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Soon: Jurors to Return for Day 2 of Rittenhouse Deliberations; Book: Trump Ally Pressed Pentagon to Help Overturn Election; House to Vote on Gosar Censure Over Murder Video; U.S. Government Underestimated Job Growth This Summer. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired November 17, 2021 - 06:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman, alongside Brianna Keilar. On this NEW DAY, the jury is about to reconvene in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. A verdict may not be far away.


And sorry, not sorry. That's the message from fan of violent anime, Congressman Paul Gosar, just hours before the House is set to vote on censuring him.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And the White House weighing a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics. What this could mean for relations with China and what it might mean for the athletes.

And the My Pillow guy proposes melting down voting machines to make prison bars. And you'll never guess who is endorsing the idea. Maybe you will.

And a very good morning to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Wednesday, November 17th, and we are on verdict watch this morning.

The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial reconvening here in just a few hours after seven plus hours of deliberations on Tuesday. The seven women and five men have already requested more copies of the written jury instructions.

BERMAN: In an unusual move, the judge gave the defendant a role in the random process of identifying which jurors would actually deliberate. You can see it right there. Rittenhouse reached into a raffle drum and drew numbered slips that picked the 12 jurors and six alternates.

Also, new information about how the Rittenhouse defense approached the jury selection weeks ago, with the help of a jury consultant who worked on the O.J. Simpson trial. She helped them build a profile for selecting, quote, "the right jurors."

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz joins us live from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Shimon, what's the vibe there this morning?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Things right now so far, you know, everyone is getting ready here. But I can tell you that the jury is going to be in the deliberation room, in their jury room with all 36 pages of the jury instructions.

Now, after requesting late in the day yesterday, they requested all of them. In the morning, just within a few hours after beginning their deliberations, they asked for the first six pages of the jury instructions.

Now, that has to deal with the death of Joseph Rosenbaum. It had to deal with the self-defense law, and also the instruction on provocation.

Later in the day, they asked for the other instructions that have to deal with the two other incidents. Remember, prosecutors and defense had laid out a timeline of events. And it would seem that, at this point, that is how the jury is approaching and making their decision.

As you said, they come back within just about two hours or so. They'll be back in the jury room.

Now, as to this new information that we have about this jury consultant, her name is Jo-Ellen Demetrius. She worked on the O.J. Simpson case.

Interestingly enough, I've been in the courtroom every day. She has been present in the courtroom every day. In fact, sitting next to Kyle Rittenhouse's mother, consoling her at times.

When Rittenhouse was testifying, she had her arm around his mother as she was crying. She's been present. She's been in the court every day, talking obviously to the defense attorneys. But seemingly seems to be very close to the family, as well, John.

BERMAN: Very interesting. These jury consultants often talk to legal teams on how they should approach the case in ways that would appeal to certain jurors.

Shimon, thank you very much. Please keep us posted. Could be a very big day there.

The prosecution has rested, and this morning the defense begins its case in the Georgia trial of the three men charged with chasing down and killing Ahmaud Arbery.

Prosecutors concluded with testimony from the state medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Arbery. Jurors were shown graphic X-ray images of the wounds he sustained from shotgun blasts.


EDMUND R. DONOGHUE, MEDICAL EXAMINER: You see shotgun pellets on the lower portion of the chest. That's the right lateral chest, or the right side of the chest. You also see shotgun pellets in the right chest and the left chest and shoulder injury -- shoulder area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was there anything EMS or the officers could have done on the scene to save his life from the torso shot? DONOGHUE: Well, they could put an occlusive dressing on the large

defect. But you would still have the exit defects in the back of the- of the chest. And they couldn't do anything about the beading, as long as the heart was beating.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So would they just -- In other words, is there anything they could have done on scene on save his life?



BERMAN: Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, says the state presented a strong case, and she is waiting to hear what the defense will say.

Also in court, attorney Kevin Gough, who represents defendant William Bryan, filed another motion renewing his complaint of the presence of black faith leaders in the courtroom, saying it could influence the jury.


KEILAR: So new details about the attack on democracy by Donald Trump and his inner circle. According to Jonathan Karl's new book, "Betrayal," Michael Flynn, after the election, called a Defense Department official who previously worked under him, and said, We need you.

Flynn then urged this official that he needed to get orders signed, that ballots needed to be seized and that extraordinary measures needed to be taken to stop Democrats from stealing the election.

Joining us now is David Frum, staff writer for "The Atlantic" and former speech writer for President George W. Bush. He also has a fascinating new op-ed out called "Steve Bannon Knows Exactly What He's Doing." And we're going to talk about that here in just a moment.

But first, you know, this is the headline, I think, from this book right now that everyone is talking about, which is that you had Flynn fresh off of a pardon making this appeal.


KEILAR: What do you think about this?

FRUM: I think we are treating this attempt as if it were something that happened in secret and that we need -- we only are learning about now, rather than something that happened on television.

A hurricane blew through your town. It's interesting afterwards to hear about the damage to 123 Maple Lane. But we were all there for the hurricane. It happened. We saw it happen. We saw the president himself, never mind his disgraced former security advisor. The president himself getting on phones with officials, saying, I need you to find me 11,000 votes to change the outcome of the election in your state. We saw a mob threaten the life of the vice president to try to get the

vice president to do something he can't legally do, overturn an election. And the president cheering the mob on to this day.

So I just would encourage people not to go hunting for new revelations. You need -- you have in your hands and have for months everything you need to know.

BERMAN: There -- I don't disagree with you there, David. But there are, in some of these new revelations, things that describe to us just how outer space insane things were behind the scenes.

Jonathan Karl reports Sidney Powell, who was giving legal advance to the White House, in the building where the U.S. is run, was concerned or asking the Defense Department to go rescue Gina Haspel, who she believed had been kidnapped and was in custody in Germany. Did I get that right, Brianna? Because it's so crazy I'm not even sure I fully understand the details of the insanity.

KEILAR: Yes. Seemingly ripped from "The Onion." But it happened, he reports.

FRUM: But understand, Sidney Powell, who's this goofball freelance lawyer, and Michael Flynn, the disgraced former national security advisor, they're ancillary. This was being run by the president of the United States. And -- and not goofballs but by people who had power.

And I think if you're emphasizing the kind of exotic elements of the story, risk distracting our attention from the core elements of the story, which happened on this network, which everybody saw. The president was the center of the story.

I think one of the things that has happened in the Trump years, and we're still living them, unfortunately, is people couldn't process that there's no secrecy. That the -- there's no coverup. There never was. You know the cover-up is worse than the crime? In the Trump years, there was no cover-up.

The president come on -- would tell a TV interviewer, Yes, I fired the FBI director to shut down an investigation of my connections to Russia.

Well, I guess if he admits it, then the story is over. Because we had no way to cope with the fact, yes, he admitted it.

You saw the mob. You saw the attempt to overthrow an election. You saw the president egg it on. It all happened in front of your eyes. You don't need new information. What you know is sufficient.

KEILAR: As we watched Steve Bannon this week go to the courthouse, he seemed basically gleeful about it.

FRUM: Yes.

KEILAR: And in this new op-ed, you write about how this is exactly what Steve Bannon wants. But you also say that you have, basically, Democrats in Congress playing a legal game. He's playing a political game, and it might be more powerful.

FRUM: I think this is, I guess, a reflection of what I was just saying just now. So the Democrats, well, if we can show that you have defied a lawful subpoena, something has to happen, right?

And this is -- this -- character who's like a rock music video, turning over the table, kicking -- kicking the piano player, knocking over the person in the wheelchair and saying, you know, What are you going to do about it? Not only did I do it all in plain view, I'm going to do it again.

And Bannon's made clear his strategy -- and this is what the article is about -- his strategy is I don't respect all of this. I don't respect any rules. I don't respect any process. You can accuse me of violating the process. I don't care.

Remember when Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, who is the -- who is the president's counsel, was caught on her 11th violation of the Hatch Act, using her office for political purpose. She -- she was confronted by a journalist and said, When does the jail sentence start. Meaning, I know I broke it. I don't care. What are you going to do?


BERMAN: So what's the consequence of that, David? Because I agree with you. I think Steve Bannon doesn't care if he's convicted of contempt of Congress. He'll end up in jail for a month, and that would perhaps politically, or for entertainment value, be the best thing that ever happened to him, even though it's in violation of the U.S. law.

So why does that matter, bigger picture, and what could or should be done about it?

FRUM: Well, I think I'm going to turn that question back to the people who are watching you right now. There's a passage, a famous passage in the Bible where God asked the question, Who will go for us? And the prophet Isaiah has to say, Send me.

I think a lot of us have had in mind that someone out there will do the job of protecting the American democracy for you. Maybe it's Special Counsel Mueller. Maybe it's somebody else.

And I think through the Trump years, we've seen it's you. I mean, it's just you. You, your friends, your neighbors. Because it's not -- these are not -- there are not a few people operating in some clandestine secret. This was a huge group, operating in the open, supported by the former president of the United States, the likely next nominee of the Republican Party, backed by perhaps a third or a quarter of the country.

It's a giant political challenge to the stability of American democracy. And the legal system can't cope with a threat posed not by a few lawbreakers but by a quarter or a third of the country.

KEILAR: Yes. And they seem to have a -- you know, a very clear mission, if you will, as you describe in this. What is the counter measure to that? You sort of leave that open-ended, so we'll see how people answer that.

David Frum.

FRUM: Thank you.

KEILAR: Thanks so much.

So file this under not really shocking. Marjorie Taylor Greene reveals she is unvaccinated. And just how much money she's being forced to pay in fines for not wearing a mask. It is a ton.

Plus, a major decision on whether all adults will be eligible for COVID-19 boosters could be just days away.

BERMAN: And get this. Data shows that what appeared to be job report slumps were actually job surges. So what happened there?



BERMAN: Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has compared mask mandates to the Holocaust and spent months pushing misinformation about the COVID vaccine, says she has accrued thousands in fines for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor and revealed what was largely known, that she is not vaccinated. Listen.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): But she's fined me over $60,500 in mask fines. I refuse to wear a mask.

And, Chris, I have to tell you something else. I'm not vaccinated. And I will be standing strong, standing up for the people across this country that refuse to get vaccinated.


BERMAN: Twitter has also suspended Greene twice for spreading lies about the vaccine.

KEILAR: House lawmakers are expected to vote on a resolution today to censure Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona for posting an animated video of him killing Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The House will also consider an amendment that would strip Gosar of a key committee assignment.

CNN's Lauren Fox, live for us on Capitol Hill with more on this -- Lauren.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, this morning, we expect that this debate will begin in the House of Representatives to both censure representative Paul Gosar, which is the highest form of rebuke that can happen in the House, as well as remove him from his two committees, both the Oversight Committee that he serves on with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as the House Committee on Natural Resources.

This is not an unprecedented step. Of course, Democrats have removed other Republicans, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, from her committee assignment. But it is a good reminder of the fact that Democrats are taking this very seriously.

Yesterday, after a Republican House conference meeting, Representative Gosar came out and said he did not apologize privately to his colleagues. He had removed that video, but he said instead this.


REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): I did not apologize. I just said this video had nothing to do with harming anybody. That's exactly what you're talking about. It's an anime. We were trying to reach out to the newer generation that likes these anime, these cartoons, fabricated in Japanese likeness, to actually tell them what is harmful in this bill that they're missing.


FOX: And because of the violence in this anime video, we're not going to show the full video.

But one thing to keep in mind here is that Rep. Steny Hoyer, who's the majority leader in the House Democratic Caucus, told me yesterday, told reporters on a call that this was one of the most vile and violent things he had seen in his 40 years in public service, Brianna.

That is why Democrats are taking this step today. That is why Democrats think that they cannot be silent. They're arguing they wish that Rep. Kevin McCarthy would have taken this step for his member. But instead, they said they're going to do it if the vacuum is left by McCarthy.

KEILAR: Yes. Look, it is objectively messed up when you watch this thing, just to be clear. It is -- it's unacceptable.

But also another big thing developing there on Capitol Hill, Lauren, is the price tag for the Build Back Better plan, President Biden's. Democrats are expecting a CBO score, and they have some worries about that. Tell us what those are.

FOX: Well, a lot is riding on this CBO score, because there are a number of Democrats who are undecided on whether or not they're going to support the Build Back Better plan.

And this is, of course, one of the president's key agenda items up here on Capitol Hill. It's a huge moment for Democrats as they are bracing for the fact that this CBO score may come up short, specifically on one provision, which is IRS tax enforcement.

Democrats are including in their bill money for the IRS to go after people who have not paid their fair share in taxes. But one of the differences of opinion is the fact that the White House thinks this raises more money than the CBO is expected to think it raises. [06:20:09]

Now, behind the scenes, the White House has been bracing for this. They've been preparing members for this. They've been having private conversations with moderate Democrats for which they think this might be a problem for them.

Some Democrats have been convinced. Rep. Kurt Schrader told reporters yesterday he's from the state of Oregon, that that would not be a deterring factor for him to vote for the Build Back Better plan.

But other Democrats, like Rep. Elissa Slotkin, told me yesterday they are still undecided. And they are really going to be looking and poring over that CBO score before they make their final decision.

Now, the expectation is a vote could come as soon as tomorrow. Maybe it slips into Friday. But a lot riding on that CBO score, Brianna.

KEILAR: Certainly is. Lauren Fox, thank you.

BERMAN: So it turns out job growth has been significantly higher than government estimates for most of 2021, including a four-month period this summer which produced more than 600,000 more jobs than initially reported.

CNN business reporter Matt Egan joins us now. Matt, you know, we always have backwards revisions. But this is something completely different.

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, John, first off, this is good news, because it means the economy was actually a lot stronger than maybe we first thought.

But yes, the size of these revisions are staggering. I mean, this would be like if you asked me what time it was and I said 6:20, but I got the a.m. and p.m. wrong.

Way off. Totally normal for the government every month to update its job figures as more information comes in. Normally, pre-COVID, it was about 30,000 per month jobs. That's the difference, what it was.

Now what we've seen is between June and September, the government underestimated job growth by 150,000 per month. That's five times that pre-COVID average. You can see, those are the green bars on that chart. And you can see it actually significantly increased the amount of jobs that were added.

Add it all up, 626,000 more jobs were added during that period than initially forecasted. We've never seen underestimates for job growth like that since the government started tracking this in 1979.

But listen, this is a tricky task, estimating job growth in a massive economy, and that's even under normal conditions. We are not in normal conditions. COVID had set off all these shock waves. People lost their jobs. People got hired back, dropped out of the workforce. They're quitting their jobs. Labor Department officials, they told "The Washington Post" that this

actually shows that the system is working, because as more information came in, they updated their figures to get a more accurate picture.

But I think, John, this is just another reminder that as we see those job numbers come out the first Friday of every month, those are just estimates. They're going to change, sometimes dramatically.

BERMAN: I get it. But you have to look backwards and think of the political narrative that was set here. People arguing that job growth was sluggish when it wasn't. It was strong.

People arguing that somehow the incentives and the spending that the government was doing was deterring people from entering the workplace. It wasn't! They were. It just reframes the entire thing.

Understandable, given how the pandemic largely broke the way we measure the economy.

Let's talk about the now. Because, yes, inflation is something that's hitting people hard. Gas prices. Every day people have to deal with higher prices. However, there are more and more signs that come in every day that the economy, by most and many measurements, is doing well.

EGAN: That's right. Maybe some of this gloom and doom is a little bit overdone. Just look at some of the developments in just the last few days.

First of all, the stock market, near record highs. OK, but that's not the real economy.

Over in the real economy, job growth in October was really strong. That dropped the unemployment rate to 4.6 percent. Remember, it was nearly 15 percent in April of 2020.

Also, Americans are quitting their jobs at a record pace, because they are so confident that they can get a better job that will pay them more money and maybe with more flexible working conditions.

Also, we just learned yesterday that retail sales soared in October by 1.7 percent. A little context: that is twice the pace of September. It's actually the best month since March, back when stimulus checks were being handed out.

It is kind of a confusing time, though, when with we think about the economy. Because we're getting all these conflicting signals. Consumer sentiment down to a 10-year low. There was that "Washington Post"/ABC News poll that found that 70 percent of Americans rate the economy negatively. Seventy percent.

I do think a lot of this has to do with inflation. Consumer prices up in October by the most since 1990. People are worried about higher gas prices, food prices, clothing, used cars. You name it. A lot of people literally have never lived through a period like this. And some people are worried that this is going to be a repeat of,

like, the 1970s runaway inflation. Of course, we're nowhere near there. And economists I've talked to don't think that that's in the cards.

But I think the ironic part here, John, is that one of the reasons why inflation is here is because demand is so strong, because the economy has come back faster than most people thought was even possible back in the spring 20th.

BERMAN: People have money that they want to spend.

EGAN: Exactly.

BERMAN: Disposable income. That said, these prices still do hit people very hard.


EGAN: Especially low-income people.

BERMAN: Matt Egan, thank you so much. So great to see you.

EGAN: Thank you.

BERMAN: New violence erupting along one of Europe's key borders as the situation turns even more desperate. CNN right in the middle of it.

KEILAR: And the mayor of Washington, D.C., announced that she is lifting the city's indoor mask mandate. Why the White House says it's still going to mask up.

And she is the sole survivor of a plane crash, 11 years old, protected by her dad in his final moments. Her mother will join us live.


BERMAN: This morning, right before our eyes, the humanitarian crisis at the Poland-Belarus border is turning violent. Desperate migrants on the Belarusian side fighting for their lives, throwing rocks and trying to overrun guards to make it into Poland and then beyond. All of them have been pushed back by water cannons.