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New Day

Jackie Alemany is Interviewed about the Capitol Riot; Supreme Court Hears Abortion Ban; David Beasley is Interviewed about the World Food Program; Wilbur Chen is Interviewed about Pfizer's Vaccine Approval. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 02, 2021 - 06:30   ET



JACKIE ALEMANY, AUTHOR, "WASHINGTON POST," "THE EARLY 202": Because the repercussions and the spirit of January 6th and the riot and the insurrection on the Capitol that we saw lives on and well and is thriving. I think we are seeing it permeate a lot of state legislatures, local election officials. And, you know, this galvanizing idea of election integrity is what's taken hold in a lot of Republican legislatures and Republican campaigns around the country.

There are now 390 local officials that are running for office on the platform of the fact that there was election fraud, which, again, is unsubstantiated. There have been countless investigations and nothing that is valid has come out of these investigations.

But, nevertheless, these candidates are all campaigning on this platform. Even some of the people who held the line against President Trump. The Arizona attorney general who said, you know, I don't agree with the president. We don't need to do these audits. I've seen no such evidence of election fraud, is now running against Mark Kelly in the Senate seat on the idea of election fraud and is actually having his office conduct an investigation into -- from his election integrities office at the moment, which Democrats are calling a political stunt.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's really amazing how it's shifted, the insurrection, from being a point of shame to a point of pride for some election officials around the country and even a campaign platform.

Mike Pence, the former vice president of the United States, who may want to be president going forward, he is having to explain his decision not to overturn the election unilaterally on January 6th.

Let's listen to what he said last night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the name of the person who told you to buck President Trump's plan and certify the votes?



BERMAN: He brought up James Madison because James Madison, one of the primary authors of the Constitution. And what Mike Pence is suggesting there is he had no constitutional authority to overturn the election, despite what John Eastman and lawyers who were working on behalf of the president were saying.

ALEMANY: Yes, and that's something that we go into in the (INAUDIBLE), that public -- that the public and private pressure campaign, the extreme pressure campaign on President Pence. You had John Eastman arguing this six-point memo to the vice president in the days leading up to January 6th and on January 6th, actually, we were able to uncover these private emails between Vice President Pence's general council, Breg (ph) Jacob and John Eastman, one of which John Eastman blamed Pence for the violence as Pence's team was under cover and hiding from the insurrectionists.

When I asked John Eastman about this email, where he said that everyone was under siege because of your boss' decision, John Eastman said that it was a gross exaggeration, to say that Mike Pence was running for his live because that was some of the language that our sources had run by us.

Then, after the fact, at 8:00 p.m., John Eastman, on that day of the insurrection, after the violence, after Vice President Pence had retaken the Senate chamber floor to preside over the electoral certification, and people had died because of the insurrection, John Eastman sent another email saying, by the way, you can still do this. You've already violated the Electoral Count Act by having debate go over two hours, so it's nullified and you now have the constitutional authority to go ahead and send this back to the state legislatures.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Amazing. He asked, what would James Madison do? We also know that he asked, what would Dan Quayle do?

BERMAN: Right. Exactly.

KEILAR: He consulted with Dan Quayle. So --

ALEMANY: When in doubt, call Dan Quayle.

KEILAR: Yes. And James Madison.

BERMAN: You'll get your phone -- you'll get you (INAUDIBLE) more quickly than asking for James Madison. I'll just say that.

Jackie, thank you so much.

ALEMANY: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Terrific reporting.

So you can join Jake Tapper for a new CNN Special Report, "Trumping Democracy: An American Coup." It begins Friday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

So reading the tea leaves. What the Supreme Court is likely to do in the case of the abortion ban in Texas.

KEILAR: Plus, the assistant director under scrutiny in the shooting involving Alec Baldwin is now breaking his silence.

And Hillary Clinton's closest aide speaking out about the email scandal involving her ex-husband that Huma Abedin says will follow her to the grave.



BERMAN: So a flurry of speculation this morning that the Supreme Court might be open to letting challengers take on the controversial abortion law in Texas. Two conservative justices appear willing to hear arguments from abortion providers that want to challenge the law in federal court.

Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic here reading the tea leaves.

Now, we have to read them and hear them because we couldn't see the arguments yesterday because they don't let cameras in the courtroom. It would have been nice yesterday, but you listened and you have a really good sense of maybe where some of these justices are heading.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: Remember, John, I was in the courtroom. I was --

BERMAN: That's awesome.

KEILAR: You were our eyes. We could see it too, Joan.

BISKUPIC: I was there. Yes. They have -- remember, they are relatively new to this new setting from -- because of pandemic isolation and they have let in a certain number of spectators, all of us masked. You know, reporters, law clerks, guests of the justices. So, I was there.

OK, so it was -- it was an incredibly spirited, revealing set of arguments that went an hour over for three hours. That was really unusual. And lots of great exchanges. Probably the most consequential were ones initiated by Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who were in the majority to stop this -- to allow this law to take effect and empower citizens to essentially go after anyone who tries to -- who helps someone have an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

And we'll listen to Brett Kavanaugh express concerns first about if states can actually insulate themselves from bans on apportion, what about any kind of other bans on other constitutional rights?


Let's hear what he had to say.


JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT: Could be free speech rights. It could be free exercise of religion rights. It could be Second Amendment rights if this position is accepted here, the theory of the amicus brief is that it can be easily replicated in other states that disfavor other constitutional rights.


BISKUPIC: He's concerned about the domino effect here. And I think that was a good, good sign that, likely, he, and as I said, possibly Justice Barrett, might now be willing to actually vote against Texas, at least at this initial stage, and put the law temporarily on hold while lower court proceedings look at the merits of this law that Texas -- this very unconventional law.

Now, Elena Kagan, who's one of the three remaining liberals on the bench. So, in the minority. We know where she stands. But she crystallized several points and said at one -- during one exchange to the lawyer for Texas, the solicitor general, Judge Stone, she said, essentially, let's get real here. This is not a hypothetical situation anymore. There are actually women in Texas have been stopped from exercising their constitutional right to abortion. A constitutional right that has been in place since 1973's Roe versus Wade. And let's hear what she also had to say about the possible domino effect here.

This is Elena Kagan coming now.


JUSTICE ELANA KAGAN, SUPREME COURT: Essentially, we would be inviting states, all 50 of them, with respect to their unpreferred constitutional rights, to try to nullify the law of -- that this court has laid down as to the content of those rights. I mean that was something that until this law came along, no state dreamed of doing, and essentially we would be like, where -- you know, we're open for -- you're open for business. There's -- there's a -- there's nothing the Supreme Court can do about it. Guns, same-sex marriage, religious rights, whatever you don't like, do ahead.


BISKUPIC: So, all told, it looked like there should now be a majority to at least temporarily block this law and let lower courts take a look at it. Again, we don't know yet because, remember, we still had twice the Supreme Court conservative majority has let it be in effect. So for two full months, women in Texas essentially have not had the right to abortion. So that will be the next thing we'll see from there.

And then, just to remind everyone of what's coming next, an actual challenge to the core merits of Roe v. Wade will be heard by the justices on December 1st in a Mississippi case where the state has tried to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

BERMAN: It's important people know that. They could still block the Texas law, but later, more or less overturn Roe versus Wade in Mississippi. BISKUPIC: That's completely it, John. And that's, frankly, what we're

expecting, if not outright overturning, seriously undercutting for the first time in nearly half a century.

BERMAN: Joan Biskupic, thank you very much for explaining all this and for being in the room. One of the few people who could actually see this historic moment --


BERMAN: That the rest of us could only hear. But I'm not really that interested in that. No, I don't care that much about that.

Thank you, Joan.

KEILAR: He really is interested in that.

BERMAN: It's madness.

KEILAR: I know. It is -- I just would love to see it --


KEILAR: And not have to go in person, which on -- you can't even do now. You can't do right now.

BERMAN: Hard to get a ticket.

BISKUPIC: (INAUDIBLE). I'll tell you.

KEILAR: What? You'll tell what?

BISKUPIC: I'll just keep coming back.

BERMAN: Oh, yes. Yes. Keep -- yes.

KEILAR: Yes. I was like, you'll tell me what? OK, yes, you'll keep telling me all about what you've see here.

Joan, thank you so much.

So, in our Adele segment of the day, as it were, the singer releasing the new track list for her highly-anticipated new album. The 12-song album includes titles "Oh, My God," "I Drink Wine," "All Night Parking," and "Cry Your Heart Out." These are apt song titles.

BERMAN: I think one -- every one of Adele's songs is called "Cry Your Heart Out," right? Isn't this like the ninth version of "Cry Your Heart Out"?

KEILAR: Well, they make you -- they make you cry your heart out.

So, I mean, these are pretty good song titles for any Adele album. The first single, "Easy On Me," is topping the billboard hot 100 song charts for a second week in a row.

BERMAN: The sequel is, I still drink wine.

KEILAR: Right.

BERMAN: I drink a lot of wine.

KEILAR: I drink wine. I don't even care what the song sounds like, that was my favorite one.

BERMAN: I'm still crying my heart out. That's the album follow-up for Adele right there.

All right, so, Elon Musk says he will pay $6 billion if the head of the U.N. Food Bank proves that money would solve world hunger. The head of the food bank responds, next.

KEILAR: Plus, we're now learning what the last words of Haylna Hutchins were after she was accidentally shot by Alec Baldwin.



KEILAR: $6 billion could alleviate global poverty and help 42 million people who are on the brink of starvation. That is according to the World Food Program, which is calling on billionaires like Tesla's Elon Musk to donate. In response, Musk tweeted this, "if WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it. He added that it must be open source accounting so that the public can see where the money is going.

Joining me now is David Beasley, he is the head of the U.N. World Food Program.

David, you responded to this. The World Food Program responded to this.

Tell us what you are saying to Elon Musk.


He wants an explanation here about how this money could be used.

DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: You know, I -- this is fantastic news because Elon's a very, very smart guy. And for him to even enter into this conversation is a game- changer because, simply put, we can answer his questions, we can put forward the plan that's clear.

We're the world's largest operation, now feeding about 120 million people. But because of COVID impacting already climate change and conflict, we have a one-time crisis of about 42 million people that are literally knocking on famine's door. It will cost about -- over $6 billion to reach those 42 million. And we can do that.

And I will show him. We will put it out in front of him. We have all the cost accounting, public transparency. Any and everything that he would ask, we would be glad to answer it. And I look forward to having this discussion with him because lives are at stake.

I'm not picking on Elon Musk. I'm so happy that he's making money. But, as you know, during the height of COVID, billionaires made extraordinary amounts of money. Governments are tapped out. We've got people dying. And we've got an answer to this. And, please help us on this one-time ask. Please help us.

KEILAR: You're calling on billionaires, as you said, because governments are tapped out. You're at this crucial moment.

Describe for us the state of -- I know you said 42 million, but take us through what it is like to be one of those people.

BEASLEY: Oh, my gosh, Brianna, I go out in the field, as you know, all the time. And I remember in Yemen, I was tickling a little girl's foot. She might have been a year old. And it was like tickling a ghost. She didn't respond. I have four children. I've seen in -- just recently in Madagascar, and in the Central Americas, as well as in Ethiopia, and Sudan, and the (INAUDIBLE), the children that are emaciated and bloated and dying from hunger.

And so when I joined the World Food Program, there were 80 million people, what we say, marching toward starvation. That number spiked to 135 pre-COVID because of manmade conflict (ph) and climate change.

But COVID had just compounded it to 270 million people. COVID is going to come back down. Economies are going to start moving again strongly. And so we have a one-time crisis. And if we don't, Brianna, do this, let me tell you what's going to happen. It's not that just people will die. You're also talking about destabilization of nations and mass migration, which is a hundred times more expensive than the $6 billion. In fact, it could be a thousand times more.

Let me give you a simple example in Central America. Just recently, I saw on "The Washington Post" where they had an article that the United States was spending $60 million a week at a cost of $3,750 per person, children and teenagers in shelters. That same child back in Guatemala, we can do it for $1 to $2 a week.

People don't want to leave home, but if they don't have food and any degree of peace, they would do what any of us would do as moms and dads, and they're going to find it. But we -- when we feed 120 million people like we do every day, week, month, and year, we survey people and talk to people. They don't want to leave.

And so this 42 million we're talk about, they are on famine's door. It's the worst-case scenario. This is a one-time ask for the world's billionaires.

I saw Elon's, just yesterday, net worth increase, went up $21 million. Last year, the top 400 billionaires net worth went up $8.1 trillion. I'm not picking on them. I'm saying, hey, great, you've made money, please, please, help share right now in a one-time crisis to save lives, keep nations from destabilizing, and to keep mass migration from taking place.

It's a cheap fix and it's only a book deviant (ph) accounting. Please help us.

KEILAR: Well, as you have said, $6 billion does not solve world hunger, but it could save 42 million lives. So we will see how Elon Musk responds and if he puts his money where 42 million mouths are.

Thank you so much, David Beasley. Really, really appreciate it.

BEASLEY: Thank you, Brianna.

KEILAR: Up next, the CDC is set to vote on the Pfizer vaccine for kids five to 11. We're going to speak with a doctor who will participate in that vote.

BERMAN: And it's Election Day. Virginia and New Jersey, polls are open. These outcomes will have huge implications.



BERMAN: You know, it is a pivotal day in the fight against the pandemic as the CDC is set to vote on authorizing Pfizer's COVID vaccine for children ages five to 11. With 15 million doses already distributed in anticipation of approval, just how soon could your child get the shot?

Joining us now is a member of the CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices, Dr. Wilbur Chen.

Dr. Chen, thank you so much for being with us.

You're a part of this today. Assuming you say yes, when does that mean kids can get the shot?

DR. WILBUR CHEN, MEMBER, CDC'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON IMMUNIZATION PRACTICES: Yes, my -- I don't know exactly when all of the states and jurisdictions will be ready to go, but I think that a lot of people will be ready to go by the end of the week, if not tomorrow. You know, my own medical system is ready to go on Monday next week.

KEILAR: So, I mean, we should be clear here, you had 101,000 children, that's a lot, who were infected with COVID last week. It's declining, but it's still very high.

CHEN: Yes. You know, I think that what you're bringing out is that children continue to be vulnerable because they are a part of the population that has not been allowed to receive vaccine. We'll look at the data to see how safe the vaccine is and how efficacious it will be and wave the decisions on, you know, what we think it will do to -- to the pandemic in our entire population because children are a very important part of our population.

BERMAN: You know the Kaiser Family Foundation just put out a poll that shows that only 33 percent of parents say they're definitely going to have their children vaccinated.

How do you make inroads there?

CHEN: Yes, that's a terrific question. And, you know, a lot of parents are very concerned about the safety features about the vaccine. They may have received it themselves and still have a lot of hesitancy regarding the value of the vaccine in their own children.

So, I think that there's a big divide. I think that we continue to have a problem with the public understanding the value of these vaccines. We will discuss the safety of these vaccines. We'll discuss the efficacy today. It'll be an ongoing discussion.

And I think that, again, after this meeting, it will be the beginning of a many series of meetings at the local level with everyone so that they can understand the true value of these vaccines. I don't expect that, you know, this meeting will convince 50 percent or more of the population to get vaccinated or to have their children vaccinated. So I think, again, it's just the beginning of a number of conversations to be able to discuss these vaccines.

KEILAR: And, Dr. Chen, can you talk to us about how the CDC is now pointing to this new research that shows immunity from the vaccine is more consistent than immunity from an infection. What can you tell us about this?

CHEN: Yes, there is data that is suggesting that, you know, when you vaccinate someone, it really seems to have, you know, a more predictable immune response, which is protective and long lasting.


And is, of course, a safe way to illicit a protective immune response, compared to infection, for which the strength of the infection, you know, can also affect the immune response.