Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

Six More Trump Advisors Subpoenaed by Jan. 6 Committee; Trump Tells Crowd He's Reason Youngkin Won; Fire Chief: Rapper Travis Scott Shares Some Blame for Stampede; Emotional Reunions at Airports After COVID Travel Ban Lifted; Jury Sees Graphic Body Cam Video of Arbery's Body on Scene. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired November 09, 2021 - 06:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman on this NEW DAY.


And a new round of subpoenas targeting prominent allies in former President Trump's orbit. Who the January 6th Committee wants to hear from this time.

And the investigation into the deadly Astroworld concert is now turning to toxicology and the possible role of illegal drugs.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Reunited, and it feels so good. Many families celebrating this morning after emotional reunions nearly two years in the making.

And astronauts, they made their long journey back home, but why on earth were they wearing diapers?

KEILAR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. It is Tuesday, November 9. And the House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol issuing new subpoenas to Trump allies. All six targets top members of Trump's re- election campaign who helped spread the big lie that fueled the Capitol insurrection.

They include Trump 2020 campaign manager William Stepien, Bill Stepien; former senior campaign adviser, Jason Miller; Angela McCallum, the Trump campaign's national executive assistant; and Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner and ex-felon, who worked with Rudy Giuliani to investigate voter fraud that never existed.

Also subpoenaed, John Eastman, a Trump lawyer who crafted a plan for using Vice President Mike Pence to invalidate the election results.


JOHN EASTMAN, FORMER LAWYER FOR DONALD TRUMP: And all we are demanding of Vice President Pence is this afternoon at 1 p.m., he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it, and the American people know whether we have control of the direction of our government or not.


KEILAR: And finally, there's Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, who discussed invoking martial law after the election.


MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: If he wanted to, he could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically re-run an election.


BERMAN: So these people have been issued subpoenas, but will they comply?

This morning, you might wonder whether compliance is optional, as the Justice Department has yet to decide whether to prosecute Trump advisor Steve Bannon for publicly, brazenly and defiantly refusing to testify.

The Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland have not yet determined whether to charge him with criminal contempt.

Joining me now, CNN political analyst and Washington correspondent for "The New York Times" Maggie Haberman, and CNN chief legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Jeremy Toobin.

Maggie, these subpoenas out to six people, many of whom were there at the Willard Hotel, this historic hotel very near the White House, where there was a lot of discussion about how to overturn the election.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And some of them were not. I mean, actually, of these six subpoenas, I don't think the Willard meeting is central to it. I think that ties to Kerik, and it ties to maybe one or two other people, but mostly, these were people who are actually in varying stages of being around Trump starting after November 3.

His former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, is obviously one. You know, John Eastman, you know, we've talked about a lot. Mike Flynn, I reported at the time, was in this meeting on December 18 at the White House, accompanied by Sydney Powell, who was working in some capacity with the Trump campaign as a lawyer at that point, about the prospect of the government's -- the government apparatuses seizing the voting machines and then rerunning the election.

So you're actually dealing with a pretty broad group of people here. It's not tied to just one event. It's a reminder, John, that there were many different prongs that this was taking. This wasn't just, you know, a meeting the night before January 6th. This started -- you know, they would hit one benchmark, and then a deadline would pass. So then they'd move on to another thing. Trump had various irons in various fires, and he was, I think, one of the people who knew exactly what was going on. That's what these subpoenas show.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: But one thing they all have in common is that none of them worked for the government at the time, which means legally, as I understand it, none of them have remotely a claim to refuse to testify under executive privilege.

But they can delay things in court if they want to tie things up. That's what this goal seems to be here.

And you have the -- the simultaneous situation of the Justice Department dithering on Steve Bannon. You know, Steve Bannon, the House voted for him in contempt on October 21. The Justice Department has done nothing. And the message to these -- to these six is, well, you know, the Justice Department is not going to rush to prosecute you, so why bother to comply with the subpoena? That's -- that's the real problem.

BERMAN: Mr. Jason Miller, what incentive do you have to do anything until the Justice Department decides what to do with Steve Bannon?

TOOBIN: Even if they decide to prosecute Steve Bannon, that is likely to be a multi-month process with legal proceedings that will go in the district court, in the circuit court, potentially to the Supreme Court.

So the options for delay here, even if they decide to -- the Justice Department finally gets its act together and prosecute people, the options for delay can go for months and months. So I think the odds of them actually testifying are remote.

KEILAR: There are some people who are actually doing some -- some modicum of dealing with the committee. There are people who have been subpoenaed who did not try to -- claim that they were protected by executive privilege.

So I don't know all of these folks are going to do this. I think it depends, in some cases, frankly, how many legal fees they want to incur on their own. I don't think that they're getting blanket coverage from the Trump folks.

BERMAN: Can we talk a little bit more about Michael Flynn?


BERMAN: Because as you said, it was part of your reporting --


BERMAN: -- that he discussed seizing ballot boxes. He discussed the possibility of martial law here. He plays an interesting role in American history over the last few years.

HABERMAN: There's no question. And look, I mean, you know, it begins with, he gets -- he gets fired as national security adviser for several reasons, one of which is that Trump had already begun getting sick with him, which sort of gets overlooked here. Trump was upset that he had hired his son. There were all of these reasons.

And then there were these -- there was this issue of his -- his talking to the Russian ambassador, which White House officials all said that he was not truthful about, both with the VP and with other officials there. This all leads to the investigation.

He then became a hero, you know, in the eyes of MAGA, because he had pleaded guilty, and then -- and Jeffrey might know more about this than I do. But my memory is he pleaded guilty, and then he sort of tried to undo it and not cooperate it, and then he got -- he got pardoned.

And so now he has become a hero to these folks, and he was a key voice in Trump's ear. I don't think that Trump particularly likes or respects Mike Flynn, but I think he's always really happy that somebody is going to go do something on Trump's behalf, that Trump can keep his hands off it.

BERMAN: He's in the room talking about martial law.

HABERMAN: Right. I mean, he was -- A, he was in the room talking about martial law. He was -- he was in public talking about martial law.

The words "martial law" were never said in that -- the Oval Office. It's a distinction without difference. He was talking about the government interfering in an election. And he was talking about this with a wide group of people.

BERMAN: Chances we hear from Michael Flynn?

TOOBIN: Close to zero. Close to zero. I mean, he is, you know, I would say, with Bernie Kerik, in that group, the truest of the true believers.

And the problem with this entire January 6th Committee here -- investigation, is that the tools that the committee has to force reluctant witnesses, if they exist at all, are likely to take months and months, which the committee doesn't have.

BERMAN: All right, Maggie, overnight on Twitter, I noticed that you were doing some reporting on a speech that the former president was giving to the NRCC in Tampa.


BERMAN: And there was a lot in there.

HABERMAN: Yes. There was. It began -- So it's really funny. I was getting messages from folks in the room who said at first, Oh, he's on message. He's not talking about January 6th, and he's not talking about November 3rd. And then, of course, he got there eventually.

He started out by talking about Glenn Youngkin, the incoming governor of Virginia, who kept Trump at a very noticeable arm's length in the final weeks of that race. Most Youngkin folks think that that is what helped him win, was the fact that he wasn't hugging Trump that way. Trump, who makes everything all about himself, has really railed

against that and was trying to send a message to the folks in the room, don't distance yourself from me. He was insisting that Youngkin would have lost badly without him. This is why people need to run on MAGA. Glenn knows that.

And then he got around -- you know, he railed against the Republicans who had voted for Biden's agenda last week.

And then he talked about November 3rd and January 6th. And he said the quote, unquote, "real insurrection was November 3." He is saying this to a room full of lawmakers who were at the Capitol when this riot took place, many of them hiding or concerned for their safety.

And there were -- there was some applause in the room. And that tells you everything about where the party is and his hold on it, and his willingness to keep saying things that not only are not true but are all about himself. He has made everything -- We're now over a year since the election, and he has continued to make it all about him.

BERMAN: So just to review, cheers when he said the real insurrection was November 3.

HABERMAN: From some. From some. I mean, it was not -- it was not like a rally crowd but yes.

BERMAN: And also, he said Glenn Youngkin would not have won without him.

HABERMAN: Would have lost badly, and I think it was something like, and Glenn knows that. Or something like that. He would have lost badly without him. Which, again, is not true, just based on the polling.

But he is going to keep trying to say that message, because the fear for him is that Youngkin is right. Right? I mean, if you distance yourself from Trump, that you can -- you can actually do OK. So Trump, I think, is trying very hard to convince people that the other thing is not true.

BERMAN: Let's just end, then, on this theme then, if we will. Because this gets into a different argument that he's been having now publicly with Chris Christie. Chris Christie -- I think we have the tape of it -- who said this out loud. Let's listen.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: We can no longer talk about the past and the past elections. No matter -- no matter where you stand on that issue, no matter where you stand, it is over.


BERMAN: And then the former president put out a statement overnight that said, "Chris Christie, who just made a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, was just absolutely massacred by his statements that Republicans have to move on from the past. Everybody remembers that Chris left New Jersey with less than 9 percent approval rating, a record low, and they didn't want to hear this from him."


Jeffrey Toobin, student of humanity, what -- what does this tell you?

TOOBIN: Well, I mean, you know, as Maggie said, it's -- it's always about him. Youngkin won by distancing himself from Trump. Whether that model works in more Republican districts and -- is, I think, very much an open question. I mean, if you look at how -- how the Republican Party seems to be embracing him.

Chris Christie is a lonely voice in that party at the moment. Now, whether he remains a lonely voice, we'll see. But that attitude is not widely shared in that party.

HABERMAN: Yes. He's right. I mean, but I also think that the -- the cohesion around Donald Trump did not happen overnight. I think it's going to take not just Christie but probably other voices saying it, as well. We'll see if other voices join him.

I will say, though, about that statement, the thing that is -- A, Christie didn't have 9 percent approval rating. His approval rating was low, but it was not 9 percent. It is -- it is done to basically throw a brushback. And I think the more you start seeing people, if we start seeing people, not reacting to that, not being brushed back, that's the only way Republicans move away from Trump.

BERMAN: Look, once again, we're here again. It's a time of choosing.


BERMAN: And now we will see how people react to this.

Jeffrey Toobin, Maggie Haberman, thank you so much.

KEILAR: We're learning now more about the deadly Astroworld concert in Houston Friday. Detailed operations planned for the music festival did not include a specific contingency for a surging crowd. That is despite three people being trampled and hospitalized at the very same festival back in 2019.

In the days since the event, scrutiny of rapper Travis Scott and the festival's organizers has mounted. And at least 18 lawsuits have begun piling up against them.

In Scott's 2019 Netflix documentary, a show manager describes how difficult it is to control the chaotic crowds at his events.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kids, they push up against the front and spread all the way across that and fill in the whole front floor. So the pressure becomes very great up against the barricade. You will see a lot of crowd surfers in general, but also, you see a lot of kids that are just trying to get out and get to safety, because they can't breathe because it's so compact. You won't know how bad it can be with our crowd until we turn up.


KEILAR: Now, before Scott look the stage, Houston's police chief -- chief says that he had a meeting with Scott to discuss his concerns. He tells CNN that Scott had a responsibility for the safety of the crowd at his festival.


CHIEF SAMUEL PENA, HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: Everybody there that was providing security, including the performer, they have certain responsibilities. They have a vantage point that most people do not.

The concert was so loud, Jake, that even, you know, a mile down the street, you could hear the music. So the communication there, it was voice; it's very difficult.

But there were certainly indications and reports of people approaching the -- the promoters, the security that was there, and letting them know that there was an issue.

At one point, even Mr. Scott noticed, I believe, an ambulance in the crowd. So there was something going on.

And I truly believe, you know, that at some point, if the lights would have been turned on, the promoter or the artist called for that, it would have -- it would have hilled the crowd. And -- and who knows? Who knows what the outcome would have been?


KEILAR: All eight of the victims who were killed in the disaster have now been publicly identified. Scott has vowed to cover their funeral expenses.

Scores of other concert-goers were injured, including 9-year-old Ezra Blount, whose grandfather says he is now in a medically-induced coma in an attempt to combat his brain trauma.

Now investigators are turning their attention to the causes of death. And "The Wall Street Journal" reports that police are looking at whether a batch of counterfeit pills, possibly laced with fentanyl, played a role here.

Coming up on NEW DAY, we'll be speaking to the family of one of the concert victims, who died trying to save his fiancee.

Ahead, the emotional moment separated families -- where separated families were finally reunited at JFK Airport. We're going to speak with two sisters who haven't seen each other in 730 days because of the pandemic.

Plus, graphic images of Ahmaud Arbery's wounds after he was shot and killed shown in the courtroom. What investigators revealed.

BERMAN: A gunman threatens a church during prayer service, then gets tackled by a pastor.



KEILAR: For the first time in more than 600 days, visitors from the U.K. are back in the U.S.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights landing in New York from Heathrow and giving families a chance to hug their loved ones, some for the first time in years.

Jill Chambers hadn't seen her sister, Louise Erebara, in over 730 days. Their emotional reunion touching on the impact that the pandemic has had on so many people across the globe.

Joining us now are those very same reunited sisters, Jill and Louise, with us.

You guys -- I mean, look, there you are, just having your morning coffee or tea. I don't know. You're from the U.K. Maybe it's tea. You guys must be so excited to see each other.

LOUISE EREBARA, REUNITED WITH SISTER JILL: Absolutely. It's been -- it's been so overwhelming. It's incredible.


KEILAR: So what have you done? What have you -- what have you done in this time so far?

EREBARA: Since she's got here, well, it's been less than 24 hours. We have cried and hugged and loved. We went out for dinner, and we are crying and loving and hugging again today.

KEILAR: What did you guys do, Jill? How did you stay in touch when you were apart?

CHAMBERS: Well, you know, we watched apps on the Skype and Facetime lots and lots. Just with the time difference, you know, we tried to get as much as we can. At least three or four times a week, sometimes six.


KEILAR: Sometimes six, wow. So Louise, I mean, how often would you normally see each other?

EREBARA: We usually go back and forth twice a year each. So we'd see each other possibly every four months. And then a few years ago, our mother died. So we've gone back and forth a bit more since.

KEILAR: You've gone back and forth a bit more since. You've certainly needed each other in that time, no doubt.

EREBARA: Yes. KEILAR: Sounds like maybe you were already due for a visit when the

pandemic hit. Did you have to cancel -- you canceled plans you already had in place to see each other? What was that like at the beginning of the pandemic?

EREBARA: We were supposed to go in February, at the beginning of the pandemic pandemic. (AUDIO GAP) Family were all going New York to Vegas, and that was canceled. And another wedding was supposed to have been planned in England in the October. That was canceled. And we've had a baby born since. She became a grandmother four months ago, and I have yet to meet him. So many things have happened.

KEILAR: That's -- that is beautiful.

OK, Jill, what is -- what's in the days ahead? Are you just going to hang out and have your morning coffee and catch up?

CHAMBERS: Chilling. Relaxing. We're chilling, relaxing, and enjoying time together with, you know, the children and everything, and my husband. And my sister's whole family. We're just going to make up for lost time, like thousands of others want -- would like to do all over the world.

You know, we have a best friend who has had a grandchild, and they're in Australia. And she can't even visit them. It's just absolutely devastating. I feel so sorry for her.

EREBARA: We're the lucky ones.

CHAMBERS: We really are.

EREBARA: We really are.

KEILAR: Finishing each other's sentences, by the way. Jill and Louise, it is beautiful.

Look, I miss my sister, too. I will tell you, I am a sister, a proud sister, and I miss her dearly. And it is wonderful to see you two together.

CHAMBERS: Bless you.

EREBARA: Yesterday at the airport, the emotions were insane. My children had signs. There was balloons. And you want to make it look perfect, but we just dropped everything and ran.

CHAMBERS: Au natural.

EREBARA: It was just insane. We cried. We laughed. It was a wonderful thing. The photographer there, Chris Royal (ph), the photographer was there taking pictures of us for us, and it was just the most special time. And now it's all been documented. It's even better.

CHAMBERS: Jen (ph), the lady who organized this, wow, I can't thank her enough.

EREBARA: Everybody.

CHAMBERS: Got to see what the end, you know, you know, on the metal (ph), and it was lovely. Very emotional, everything.

EREBARA: British Airways.

CHAMBERS: I could never thank you enough. And British Airways were just the best.

KEILAR: Well, Louise and Jill, it is great of you to share this with us. Thank you so much.

CHAMBERS: No problem.

EREBARA: Thank you so much. Have a great day.



KEILAR: Cheers. All right. Coming up, testimony continues in the trial of the three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. The graphic images the jurors were shown as a mother wept.

BERMAN: And an armed paramedic who was shot by Kyle Rittenhouse and survived reveals why he ran after Rittenhouse pointed his own gun at the teenager.



KEILAR: Here in just a few hours, testimony resumes in the trial of three men accused in the killing of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery.

In court on Monday, jurors heard from the first police officer who responded to the scene and saw graphic photos and video of the fatal shooting.

CNN's Ryan Young is live for us in Brunswick, Georgia. And it was an emotional day, another one, Ryan.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Good morning, Brianna.

That testimony lasted for more than five hours with that first officer who arrived on scene. A lot of questions about his actions when he arrived there.

There was also a conversation, especially about that body cam video, between him and William "Roddie" Bryan, just about what happened before the shooting. He actually admitted that they tried to stop Ahmaud Arbery five times before the shooting happened.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) YOUNG (voice-over): On February 23, 2020, former Glynn County police officer Ricky Minshew responded to a call of a suspicious black male near Brunswick, Georgia. He was the first police officer on scene.



MINSHEW: They were within a couple seconds apart.


YOUNG: He took the stand Monday and told jurors he saw two white men and a black man with a gunshot wound on the ground. One of the two white men was William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., the man who also recorded video of Ahmaud Arbery being chased, cornered and killed.

Minshew testified about what Bryan told him that day.

OLLIVIERRE: How many times did Mr. Bryan say that he either blocked Ahmaud or cornered him during this chase?

MINSHEW: After going back and reviewing the transcribed body camera, it appeared to be approximately five times.

OLLIVIERRE: Did Bryan ever say he saw Ahmaud commit any crime at the point where Bryan decided to leave his house?

MINSHEW: No. No, ma'am, he did not report any crime to me.

OLLIVIERRE: OK. Did Bryan ever say he was trying to make a citizen's arrest of Ahmaud?

MINSHEW: No, ma'am.

YOUNG: Minshew also testified that Bryan told him Arbery never said anything while he was being chased.

OLLIVIERRE: Did Bryan ever say Ahmaud made any verbal threats toward him during this time, when he was being chased?

MINSHEW: No, ma'am. He said he didn't hear him ever say anything.

OLLIVIERRE: OK. Any verbal threats towards anybody at all?

MINSHEW: No, ma'am.

YOUNG: Appearing on CNN's "CUOMO PRIMETIME," Arbery's mother said she had wanted to know what happened in his last minutes.

WANDA COOPER-JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: It's very heartbreaking, knowing that Ahmaud had, like I said from the very beginning, that he ran. I didn't realize he had ran so long. But hearing the testimony was -- from the last couple days, you know, is reassuring that Ahmaud actually ran for his life.

YOUNG: Inside the court, the defense team tried to show inconsistencies from the former officer's statement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In your police report.