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Pelosi Delays Infrastructure Vote after Liberal Revolt; New Bodycam Video Sheds New Light on Petito Domestic Dispute. Aired 6- 6:30a ET
Aired October 01, 2021 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Friday, October 1. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.
And breaking this morning, nothing. No deal. No vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal. It turns out the old "if you don't give me what I want, then I won't give me what I want" is a complicated negotiating position.
Now, there is a chance it could change the next few hours. But as of this moment, for Democrats this is a huge problem, embarrassment, humiliation. Those are the words being tossed around this morning. And all self-inflicted at that.
Known miracle worker House Speaker Nancy Pelosi worked late into the night but could not come up with a deal to bring the wings of her own party together. So no miracle yet, which means no roads, bridges, bipartisan infrastructure bill yet.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Progressives are refusing to downsize their $3.5 trillion social safety net bill that the president wants, even as they run straight into a brick wall named Joe Manchin, seen here at the center of a massive press scrum yesterday. The West Virginia senator saying, basically, I really meant it when I said $1.5 trillion is as high as I'll go, and you can take it or leave it.
All of this threatening to blow up President Biden's domestic agenda. Now, hours from now, lawmakers are set to reconvene hours, but the only certainty here about the path ahead is that it is uncertain, and is traveled by Democrats who really are not getting along.
Progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling Manchin, quote, "fundamentally unserious," which in Hill speak is, well, let's just say, the gentleman from West Virginia will not be inviting the gentle lady from New York to dinner on his house boat here in Washington any time soon.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty live for us on Capitol Hill. Sunlen, where are we here? SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is
certainly a critical moment, Brianna. Negotiators were up on here on Capitol Hill last night until after midnight, trying to reach a deal. But despite that last-minute frantic scramble, there still is no deal yet and, as of this moment, no clear path forward for Democrats.
SERFATY (voice-over): A test of unity for Capitol Hill Democrats as the future of President Biden's sweeping agenda is on the line.
DEL. STACEY PLASKETT (D), U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS: I think the holdup is us as agreeing as to the scope and the size of how big we want to go.
SERFATY: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi effectively pushing back her self- imposed Thursday deadline, as her party battles over a $3.5 billion price tag. Before making the call, Pelosi calling Thursday a day of progress in fulfilling the president's vision.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying Biden is ready to begin negotiations again this morning, writing overnight, "A great deal of progress has been made this week, and we are closer to an agreement than ever."
But reaching the finish line could be difficult. Progressive House Democrats threatening not to vote yes on a bipartisan infrastructure plan unless a separate social safety net and climate bill is given the green light. That sweeping package would expand funding for programs like universal pre-K and child care, to Medicare and combatting climate change.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): This is all part of the Build Back Better agenda, which is the president's agenda. And so we've got the president's back here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're eager to pass both of those bills. They represent the president's agenda.
SERFATY: Meanwhile, in the Senate, two moderate Democrats are stalling moving forward. Senator Joe Manchin saying he wants to slim down the cost of the infrastructure bill. The West Virginia lawmaker proposing slashing the price tag to $1.5 trillion, keeping the bipartisan infrastructure bill focused on upgrading roads, rails, and bridges.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): My top line has been 1.5, because I believe in my heart that what we can do and what the needs we have right now and what we can afford to do without basically changing our whole society to an entitlement mentality.
SERFATY: Senator Kyrsten Sinema's stance is less clear, calling her meetings with the White House earlier this week productive.
While Biden's path to moving his agenda forward is clear, the president avoiding a possible crisis, signing a stopgap funding bill to avoid a shutdown just hours before the midnight deadline. The bill passing through the House and Senate earlier in the day, extending government funding through December 3.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): With this continued resolution, we not only keep government open, keep checks flowing to -- to our veterans and Social Security recipients and the rest.
SERFATY: And lawmakers will be back up here on Capitol Hill in just a few hours to see if they can break this impasse. But it's going into today, Brianna, it still very much is an open question whether they will be able to broker an agreement while these longstanding issues still very present. All the while, the Biden agenda hangs in the balance.
KEILAR: Yes. A $2 trillion gulf here to overcome. Sunlen, thank you so much for that report.
BERMAN: So where is the White House on all this this morning? Arlette Saenz live for us there.
Arlette, it's got to be a tough morning there.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is, John. And White House officials are insisting that they have not reached the end of the road just yet, even as Democrats remain on this standoff over the path forward for President Biden's domestic agenda.
The president and top White House officials were working late into the night here at the White House and up on Capitol Hill but emerged from the evening without any deal.
And officials insist that they will get right back to work this morning, back at the negotiating table. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last night that a lot of progress has been made over the course of the week, and they are closer to an agreement than ever.
But still, that delay in the vote was a setback for this president.
As for the president's schedule today, he has no public events currently on his schedule. That is by design. Similar to the rest of the week, when he was making phone calls, even hosting lawmakers here at the White House, traveling up to Capitol Hill for that congressional baseball game, all trying to strike a deal with these lawmakers.
So we will see if the president will decide to host any lawmakers here today. He certainly will continue those phone calls, as he has throughout the week.
And the president has really fashioned -- fashioned himself as this master negotiator. After spending more than three decades in the Senate, he has said that he is someone that can strike deals. That is something that has really been put to the test so far this week but right now has turned up empty. But really, what this whole episode has also laid bare are those deep
divisions within the Democratic Party. And right now, the question is, if not just congressional leaders but whether President Biden can actually bring those warring factions together to try to get his domestic agenda across the finish line, which right now appears to be in jeopardy -- John.
BERMAN: Yes. He ran as the guy who could bring Republicans and Democrats together. The problem he's having this morning is he can't get his own party to sit at the table and work this out.
Arlette Saenz at the White House for us, thank you very much.
KEILAR: Let's talk about this now with CNN contributor and former Detroit health commissioner, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. And Bernie Sanders endorsed him when he ran for Michigan governor in 2018. And he's also managing director of Eurasia Group. Or pardon me, Jon Lieber is. He is a former advisor to Senator Mitch McConnell. I will ask questions better than I read. I will tell you guys that.
OK. So first to you. As we look here, John, at this hard line by progressives, how are you viewing this? Strength or folly?
JON LIEBER, FORMER ADVISOR TO SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: I think the progressives are acting like they had a 65-vote majority in the Senate and 300 seats in the House. And they don't. It's razor-thin margins in both chambers. And they can only go as far as their most conservative member wants.
The big question up until yesterday, really, was how far is he willing to go? And he said $1.5 trillion, not even close to their starting point of $6 trillion. And that's got to be a hard ceiling. They're going to have a hard time working their way around it, and they're going to have to work through the stages of grief in order to get there.
KEILAR: The stages of grief.
LIEBER: Yes. Denial, anger, bargaining. That's where we are right now. I think it's going to be a while here before this can resolve itself. And until they can do that, the infrastructure bill remains stuck.
And Manchin has -- holds all the cards here, because they need his vote. He's from a demographically very different state as every other Democrat is. A state that Trump won by 40 points. And he doesn't really need the party as much as they need him.
KEILAR: What do you think, Abdul?
DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I want to offer some context here. First, let's be clear that Republicans have walked away from the governing table. And so, you know, whether or not we as Democrats can come together and figure out what it is we're going to do here, let's not forget the context. The reason that this all has to be passed in the reconciliation
package is Republicans have stonewalled all of the great things that -- that are in the reconciliation package.
The second point here is that nobody is against the infrastructure deal. It's a great deal. It will do a lot of things to rebuild roads and bridges and water infrastructure.
But let's not forget all of the things inside the reconciliation package, which is an awfully-named package, because it includes so much. Everything from -- from legislation to take on climate change, to extending the social infrastructure of our country through -- through things like paid family leave, to extensions of Medicare and shoring up the ACA.
And so I do believe that the Democrats will come together and get this done. We have until the end of the year. This wasn't an arbitrary deadline. We have until the end of the year.
But I'll tell you what. Families across this country don't have beyond that. There are too many who are suffering the consequences of this pandemic. And I do believe Democrats are going to come together.
The last point here is that this is the moderate version of the package. Right? This $3.5 trillion was pared down from the two previous packages that the Biden administration proposed. This is the moderate deal.
And -- and families cannot continue, whether they're families in West Virginia or the rest of this country, cannot continue to struggle without the support of things like paid family leave, extensions on Medicaid.
KEILAR: Abdul -- Abdul, if that is the moderate deal, I mean, all fine and well. But Joe Manchin has a say in this, right? And he is a moderate Democrat. Is Bernie Sanders, for instance, as he is urging unity here with progressives, maybe missing the point, that Joe Manchin might say, you know what? Whatever. I don't need you guys. I'm not going along with this.
EL-SAYED: And that's exactly why Speaker Pelosi did not go forward with the vote on the infrastructure deal, because that's the leverage that progressives have.
I do think that Senator Manchin really values whether or not we get this infrastructure deal done. He's going to have to decide whether or not we get it all done, or unfortunately, we potentially don't get it all done.
And again, the infrastructure deal is a great package. We really should go ahead and do all of these things.
The last thing I want to say about Senator Manchin is let's not forget, yes, he is from West Virginia. It is a conservative state. But he's also -- he's also very enmeshed in both the coal industry and the pharmaceutical industry. And so to take him at face value on ideology is -- is a little bit naive.
KEILAR: His constituents are enmeshed, certainly, in the coal industry. This is the guy who came to the Senate with an ad where he was shooting a hole in the cap-and-trade bill.
I do want to listen to some of what Senator Manchin said that I think is revealing about his philosophy on the size of a 3.5. Actually, we don't -- we don't have it. But he was talking about the entitlement mentality. And I wonder, John, what you think about that? Because that's something that reads more like what a Republican would say, for sure, than what a Democrat would say.
LIEBER: Yes. It's been really surprising to hear Manchin talk the way he talks. He acts like he's a Republican, and he talks like a Republican. And I think that he's willing to go along with the team up to a certain point, but his political incentives are just totally different. And he can't -- He's not a Democrat. He's not AOC. He's not going to be like Bernie Sanders. He's not even going to be like Joe Biden, who ran as a center-of-the-road Democrat for most of his entire career and won the primary as a centrist Democrat.
Manchin is a conservative. He's talking about means testing. He's talking about scaling benefits back. He's talking about work requirements for tax credits. These are not things the Democratic coalition is on board with. And that's going to make huge problems for them. I don't know how you negotiate with somebody like that in a 50/50 Senate.
KEILAR: And Abdul, he is also pointing out that he had this memo from late July with the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, that lays out where he is, which was at $1.5 trillion.
And so we are learning that, you know, Chuck Schumer, he knew that this was the hard line of Joe Manchin. And whether or not you think this bill should be higher, as I know you do, what do -- what do you think about that? It seems like Joe Biden has been pretty clear about where he is over time.
EL-SAYED: Well, a couple things here. I think this was from July, and the infrastructure deal hadn't even passed yet.
The second piece here is that the most leverage that anyone has against Joe Manchin is progressives in the House. And so it is in Joe -- Chuck Schumer's interest to let this move forward and to let Joe Manchin feel the pressure from progressives in the House on this infrastructure deal.
I want to do -- I do want to comment on this -- this point that Joe Manchin made about the entitlement mentality. The fact is, is that he hasn't pointed what he wants to cut from 3.5 to 1.5. Those are just arbitrary numbers.
And when you look at his state, West Virginia, the childhood poverty level is among the highest in the entire country. We watch as climate change is ravaging coastal states like his.
And so I really would like to hear what it is that he does not want to offer people in West Virginia, rather than have a conversation about, quote, unquote, "entitlement" and -- and dollars.
KEILAR: OK. One word, gentlemen, each. Who blinks, Manchin or progressives? Abdul, go.
LIEBER: You'll get a compromise.
KEILAR: All right. All right, guys. Thank you so much. Appreciate the conversation.
EL-SAYED: Thank you.
KEILAR: Up next, new body cam video from Gabby Petito's traffic stop in Utah.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABBY PETITO, FOUND MURDERED AFTER TRIP WITH FIANCE: He grabbed me with his hand, and I was cut right here. I can feel it. The cut really burns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: More of the shocking details. What Gabby Petito told police officers about the fight with Brian Laundrie and why we're only learning about it now.
BERMAN: Plus, Supreme Court justices, defensive, angry, all out in public. New developments on what this all means for key imminent decisions.
KEILAR: Ahead, one of the most recognizable men in the world walked into a dive bar, and he got no satisfaction. How the people around him reacted.
BERMAN: New police body camera footage reveals Gabby Petito told a Utah police officer that her fiance, Brian Laundrie, hit her during an argument.
In previously released body cam video, Petito only said that she had hit Laundrie and took the blame for the fight. This new reporting corroborates the witnesses who called 911 and what they told police.
CNN's Nadia Romero live in North Port, Florida, with this really important development, Nadia. NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. This gives us
more insight not only into the relationship between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie but what happened on August 12, just two weeks before we know that this story really developed. The last time she was seen, on August 24 at a hotel in Salt Lake City. And then things went downhill from there, and there are a lot of unanswered questions, because police can't find Brian Laundrie, who may have those answers.
So now we're seeing more of a complete picture of that August 12 domestic dispute, where Gabby Petito seems to take responsibility for the altercation between Petito and Laundrie. Listen to the exchange between Gabby Petito and one of the offers on scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there something on your cheek here? It looks like -- did you get -- did you get hit in the face? It kind of looks like someone, like, hit you in the face and over on your arm, your shoulder right here? That's new? Right? It's kind of a new mark?
PETITO: Yes, I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I see the other side of your face? So what happened here and here?
PETITO: I'm -- I'm not sure. He was just trying to get in the back of the car, and the backpack got me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the backpack got you? So there's two people that came to us and told us that they saw him hit you. They're two people that say they saw him punch you. Just independent witnesses by Moon Flower.
PETITO: To be honest, I hit him first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did you hit him?
PETITO: I slapped him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You slapped him first in -- the side of his face?
PETITO: He told me to shut up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many times did you slap him?
PETITO: A couple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then what -- his reaction was to do what?
PETITO: Grabbed me. He grabbed me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just grabbed you?
PETITO: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he -- did he hit you, though? I mean, it's OK
if you're saying you hit him. We understand if he hit you. But we want to know the truth if he actually hit you.
PETITO: I guess. I guess, yes. But I hit him first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did he hit you? Don't worry. Just be honest.
PETITO: He grabbed my face, like I guess. He didn't, like, hit me in the face. He didn't, like, punch me in the face or anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he slap your face or what?
PETITO: Like he grabbed me with his nail. And I was definitely cut right here, because I can feel it. The cut really burns.
ROMERO: So there you heard the police officer asking Gabby more and more questions, trying to figure out exactly what happened that led up to a witness calling police. And we hear more about what happened in that complete picture from the bodycam video.
Now, Utah is one of about 20 states where, if they arrive to a domestic dispute, someone is supposed to be arrested if they have probable cause.
That didn't happen in this case. Instead, the two were separated, and police drove Brian Laundrie to a hotel for the night so the two could cool off, basically.
And now, that has come under investigation. There is an independent investigation into how those Moab, Utah, police officers handled that situation.
So we're learning more about August 12.
Now we're here in Florida. This is where Brian Laundrie lived with his parents, in the home behind me. And just yesterday, the FBI came to this house to gather more items belonging to Brian that the family attorney says will be used for K-9 units to try to find Brian. Remember, there's this ongoing search for him, a search warrant, not for the death of Gabby Petito, to be clear, but for actions that happened when the two separated, when Brian was allegedly using devices and using a debit card that did not belong to him. That's what the search warrant is for.
But again, they haven't been able to find Brian Laundrie. He's been missing. The parents say they haven't seen or heard from him in about two weeks. And so that search is still ongoing -- John.
BERMAN: Nadia Romero, thank you so much for that report. It raises so many questions.
Joining me now, CNN law enforcement analyst Anthony Barksdale. He's the former Baltimore City deputy police commissioner. Thank you so much for being with us.
That new body camera video, it's heartbreaking. We hear Gabby Petito just saying, Yes, you know, he hit me, but I hit him first. It's all this self-blame that we see so often in domestic abuse cases.
ANTHONY BARKSDALE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely. It is -- it is heartbreaking video. What I'm seeing now, the cops totally blew that call. There was enough probable cause there, in my opinion, to make an arrest of Mr. Laundrie.
You had witness statements. You had the physical evidence. You had their statements. There was enough to make an arrest.
We also see Laundrie do what many aggressors in domestic violence do, and that's to play calm and cool, noncombative. Yes, you know how it is. I'm just trying to deal with this crazy woman.
And they fell for it. And they started to sing along to his tune. And it's really disturbing what we saw.
And to think that many others who have gone through this are getting this type of response is totally unacceptable in policing today.
BERMAN: In other developments, we know the FBI back in the house of Brian Laundrie over the last 24 hours. What could that be about?
BARKSDALE: Well, it could be a collection of more evidence. Maybe there was something they they think they should have retrieved the first time in, that they didn't. They may want to get some type of personal clothing, et cetera, to freshen up the scent for the dogs.
But I will say this. You can't keep going back over and over again to the same scene, because each time you leave out of that dwelling, something could change. Clothes could have been washed. Things could have been discarded. So we really need to know what we're going in for, get it and leave.
BERMAN: And finally, another interesting piece of evidence, maybe confusing piece of evidence, which is the fact that all of these calls came in around the time of Gabby Petito's disappearance, relating to the Brian Laundrie residence in Florida. What does this all mean?
BARKSDALE: I really would need to know what was the text of the calls. What happened? What officers responded? What supervisors responded?
You have all of these calls coming in, and it seems as if the police did not take the time to really figure out what was going on. Why do I say that? Because the calls kept coming in.
So we really need to pull that. We need to get into it, and figure out what was going on with these calls. Is there any type of statements in these calls that could help the police, could help the FBI? At this time, I don't know. We don't know. So it is important, and it should not be dismissed as such.
BERMAN: What does your gut tell you this morning? Are there any closer to finding Brian Laundrie?
BARKSDALE: Oh, I -- I think the way that the feds work, they're very methodical. So I -- I still have faith in them. I have faith in all law enforcement that is involved in this search. But, you know, each day, you know, the doubt grows a little bit, to be honest.
BERMAN: Anthony Barksdale, I really appreciate this discussion. You helped me understand a lot of twists and turns that have just taken place in this case. Thank you, sir.
BARKSDALE: Thank you.
BERMAN: So he is the conspiracy theory who pushed disgusting lies about the Sandy Hook shooting, and now he's being held liable for those lies. So how much will Alex Jones have to pay up?
KEILAR: Plus, a Marine who claimed that he was pictured evacuating a baby from Kabul now under investigation for appearing at this Trump rally. We'll have that story ahead.