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Idaho's Lt. Gov. Goes Rogue; Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) is Interviewed about Key Bills; Dave Grohl is Interviewed about his Career. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired October 06, 2021 - 08:30   ET



JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: And mask their affiliation. But if I'm an -- either an asset or a case officer, I'm going to be extremely careful about certainly any contacts at all, whether physical or electronic.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, this may be changing the game.

Sir, thank you so much for being with us. We really appreciate it.

CLAPPER: Thank you, Brianna.

KEILAR: And, up next, the lieutenant governor who's trying to deploy troops while the real governor is away. The story behind her power play.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And Dave Grohl, right here on NEW DAY, reliving the moment that everything changed for him forever.


KEILAR: Just in to CNN, the Education Department announcing a sweeping overhaul of its public service loan forgiveness program. The program was designed to incentivize college grads to work in the public sector by forgiving their student loan debt if they made monthly payments for ten years. It has long been criticized. Borrowers have so far received little help.


The changes will let borrowers correct errors and count past payments that they were trying to make toward the program. Thousands of borrowers could see their student debt erased as soon as this fall.

BERMAN: A remarkable power grab unfolding in Idaho with Governor Brad Little briefly out of the state. The lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, went rogue, issuing an executive order on vaccine requirements and requirements for COVID testing and attempting to send the National Guard to the U.S./Mexico border.

Governor Little, though, called McGeachin's actions political grandstanding and vowed to rescind them when he returns.

Joining us now is a reporter at "The Idaho Statesman," Sally Krutzig.

This is pretty remarkable, the governor leaves the state and all of a sudden the lieutenant governor just does stuff that the governor doesn't approve of.

What's going on here?

SALLY KRUTZIG, REPORTER, "IDAHO STATESMAN": That's right. Less than 24 hours after our governor headed down to a visit to Texas, our lieutenant governor, who according to the Idaho constitution becomes acting governor whenever Governor Little is out of state, less than 24 hours he -- she issued an executive order. The executive order prohibited state agencies from requiring vaccine -- proof of vaccines or vaccine -- requiring mandatory testing in order to access any state services. McGeachin specifically noted that this would apply to schools.

BERMAN: So what does this mean in terms of Governor Little being able to leave the state? If every time that he steps out of the state, the lieutenant governor goes and changes state policy, isn't that limiting?

KRUTZIG: It definitely is. And it's so interesting, you know, the Idaho constitution lays out these specific instances in which the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor. And it's all these very serious, you know, instances. If the governor's impeached. If the governor dies. And then in there is, if the governor goes out of state, because it was written at a time when going out of state could mean you were completely out of reach.

Now it seems a little outdated. We all have cell phones. The governor can be reached very easily. So it definitely is making people question what -- what this means going forward for him.

BERMAN: Now, as we said, Governor Little called this political grandstanding here. He's going to reverse everything that the lieutenant governor does the minute he gets back, obviously.

But what's the lieutenant governor getting, given that she knows it's all going to be reversed, why do it?

KRUTZIG: It's hard to say for sure. This isn't the first time she's done it. McGeachin did it earlier in May. You know, it's hard to know exactly why she's doing it. She is going to be running for governor, she's announced. So she may be trying to show, you know, people what she's about.

BERMAN: That might answer the question right there. Candidates often do things just for that reason.

Sally Krutzig, we appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.

KRUTZIG: Thank you.

BERMAN: Governor Little just can't leave Idaho for a while. So, what is President Biden telling key Democrats about the pathway

forward for his agenda? We will speak with a lawmaker who was behind closed doors with him, next.

Plus --

KEILAR: Rock on, and generally just all around awesome human being Dave Grohl right here on NEW DAY, opening up about the time that he almost gave up music for good.



BERMAN: This morning, President Biden's infrastructure and social spending bills remain in legislative limbo because of sharp divisions within the Democratic Party. Yesterday, he met virtually with 11 House Democrats about the pathway forward for these two bills.

With me now is one of those Democrats, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.

Congresswoman, thanks so much for being with us.

What went on during that meeting? What did you leave with?

REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER (D-VA): Thank you so much for having me join this conversation.

Well, we talked about our priorities. I had the opportunity to speak with the president about what matters most to folks here in Virginia. You know, first and foremost, it would be passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. And then as we look towards the Build Back Better Act, which we continue to negotiate, I spoke about my priorities. My priorities because they are those of the community I represent, allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, focusing on mitigating the issues and the challenges of climate change, and recognizing the incredible investment that has been the refundable child tax credit and expanding that into the future.

BERMAN: It's interesting, you talked about the things you like there. This might be the moment for blunt talk. And if this bill is going to come down from $3.5 trillion to around $2 trillion, $1.9 trillion to $2.1 trillion depending on how you slice it, and President Biden, CNN is reporting, is saying we'll have to get down to that. What specifically would you drop?

SPANBERGER: Well, so, in the conversation that we had, and there were members of the House from across the country. We -- from Pennsylvania to Virginia to Texas, out to California, and Iowa, everywhere in between. And we were focused on the programs that matter to our communities, the programs that have been or would be impactful, and taking a sort of building up approach.

There's been a lot of discussion of, you know, if we were to do everything, what would it be? But I think our approach, which I think reflects a level of pragmatism and focus on our communities, was, what are -- what are all of the things we agree on? Let's build up from there.

And so, you know, I went into that meeting with my list of priorities and with a goal of conveying, these are the things that matter to the community that I represent. And whatever we're going to do, we should do well.


So if we're going to put new programs in place, we should give them the time to be successful and we should make sure that they're impactful for the most Americans possible and for our larger communities and economy.

BERMAN: I get it. I'm just trying to figure out, as this moves forward, what might not be on that list. Paid leave is something that, depending on how you feel about the reporting that's out there, may be in jeopardy. What do you think about that?

SPANBERGER: Well, in our conversations, we were talking about the impact of supporting America's children. And through supporting America's children, supporting working parents. Particularly during COVID, we have seen women pull back from the workforce, and certainly as a nation we do not begin to pull on the full strength of 50 percent of our workforce, our nation's women. And we have seen the impact of COVID has disproportionately impacted women as they left the workforce to care for children as there were school closures and even now when schools are open, the uneasiness with, you know, regular needs to perhaps quarantine if someone's had an exposure.

And so with that goal of looking at, how do we strengthen America's families, part of that conversation is the refundable tax credit, part of that conversation is early childhood education, be that child care, be that universal Pre-K, and that's where the conversation that we had with the president is when we're trying to meet the goal of really investing in America's families and in the long-term success of our children, you know, our future doctors, our future engineers, our future business entrepreneurs, what's the best way to do that now?

And so among the things that we talked about are early childhood education, family leave, and child care. So working out the final details of what actually is pulled into the program is still currently something in negotiations.

BERMAN: Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, we're all watching and listening very closely as these discussions continue. It is crunch time. We appreciate you being with us.

SPANBERGER: Thank you so much.

BERMAN: The committee investigating the Capitol riot wants to subpoena one of Donald Trump's former aides, but there is just one big problem, they can't find him. Plus, new revelations from Rock & Roll Hall of Famer David Grohl about

the first time he ever saw himself on TV and the TV show he says he watches every morning.



KEILAR: Dave Grohl says that his whole life is like an out of body experience. The Foo Fighters front man and Nirvana drummer almost can't believe his own journey, playing in front of packed stadiums, jamming with his rock 'n' roll heroes and winning, quite frankly, a boat load of Grammy awards. Grohl's come a long way. He went from surviving on corn dogs and sleeping on a couch next to Kurt Cobain's turtle terrarium, to being part of a band that brought punk to the mainstream and changed the musical landscape. The 30th anniversary of "Nevermind" was last month and he writes all about this from fame, to fatherhood in his new book "The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music."

And, Dave Grohl, thank you so much for being with us to talk about it.

DAVE GROHL, SONGWRITER AND FOUNDER, FOO FIGHTERS: Thank you. It's such a -- it's such an honor to be here. I mean, you have to understand, all of these crazy experiences in my life, I have to pinch myself. I feel like they're happening to someone else. Like, being on this show, which I watch all the time, I can't believe I'm on here right now.


GROHL: That I'm having an out of body experience as we speak.

BERMAN: It's just like playing to a packed stadium.


Oh, so talk to us a little bit about --

GROHL: Yes, it's -- it's more exciting. Actually more exciting. This is better than my -- my actual job.

KEILAR: Now we know he's -- now we know he's -- now we know he's fibbing to us.

OK, so this is amazing because the 30th anniversary, which makes me feel incredibly old, of "Nevermind" was last month. And this is really an album that -- it changed all of music, right? It changed all of music. It changed your lives. It changed all of the band members' lives. And you write about playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the first time, and also the first time that you saw the music video on MTV.

Can you tell us about that?

GROHL: Yes, well, you know, when I first joined Nirvana, it was 1990. And we all came from the same sort of underground music scene where, you know, we played small clubs and we had records on independent labels, and we toured in vans, things like that. We were writings they songs, that would eventually become the record "Nevermind," in a barn outside of Tacoma, Washington.

And, you know, we didn't really -- we never thought that we were going to be the biggest band in the world because at the time that type of music just wasn't commercially accessible. But Kurt's songs were so good. We knew we had good songs. We made the record in like 12 days. We thought, OK, we're going to hit the road and we'll do the same thing we've always done. And then the video hit MTV and that's when everything changed.

And I remember, like, me and Kurt used to share a room, sitting there waiting for the video to come on television and just to see our faces on MTV, on television, that was enough. I mean we were like, oh, my God, we've -- we've arrived. We've made it. But we had no idea what was going to happen next. And things happened really, really quickly.

BERMAN: That's amazing. The idea -- the imagery of you sitting in a room watching your own videos with Kurt Cobain.

You say you wrote the chapter about Kurt Cobain last. That must have been hard.

GROHL: Yes. I was scared to write it. You know, the book is -- it's written in short story format.


So there are like little glimpses of different times in my life. And I knew that that was a really important part of the story.

But -- but I was -- I also sort of knew what people might expect me to write or what they wanted me to write. And rather than write something that was, like, you know, logistical or practical, I -- I wanted to write more about loss, and mourning, and what it's like to process grief and how you -- everyone does it differently. And you sort of do it differently for each person. So it really -- it was the last thing I wrote because I was just kind of afraid to open up that much. And then I finally just locked the door and spent two days letting it all out. And I did.

KEILAR: And for you, dealing with that loss was actually rejecting music for some time, right?

GROHL: Yes. I mean, you know, my entire life -- I started playing music when I was maybe about 10 years old. Fell in love with The Beatles. I taught myself how to play guitar by listening to Beatles records. And, you know, to me, music was always about life and joy and celebrating that.

And so all of a sudden when Kurt died and Nirvana ended, it represented the opposite. It broke my heart. It was the thing that had saved my life my whole life and then I was just kind of heartbroken. I couldn't listen to the radio. And I put the instruments away. And didn't know if I would play again. I wasn't sure what to do. And I actually -- I decided I was going to go on this soul searching trip where I wanted to find the most remote place I could -- I could find on earth and just drive around and figure everything out.

So I went to the Ring of Kerry in Ireland and I was driving down this country road and I saw a hitchhiker. And as I was pulling up close to him, I noticed that he was wearing a Kurt Cobain t-shirt. And I just saw Kurt looking back at me and I thought, OK, I need to go home and pick up my instruments and start to play again because that's what's going to save my life now. So I did.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) -- (INAUDIBLE) is wonderful.

KEILAR: Unbelievable.

BERMAN: It's wonderful and spiritual and even more so hearing you describe that.

Look, you know, you talk about how music in some way helped heal you then, as painful as it was. What about now? I mean how -- how can music fix this stuff now? What can we do to bring us all together?

GROHL: Well, you know, one thing that I love about being in the Foo Fighters is, over the years our audience has grown. And when I look out at the audience, you know, there are so many different types of people. But they all come together to sing the chorus of a song. So you -- I look out and I see people from different walks of life, and -- and if we play a song like "My Hero," or "Best of You," or "Everlong," and everyone sings together, in that moment they come together and forget about their differences and sing in chorus together. And I feel like music is one of the few things that can really do that.

So it's really one of the greatest luxuries of my life that not only do I get to sort of facilitate that moment, but I get to join in and sing along as well. If there's 100,000 people, they're probably singing that chorus for 100,000 different reasons. But that communal energy and that live -- that live moment, live music, it's really, really important because it reminds us that we're not alone.

KEILAR: And before we let you go, Dave, we want to ask you about a moment that we watched with some curiosity and entertainment, that was Mick Jagger, who you have teamed up with on a new track. He shows up at this bar, The Thirsty Beaver, and no one even recognizes him, but you can see, there it is in the kind of like hip jut out. That is so Mick Jagger.

BERMAN: It's seductive.

KEILAR: It's pretty -- it is seductive. But, you know, one, what did you think about that. And, two, do you ever go places and people just have no idea that it's Dave freaking Grohl.

GROHL: Oh, all the time. It's amazing. Yes. I mean, you know, I think that most rock 'n' rollers, there's still that -- there's still that kid at heart who fell in love with their records on their bedroom floor when they were young. So it doesn't really matter all the bells and whistles and all of the success, I mean, it's amazing. It's awesome. But you're still that kid at heart.

And so I bet you Mick Jagger's the same way. It's like he's got a night off and he's going to go to The Thirsty Beaver, or whatever it was, and --


GROHL: And go have a beer and just hang out. Like, he's still, you know, he's a rock 'n' roller. That's what he's going to do.

I think it's amazing. I -- he's -- I love Mick Jagger. He's amazing. Such an inspiration. But, yes, it's just a dude having a beer on a night off.

BERMAN: I've got to tell you, just five minutes with Dave Grohl and I feel a little bit cooler. I feel a little bit cooler just speaking to him.

KEILAR: I feel cooler. I feel better. I feel calmer.

So, Dave Grohl, thank you so much.


All of the success on the book. And we appreciate you being with us.

GROHL: Thank you so much for having me. It was great to be here.