: He is. And the reason why he's retiring from the House is because of redistricting. He didn't want to leave. But with the new district lines, it would have been impossible to essentially run his district was getting gutted. But I think there's a question about whether there's room for someone like Adam Kinzinger in today's GOP.

I mean, either a Senate run, a governor's run, or even a White House bid, would be an uphill climb for him because first he has to run in a primary. And you have to win over those Trump voters and the base is still very much beholden to Trump. And then in a general election, you know, you have to win statewide in a blue state like Illinois, that's really difficult. I mean, not impossible.

There have been some statewide candidates who are Republicans who have won. But Kinzinger is actually very conservative, people forget, policy wise is very, very conservative, be hard to win. So I think his options are pretty limited. But he does want to stay in the political arena.

KING: Right. He's one of the 10. We can show on the screen. He's one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. I mentioned he's also on the January 6th insurrection committee. This is a little interesting piece here. This is the House, future speaker perhaps Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader after the elections talking, hey, we're the big 10 party.


REP KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I believe the party is a big 10 and everybody is welcome. Don't be pushed to do something you don't believe in because the policies are wrong. You've been reluctant right now. But join with us. Our party is open to have other people join us.


KING: Let's pop the 10 back up there. Let's pop the 10 back up there. Let me translate, our party is open as long as you do not challenge Donald J. Trump and say he's lying when he says he won the election. The two on the left there Kinzinger and Gonzalez is not running for reelection, the other eight likely to face turbulence back home. The question for Kinzinger though is, you know, look. New Jersey and Virginia just prove to us 2022 could be a fascinating political climate might be very, very good for Republicans, not just good.

But do you run statewide if you want to -- does he wants to be in politics or do you run in 2024 where there'll be either Trump himself or pro Trump candidate Trump like candidates in there. Do you run to make a statement? That's the choice.

SEUNG MIN KIM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Right. And I think if there are takeaways for Republicans in there in New Jersey and Virginia, it's that if you're a Republican who wants to win statewide, in a relatively liberal state, you have to learn at least how to tolerate Trump. And that's what Glenn Youngkin did successfully. He didn't alienate the former president. He didn't alienate his base of supporters. No one can say Adam Kinzinger has not alienated the former president nor supporters.

I mean, you have Kevin McCarthy, calling him a Pelosi Republican him and Liz Cheney for supporting these investigators to being on the January 6th Commission has definitely been one of former President Trump's biggest critics out there. So he doesn't have that advantage that Glenn Youngkin did if he were to run statewide.

KUCINICH: There's almost no downside to him running for president in 2024 for Adam Kinzinger, honestly. Its name I.D., its fundraising prowess, you know, go for it. Seriously, there's absolutely no downside from someone in his position to running for president.

KING: Unless Liz Cheney, what about Liz Cheney, too? She may be in the same position.

BARRON-LOPEZ: She could be I mean, because the big question is, what is Cheney going to do? Is she going to try to stay alive in her house district where we know Trump is going to get involved? That's the other thing about Youngkin.

He was able to run these two kind of jewel campaigns where he kept Trump at a distance and a lot of his rallies, but then also went on shows like Seb Gorka show and also still said, oh, I think there should be an audit of the Dominion machines. You know, he did. He told the line there. In a primary and a Republican primary, a lot of these Republicans are not going to be able to do that.

KING: Well, we'll keep an eye Congressman Kinzinger interesting, Congresswoman Cheney, the other Republicans who want -- they keep saying they want to help purge Trump from the party. We'll see how they try to do that.


Coming up for us, a top New Jersey lawmaker on the verge of losing his seat, get this, to a truck driver who spent less than $200 to win the primary and a good chunk of that money went to Dunkin Donuts.


KING: Topping our Political Radar today, President Biden making a round of post-election congratulatory phone calls. The White House says the President reached out to the New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Congresswoman-elect from Ohio Shontel Brown. The President also called the Virginia gubernatorial loser, Terry McAuliffe, and thanked him for a hard fought campaign.

New Jersey truck drivers now on the verge of upsetting the state Senate President, Steve Sweeney, a Democrat and Sweeney is the second most powerful official in state government. Edgar, a truck driver for the furniture store, Raymour & Flanigan, spent just $153 to win the primary. And he told "POLITICO" he spent less than $10,000 on the entire campaign. After appearing to defeat a Democratic socialist for a fifth term as Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown today says the voters providing a huge review of her policies.


MAYOR BYRON BROWN (D), BUFFALO, NEW YORK: I think it clearly is a rebuke of defund police. It is a rebuke of socialism. The people fought back and we won.


KING: Meghan Markle personally lobbying Republican senators. The Duchess of Sussex calling Senator Susan Collins and Shelley Moore Capito to pitch them on supporting paid family and medical leave.


Appreciate your time today in INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you back here this time tomorrow. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now. Have a good day.