Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

Biden Wraps up Meeting with Pope; Sheriff Adan Mendoza is Interviewed about the Shooting Probe; CNN Heroes for 2021. Aired 8:30- 9a ET

Aired October 29, 2021 - 08:30   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, history being made here at the G- 20. President Biden having his big meet with the pope. We have some footage for you of people leaving the meeting, very long. We'll discuss what that means.

First, I hear we have Jill Biden, the first lady, saying good-bye as she prepares to exit. Where is the president? He's still in there. Why? Because after you meet with the pope, you meet with the extended leadership there and have more policy type discussions.

Now, there goes el papa in the Fiat.

And Delia Gallagher is with me.

Boy, you talk about different images.


CUOMO: The most powerful man in Catholicism leaves in that little tiny car and Joe Biden shows up about 80 cars deep in one of the biggest Cadillacs that they call The Beast.

GALLAGHER: Yes, it's always -- it's always a big show of force with the U.S. and their security. And, of course, Pope Francis, you know, he always travels in the small car possible, a little tiny Fiat. So he leaves there. Of course, he doesn't live there anymore. He has to go back to his house. It's lunch time now, so he's probably going back to have a little bit of lunch because he's got a full day too.

So, the president is still inside with the Vatican secretary of state, the Vatican foreign minister, talking about some of the more, as you said, policy issues. But the interesting thing is how long the meeting with the pope lasted. You know, we're hearing from 90 minutes to the Vatican saying an hour and a quarter, basically. I mean you've got to consider you've got the face to face closed door, and that's what we're talking about. Then you've got the extended meeting where he meets the first lady, meets the entourage, there's an exchange of gifts. But that face to face lasted a long time.

CUOMO: What was the gifts?

GALLAGHER: Gifts. So, the pope gave the president a ceramic tile with a pilgrim on it pointing to St. Peter's. An etched tile.

CUOMO: Oh, wait, what are we watching now, right now?

GALLAGHER: We've got something here.

CUOMO: Oh, OK, so here's some video.

GALLAGHER: OK, there's some -- there's some images.

CUOMO: Of them together.

GALLAGHER: Now, remember, we didn't see this live broadcast, so, obviously, the Vatican has just given us these images of the two greeting and sitting down. You can hear the cameras clicking in the background. This is just the first few minutes before they start their formal talks, obviously. And you've got a translator there. And, there we go, some of the formal pictures with the first lady and President Biden. He also gets to meet other members of the entourage. There we go. And that's always a big moment for the members of the entourage usually to have a moment to meet the pope.

CUOMO: We saw the secretary of state there, the security adviser, Tony Blinken, Jake Sullivan.

GALLAGHER: So they've given us -- they've given us a good -- a good bit of this. Now, normally, there would be journalists in there. We have pool at -- Vatican journalists, White House journalists that could go in there. But the Vatican hasn't allowed that since COVID.

CUOMO: Now, in your understanding of Francis, they say his face -- his face always tells you how he feels.

GALLAGHER: Well, look, we parse the face so much. But, you know what, Chris, when he's meeting heads of states and he does those official pictures, he usually has quite a dour expression. I don't want to read too much into that.

CUOMO: He doesn't look dour here.

GALLAGHER: Here, he's very happy, obviously, but he's meeting people. I'm talking about when he does the official pictures, you know? We've always looked at those and said, well, he's not looking happy. He's never -- but certainly here, you know, he's meeting people. So you'd expect him to -- to smile. I mean that's --

CUOMO: Also interesting, even though during COVID, shaking hands with everybody.


GALLAGHER: Shaking hands. Yes. Well, he's vaccinated now. He wasn't -- you know, there was an issue a while back because he didn't want to wear a mask, the pope. He was doing audiences without a mask. CUOMO: Well, he'd just fit right in, in America.

GALLAGHER: But now he's -- but now, you know, he's -- he's vaccinated. The word is he got his booster shot.

There's the gift. There's -- the Bidens gave that to the pope. That --

CUOMO: What was that?

GALLAGHER: That's a vestment. It's a hand woven vestment from the 1930s that came from a church in Washington, D.C., Holy Trinity Church, where -- it was founded in the 1700s, very involved in abolition of slavery, Abraham Lincoln visited that church, John Kennedy worshipped at that church. So that has a lot of significance.

This is the ceramic tile I was telling you about, if you can see that, with the etching. And that was the pope's gift to President Biden, along with he traditionally gives him, any head of state, a number of his writings, right? So his encyclicals and -- and his last document on human fraternity.

CUOMO: The significance of what the first lady is wearing on her head?

GALLAGHER: So, that's the black montia (ph). That's a veil which is traditional. You don't have to wear it, but when you meet the pope, generally the protocol is black. So black suits for men or at least a dark suit, let's say. And women will generally wear a skirt and a veil. But, you know, not necessary. Only Catholic queens can wear white to meet the pope.

CUOMO: And when they're speaking with him, there's a translator right there.


CUOMO: The pope understands English, but it's not a language of facility for him.

GALLAGHER: The pope understands. The pope understands. You can see the translator right there. And he understands English. And he can express himself in small talk in English. As we know, they've met before. So there's, obviously, already a bit of a rapport there. And this is the official picture.

So -- so these are the gifts from the pope for the entourage. He usually gives them a medal, a small medal or a rosary indeed. And there we go, again, with some of the gifts from -- that's a big vestment. That's a -- that's a really nice gift, I think, for -- for Pope Francis, that embroidered vestment used by the Society of Jesus in the U.S.

You can also listen in to a little bit of the small talk.

CUOMO: What did he say, Joe Biden, the president said -- demand coin (ph). Oh, OK.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That he gives to warrior and leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: And you are the most significant warrior for peace I've ever met.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: And with your permission, I'd like to be able to give you a coin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: It has the U.S. seal on the front.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: What's different with this coin, usually, I know my son would want me to give this to you because of the back of it. I have the state of Delaware, the 261st unit my son served with.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: The tradition is, I'm only kidding about this, next time I see you, you don't have it, you have to buy the drinks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).


BIDEN: I'm -- I'm the only Irishman you've ever met who's never had a drink.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

POPE FRANCIS: (speaking in foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: I know that.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

CUOMO: That was really interesting. Let's see if they say anything else and then I'll explain that.


POPE FRANCIS: Thank you for that.

JILL BIDEN: You're welcome.

POPE FRANCIS: Thank you.


POPE FRANCIS: Thank you very much. Thank you for that.

BIDEN: (INAUDIBLE) the famous African-American baseball player in America.

POPE FRANCIS: I know. I know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: And he didn't get to play in the Major League Baseball until he was 45 years old because he was black.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: And he was a pitcher. He threw the ball.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: And usually pitchers lose their arm when they're 35.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: He pitched to win on his 47th birthday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: The press walked into the locker room and said -- his name was Satchel Paige.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: They came and the guy said, Satch, no one's ever pitched to win at age 47. How do you feel about pitching a win on your birthday?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).


BIDEN: And he looked at them and he said, boys, that's not how I look at age.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry, what he said.

BIDEN: Boys, that's not how I look at age.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: I look at it this way. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language).

BIDEN: You're 65. I'm 60.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking in foreign language). BIDEN: God love you.

Thank you.


BIDEN: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

CUOMO: Boy, oh, boy.

GALLAGHER: Well, there you go.

CUOMO: I'll tell you what, my guess is you just saw two moments between a president and a pope that you have never seen before and you will never see again. The first one, it's a big military tradition --


CUOMO: But presidents also, they have coins that are called Command Coins. And with the military, it's a sign of regard. And commanders have it. The commander in chief has one.

I've never heard of him giving it -- you know, who he gives it to or who he doesn't. He just gave it to the pope. And he even said that it's significant to him, first, heart breaking, his son served in the 261 and that's on the back of the coin with the state of Delaware and that, obviously, matters to the president and the pontiff had consoled him when his son Beau passed.

So he gives it to him and then, Delia, he tells him, I can't believe he said this to the pope, he says, the deal is, the next time I see you, if you don't have this coin, the drinks are on you. And the pope responded through his translator, yeah, I'm OK with that. And Biden said, remember, I'm an Irishman, so the drinks matter to me.

First of all, the casualness of all that is obviously, I'm sure, notable to you. Then he tells him a story about this famous pitcher from what was then called the Negro Leagues, Satchel Paige, a phenomenal athlete, wasn't allowed to play because he was black, didn't get into the league until his late 40s and then pitched a win. And someone said to him, you know, wow, 47, and you pitched your win, you must feel amazing. And he said, I don't see age that way. The way I see it is, you are as old as you would think you were if you didn't know how old you are. And he told that story to the pope. And he said, you're 65, I'm 60. And for him to share those kinds of moments --

GALLAGHER: Well, that was great. I mean, look, that, to me, kind of encapsulates the rapport between these two because Joe Biden obviously feels comfortable enough to speak to the pope in that way, and tell those jokes. Why? Because the pope does the same thing. The pope is very personable like that. He loves the stories. He goes on and on and on. And that's why -- now I understand why the meeting took so long, they were probably sharing jokes back and forth and sharing stories, but that were meaningful. You know, it's not -- it's not a flippant thing. I mean those --

CUOMO: For a pope to tolerate that, the next time I see you drinks are on you and to think that's funny, you ever heard of that before?

GALLAGHER: Oh, no, he -- he -- listen, I have seen it time and time again. I mean this is the man from the streets of Buenos Aries who loves the people. You know, he loves the personal story like that. That is the kind of thing that works with him, very, very well. And you can see that the president picked up on that and that's probably the president's personality as well. But you can see that easy rapport there.

CUOMO: Boy, you know, I'll tell you what, it seemed to reveal on one level, they've got all these important things to talk about. Let's not forget how human beings work, OK. The practical, the political, always follows the personal. If you trust -- if there's amenity, if there's a sense friendship, things can be achieved.


CUOMO: And it really gives you a little bit of insight into the connection between the men.


CUOMO: And you can only imagine how purposeful the rest of the conversation was. And, of course, we'll learn as they want us to learn. The White House will tell us more than the pontiff.

Delia Gallagher, I couldn't sit next to somebody who knows more and is better for the audience than you.

GALLAGHER: Thank you.

CUOMO: A pleasure. A pleasure.

All right, we're going to take a commercial break. When we come back, you just saw some history. We're living it together. Stay with CNN.



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Just in to CNN, we're hearing for first time from the armorer who was working during the deadly incident on Alec Baldwin's film set "Rust." Attorneys for Hannah Gutierrez write in a statement that has just been released, this, safety is Hannah's number one priority on set. Ultimately this set would never have been compromised if live ammo were not introduced. Hannah has no idea where the live rounds came from. The whole production set became unsafe due to various factors, including lack of safety meetings, not the fault of Hannah.

So, this comes after investigators announced that they are focusing their probe on Gutierrez and the assistant director Dave Halls. The Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza joining us now to talk about this.

You know, first, as we hear from Hannah Gutierrez, have you interviewed her?

SHERIFF ADAN MENDOZA, SANTA FE COUNTY, NEW MEXICO: Miss Gutierrez-Reed did do an initial interview and I think the investigators have been in contact with her. So there has been an interview that's been completed. But, obviously, we want some clarification and some follow- up information in regards to the investigation.

KEILAR: Is she cooperating with you, seeking that clarification?

MENDOZA: As of right now, according to my investigators, that she is cooperating.

KEILAR: OK, so she's responding to questions they have. What about -- what about David Halls?

MENDOZA: David Halls is -- as we know, has retained counsel and we'll be working with his counsel hopefully to do a follow-up interview and also some clarification questions in reference to the incident.

KEILAR: OK. And Alec Baldwin popped up in Vermont. Were you aware that he was in Vermont?

MENDOZA: I was aware he was not in the state of New Mexico. I wasn't aware of his exact location.

KEILAR: OK. And so in this statement that we see from Hannah Gutierrez's lawyers, they paint this picture of many corners being cut.


They say that she was fighting for training, days to maintain weapons, proper time to prepare for gunfire, but that ultimately she was overruled by production and her department. And they talk about a lack of safety, including lack of safety meetings. Is that what you found?

MENDOZA: In all fairness, this is the first that we've heard of this statement. It's just been newly released. We like time to see that statement. And, obviously, we will take that statement and I'm sure our investigators will have follow-up questions and any issues that she's brought to the forefront will follow up on those. So we need time to look at the statement. And, again, we encourage Miss Gutierrez-Reed to come to our office and do some follow-up interview to add some clarification.

KEILAR: The shooting happened after lunch. In this statement she says that the guns were locked up every night and at lunch. And that there's no way a single one of them was unaccounted for or being shot by crew members.

Are you any closer to figuring out why the live round ended up in this gun?

MENDOZA: No, we aren't. And so, again, we encourage Miss Gutierrez- Reed to come in so we can try to determine, you know, how those live rounds ended up on set, who brought them there and why they were there. There's a lot of follow-up questions. I appreciate her statement. But, again, I encourage her to work with our investigators to come in and clarify some of the questions that we do have.

KEILAR: OK, just to follow up, you're encouraging her to come in and answer clarification questions. Is she not doing that?

MENDOZA: Well, I know she's been in contact with our investigators. I know that she had recently had counsel. So, again, we're working with her. As far as my investigators are concerned, she is cooperating. But the sooner the better that she comes in we can clarify some of these questions.

KEILAR: Is it possible this is intentional, that someone intentionally introduced a live round?

MENDOZA: There's -- there's all kinds of possibilities. And, again, we want to just get to the truth and the facts of the matter. So that's the focus of the -- of the investigation as I stated, why these rounds were there, who brought them there, and how they got there.

KEILAR: All right, Sheriff, thank you. Obviously, so many questions that we still have here.

Sheriff Mendoza, appreciate it.

MENDOZA: Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, CNN Heroes is back. For 15 years, the campaign has shined a spotlight on everyday people changing the world. We've shared these inspiring stories with you all year long. Now, here to announce the top ten CNN Heroes of the Year, our own Anderson Cooper, the co-host of the 15th annual "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which will air live across CNN platforms on Sunday, December 12th, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Big, big announcement, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "AC 360": Big announcement indeed. Let's take a look.


COOPER: From Philadelphia, pediatric surgeon Ala Stanford saw COVID-19 ravaging communities of color, so she built trust and brought testing and vaccinations to more than 75,000 people.

From San Francisco, David Flink is building understanding and confidence using his journey with ADHD and dyslexia to help kids with learning differences across America thrive.

In New York City, Hector Guadalupe uses fitness training to help formally incarcerated men and women like himself get family sustaining jobs and build careers.

From Cartagena, Colombia, Jenifer Colpas brings ecofriendly energy, safe water and sanitation to struggling Colombians living in remote areas.

Lynda Doughty, of Phippsburg, Maine, monitors 2,500 miles of coastline providing life-saving support and medical care to thousands of marine animals.

From Bali, Indonesia, exchanging plastic waste for rice. Restaurant owner Made Janur Yasa has sent tons of plastic for recycling and provided food to thousands of families during the pandemic.

And in Simi Valley, California, Michele Neff Hernandez has turned her profound grief into sustaining support for the widowed.

Oncologist Patricia Gordon walked away from her Beverly Hills private practice to save women around the world from dying of preventable and treatable cervical cancer.

On L.A.'s skid row, Shirley Raines brings dignity and respect to thousands of homeless people every week, rain or shine.

And in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Zannah Mustapha educates orphaned children from both sides of a violent, extremist conflict, providing support to more than 2,000 boys and girls a year.



BERMAN: Oh, my God, it's so much fun to see them all together, at once, at one place like that.

COOPER: Yes. Yes.

BERMAN: So, remind us, how do you pick somebody to be a CNN Hero? And what happens if -- if you win?

COOPER: So all the CNN Heroes, you know, all year long, as you guys know because you've been doing this as long as I have, it's people who nominate all the CNN Heroes. And we profile a different one every week. And then it boils down to the final ten, which are picked by a panel. But now it's going to be up to everybody at home and watching to vote for the CNN Hero of the Year. That person is going to get $100,000 to continue their life changing work. The other nine CNN Heroes will get $10,000 to continue their work and a lot of exposure, which will help their -- help them grow their cause.

You can vote for who you want to be the CNN Hero of the Year. You can vote 10 -- up to 10 times a day. Just go to Very simple. You can find all the information there, how to actually vote. You can do it, as I said, ten times. You can do it for multiple people. And we'll see who wins on the CNN Hero of the Year December 12th.

KEILAR: That's interesting. Ten times. So enthusiasm matters.

COOPER: There are people who like get all their friends, who, like, really do it as much as they can, ten times a day. BERMAN: There are countries in the past that have done it.

COOPER: There are countries that have mobilized. Yes, that's true.

BERMAN: Your co-host this year?

COOPER: Kelly Ripa, as -- as -- I'm thrilled that she's coming back.

KEILAR: And so this is -- that is very exciting, I will say. This is the 15th anniversary of CNN Heroes.

COOPER: Yes. I can't believe it's been 15 years.

KEILAR: It's the most program --

COOPER: I had brown hair when we started.

KEILAR: It -- it's --

BERMAN: You never -- we know you're lying because you never had brown hair.

COOPER: Well, I did when -- a long time ago. In my mind I had brown hair.

KEILAR: Ish. Ish.

It is the most fun program that you anchor sober I will say on our air, right?

So -- but you're looking back now on --

COOPER: Oh, you think I'm sober for this?

KEILAR: I'm -- OK -- well, you know, I was hoping.

COOPER: No, I am.


When you look back on 15 years, I mean, I just think of all -- all of the people who have made such a difference.


KEILAR: What do you reflect on?

COOPER: You know, it's incredible when -- because of it we have ongoing relationships with a lot of -- I mean with all these people. We try to keep in touch with them. And, you know, I -- we all run across them in stories that we do when we're out in the field. If you're in Afghanistan, there's people who are in Afghanistan right now who have been CNN Heroes. If you're, you know, wherever you go in the world, you can find them still doing their work. And it's fun to see how their work has evolved over these 15 years.

BERMAN: It's such a wonderful event each year and it's wonderful that you've been involved from the very beginning.

Anderson, thank you very much.

COOPER: Thanks. Thanks.

BERMAN: So, ten amazing individuals, all of whom prove that one person can make a difference. And you can help decide which one of them will be CNN Hero of the Year. Just go to and vote every day for the hero that inspires you the most.

KEILAR: Vote early. Vote often.

BERMAN: All right.

COOPER: Yes, start voting today.

BERMAN: Up next, we're going to continue our special coverage with President Biden in Rome. A pope. We saw a coin. Talking about drinks. And what will this mean for U.S. allies going forward?