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New Day

Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) is Interviewed on Concessions President Biden Making to Pass Senate Reconciliation Bill; House Committee Investigating January 6th Insurrection Votes Unanimously to Recommend Charging Former Trump Aide Steve Bannon with Criminal Contempt of Congress for Defying Subpoena; Plane Crashes before Takeoff with No Fatalities. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired October 20, 2021 - 08:00   ET



JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Am I the weak link that is going to bring COVID into my house because I'm immunosuppressed or immunocompromised? So that is always in mind. His grandmothers, who is one of his heroes, and she's just a hero, has been one of America's cancer warriors through this, and so I worry about that. My son has been awesome in protecting himself and protecting his dad, and I'm grateful to him. And I just -- I wake up every day making sure I do my part.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're so glad, John, that you are doing your part. We're so glad that we now know. I'm vaccinated, which means the next time I see you, I hope you'll let me give you a hug.

KING: Amen, brother. Amen.

BERMAN: Thank you very much, John. I appreciate you speaking up.

KING: After we win game five tonight.

BERMAN: On to important things, let's win game five. John, thank you so much.

KING: No problem. Thank you.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I'm so moved by what he said. I hope other people are as well.

I want to continue now with our breaking news overnight. President Biden is prepared to make major concessions to get his sweeping social spending bill over the finish line. Kaitlan Collins is reporting that Biden discussed a 1.75 to $1.9 trillion price tag. So that is much lower than the $3.5 trillion that had been pushed by progressives. And that he is willing to remove free two-year community college and make major reductions to climate provisions, to paid family leave, and the child tax credit, and funding for home care.

Let's talk about this now with California Democratic Congressman Ami Bera. He is one of the moderate Democrats who met with the President Biden at the White House yesterday. Sir, thanks for being with us. How close are you to a deal?

REP. AMI BERA, (D-CA): Thanks for having me on, Brianna. I sense the president's optimism that we need to get a deal. We didn't get everything we wanted in there. You touched on some of the things that we got to compromise on. But I think it's now time for us to get something done. So we'll have a caucus meeting in about an hour. I hope everyone comes together in that caucus and we put a bill together and vote on both this and the infrastructure bill sometime in the next week or two.

KEILAR: In the next week or two?

BERA: I would hope so. I hope we get something done on climate change. The presidential could take it out. That would be my hope that we get this done before the end of the month.

KEILAR: So as I mentioned, you were in this meeting. I wonder what the president said that convinced you and other Democrats now is the time.

BERA: The president talked about how far he's been negotiating with Senator Manchin, Senator Sinema, Senator Sanders, the Progressive Caucus, the New Democratic Coalition. At the end of the day, though, you got to get 50 votes, you've got to get 200 votes in the House, and this is the best deal that we can come up with. And let's get this deal, let's move forward, but let's keep working on other priorities. We're not done here.

KEILAR: Did he say outright we are not going to get more than this?

BERA: He said this is probably the best we can do. There is still a little bit of room for negotiation. Many of us would like to see us go bigger on climate change. But this is what we can get, let's get this bill passed, and let's keep moving forward and working on our other priorities.

KEILAR: Among the trims, paid leave is reduced from 12 weeks to four weeks. Does that hurt women?

BERA: I think it does. I'd like to see it closer to 12 weeks. I would like to see additional childcare benefits and the like because the workforce is increasingly feminine. And let's support those workers. But if that's what we can get at the starting point, let's get that and let's keep working on getting it to eight weeks, 12 weeks.

KEILAR: Where are Democrats on agreeing on the climate change provisions?

BERA: I think a lot of us have some disappointment. I get Senator Manchin's state of West Virginia, but I also understand the trends that we have to continue moving away from fossil fuels. I'd prefer us to move faster. I'd prefer us to move to cleaner electricity and so forth. But if we can't get Senator Manchin to agree to this, let's take what we can, let's get the stuff that we can agree on on climate change and keep moving forward.

KEILAR: Does carbon capture have to go?

BERA: I hope there is some form of carbon capture in there. I would love to see some on carbon pricing, because those are very effective tools to reduce carbon emissions. Again, I think there is some room to negotiate with Senator Manchin on this. But it is not going to be nearly as big enough for us to address the challenges we face.

KEILAR: So overlap, yes, between Joe Manchin and Ami Bera. Are you confident that there will be overlap between, say, Joe Manchin and an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on climate change?

BERA: Yes, I think there is going to be some disappointment. I talked to some of my progressive colleagues on the floor last night. They were presented the same data that we were presented. All of us are going to be disappointed in some areas. But we can do something big for American families, American workers, as you mentioned the women that are a big part of our workforce.


This is a good bill that has big effect, and it's a start, not an end.

KEILAR: The progressives you've been speaking to, are they on board with these cuts? What are they saying?

BERA: Again, a lot of us wanted to see a bigger bill. We think it would have more impact, and we think now is the right time to do it. There's disappointment all around, but there is also some really good things in here. And this is a big step forward. So I think the progressives are going to support it. I think the New Dem Coalition will be in support, and I think we can get something big then.

KEILAR: All right, we'll be watching, big week ahead here. Congressman Ami Bera, appreciate you being on.

BERA: Thanks, Brianna.

KEILAR: And a CNN exclusive, President Joe Biden taking questions from the American people. Anderson Cooper moderating a CNN presidential town hall with Joe Biden, and this begins tomorrow night at 8:00.

BERMAN: So major new developments in the investigation into the January 6th insurrection. The House select committee voted unanimously to recommend charging former Trump aide Steve Bannon with criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena. And more than that, Republican Liz Cheney in the strongest terms she has used yet raised the possibility that both Bannon and Trump were in on the planning for January 6th.


REP. LIZ CHENEY, (R-WY): Based on the committee's investigation, it appears that Mr. Bannon had substantial advance knowledge of the plans for January 6th and likely had an important role in formulating those plans. Mr. Bannon's and Mr. Trump's privilege arguments do, however, appear to reveal one thing. They suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th. And this committee will get to the bottom of that.


BERMAN: Remember, Bannon said this the day before the Capitol riot.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this, all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It's not going to happen like you think it is going to happen, OK. It's going to be quite extraordinarily different. And all I can say is strap in. The war room, a posse, you have made this happen, and tomorrow it is game day. So strap in.


BERMAN: So a vote from the full House on charging Bannon is expected tomorrow.

Joining me now, anchor of EARLY START, Laura Jarrett, also a legal reporter and lawyer in her own right, and CNN senior political analyst John Avlon. John, I just want to start quickly with what Liz Cheney said, because she went further than I've heard her go before, saying the committee has evidence that Steve Bannon had knowledge of the coming insurrection and likely, she said, was involved in the planning. And this is based on evidence that she says she has seen.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. And just based on the reporting we have seen to date, and that clip of Bannon, video clip, I think is enormously revealing because he's saying this isn't going to go down the way you think it is. And there is a glint of knowledge in his eye. We know from reporting that Trump and Bannon were talking. We know that Trump, of course, was pumping up this rally for weeks beforehand. The key question, is this them just acting as hype men, and was there a degree of organization. And what did the president know and when did he know it? The fact that Cheney is saying that she has additional information, that speaks to the fact that we need to get to the bottom of this. This information needs to come out.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR, EARLY START: But it's also why they want us to so desperately know what was going on at the war room in the Willard Hotel. Everybody was holed up there. And that's where Bannon is going to run into trouble legally because his communications with Rudy Giuliani and other Trump allies in that room have no connection to executive privilege whatsoever. So he cannot shield those communications at all. And that's, of course, the subject of his contempt charge, right, is that he completely flouted not only his deposition, but all the documents, all the records, all the stuff that has nothing to do with the former president. He can't get around that stuff. There is no question he's going to lose on that part.

BERMAN: By the way, planning an insurrection or foreknowledge of an insurrection wouldn't be covered by executive privilege by any definition either, which is why I think Liz Cheney may have also brought it up there.

JARRETT: Perhaps. But she sort of just dropped that bomb and left it there. And everybody else on the committee as far as I can tell doesn't seem to want to touch it. Adam Schiff doesn't want to touch it, the chairman doesn't want to touch it. And so I'm sure she's going to be asked it in her next interview and maybe she'll elaborate a little bit.

BERMAN: We'll see. Major legal development overnight as well, which is that Trump's legal team trying to file for an injunction to stop the National Archives from turning over records that the committee has asked for, which the archives says it will do on November 12th. That moment is coming. The Trump team asking for an injunction. Tell me about what's going on here.

JARRETT: So the thing to note is the timing is critical, as you point out, because as of right now, the National Archives is set to produce these documents without a court order.


So if a court is going to act, they're going to need to act rally quickly. Watch for the judge that this case is in front of, Judge Tanya Chutkan. She's a district court judge in D.C. and she does not play around. She moves very quickly. My guess is she's going to ask the parties to come in right away. She's going to hold a hearing. She's going to ask for briefs from the Justice Department and from Trump's lawyers, and she could rule before November 12th. So we may see some action on this pretty quickly.

AVLON: That's right. Look, we've got precedent with regard to not the insurrection, but the Nixon tapes, questions of presidential executive privilege after being in office. And this judge is significant. She's been tougher on the insurrectionists than required. This is a delay tactic by Donald Trump. They're trying to hang their entire argument on thin reeds of arguments. But there are precedents both for ex- presidents not having executive privilege if the current president doesn't support it, which, by the way, the Biden administration doesn't, and --

BERMAN: What's the precedent there? The Supreme Court has never weighed in on a feud between presidents, have they?


JARRETT: In post-Watergate cases this has come up. And basically what they said is you do a balancing of the interests here. So if the current president asserts that he has no interest in asserting executive privilege, if you will, then that matters more than what the former president said.

BERMAN: I guess what I'm saying, the reason that I do wonder if ultimately no matter what this judge rules, that this will this get to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court might want to weigh in, is there has never been a case where a current incumbent president says no, or says something opposite to what the former president says. JARRETT: If the Supreme Court is going to weigh in on that, though,

John, they're going to have to act quickly, right, because otherwise they only have until November 12th. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is going to be too late for the former president.

AVLON: And look, as someone who deals with the National Archives, these are -- these papers are the property of the American people. They're not owned privately by the president. And consistently what we're seeing is this Trump playbook of trying to delay and apply frivolous lawsuits and all that. The underlying issue is, apply the law. Apply the law. And this is going to be pressure on Merrick Garland in the question of supporting criminal contempt charges, which was done successfully during Watergate, less successfully during the 1980s.

But this is a -- you want an issue of precedent? Precedent is an attempt by a sitting president of the United States to overturn an election and execute a coup. If we don't enforce the laws in this circumstance to ensure maximum transparency, that is setting up the next insurrection attempt.

BERMAN: All I'm saying is watch the Supreme Court. Because once --


BERMAN: If the -- they may want to grant an injunction temporarily while they decide this.

JARRETT: They may. But they're going to have to act really quickly because it has to go up through this judge and then the court of appeals and then the Supreme Court. So it could take a while.

BERMAN: John Avlon, Laura Jarrett, thank you both very much.

KEILAR: Amazing, miraculous, both would apply after a plane ran off a runway in Texas, struck a fence, and went up in flames. Twenty-one people, everyone on board survived, and most did so without even so much as a scratch. CNN's Rosa Flores live for us at the Houston executive airport. Rosa?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, good morning. Officials here saying that this is the best outcome that they could expect because everybody survived. Here's what we know from authorities. About 10:00 a.m. yesterday, 21 people were headed to Boston for the Red Sox-Astros game. That's according to the county judge. So what happened was this plane started rolling down the runway. It didn't gain altitude. It actually never took off. It kept on going through a field. It struck a fence, was disabled and erupted up in flames.

All the passengers according to authorities were able to get out of this plane safely. This included a 10-year-old. Authorities do say that two individuals are transported to the hospital with nonlife threatening injuries.

Today we are learning more about the owner of this plane. He's a Houston executive, the founder of a construction company. And through a spokesperson saying that they're grateful that everyone is OK, that everyone is fine, that they're working with the FAA and the NTSB. The NTSB telling me that a team will be arriving today here on the scene. The NTSB is the lead investigating agency. The FAA of course will be assisting.

But, Brianna, the headline here is that despite those dramatic images, everyone is safe and sound. Brianna?

KEILAR: Truly amazing. Fast thinking there. Rosa Flores, thank you.

This morning, race is taking center stage as jury selection continues in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. Ahmad's father is going to joining us live next.

Plus moments from now, the White House is expected to roll out the plan to vaccinate millions of children in America. Stand by.

BERMAN: And who do some Trump supporters blame for the insurrection?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Antifa, the corrupt FBI, basically RINOs, politicians, the deep state, all of that.


BERMAN: More of what you got to hear coming up.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- hear coming up.



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: In moments, day three of jury selection will commence in the murder trial of the men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery and race is at the forefront of jury questioning in this case against three white men, facing multiple charges accused of chasing down and killing Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was out for a jog in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23rd of last year.

Let's speak now with Ahmaud Arbery's father, Marcus Sr., Marcus Arbery Sr., and his attorney, Benjamin Crump.

And, Marcus, thank you for being with us. I know this is an incredibly difficult process for you and your family. How are you feeling about the jury selection process so far?

MARCUS ARBERY, SR., FATHER OF AHMAUD ARBERY: I just pray to god we get the right jury. I'm just concentrating on the justice for my boy, and scared for my family (INAUDIBLE). My son getting blasted like that by three white men that ran him down.

KEILAR: You say it is a lynching.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY: Yes. ARBERY: Yes (INAUDIBLE). Anybody that sees that, it is a lynching.

All you got to do is watch that video.


KEILAR: So, Ben, the judge in this case actually rejected a jury selection question that was notably allowed in the George Floyd trial about whether jurors oppose the black lives matter movement. What do you think the effect is of that?

CRUMP: Well, I think this video is so compelling, Brianna, that regardless of how they want to try to reference it, you know that race was a motivating factor and three men, this lynch mob as Mr. Arbery say chasing his son down for over two miles, shooting and killing him in broad daylight and you can't have this and in 2021 and we understand it.

Lee Merritt and I were talking about that to Ahmaud's family, they're going to try to attack his character, they're going to come and say something, they're going to say the fear of a scary black person to try to justify this unjustifiable killing that that video is clear.

KEILAR: Marcus, is this judge will consider whether to introduce or allow prosecutors to introduce evidence of the vanity license plate of Travis McMichael that is a Confederate Flag, potential jurors are being asked if they see the flag as a racist symbol. What do you make of that question and the others you heard so far?

ARBERY: Well, I think it is a true fact. You can see that, what that flag stands for. That's the kind of group he supports. And, you know, his family is racist. Ain't no way around it. It is the truth, you know. If you aren't racist -- if you need a --

KEILAR: Ben, how pivotal is that decision by the judge going to be?

CRUMP: Well, again, Brianna, I think the video is the most important witness here. So you can look at that text messages, and you see the racial overtones in their mentality. I still believe the video -- you think about this is almost ten years after Trayvon Martin where another young black man was killed by a citizen and had racial implications.

But there was no video in Trayvon Martin's case, and Ahmaud Arbery there is a video that everybody can see with their own eyes what took place and we believe that is why we're going to get justice for Ahmaud Arbery.

KEILAR: Marcus, there is a video in this case, and there is also a national reckoning on race. How much do you think society has changed since the Trayvon Martin case?

ARBERY: Not much. You know, the same thing still going on. You know what I'm saying, it keeps repeating because they don't want to bring no change. That's why we keep fighting hard, try to bring this change. You know people are still suffering the same way. They do it in a different style of way. KEILAR: You know, Marcus, as these men accused of killing your son

are in court, what is that lake for you and like for you and your family?

ARBERY: I just can't -- I can't explain it to you. To sit in that courtroom, with three -- you know how they murdered your kid, I can't -- I don't want to say it on TV like this, it is wrong. It is hard to look at them with that much hate in them, to do a 25-year-old kid like that, had a long life ahead of him to live, and it is wrong.

KEILAR: I'm struck by what is taken from you and your family. Like you said, your son was so young. And I wonder how you reflect on that.

ARBERY: God, 25 years old, he still had his whole life ahead of him. I don't live some. I wish I would have been in his spot. They would have gunning me down like that. That's hurtful, you know?

I got grandchildren. My other two children, I don't got none from him. They didn't give him a chance to bear nothing for me and his mother. That's hard, you know?

And I'm thinking I can see this in 1800, this is 2021 and this is still going on. We got to find a way to stop this. That's why we come straight on justice and so men can be put away for the rest of their life, so we don't have to worry about this, so black people can heal, black people are not going to heal with this stuff keep going on.


We the ones that need to be in fear. We're not killing y'all. I'm not.

KEILAR: Marcus Arbery Sr., we're going to be tracking this case very carefully and we appreciate you and, Ben, we appreciate you as well coming on this morning. Thank you, both.

CRUMP: Thank you.

KEILAR: We do have some breaking news here that New York city is announcing it will mandate vaccines for all city workers. This includes police officers. We'll the city's mayor joins us live with the breaking news.

BERMAN: And a Fox News anchor speaks out after his COVID diagnosis. Why he's striking a different tone from some of his colleagues when it comes to vaccines.


BERMAN: Breaking this morning, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio enacting a sweeping new policy that will require all city employees to get vaccinated against COVID by the end of the month. And that includes firefighters and police officers.

Joining us now, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.