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Trump's Hold Over GOP Could Be Tested In 2022 GA Gov. Primary; Judge: No One From MSNBC News Will Be Permitted In This Building For The Duration Of This Trial; At Least 11 States Expand Booster Access To All Adults. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 18, 2021 - 12:30   ET



OLIVIER KNOX, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Would chiefly go to the rich, and it's one of the largest pieces of this legislation. If you wanted a Republican messaging, it's pretty clear they think it's great to be able to say the Democrats proposal was going to cut taxes on all these wealthy coastal millionaires.

I don't know that they -- I don't know that they junk it because there was an effort actually led by Bernie Sanders and Senator Menendez to change the salt provision. I think changing it is more likely, the parental leave and the electric car stuff, I think it's a lot funnier.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: How does the White House deal with the broader dynamics, which is there have been several, in the last couple of days, if 30 year high inflation out there, that is a drag on families all across America. But just in the last couple of days, there have been a couple of more encouraging economic reports to the White House.

But when you talk to people, they seem a little bit nervous, to be optimistic to, you know, to say anything positive, because they're worried about getting thumped by some other factor down the road.

CATHERINE LUCEY, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: That's right. And this is one of the tricky things for the White House is this balance. And on the one hand, there are a lot of economic indicators that are good in terms of jobs and salaries and hiring, you know, things are, you know, in terms of recovery and reopening, things are moving the right direction, but inflation is at a 30, you know, a year high. And they are really getting killed in the polls. There's a lot of public concern about this. There's a lot of anxiety.

And I think part of that is that people really feel that every day, right? When you're buying gas, when you're buying groceries, people really feel the anxiety of inflation. And so the White House is trying to sort of note the positive things and also argue that the infrastructure bill which has passed and this social spending bill, if it does, they argue these things will help ease some of these pressures, but obviously, they're not going to ease them in the next couple of weeks. That's a much longer term prospect.

KING: Right, it's a longer slog for Democrats who have to hope that by the time you get to next spring and next summer, the numbers look better, they're not going to turn better overnight, which gets to the point is, you know, they want to get this done by Christmas, meaning pass the House, go to the Senate most likely have to then come back to the House. Christmas, is that realistic?


KING: With the debt ceiling out there and with keeping the government funded out there.

GRISALES: They're running out of money, possibly by the end of next week. All of these deadlines are crashing upon them. Meanwhile, they're trying to pass this massive social spending bill in the midst of all this. And with the Senate and all the question marks over there on whether Manchin will sign on is December still too soon to move this legislation. We -- that remains to be seen. All of that will be tested in a matter of weeks. So maybe Christmas is possible, but it's really, really a tall order.

KING: We'll know more about what happens in the House late tonight. Or perhaps it stretches into tomorrow.

Rolling out the red carpet, Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin gets a big welcome at a gathering of GOP leaders. That's next.



KING: Republican governors all gathering in Phoenix right now and they are celebrating the man about to be their newest addition, the Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin was cheered by the Republican crowd at that meeting in Arizona. Meanwhile, though, at this very same meeting the Trump factor still having much of an impact on discussions about future elections.

CNN's Michael Warren reporting Trump supporter and former Georgia Senator David Perdue is considering a challenge to the incumbent Republican governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that would be a primary challenge that Trump wants. Michael Warren joins us now live from Phoenix with more. Michael, will David Perdue do it or is he just being nudged?

MICHAEL WARREN, CNN REPORTER: Well, he certainly considering it I'm told by several Georgia Republicans. He's trying to make a decision soon. A big question about if he gets in, it's likely that Donald Trump would endorse him because of course, Donald Trump has made clear throughout this year that he wants to see Brian Kemp lose, he believes Brian Kemp did not do enough to aggressively contradict those election results at the end of 2020. He blames Kemp for his losing Georgia.

So he wants to find somebody who's been struggling. David Perdue will certainly be a solution to that. But I'm also hearing from people close to Kemp that they want to make David Perdue's life a quote living hell, if Purdue gets in and runs against him in the primary. I'm also hearing here from the RGA that the RGA will back its incumbents who are facing primary election. So that would include Kemp, so there could be some monetary support here from this group of Republican governors.

KING: Michael Warren, fascinating reporting on the ground in Phoenix, thank you. Let's bring it into the room now. Again, this gets as we were talking earlier in the show about how the dynamics history, the President's first midterm election, the other party usually does pretty well.

Economic Factors right now, the President's polling right now, elections is 11 months away, but right now it looks great for Republicans and then you have stories like this, where you have an incumbent Republican governor, but Trump doesn't like him because he wouldn't help Trump cheat. Michael was being polite.

You know, Trump doesn't like him because he wouldn't help Trump cheat. So Trump is trying to find a primary challenger.

KNOX: Right. And, you know, you have to say this about David Perdue, he wouldn't be the kind of candidate that, you know, Marjorie Taylor Greene is or Paulo Saris (ph), he actually has a fair amount of state -- credibility statewide. So this is not a perfect analog for the fringe elements that we were talking about before.

But it is part of this punitive cycle in GOP politics right now, going after the people who voted for impeachment, go to that -- going after the people who voted for the infrastructure project, going after the people who did not side with Donald Trump's effort to overthrow the election.

And I think it's enormously important that the RGA said it's going to back its incumbents. That's a direct, I mean, they sort of have to but you could imagine a world in which they looked at Donald Trump and said, oh, geez, we don't want to get, we don't get fund.

KING: And so, but that's a great -- that is a great point to the question of we talked about how Trump could be messing things up. Are we seeing elements of the party being more willing to stand up to trump, the RGA says it will back it's incumbent that's no normal. But you know question is do well normal hold in the age of Trump.


KNOX: Exactly.

KING: I was mentioning the Republican chairwoman this morning at a breakfast said Biden won and that she still considers Liz Cheney, a Republican, let the voters of Wyoming deal with that in the primary. Are there some people who are starting to suggest maybe this Trump disruption is too much?

LUCEY: I think we have to see how it plays out. I think there is some testing of where the lines are and where the boundaries are. One thing that is interesting, though, to look at the Virginia race, you mentioned Youngkin be engraved enthusiasm. He ran an interesting campaign where he said, he maintained support from, you know, a former president and, you know, was a positive outcome, but didn't have in campaign in the state, really focused on local issues really focused on Virginia and sort of walk this line with Trump. And so it'll be interesting to see if we see some of that as well.

KING: Right. And the fear for Republicans is in a year in which Republicans should have a wind at their back. If you have a nasty primary in a race for governor, somehow the Democrat, then you have dissonance just unhappiness after that primary, one side or the other is unhappy. Maybe they don't vote in big numbers, and the Democrats could pick up a race that in a normal year, they probably shouldn't win.

GRISALES: Right. That would be the hope. But again, and again, we see the Trump wing of this party win again and again. But we do see these forces trying to pull back on that like the Mitch McConnell's, if you will, trying to get back to this Youngkin model of saying see we can do it without Trump being in our faces all the time with kind of this revenge tour kind of attitude, kind of dominating the conversation.

KING: Fascinating dynamic to watch the Republican Party just about every -- in every face. It's fascinating to watch at the moment.

Ahead for us, a surprising new development just in the last few minutes in the deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, we'll take you back to Kenosha, Wisconsin, just ahead.



KING: A bizarre twist just moments ago in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, the judge addressing the court about the arrest of a person who was allegedly trying to take photographs of jurors.


JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, KENOSHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: I have instructed that no one from MSNBC news will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial. This is a very serious matter and I don't know what the ultimate truth of it is.


KING: Let's get straight to CNN Shimon Prokupecz, he's outside the courthouse in Kenosha. Shimon, what do we know?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so the judge, I was in the courtroom this morning when all of this was sort of developing, the sheriff's deputies. The deputies came in there was -- the lawyers are in their meetings. And then I got worried that there was something going on with a media of the concern that someone may have been following jurors or taking photos.

So the judge a short time ago taking the bench, saying what he said there about someone from MSNBC perhaps is what he was told. So now he has banned them from the courtroom. What happens he says is that the person was taking photos, and that the jurors are driven in a bus, the windows are covered so that people can't see them from the outside.

And this person they believe was taken photos. And so now he said what he said he's banning MSNBC, from the courtroom. We are waiting to hear from MSNBC. We're waiting to see if they'll issue a statement. So we're waiting to find out more but certainly, this judge not taking any risks, any chances.

You know, one of the things that he's been really tough on is protecting the jurors and making sure that they're comfortable. Obviously this would be a pretty stupid move for anyone to do to try to take photos or fall to jurors in any way.

KING: Shimon Prokupecz grateful for the hustle and live reporting. Bring us back any more information if you get it. Let's discuss this now with our legal analyst, Elliot Williams and Caroline Polisi. Caroline to you first, it would be stupid, it would be amateur, it would be unprofessional for remember of the media to try to photograph jurors. One would assume the jury is doing its deliberations. Our clown car episodes like this kept separate, I guess, from the jury.

CAROLINE POLISI, FEDERAL AND WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, absolutely. And you know, judges enjoy a wide degree of discretion with respect to how to run their courtrooms and Judge Schroeder certainly is no exception.

He has taken a hard stance here. I think it's a pretty dramatic development that he's ruled just a blanket statement to exclude all MSNBC journalists from the courtroom, you know, always there is a balancing interest with respect to First Amendment access and rights of journalists to cover stories of this nature. So he took all of that into account.

Judges are very protective of their jurors. Shimon is absolutely right. And this is really not a laughing matter. It should be taken seriously and he has been dealing with it seriously as it should be.

KING: And so I just want to read you Elliott, this from the Kenosha Police Department tweets. Last night, a person alleging to be affiliated with national media outlet was briefly taken into custody, issued several traffic related citations. Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors, the incidents being investigated, no breach of security regarding the jury nor any photographs obtained, investigation remains active and open.

So we need to wait to hear definitively from NBC, MSNBC as to whether this was one of their employees. But the whole the basic idea that a judge would take this step, because you're at this sensitive phase of deliberation, says what?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's not just a sensitive phase of deliberations look, jurors safety is very, very significant and very, very important, particularly in a high profile trial like this, every judge is going to want to protect his jury. Now what's significant here is that the judge had made the choice early on the trial not to sequester this jury to completely keep them put away. Judges don't really like to do that. It was pretty hasty to ban an entire news organization and not just this one individual. But it just shows how what a serious issue it is and as Caroline had said, it's just not a laughing matter, it'd be taken very seriously.


KING: No. It's not. If this conduct is true, remember the media it's amateur asinine and worse, worse. All right, we'll continue to keep on track of that. Thank you both.

Ahead for us, a new COVID warning, hospitalizations are up among those who are vaccinated but have not yet received the booster.


KING: Dr. Anthony Fauci says, new Israeli data make the case for COVID vaccine booster shots, the question whether to authorize boosters for all adults is right now before the government and the CDC director could give the green light as early as tomorrow. In that Israeli data cited by Dr. Fauci, people over the age of 60, who had received booster shots are more than five times less likely to get seriously ill from a breakthrough infection than those who had not received a booster.


Let's bring in to share her insights and expertise, Dr. Megan Ranney, Associate Dean of Public Health at Brown University. Dr. Ranney as we wait for the CDC Director Dr. Walensky to make this decision. Nearly a dozen states have already said we're going to get out ahead of the federal government. If you're an adult, you should go out and get a booster shot. Is this necessary and why?

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, PROFESSOR OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE: So let me be clear about who absolutely needs to show up and get a booster, it is folks who are age 60 plus, or people who are on some sort of immunosuppressant. There is absolutely clear data that those people need that booster in order to avoid hospitalization.

For the rest of us, are you wrong to get a booster? No. And I'll be honest, I've gotten mine as a health care worker, but it's probably not going to make the difference between hospitalization or not. I think it's almost inevitable at this point that boosters are going to be approved for everyone and given the degree to which delta is spreading, and then is spreading from folks who've been vaccinated. It's the right thing.

But John, the most important thing is to get vaccinated in the first place. The booster is a drop in the bucket. It's that primary vaccine series that makes a big difference.

KING: But to that degree, if you're talking about a booster, you think about it as extra protection, if you will. More than 31.4 million Americans have already gone out to get a booster shot. That's one in six fully vaccinated adults. The question I guess is, is this going to be part of our new normal? Do you believe that every four months, every six months, every 12 months, we're going to get a new shot?

RANNEY: So I'm expecting that in future years, we're likely going to see the COVID and flu vaccines get put together? Very different diseases, but both will most likely need some sort of annual shot based on the data that we're seeing, assuming that COVID continues to mutate the way that it has.

KING: Thursday, one week from today is Thanksgiving. And if you look at the cases right now, we're starting to trend back up again up 21 percent from one month ago, the seven day average of COVID infection, 87,000 new infections yesterday, a month ago was 72,000. Well below last year's horrific winter, Dr. Ranney, but we're starting to trend up again.

And if you look at the map, we have 24 states heading in the wrong direction more new COVID infections now compared to a week ago, 20 holding steady only six in green, with fewer infections this week, compared to last week. With Thanksgiving a week away Christmas behind that, does this trend concern you?

RANNEY: It does and this has been something that I and other public health professionals have been warning about since this summer, we saw that delta surge in southern states over the summer when folks were in air conditioning indoors. We knew that this was coming as the weather got cold as people went indoors in the north. And I will highlight again the spread is not mostly among people who have gotten their two shots of the vaccine. It's among people who have not yet been vaccinated.

But we've had dire warning, I will also say we are in a much better spot than we were a year ago, because so many of us have completed that primary vaccine series and we are not going to fill up the hospitals the way that we did last year. So I'm worried but not as bad as I was when you talk to me last fall.

KING: We had some very tough conversations last fall. So I'm glad to hear that. I just want to come back to the point you made a minute ago. There are still 10 states where fewer than 50 percent of the residents have been vaccinated. You see them in the lightest green here.

Thanksgiving is coming for all of us whether you live in a state like Maine where 72 percent of vaccinated or whether you live in West Virginia, the lowest at 42 percent vaccination when people gather around the table for Thanksgiving, you're an advocate of rapid testing that morning. Why?

RANNEY: So rapid testing tells you if you are infectious at that moment, it is a wonderful way to make sure that you are not gathering with people who are going to get you sick. Is it perfect? No. But these days I and I'm going to do it for my own family. Highly recommend that you stick that swab up your nose wait the 15 minutes for the result before going to an endorsed location with other people from across the country.

KING: If I don't speak to you before then Dr. Ranney you have the best Thanksgiving with your family and a safe Thanksgiving with your family. I'm grateful.

RANNEY: Thank you, you too.

KING: Thank you very much. This quick programming note for us during the 1920s the Osage people of Oklahoma were some of the richest people in the world. But as Lisa Ling uncovers the wealth made them a target, discover the horrific plot carried out to steal Osage land and Osage money. Watch the all new, This is life with Lisa Ling, Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.

Thanks for spending time with us today on INSIDE POLITICS. Hope to see you back here this time tomorrow as well, as you know a very busy News Day, a lot of developments to a lot of places. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now. Have a good day.


ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. We are following two big trials today and we began with stunning testimony in Georgia. The man who shot and killed jogger, Ahmaud Arbery retakes the stand.