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Massachusetts GOP Voters Size Up Trump Loyalist For Governor; Video Shows Fake Elector Taking Trump Operatives To Georgia Elections Office; Liz Truss Delivers First Speech As UK Prime Minister. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired September 06, 2022 - 12:30   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Candidates are candidates who they viewed as outside of the mainstream. Tonight in Massachusetts, you have the gubernatorial primary are Charlie Baker, the Republican incumbent is not running for reelection. You have Geoff Diehl, who's endorsed by Donald Trump running against Chris Doughty more of a traditional Republican there.

Diehl by all my friends in Massachusetts, who was smart at their belief he is going to win. And they believe this is like the mirror image of what happened in Maryland. Larry Hogan, a more moderate Republican governor is term limited there. He does not run in his choice loses to a Trump endorsed candidate.

And so the Republicans are looking at this prospect in these governor's races, which are very important. If you look at the governor's races across the country, you know, places where you could hold right. You could hold a Massachusetts and you could hold a Maryland drifting away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And that's going to be the application. It's this swing that we saw where during the primary elections, Trump's energy and momentum and enthusiasm with the base helped, it helped to be aligned with Trump and now heading into the general election.

It's a combination of some extreme positions in some cases, and just a lack of experience. In other cases, some of these are quite polarizing candidates and Republicans are worried. Mitch McConnell is worried that they -- this is something where it could have been theirs to take an on the Senate side slipping further, further away.

And on the governor side, there may be a couple of races that Republicans just lose control of, that they didn't have to lose control of. And that could set them back heading into '24.

KING: So what do you look for in the last nine weeks? I mean, part of this is the tug of war. Can Republicans make the final decision about inflation or about crime? If that's what voters think going into the box? OK, this is about crime or inflation advantage for Republicans.

If they're thinking about whether it's a threat to democracy or a threat to abortion rights, or the broader issue of tolerance among Republicans, in most states with suburbs, that's an advantage to the Democrats. What do we watch to see who's winning that tug of war over what should come first?

CLEVE WOOTSON, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, one of the things I'm looking at actually is people who have scheduling conflicts with the President. Yesterday, we saw this a little bit Mandela Barnes did not appear with the President.

But Fetterman did appear with the President. And, you know, that shows whether or not they're hitching their wagon to his message, whether they believe the economic message or his approval rating or whatever, that Democrats are doing better for America, whether that's working or not.

KING: And you just mentioned those two seats. Let's talk about that, in the sense that Pat Toomey is the Republican, he is retiring in Pennsylvania. So you -- the Democrats picking up Pennsylvania, that's not so outside the box, it's you know, swing states, a very tough state Biden, Trump went at it very close there. But not terribly outside the box.

But you have a Democrat competitive against a Republican incumbent in Wisconsin. You have a Democrat still competitive in Ohio, the Republican incumbent is leaving. Are there all these Republicans thinking if the race in North Carolina is somewhat competitive?

There are all these Republicans who believe well, that's OK. The states have Republican DNA, it'll trend back at the end, but that they are competitive and what is supposed to be or what we thought a couple of months ago might be a big red wave year tells you something.

NATHAN GONZALES, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, INSIDE ELECTIONS: Yes. And remember where we were in November of last year when Republicans won in Virginia and state that Biden won easily. Republicans came closer than expected in New Jersey, where Biden won easily.

And so the idea that Democrats were going to carry states, like the Biden won narrowly, like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, in 2022 with these races was absurd. And now we're talking about a different landscape. Republicans having to spend money in Ohio, rather than Washington State or Colorado where they want to be on offense.

So the landscape has shifted. What I'm watching is at the house district level, we haven't seen that polling catch up to the national narrative, right? The National Democrats are on the insurgent again. Now, maybe those are lagging indicators. And we'll see that in the next few weeks. But so far in the House, and it has not been a broad -- as broader shift is what we're saying.

KING: You mentioned that. So let's just show these are the districts I would watch, if you're at home, maybe you're overwhelmed. You don't have too much time. These are Democratic members of the House, who were elected in districts Donald Trump carried in the last presidential election. So if the Republicans are looking for easy targets, you would think that's the low hanging fruit. But a number of those Democrats are feeling better and better about their prospects. We'll see how that plays out.

But to come back to the other thing that if you want any, any evidence that Republicans are a little nervous about the shift in the climate, Rick Scott, who's the senator from Florida, who runs their campaign arm committee, was on Fox Business this morning. And he was asked, Why are Republicans fighting?


SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): Every one of our Democrat or Republican candidates, guess what, they believe in a secure border. They believe in lower taxes. They believe that your apparent art of control education their kids. They believe in funding the police. So actually we are very unified.


KING: That's -- I get the answer is strategically smart. But he has been criticizing his own Leader Mitch McConnell. You have, as you mentioned before Republicans trying to figure out what are we supposed to say about abortion? Republicans increasingly now what are we supposed to say about the return of Donald J. Trump?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, PBS NEWSHOUR: Right. And especially you know, he's -- he made clear to say right there were for funding the police.

Well, that's something Biden has made clear Democrats are for two and what he's been trying to attack them on because of the reemergence of Trump is that a number of Republicans across the party with louder bull horns maybe even Rick Scott right now have been saying that they should defund the FBI and defund, you know, federal law enforcement.


KING: That's a fascinating moment. Nine weeks to go. Appreciate everybody coming in. We'll do it again. Up next for us, important story. New CNN reporting including clear as day surveillance video, a Republican official showing Trump lawyers around the Georgia county election office. The very same day, the county voting system was illegally breached.


KING: New video obtained by CNN provides new insights, glaring new insights into the investigation of voting machine tampering in Georgia,


The video shows a Republican county official in Georgia escorting two people into a county's election offices on January 7, 2021. On that same day, a voting system was breached at the same location. The two men escorted into the building say they gained access to a voting machine and they say they did so at the request of Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.

CNN's Drew Griffin, Zachary Cohen join us with more details on this important new reporting. Drew, start by walking us through this video what it shows us and just what it means.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It's surveillance camera video from right outside the door. It goes on anytime anybody has any motion in front of it. So take a look at the motion that took place on January 7. That is Kathy Latham. She is a former GOP chairwoman of this county, this tiny little town and county Coffee County in Georgia.

She is a woman who is already part of the fake electors investigation. And here she is opening up the door for those IT people that you talked about, John. Basically, it appears allowing them into this office on the very day that the equipment inside was breached.

The text messages, the e-mails, witness testimony from a civil lawsuit all show that that Latham was connected to this plan to give this group access. But according to her attorney, she -- the attorney rights that Ms. Latham had not acted improperly or illegally. Ms. Latham did not authorize or participate in any ballot scanning efforts, computer imaging or any similar activity.

But as we say, John, this video does show she is opening up the door for this very team that did apparently do some of that information. And that it comes on January 7, the day after the January 6 Capitol riot.

KING: The day after the January 6 Capitol riot. Zack committed a conversation. Drew makes an important point. This is part of a -- this is part of a civil process. There's also a criminal investigation of the fake electoral plot, help us look at the context. This is Georgia.

We know that President Trump, then-President Trump was trying to flip the votes in Georgia, but there was also a part of a much broader pot plot to try to subvert the election.

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, it's really important to remember that the district attorney in Fulton County is looking at all efforts are part of his push to overturn the 2020 election. And just recently, it's become clear that, you know, efforts to access voting machines like what we saw in Coffee County is, you know, a parallel part of that investigation to the fake electors plot.

So it's really the first time into really stunningly visual example of a convergence between the fake elector's effort and this effort to gain access to voting machines where, you know, they're really parallel efforts to overturn the election. That's what investigators in Georgia are looking at.

KING: And so Drew, the separate investigation, sometimes these things can cause problems, civil investigation and a criminal investigation. Sometimes, though, the civil process turns up things that the criminal investigators say thank you, where are we here?

GRIFFIN: Prosecutors can use any and everything that is being collected here. You know, Fani Willis, here in Fulton County, Georgia, she is collecting evidence for her various investigations while this is all going on.

I can tell you that that the information here is also very interesting to the folks in Michigan where a very similar investigation is going on there of breaches of voting machines, some involving the same very people here.

Also, according to Zack's reporting, Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas was at this office in Coffee County. We know he's involved in Michigan and of course, he ran that audit -- partisan audit in Arizona. So it's all part of this scheme or this collection, but we just don't know how they are connected.

KING: It's critical reporting and critical because people stir up controversy about it to have the video to have the facts. Thanks gentlemen. It's fascinating, important work. Thank you very much.

We just heard from Liz Truss. She's the new Prime Minister of the UK. CNN live on the ground in London. We'll tell you what she said and break down the challenges she faces on this day one, next.



KING: Liz Truss is now officially Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and in the last hour, just moments ago, offered her first day take on the challenge ahead.


LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We shouldn't be daunted by the challenges we face. As strong as the storm may be, I know that the British people are stronger. Our country was built by people who get things done. I am determined to deliver.


KING: Let's go live to London now. CNN's Nina dos Santos outside 10 Downing Street. Truss's new home. Isa Soares live from parliament. Nina, let's start with you at 10 Downing, a whirlwind remarkable morning for the new prime minister but also quickly to work. What's the latest?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: Yes, absolutely. The day started out with Liz Truss heading up to Scotland for her audience with the queen during which she was invited to former government becoming Queen Elizabeth, the 96-year-old monarchs, 15th Prime Minister so far and has 70-year long reign and Liz Truss, of course, becomes the third female prime minister to hold this second highest office in the land at the helm of government. The Queen there at the helm of the state.


The Queen oversee looks rather frail there, remember that she stayed up in Scotland for this crucial meeting instead of normally coming down to Scotland -- to London because she's suffering motility issues, no hint of awkwardness in the room, it seems between the two given the fact that Liz Truss in her student days, it actually called for the abolition of the monarchy. That was when she belonged to a different political party, though.

She came back to London and in the afternoon, just about an hour ago, she made a speech and this is a snippet of what we're likely to hear from our government from day one.


TRUSS: Firstly, I will get Britain working again. I have a bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform.


DOS SANTOS: So filled plan from Liz Truss, and she's expected to appoint her cabinet as soon as possible today to get down to the business of tackling some of the biggest economic challenges in generations in the UK. John.

KING: Let's bring Isa into the conversation from Parliament. The economy, one of the major challenges, the economy in freefall, the pound at a low against the dollar, still tensions with the European Union over Brexit major crises right away.

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, John, is a bulging in tray, isn't it, and she really has to hit the ground running. That is clear.

She'd set out pretty much her saw and the last 20 minutes or so when she spoke outside 10 Downing Street, and she said the most important thing of course, one of the most important challenges is the cost of living crisis in the country, people who were telling me they have to choose between heating and eating their homes.

Then you have also those soaring, crippling energy prices expected to rise 80 percent or so in October, already have soared more than three times the normal price. And that's because primarily of the war in Ukraine.

Then you have obviously the war in Ukraine in Europe's doorstep as well as concerns as we head into winter over the national health insurance but the biggest job for her, the biggest task ahead, the most challenging, of course, will be how she tackles those crippling gas prices.

Price is expected to surge. She said that she will continue from day one she will act I will take action this week. We're expecting to see sort of package John, we don't know if that's targeted as a blanket package for up for -- people up and down the country including businesses and the question becomes then how exactly is she going to fund this? Will this just increased borrowing costs. GDP -- debt to GDP was about 90 or so percent. So huge concern.

So you mentioned British sterling, the pound sterling. That's it a four-decade high against the pound. So huge against the dollar. So huge, huge challenges ahead for her.

KING: And Nina, you mentioned that she switched positions on the monarchy. She's also switched positions on Brexit. What type of leader can the UK and the world expect here?

DOS SANTOS: That's the big question. Well, she obviously claims that she can be bold and she can afford these tax cuts and things that her opponent for the job and number 10 Downing Street. Rishi Sunak said that the country definitely couldn't afford at this point.

So, she has been accused of being something of a political ship shaped -- shapeshifter, excuse me, by her detractors. Others will say that that shows a certain amount of flexibility that's needed at the moment to embrace new ideas to tackle some of these really big challenges. The question mark, though, is really whether or not she's got the time to do so with an election coming up in about two years time. John.

KING: Isa, in that context, you see, you spoke to the London mayor who says this is I believe his fourth Prime Minister, in the eight years he has been in office. Do we have a longevity question here?

SOARES: Well, if you speak to members of her own party, even those, John, who didn't support her who actually backed Rishi Sunak, they say now is not the time really to so any sort of divisions.

Now is the time to be united. It's a something we heard from the outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson today saying, let's get behind Liz Truss. Let's get behind the Conservative Party.

There is a sense from those that we've been speaking to those members of the Conservative Party. We need unity. We're war footing now. So clearly, the time now is to focus on the job at hand. Question is whether in two years she will have delivered on those main promises. John.

KING: Fascinating moment for the UK and the world. Isa Soares, Nina dos Santos, thank you both on this important day, appreciate it very much. Up next for us, Dr. Fauci says Americans should get used to the idea of a yearly COVID vaccine.



KING: Topping our political radar today. Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts the new normal will now include yearly COVID vaccines for most Americans. Dr. Fauci says expect to add it to your routine, like we do with flu shots.

This important January 6, first today, a judge stripping an elected official of his office because he participated in the insurrection. A New Mexico judge today ruling Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin can no longer serve as Otero County Commissioner. Earlier this year a federal judge here in DC, found Griffin guilty of trespassing on the Capitol grounds during the riot and sentenced him to 14 days in jail.

In Pennsylvania today, the Republican Senate candidate Dr. Oz said he would not have objected to certifying Joe Biden's election had he been in the Senate back then. Appearing alongside the retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey has also said he would not have voted to impeach the former President Donald Trump. Toomey said he still supports odds despite that difference.


SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): Do not expect a candidate for office to necessarily agree with me on everything. Dr. Oz just mentioned he would have voted differently in the impeachment trial. I'm comfortable with my decision, but everyone has to make their own and I don't expect everyone to make the same decision.


KING: Senator Toomey and Dr. Oz spent the majority of that press conference calling out Oz's opponent Democrat John Fetterman for so far refusing to debate.


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