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New Day

Intentional Discrimination in Arbery Jury Selection; Families are Constrained by Inflation; Freeze Alerts Issued on East Coast; Rodgers Statement About Vaccination; Tim Mak is Interviewed about the NRA. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 04, 2021 - 06:30   ET



JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. In this particular situation, you have the defense making that argument. And so I think it's a pretty interesting and unusual situation, but we are where we are --

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, lawyers call it -- it's called a reverse Batson situation.

JACKSON: Correct.

CALLAN: When the case first came down, if there was discrimination in jury selection, and somebody got convicted, their conviction would get reversed and it would get sent back for a new trial. But here it's the -- not the prosecutors who are discriminating, it's the defense attorneys. So, the only remedy would be for the judge to declare a mistrial and say, we're going to start jury selection all over again or move it to another county.

So there is a remedy that could be used. But you have a judge here who's evaluated each challenge that was given by the defense and said, well, when I questioned them about it, they have good reasons.

Now, I agree with Joey, OK, that he's probably wrong on accepting those explanations that were given by the defense attorneys. But as a judge, he's allowed to make that determination.


CALLAN: And it's very difficult to appeal that in a reverse Batson.

JACKSON: Yes, last point.


JACKSON: What we call that is a pretext, right? We know the reason I'm striking you, but I can give a racially neutral reason. I didn't like you. Your vibe was off. I didn't feel you could be fair. We could come up with 100 reasons as to why we struck you. I think the overwhelming reason as to why the defense did what they did is pretty clear, particularly not me talking, them talking, with respect to -- you heard the arguments, we want a bubba, right, where are the bubbas for the jury. You heard that.

BERMAN: The defense literally said that.

JACKSON: They literally said that.


JACKSON: Not made this. The defense saying, where are the bubba. And, just to be clear, those are, you know, white, non-college educated people. And, wait a second, where are all they? And so if -- that gives us a window. And the reason I raise that into the thinking and the mind-set with respect to their actions. So don't tell me, notwithstanding the fact that you come up with 10 reasons as to why you struck someone that it wasn't predicated upon race. Nonsense.

BERMAN: Councilors, Joey Jackson, Paul Callan, thank you both for being here.

CALLAN: Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you.

BERMAN: Appreciate it.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: So the other Joe in Washington that has everyone talking is calling last night's election result a wakeup call for Democrats, even as Biden's agenda is still up in the air. Senator Joe Manchin will join us live straight ahead.

And, this morning, a high-stakes hearing on Trump's effort to block the release of documents.

BERMAN: Aaron Rodgers said he was immunized against COVID, but he just tested positive. And, it turns out, he had never taken the vaccine.



KEILAR: As the U.S. experiences lingering high inflation and severe constraints on the supply chain, families are being forced to deal with the consequences in their everyday lives.

Evan McMorris-Santoro is live for us in New York City right now.

Evan, you spoke with one couple about how this new economic reality is affecting how they feed their kids. What did they tell you?

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, that's right. The important thing about this inflation right now is, you know, there are a lot of reasons why it's happening, but we have -- the important thing is where it's actually hitting. And it's hitting things like the cost of shelter, the cost of gasoline, like where I am at this gas station behind me. Gas is up more than a dollar since last year. And here in Manhattan, obviously up more than that. But up more than 20 cents from even last month.

And the other thing that inflation is affecting right now is food prices. These are things that you have to buy.

So I went to Canadian, Texas, to go shopping with a family to talk about what this actually means to live in America right now.


KRISTA STOTLER, PARENT: All right, let's go tackle this.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice over): What does inflation mean for American families? This is the story of the Stotler's weekly shop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to see you guys.

K. STOTLER: Good to see you.

LARRY STOTLER, PARENT: We have two biological kids. And then my wife and I have a big heart for adoption, so we adopted a sibling group of two, then three, then one, and then we have a kid living with us right now who's kind of in a foster situation.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: It feels like money isn't going as far as it used to.

K. STOTLER: OK, let's see what we can do.

I think probably in June it was about a dollar's worth a dollar. So now a dollar is worth about 70 cents.

All right, now we're moving on to dairy, which is right there.

We started seeing everything going up. Grocery prices went up. A gallon of milk was $1.99. Now it's $2.79. Well, when you buy 12 gallons a week times four weeks, you know, you're -- that's a lot of money.

That's what I'm talking about. Thanks, Ro (ph).

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Again, this is what they buy every week.

K. STOTLER: If you want to get any of these that are $1.79, you can pick five boxes worth.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Grocery shopping means tough choices right now.

L. STOTLER: We're not buying the most healthy stuff because that -- prices have gone way up. But I feel kind of guilty, sometimes we can't afford the really good things that would be healthier also.

K. STOTLER: OK, so P.F. Chang's is like the elite. So let's -- let's --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mean elite price or elite quality?

K. STOTLER: Like, both. So --


K. STOTLER: So where are the family sized meals?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The Stotler's keep a close eye on their budget and they shop deals.

K. STOTLER: This is 20 ounces. How many ounces is that?


K. STOTLER: Twenty-four, so get that one.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Krista loves a coupon.

K. STOTLER: Buy this and get Rotel and chips free is what it's supposed to be.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: But these days the family grocery list and the money they carefully plan to spend sometimes don't match.

K. STOTLER: We're at $90 already and we've got a basket and a half left.

But God is good and always provides. So let's see where we'll go.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The math at the grocery store worked out.

K. STOTLER: OK, so I don't need this. We're going to take that off and then we're going to add these items.

Awesome, guys, you all did great.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Then they had to add in the rest of the week's shopping. That gets delivered.

K. STOTLER: Oh, look, the Walmart stuff came.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The grand total, $310.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): How much would you have spent maybe back in March that you do the same thing?

K. STOTLER: So, probably we would have only spent probably about $150, $200, something like that in March, because it was quite a bit less.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice over): The Stotler's are feeling the inflation squeeze to the tune of an extra $100 a week they say. That's just for groceries.

This family may be larger than many --

K. STOTLER: Let's go through the line by birthdays. Whoever has October birthdays gets to go first.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: But they live the same middleclass life as their neighbors. The squeeze is getting tighter, and that means that middleclass life could be changing.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): If the prices keep rising the way they've been rising through the next six months, what's going to happen to, you know, life in this house?

K. STOTLER: If it continues, we're just going to have to get more creative and maybe pick up an extra job if we have to, you know, doing food delivery or, you know, something like that to -- to help make up the difference.

L. STOTLER: You can go down to, you know, beans and rice and still sustain pretty economically.


L. STOTLER: WE don't want to have to do that. You want to, you know, enjoy what you're purchasing. But there's another level you can get to just to make sure you can make it through.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So, Brianna, what this story is really about is uncertainty. Government officials and economists all suggest that this inflation rate that we're living through right now is going to come down at some point next year. But they don't know when. And so that means that right now a trip to the grocery store, you just don't know how much you're going to have to spend. And when you spend as much as the Stotler's do, obviously that affects you pretty directly. But the point of the story is, all of us are going to be feeling that squeeze eventually if these prices keep going the way that they're going.


KEILAR: Yes, indeed. And thank you so much to the Stotlers for taking us inside that process. It's so important to see.

Evan, thank you for your reporting.

Up next, Aaron Rodgers has COVID. The NFL knew that he was unvaccinated. So why did they let him play?

BERMAN: Plus, brand-new video of Kyle Rittenhouse opening fire in the Kenosha shooting. See what happened in court.



KEILAR: All right, we have a whole bunch of new freeze warnings that have been issued as bitter cold is arriving on the East Coast.

So let's check in with Jennifer Gray. What are we looking at here?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Brianna, those cold temperatures are making their way far to the south, as well as the east. Look at this. Temperatures in the 30s for a huge chunk of the country as far south as, say, Little Rock, Nashville. Even in the 30s this morning in New York City and Boston.

This weather report is brought to you by Servpro, the number one choice in cleanup and restoration.

So that cold front has made its way very far to the south. Still seeing some dreary rains across Atlanta, Charlotte. So as that moves out of the way, the drier air is going to filter in behind it but it's also going to bring those cold temperatures.

Also two coastal lows are going to bring heavy or strong on-shore winds, and that's going to create some coastal flooding across portions of the southeast. We're talking anywhere from say Florida all the way up to the North Carolina coast. We're going to see the water come onshore because of these strong onshore winds.

So temperatures saying in the 50s. So, rebounding nicely for the afternoons.


KEILAR: All right, nice afternoon. Chilly morning, I will attest to that.

GRAY: Yes, pretty chilly.

KEILAR: Jennifer, thank you.

GRAY: All right.

BERMAN: So, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will sit out Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs due to COVID protocols. It's reported that Rodgers did test positive for COVID and that he's unvaccinated.

Now, back in August, Rodgers was asked about his vaccination status, and this was his response.


QUESTION: Are you vaccinated and what's your stance on vaccinations?

AARON RODGERS, GREEN BY PACKERS QUARTERBACK: Yeah, I've been immunized. You know, there's a lot of -- a lot of conversation around it, around the league, and a lot of guys who had made statements, and I've made statements, owners who have made statements. You know, there's guys on the team that haven't been vaccinated. I think it's a personal decision. I'm not going to judge those guys.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: Joining us now, Ian Rappaport from "NFL Insider."

Ian, have you been vaccinated? Yeah, I've been immunized.

IAN RAPOPORT, "NFL INSIDER": Yes. And, you know, if you parse the words, and we spent a lot of time doing this yesterday, and I honestly spent a lot of time doing it when I first found out that Aaron Rodgers was unvaccinated. You could take it a couple different ways. You could take that "yeah" as just him taking stock of what he's going to say next, or you could take the "yeah" as him saying, yeah, I am vaccinated.

Either way, Aaron Rodgers is not vaccinated. He has, in his words, been immunized, which is, he sought a holistic or homeopathic treatment, a very expensive treatment, to try to raise his antibody levels and then went to the NFL, the NFLPA, and their joint doctors to get what is essentially an exemption. He tried to get them to say, OK, because of where your antibody levels are, you are allowed to say that you are vaccinated.


The NFL, and the NFLPA, and their joint doctors did not allow that to -- he was officially ruled to be unvaccinated. That is the reality. That is why Aaron Rodgers, despite sort of leading the public to believe that he is vaccinated, his official status is that he did not receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

BERMAN: Yes, in the NFL's mind, and the doctors they're using, it doesn't count. What he's saying he's been immunized with doesn't count, not in the same way.

Has he been following the protocols for unvaccinated players?

RAPOPORT: Right. My understanding is he has. Now, the protocols for unvaccinated players in the NFL are pretty strenuous. You have to do daily testing. You have to come in on our off day at, say, 6:00 or 6:30 a.m. and get tested every single day. During your bye week, you're not allowed to leave town because you have to, again, come into the facility every day. You have to wear a mask inside.

Aaron Rodgers has been doing all of that, which is how I first found out that he was unvaccinated because I started to ask questions when I wondered, he was wearing a mask around the facility. If you are vaccinated, you do not have to wear a mask inside.

Now, how strict has Aaron Rodgers been is now an open question because the NFL announced yesterday that they're going to be looking into potential violations from Rodgers and also from the Packers because it's the team job to police this. They are going to see how strenuously was Aaron Rodgers following these protocols.

He has done press conferences inside where he is not wearing a mask. Is that a violation and will he be fined? All of these things are going to be reviewed by the NFL. BERMAN: I was just going to ask you about the news conferences because these are things I see. He's indoors clearly unmasked there.

What happens to the Packers and Aaron Rodgers if it is deemed a violation?

RAPOPORT: Well, we have seen teams in the past -- you know, last year there were several of these teams, the Las Vegas Raiders were one that ended up in the news a lot because of several violations. But there were plenty of others. The Titans, the Ravens, teams who did not strictly follow the NFL and the NFLPA's COVID-19 protocols. And those teams got hit with hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines, depending on how egregious the violation is. There were draft pick losses as well.

So, look, for the Packers, the consequences could actually be pretty significant. They go back and they, you know, review the press conferences if they have footage of Rodgers not wearing a mask in the locker room, putting others at risk because of his unvaccinated status, they could face fines or loss of draft picks, or both.

BERMAN: Well, look, we wish Aaron Rodgers good health and those who are around him and may have been exposed to him.

Ian Rapoport, really good reporting. We appreciate you being with us, as always.

RAPOPORT: All right, thanks, guys. Thanks for having me.

BERMAN: A new book profiles the downfall of the NRA, including a, quote, weekend from hell when the leaders all turned on each other.

KEILAR: Plus, new CNN reporting on how Democrats are struggling when it comes to messaging and the culture wars as the party breathes a sigh of relief with a win overnight in New Jersey.



KEILAR: The National Rifle Association. It is one of the most well- known and most influential organizations in the country, boasting around 5 million members. But the organization is in trouble. It's in serious trouble.

My next guest documents the corruption, the crimes, the discords that has been tearing at the seams of this foundation for quite some time. With us now is Washington investigative correspondent for NPR, Tim Mak. He's also the author of this book, "Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA," that you can get now.

OK, Tim, this is a fascinating look inside of this organization. And you paint the picture, appropriately, of corruption. But you also talk about a political shift that I would like to discuss that happens after Sandy Hook where you saw so many small children killed.


KEILAR: Tell us about that.

MAK: Yes. So after Sandy Hook, you know, the NRA makes a decision to double down on only pursuing conservative and Republican support. Previously they had put a lot of strategic value in reaching out to moderate Democrats, right? Democrats who they could partner up with on their issues.

But, afterwards, they kind of embraced this culture war approach. They found it to be very, very successful in ginning up fundraising and membership during the Obama years. But this all comes to a head during the Trump era.

KEILAR: The effect of this, though, is that it becomes kind of extreme in its messaging, the NRA does.

MAK: Yes, but, also, financially, they're dependent on kind of pushing this messaging during the Obama era, and it gets them in a lot of trouble during the Trump administration. Fundraising plummets. They find themselves in serious financial problems to the point that in 2018 they couldn't even -- they almost didn't make payroll. That's how serious their financial situation was.

KEILAR: So, tell us about the role of Wayne LaPierre and if all of this would have kind of gone down without Wayne LaPierre.

MAK: Well, look, what was so interesting about writing this book is the NRA is kind of like a black box, right? We don't know a lot about the personalities and the people behind the scenes. And so this book starts with a scene at Wayne LaPierre's wedding, and he doesn't show up. But he's ultimately kind of harangued into the wedding ceremony in this very awkward scene that starts out the book. And it paints Wayne LaPierre as this kind of anxious, almost cowardly figure, who's pushed and bullied in all sorts of ways to approve millions of dollars in self-dealing contracts and golden parachutes for people that are related to the NRA. And that's how he's been able to stay at the head of this organization for decades.

KEILAR: You describe here in the spring of 2019 the weekend from hell. It is the annual meeting of the NRA where so much of this comes to a head. You were there covering it. What all did you learn?

MAK: Well, what's so interesting about this book, "Misfire," is that I obtained thousands of pages of secret depositions, internal NRA emails, private documents that let me paint a picture of what really happened behind the scenes.


So, at this meeting in 2019 of this climactic confrontation between Oliver North, who's, at the time, the NRA president, and wants to initiate an internal audit of the NRA's finances, trying to figure out what's going on, and he gets pushed out.