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January 6th Hearings Begin Tomorrow; Officers and Bystanders Save Baby from Under Car; Biden's Rivals on Him Now; Wildfires Scorch more than 1.5 Million Acres. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 26, 2021 - 06:30   ET



LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Capitol Police officer, someone who says he had racial slurs hurled at him repeatedly throughout January 6th. These are going to be emotional accounts. The anticipation here is that these folks are going to be able to really lay out to people, the American public, what happened on the ground inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

Now, we're also getting some new reporting on what the objective is going to be tomorrow. I learned last night that we expect there's going to be new video footage never before seen that's going to be unleashed as part of this hearing tomorrow. And the reason for that is they want to give people a new perspective. Remember, a lot of this has been discussed on Capitol Hill before but it's important that this new video footage is going to create sort of some new elements of this investigation.

We also are going to be seeing that after this first hearing there's no specific timeline on what comes next. That, in part, is because this hearing and the select committee is really just getting off the ground. We expect in August this investigation is really going to dig in, in earnest, and that is exactly what we expect to see over the next 24 hours.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And you also, I know, have some news when it comes to these infrastructure talks as we have another deadline day about to pass.

FOX: Well, that's right. And we have just got some new reporting from a senior Democratic aide laying out that Democrats sent a universal offer to Republicans in that bipartisan group yesterday because they're trying to resolve some outstanding sticking points on transportation, on water, on broadband funding. And if that sounds like a lot, it's because it is, Brianna. At this point, there was supposed to be a deal after this weekend. And we just don't have one at this point.

Now, lawmakers are coming back to Washington this evening. We'll see if after a meeting they might be able to come to some kind of consensus. But the fact that we have so many outstanding issues, and it is Monday morning after a weekend of negotiating, well, it's not necessarily a great sign for the future of that bipartisan deal.

KEILAR: All right. We will keep watching that. We know you will.

Lauren Fox, thank you so much.

A long-time ally of President Trump is facing a judge in New York today after shelling out millions just to bail out.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And two officers who helped pull a car off a baby girl, literally helped pull a car off of her, they join us live to talk about the heroic rescue.



KEILAR: An incredible rescue caught on tape. Police saving a baby pinned under a car. We do want to warn you, the video that we're about to show may be disturbing but baby and mom are OK at this point.

The video shows a mom crossing the street and she was just walking across the street with her eight month old on Friday in Yonkers when a car sped around the corner, lost control there, slammed into them and then barred into that barbershop that you just saw. And they -- that car dragged the mother and the baby, but witnesses sprung into action.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE), we've got a baby under the vehicle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's lift it up. Let's lift it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look out. Look out. Look out. Look out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you pull -- somebody's got to pull the baby.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Come on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got it. I got it. I got the baby. I got the baby. Hold up. Hold up. OK, we got you. We got you.


KEILAR: Unbelievable. Another angle of the body camera footage showing officers and bystanders there lifting the car off the baby. And this was all thanks to quick-thinking and heroic actions taken by officers and those bystanders there. Again, mother and baby are doing OK at this point.

Let's talk now with the two police officers who were in the video, Officer Rocco Fusco and Officer Paul Samoyedny of the Yonkers Police Department.

It i':oyedny Rocko Fusco and Officer Paul we've got ion here is that these folks are going ts wonderful to see both of you. it is wonderful to hear that mom and baby are doing OK. But it's not without some serious injuries that they suffered.

Officer Fusco, have you been able to talk to mom?

OFFICER ROCCO FUSCO, YONKERS POLICE, HELPED SAVE INFANT FROM UNDER CRASHED CAR: We haven't as of yet. Both mom and the little girl are still in the hospital. So, you know, it's more important that they take care of their injuries than anything else right now.

KEILAR: But you understand that they're -- they're doing OK, is that -- is that what you know?

FUSCO: Yes, from what we know they're doing OK and hopefully be discharged by the end of the week.

KEILAR: OK. That is incredible news.

Officer Samoyedny, can you just tell us a little bit about what was happening? I know that you both were having breakfast when you heard about what had happened and you raced to the scene.

Tell us what you found.

OFFICER PAUL SAMOYEDNY, YONKERS POLICE, HELPED SAVE INFANT FROM UNDER CRASHED CAR: We're -- we -- we almost felt the building vibrate a little bit. And then when we went in, we saw the car through the storefront. And then we were being advised that there was a woman in front of the car. And then later on somebody was saying that there was a baby with her and they didn't know where the baby was.

Going back when we heard our body cam, we heard the baby scream in the body cam. But in the incident, neither of us heard the baby screaming when we were inside the store as we were assessing the situation.

KEILAR: And, Officer Fusco, you are in there assessing the situation. Then what happens?

FUSCO: I -- originally, when we went in, when they told us that mom had a baby, originally I thought she was pregnant. I asked if she was pregnant. Mom was in a little bit of a state of shock, understandably. And she came to right away and told me that -- she pointed under the car that the baby was underneath the car.

KEILAR: And you didn't -- so you didn't see the baby at first. At what point did you look under and see the baby and determine how you were going to have to proceed here, that actually, you know, this is a baby stuck under a car?


FUSCO: Yes, it's just one of those things. I mean you really don't think about it. You just kind of got to have to do something. We weren't going to be able to move the car off of the baby. So the only way to get her out was to try and lift it up.

KEILAR: That is unbelievable, Officer Samoyedny. What are you thinking about as you have seen this videos and you see what is something I think most people couldn't do but you both, with bystanders, were able to do in this moment?

SAMOYEDNY: I was just glad we were able to react. As a father of four kids, it was really intensified the situation for me when I saw the baby under there and the arms moving and not able to move any other direction away from the car.

KEILAR: I wonder, Officer Fusco, both of you are experienced veterans. You've been on the force for years. You've been on the force for 18 years. Your partner there, 15.

Have you ever experienced anything like this?

FUSCO: No. I think the both of us, in our careers, have experienced some horrific scenes. I'm sure most of the bystanders and the people in the community haven't. But they -- there was absolutely no hesitation. Everybody there did something to help. It was -- it was unbelievable. The credit really goes to them, and the mom, for holding on to that baby for dear life.

KEILAR: Definitely. And, look, we saw how they helped you and we saw how you spearheaded the rescue there. I wonder, Officer Samoyedny, as you are reflecting on this, I'm sure it's been a bit of a whirlwind here over the last couple days.

SAMOYEDNY: Yes. It's -- haven't really had a moment to wrap my head around it. You know, people calling you and texting you to make sure everything's OK and then people just letting you know the different places they've seen the story. I'm just glad mom and baby are OK.

KEILAR: Yes. We are certainly very glad of that and we're very happy to have both of you on. Officer Samoyedny and Officer Fusco, we really appreciate it. We hope you get a little down time to kind of absorb what has happened here.

Thanks so much for being with us.

FUSCO: Thank you for having us.

SAMOYEDNY: Thank you for having us.

KEILAR: Coming up, there is some more extreme weather in the west leading to a blinding and deadly dust storm.

BERMAN: And unique perspective from Joe Biden's former Democratic rivals. The ones from more than 30 years ago.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (June 9, 1987): Discontent over the failure of our political system is rampant in our citizenry and bluntly it's in this gathering of discontent that my candidacy intends to find its voice.

And I fervently believe that our people are ready and anxious and that they will rise to the challenge and opportunity like a mighty river surging through the public life of America.


BERMAN: So that was then Senator Joe Biden announcing his bid for president, the first one, in 1987. Now, that campaign was derailed a few months later after a plagiarism scandal, but it was a formative experience for him.

One question that's interesting to think about is, what do his rivals for the White House that year think of Biden now? "New York Magazine" recently checked in on three of them, Gary Hart, Michael Dukakis and Dick Gephardt. They assessed their old competitor and talked about what they think has changed.

And joining me now is national correspondent for "New York Magazine," Gabriel Debenedetti.

First of all, thank you for writing this. As a what it takes junky, you know, the best campaign book ever written by Richard Ben Cramer, this is the sequel we all need.

And I just want to read a quote from Gary Hart, which I think sums up what might be the most interesting takeaway from this. Gary Hart says, it seems to me that President Biden is less inclined in his recent years, the last 15 to 20, to be quick on the trigger rhetorically and argumentatively. In the early days, he was known as a talker. And in the Democratic conferences he had an opinion on a whole variety of things.

I mean basically what Gary Hart was saying, and I think the others sort of agreed on this was, look, back in 1987, the dude didn't shut up. He just went on and on and on forever. That's a big change.

DEBENEDETTI: Yes, absolutely. But I think that, you know, to most students of Joe Biden and certainly people who have known him for a long time, it wasn't just 1987. As Hart said, even in 2008, you know, when Barack Obama chose Biden to be his vice president, Hart said, oh, boy, this guy's going to talk a lot in cabinet meetings. So, you know, they all actually told me, well, he's mellowed a little bit with age, but it's another way of saying he talks a little bit less.

Obviously, in 1987, it was his talking that got him into trouble in the first place.

BERMAN: Right. His positions, where he is politically, probably hasn't changed so much, but his perspective on life maybe has a little bit. He just seems a little bit different.

DEBENEDETTI: Yes, he's a little bit older, a little more mature. But, you're right, politically speaking, he's always been very careful about being right in the center of the Democratic Party, even when he doesn't put it that way. But Hart was really interesting in particular about this. I asked him about that question of where he -- you know, how he positioned himself, how he's changed politically. And Hart went through this whole process of explaining how he was a young, new generation candidate but Biden was more of a transitional candidate at the time in 1987. Obviously a lot has changed between the older generation of Democratic politicians and this younger new one. Obviously Biden was quite young at the time. But, you know, a lot of people, including Joe Biden himself, like to think of him now as this transitional figure in Democratic politics.


Well, it's completely different generations that he's transitioning between, you know, 35 years on, but he clearly relishing this position of straddling these different parts of the party.

BERMAN: I thought that was really interesting also, the idea that Gary Hart said that Biden was a transitional candidate in 1987 and Joe Biden ran on being a bridge to the future of the Democratic Party in 2020. I mean that's really -- really interesting that 30 plus years later he can still be a transitional figure like that.

Talk to me about the role that the '88 campaign plays for Joe Biden himself?

DEBENEDETTI: Yes, absolutely. You know, he really doesn't talk about it a lot in public, partially because of how it ended. You know, he was pretty furious when it ended. He didn't think that the plagiarism scandal was fully his fault. He thought that the media was being unfair. And it was his first real exposure to the national political spotlight in this particular way, in this harsh way. And he thought basically the media was always being unfair, his rivals were being unfair and that the whole process was a little bit of a sham. So he doesn't talk about it a lot. But what he does is think about it a lot according to all of his friends and people who have known him for a very long time.

He had already thought about running for president twice at that point. And after that he thought about it a bunch before he finally ran again in 2008. So it sort of still serves to this day as his first, you know, entry into the national political spotlight, like I said. And, as a result of that, it's never far from his mind because, of course, a few months after he dropped out, he then had two brain aneurysms. So, you know, had this very big health scare. And it was a really large moment for him in reassessing his position in national politics but also what he wanted to do with his career.

BERMAN: I had a chance to talk to Mike Dukakis, and to a lesser extent Gary Hart over the last several years, not so much Richard Gephardt, but it really comes through in your article as well. It's not that these guys aren't doing interesting things and evolved in policy issues, but they're so far removed from the power center at this point. Yet, generationally speaking, they're sort of right there with Joe Biden. Joe Biden's, I guess, a smidge younger than they are right now. But it's just striking to me to see how far removed they are, yet he's at the pinnacle right now.

DEBENEDETTI: Yes, absolutely.

Well, to be fair, Gephardt is still in Washington. But he said basically the same thing as the others did, which is, you know, from a distance, because neither of them have talked to -- none of them have talked to Biden recently, it's very clear to them why he's doing what he's doing. They're all somewhat engaged. You know, they're all focused on COVID relief still and every single one of them brought up the infrastructure package.

But it's interesting, you know, Gary Hart kept saying, listen, I'm retired in deep Colorado. I don't know the day to day. And Dukakis said to me, he had recently retired as well when we spoke. He said, listen, I'm focused on infrastructure. I understand what's happening with Mitch McConnell. But I'm not doing the day to day of this right now. Joe Biden, you know, was in his third term in the Senate already when he ran for president in 1987 and again that was 34 years ago. So he's been deep in this for a very long time and it's easy to forget that sometimes.

BERMAN: I also love, to an extent, how both Hart and Dukakis gave your their talking points as if they were still candidates about some things. These are guys,, think, who will be running forever.

DEBENEDETTI: Exactly. Exactly.

BERMAN: Gabriel Debenedetti, I thought this was wonderful. Thank you for writing it. I really appreciate reading it. Thanks for coming on this morning.


BERMAN: All right, coronavirus cases spreading so quickly in Missouri that St. Louis ordering now an indoor mask mandate. But Missouri's attorney general says he will sue to block it.

KEILAR: Plus, a growing group of Republicans want Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney punished for joining the January 6th committee.

And just in, civilian casualties in Afghanistan hitting new records as the U.S. vows to continue air strikes against the Taliban.



BERMAN: Seven people are dead, several more critically injured after a sandstorm caused a series of crashes involving 20 vehicles in Utah. Officials say high winds on Sunday kicked up sand and dust that impaired visibility on the roads leading to the crashes. Multiple tractor trailers were involved. Officials have not specified how many people were hurt but did note there could be more fatalities.

There are now 86 large fires burning in the western United States that have consumed nearly 1.5 million acres. In Oregon, the Bootleg Fire, which is now the largest in the country, is resisting firefighter's efforts to control it. Dry conditions after months of intense drought forcing firefighters to now rework their strategy.

CNN's Chad Myers joins us now.

Chad, any relief in sight from the dry conditions out there?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A little bit. Yes. And we had some over the weekend, too. And it does rain in southern California every once in a while. It is raining right now. There are some lightning strikes on the map. We don't like to see that, but we'll take the rainfall when we can get it.

But look at what happened in Arizona over the weekend. Four to six inches of rainfall in areas around Phoenix and around Tucson. And there was even some flash flooding.

Now, this isn't really the area that we need the rain. That's up here. And they didn't see a drop. But that may change over this week and into the coming next week.

Some rainfall this week. This is the entire weeks' worth of rainfall that the computer thinks. And then next week we have a green circle over the west and above normal chance of precip especially in the areas where the fires are. So, some good news there.

Temperatures are still hot. Not going to give firefighters any relief there. Temperatures 100 to 105 right over these fires. But then the cool air does work its way into the inner mountain west helping things especially with that rain fall, cooler air, not as much wind. We will absolutely take it over the next couple of weeks. The firefighters can use a little bit of help.

The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.

KEILAR: Hello, I'm Brianna Keilar, alongside John Berman on this NEW DAY.

Mask mandates back on the table in some U.S. cities as coronavirus cases spike and vaccinations stall.

BERMAN: Calls growing louder within the Republican Party to punish the two Republicans serving on the January 6th committee.


KEILAR: And the top commander in Afghanistan with a message to the Taliban as U.S. forces head home.

BERMAN: And the stunning