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Coronavirus Hospitalizations Reach All-Time; CNN Reports, Trump Expected to Order Troop Cuts in Iraq, Afghanistan; Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) Backtracks after Saying He'd Step In if Biden Not Briefed. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired November 17, 2021 - 07:00   ET



TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, we're all learning about it. And if you'll excuse me, I need to go do some internet shopping.

KEILAR: All right. You go ahead, go do it. Tom Foreman, thank you so much. Me too.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: I just need a pair of nice pair of well- fitting slacks.

So, new developments this morning in the bizarre dump on The Rolling Stones trend, this time from The Whos' Roger Daltrey. So, Daltrey has high praise for fellow front man Mick Jagger. He says, you cannot take the away the fact that Mick Jagger is still the number one rock and roll showman upfront. But as a band, if you are outside a pub and you heard that music coming out of a pub some night, you would think, well, that's a mediocre pub band, no disrespect.

So, Daltrey's remarks come just weeks after Paul McCartney called the Stones a blues cover band and insisted The Beatles were better. Thoughts?

KEILAR: I do have thoughts. Why is everyone being so mean are they being to mean to The Rolling Stones. They have such -- they've had such longevity. We've been able to actually their music live. I don't understand why they are getting so much gaffes (ph).

BERMAN: I don't understand why it's happening now. I will say, I understand what Daltrey is saying. He's saying The Who with Tommy and Quadrophenia, they pushed the boundaries and the envelope in music. And The Stones played a bunch of good songs. That's what he is saying. You obviously don't agree with that.

KEILAR: I just really like listening to The Stones. And I will agree with you, he says that he's a great showman. I think that really counts for something, you know? I really enjoy it.

BERMAN: Oh, that explains why you like them so much.

KEILAR: We'll agree to disagree on some of these things, John Berman.

And New Day continues right now.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. It is Wednesday, November 17th. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.

The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial begins day two of deliberations in just a few hours. They spent more than seven hours deliberating yesterday. Early in the process, they asked for more copies of the written jury instructions.

KEILAR: And in an unusual move the judge gave the defendant a role in the random selection of the deliberating jurors. Rittenhouse, as you see here, actually reached into this raffle drum and drew numbered slips that picked those 12 jurors and the 6 alternates.

Also, some new information about how the Rittenhouse defense approached the jury selection process 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.

Joining us now Anchor -- pardon me. Joining us now Anchor of Early Start and CNN Correspondent Laura Jarrett.

BERMAN: Laura, talk to us about -- you know, we read tea leaves. We're stuck. Whenever a jury is going to --

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: That's all we can do.

BERMAN: deliberations, all we get is the smoke signal they send up here. And the only one we got for them is they want these written jury instructions.

JARRETT: I think that's so interesting. First of all, these instructions are really dense and really hard to read. Even for somebody who practice law, these are really, really hard. And they're repetitive, and not in a good way.

And the fact that they want I think is a good sign for the defense. I think you want to take it seriously. You want to go through it. You could just said, like he's guilty, let's throw the book at him. But, no, I think they want to go through it and they want to be meticulous.

We'll see where it goes. It may not eventually work in his favor. But for now, if I was on the defense team, I would be happy that they want to take this seriously, they want to take their time, and especially it seemed early in the day they were focused on self-defense pieces of this and wanted to focus in on that.

BERMAN: What about the judge involving Rittenhouse in drawing the numbers. I have never seen that.


BERMAN: Granted, does it happen? JARRETT: Never. I have never, ever, ever seen that before. I have also never, ever practiced in front of Judge Schroeder. And apparently this is his practice. People who have practice in front of him in Wisconsin say this is what he tends to do. Query as to why, it's not clear to me why he thinks that it is helpful to have the defense do it. Maybe it makes sure that the defense can't say that there was any sort of objection to who was chosen.

To me, it seems part and parcel of this judge sort of enjoying the show of this trial, having the moment of him picking out each of the names that then get dismissed. It sort of goes along with the hype of the trial. But there's no prohibition against it, and so there is no reason for the prosecution to object to it.

BERMAN: It is unusual. And so I'm not wrong that I've never seen it.

JARRETT: Highly, I've never seen it. Usually, you have a court officer pick them out of the hat.

BERMAN: All right. The CNN reporting on the ground, which I hadn't known, which is Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, who is a pretty famous jury consultant who worked on the O.J. Simpson trial, has been working with the defense. They are key jury consultants in helping the trial team go after which jurors they want to be seated.

What's interesting is she's been in the courtroom eversince too.

JARRET: Yes. Shimon has been reporting that, which I found fascinating. She's been there every day.

Having worked with these jury consultants in the civil context, let me tell you, they get paid a lot of money to convince to try lawyers that they are essential for picking the right jury that can get your client acquitted.


Whether there's any evidence that they can actually do that remains to be seen, especially in Kyle Rittenhouse's case.

But the jury is now picked, right? Her work is done. What she can do, and I'm sure what she did do, was help the defense figure out a great closing argument. So, she can sort of take this lot of jurors and say, here, defense team, this is the type of argument that you want to make to these particular people. She literally will hand the defense team a binder, a thick binder with all of these people with all of their backgrounds, anything that they ever went through in their life experience that the defense can sort of pull on their heart strings about. That what she's helping them with.

BERMAN: These are the arguments that will help with the people who were sitting in that box right there. I've looked into it. That's really interesting. Laura Jarrett, thank you very much.

Now to Georgia, where, in just a few hours, the defense will begin calling witnesses in the trial of the three men charged with chasing down and killing Ahmaud Arbery. Prosecutors rested their case with emotional testimony from the medical examiner who said the wounds already sustained were so severe, nothing could have saved his life.

CNN's Martin Savidge has been covering this story from the very beginning, live this morning in Brunswick, Georgia. Mark?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning to you, John. You're right. That testimony that came from the medical examiner, he's one of the final witnesses, extremely powerful, very detailed, both visually and with his own words and just talking about the power of destruction of the shotgun blast to the body of Ahmaud Arbery. That is going to leave a lasting impression with the jurors and everyone else who heard that testimony.


SAVIDGE (voice over): The defense is expected to begin its case today in the state murder trial of the three white men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery.

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, LEAD PROSECUTOR: Your honor, at this time, the state rests.

SAVIDGE: Prosecutors resting their case Tuesday after calling 23 witnesses over 8 days of testimony. The day began with the Georgia forensic pathologist who performed Arbery's autopsy.

DUNIKOSKI: Did you have occasion to perform an autopsy on Ahmaud Arbery?


DUNIKOSKI: What was his cause of death?

DONOGHUE: His cause of death was multiple shotgun wounds.

SAVIDGE: Dr. Edmund Donoghue showing jurors disturbing photos, most too graphic for television, of the examination, describing the injuries Arbery obtained in the shooting.

DUNIKOSKI: Did it break ribs five through ten?


DUNIKOSKI: All right. So all the ribs over here got broken, five through ten?


DUNIKOSKI: What happens when you break all the ribs on the right lateral side?

DONOGHUE: Well, it becomes difficult and painful to breathe. And also the intercostal arteries ran on the lower edge of those ribs, so you would bleed into the chest cavity. SAVIDGE: Arbery's mother, Wander Cooper-Jones, who was in the courtroom, looking away and at one point leaving. Her son was chased by Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, in the truck while jogging in a neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia, in February 2020. Travis McMichael shot and killed him. Their neighbor, William Roddie Bryan, recorded the incident on his cell phone and allegedly hit Arbery with his truck.

Donoghue providing more details about the final moments of Arbery's life.

DUNIKOSKI: And we're talking about the torso, gunshot wound. What was your revised opinion having now seen the video as to the muzzle to target distance for this particular gunshot wound?

DONOGHUE: 20 inches to 3 inches.

DUNIKOSKI: So 3 inches, but as far as away as 20 inches?

DONOGHUE: That's correct.

DUNIKOSKI: So, near contact or close range?


SAVIDGE: He also said that while there were three shots fired, Arbery was struck by two, one hitting him in the right wrist and in the center of his chest, another around the left armpit.

DONOGHUE: Well, it was my opinion that the shot to the center of the chest and the grazing gunshot wound to the wrist occurred at the same time, meaning that the hand was in front of the chest and was struck first, and then it entered the body. It was my opinion that the second shot was a complete miss and did not enter any part of the body. And the third shot involved the left chest and exit (ph).

SAVIDGE: The medical examiner testifying that after the shooting, there was nothing medical personnel could do to save Arbery.

DUNIKOSKI: So, the gunshot wound to this torso, was that a fatal gunshot wound? If he had never gotten this one under the arm, would that one in the middle of torso have killed him?


DUNIKOSKI: 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 have put an occlusive dressing on the large defect but you would still have the exit defects in the back of the chest.


And they couldn't do anything about the bleeding as long as the heart was bleeding. DUNIKOSKI: So, in other words, is there anything they could have done on scene to save his life?


SAVIDGE: The prosecutor asking Donoghue about plant substances found in Arbery's wounds and to explain how Arbery was able to fight back after being fatally wounded.

DUNIKOSKI: Once Mr. Arbery had been shot in the torso, right here, how in the world did he keep moving?

DONOGHUE: Well, this is what is called the fight or flight reaction. And when you run into a situation that is stressful or that you are afraid of or is going to cause anxiety --

SAVIDGE: The defense pushing back.

ROBERT RUBIN, TRAVIS MCMICHAEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I believe you testified on direct examination that someone in the fight or flight mode, when they can no longer flee can fight.

DONOGHUE: They can, yes.

RUBIN: Okay. You didn't see any evidence that Mr. Arbery could no longer flee?

DONOGHUE: No, I didn't.

RUBIN: So, there was nothing physically preventing him from continue to go run, right?


SAVIDGE: Kevin Gough, who represents Bryan, filing a motion about people in the public gallery during the trial.

KEVIN GOUGH, WILLIAM RODDIE BRYAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We did file a motion to prohibit any further conduct that may intimidate or influence jurors or otherwise interfer with a fair trial.

SAVIDGE: This coming one day after he complained about civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson being in the courtroom. Jackson didn't enter the courtroom Tuesday, sitting with Arbery's father in another room. Arbery's mother saying it will be tough to hear the defense present their case.

WANDA COOPER-JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: It will be difficult. But at the same time, I think if I just keep what happened the way that the prosecution presented it, as they focused on that, I think I'll be okay.


SAVIDGE (on camera): And the defense will start picking up the case at 10:00 this morning. And the real question that's on everyone's mind is, will any of the three defendants take the stand to testify on their own behalf?

Getting back to the black pastors in the courtroom issue, which has now been haunting this trial for over a week, there is a protest planned for tomorrow. Several hundred pastors coming from all across the country are expected to be here to demonstrate support for Ahmaud Arbery's family.

BERMAN: Martin Savidge, we appreciate you being there. Keep us posted. A lot going on.

KEILAR: Let's discuss it all with Criminal and Civil Trial Attorney Eric Guster. Eric, thanks for joining us on what is really a pivotal day in this trial. What does the defense need to do here?

ERIC GUSTER, CRIMINAL AND CIVIL TRIAL ATTORNEY: Well, the defense has to try to reach jurors and try to put them in the same position as their defendants. Race is a central issue to this particular case, where you have three white men who killed a black man and one was helping film. So, they are trying to reach those jurors who will think just like those three white men who chased down Ahmaud Arbery and killed him and tried to pursue him.

They want to put up a self-defense case and saying that Arbery was breaking into houses and doing something criminal, and that's why they chased him. So, they want to get the jurors to believe that he was doing something criminal and that these men had the right to chase him, which led to a self-defense case.

It's a tough uphill battle but all they need to do is to get a hung jury to live another day.

KEILAR: It seems they have not proven part of their primary assertion here, which is that these guys, concerned about crime, were going to do a citizen's arrest. There was, as we have learned, no mention of that. How do they deal with that?

GUSTER: Well, now it is time for the defense to put up their case. And in their case in chief, I expect at least one of them to testify as to why they went and pursued him. When you have a self-defense case, it typically takes a defendant to testify that they fear -- he or she feared for his life. So, they need someone to go up there and say, this is what we saw, this is what we did and why we did it.

I do expect people from the community to perhaps come and testify that people break in the houses, that things were being stolen and that they were afraid and try to put those jurors in their seats to say these people did the right thing, which, of course, I disagree with but that is what I believe that they will do.

KEILAR: There have been a number of black pastors supporting the Ahmaud Arbery family in court. It's become a big issue, as you know. And the lead defense attorney made an issue of Jesse Jackson's presence in the courtroom. Let's listen to this exchange between him and the judge in the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOUGH: Your honor, I would submit with all respect to the Reverend Jesse Jackson that this is no different than bringing in police officers or uniformed prison guards in a small town where a young black man has been accused of assaulting a law enforcement officer or corrections officer.


JUDGE TIMOTHY WALMSLEY, EASTERN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF GEORGIA: So, then we start getting into what we have now with individual members, or individuals coming into the courtroom. I will say that is directly in response, Mr. Gough, to statements you made, which I find reprehensible.

I'm not granting a mistrial at this point based on these arguments that are being made.


KEILAR: Is this issue, you think, going to affect this case?

GUSTER: I don't think it's going to affect this case. But it also brings to the fact that this is about race. You have a defense attorney saying, no black pastor should be coming here in support. Not pastors, in general, but black pastors. And that shows you the level of race involvement in this particular case on the defense side of what they're trying to portray.

It's going to be very interesting what they do going forward with the demonstration that is happening on Thursday where hundreds of black pastors are expected to come to the courthouse in support of this family who lost a son who was doing nothing wrong.

KEILAR: Yes. Look, we had Reverend Barber on. He said, I am not a black pastor. I am a pastor. So, we see the distinction, of course, that the defense is making.

Eric, great to see you, thank you.

GUSTER: Great seeing you.

KEILAR: Coming up, the QAnon shaman is just hours away from being sentenced. Why he could do more time than any other Capitol rioter

BERMAN: Her husband died saving their daughter's life in a plane crash. She shares her story with us live.

And inside the GOP vote in Wyoming to effectively cancel Congresswoman Liz Cheney, hear from a Republican who was inside the room, next.



BERMAN: Today, the House is expected to vote on censuring Congressman Paul Gosar for posting a violent anime video, a video that showed him killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Congresswoman Liz Cheney is one of two Republican members to express early support for the anticipated vote. This comes just days after Wyoming's Republican Party, the central committee, voted to no longer recognize Cheney as a Republican. This is because she has spoken out against the former president for the big lie.

Joining me now with insider insight, Wyoming Committeeman from Natrona County Joe McGinley. Joe, thank you so much for being with us.

You were in the room where it happened, this vote to no longer consider Liz Cheney a republican. You voted against it. Tell us what happened.

JOE MCGINLEY, NATRONA COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY COMMITTEEMAN: Yes, that's correct. Good morning, everyone. I was there at the meeting. And I was just surprised this topic came up again. As you recall, the state central committee voted to censure Representative Cheney several months ago. They got it out of their system, they shook their fists at Representative Cheney. I thought that was finished topic at that point.

However, the state party's -- the leadership is somewhat irrelevant at this point and felt the need to bring the topic back up again, to my surprise. And this is even crazier. I mean, you can't tell someone that they're not a Republican. If they register as a Republican and say they're Republican, then they're Republican.

BERMAN: You wrote in an op-ed, the extremism we are currently witnessing the Wyoming Republican Party is the result of apathy. True Wyoming Republicans are currently sitting on the sidelines to discuss it and embarrassed to participate. What do you mean?

MCGINLEY: Yes, that's correct. You know, without using a catch phrase, there is a silent majority here in Wyoming, and they are true conservatives. They believe in ethics and morals. They believe in humility. They don't want to turn up and express their opinion to everyone. They go to the voting. They go to the polls. That's where they express their opinion.

They also don't want to be harassed. There is actually a lot of anger out there and there's a lot of extremists, even within our party, that if you express an opinion that differs from theirs, they're going to try to embarrass you, they're going to try to harass you, they're going to harass you on social media. You might even get censured by the state party for speaking out.

So, there really is a silent majority of good Republicans here in Wyoming that still believe in morals and ethics.

BERMAN: Do you think people are afraid?

MCGINLEY: Yes, absolutely. Again, a lot of people have jobs, they have families, they have private lives, and they don't want to be put in a spotlight for a political opinion. They're afraid to speak out. They will express their opinions when it comes to the polls. BERMAN: Well, is there a risk then that the extremists, as you call them, expressing extremism, as you write, that they're winning? If people are afraid to speak up, isn't that handing these people what they want?

MCGINLEY: Yes, that's a great question. Unfortunately, they have taken over leadership within our state party here in Wyoming, as well as a lot of our county parties across our state. So, in that sense, yes, they are winning as far as organized positions.

However, they are not winning with the common voter. The common voter does not agree with this type of messaging or behavior. Even if they agree or disagree with Representative Cheney on her vote on January 6th, they still disagree with this type of behavior.

There's a lot of individuals here in the state. Again, Wyoming is a pro-Trump state. President Trump won by a large majority here in the state. But there's a lot of individuals that really do support the policies of President Trump but also support Representative Cheney. So, those individuals also are afraid to speak out. So, in that sense, yes, they are oppressing the voice of the individual by creating fear and essentially a larger group of individuals that just don't want to participate.

BERMAN: They support the policies of Trump and Cheney because they are largely the same, except in so far as it relates to overturning an election, right?


MCGINLEY: Here you go with facts again. Don't let facts get in the way of a good story. You're absolutely right. If you look at the voting record of Representative Cheney, even right now in Congress, she is one of, if not, the most conservative voting member of the House. When President Trump was in office, Representative Cheney voted along with President Trump more than most of the individuals that are attacking her in Congress. So, those type of facts don't really get brought up very often because they're not convenient.

But as a Republican, as a true Republican, that's what you look for. You want a representative that represents your conservative values and (INAUDIBLE) someone that's going to vote the way the party really wants you to vote overall with principles. So, that's what we see with Representative Cheney and her voting record, really, you can't question it.

BERMAN: I've got let you go. The vote this time was, what, 31-29, which is actually pretty close, and a lot closer than the censure vote was. Does that tell you anything?

MCGINLEY: Yes, absolutely. I was surprised by how close that vote was. I was at the vote for the censure as well. And there is only a handful of all of us who have voted no on the censure. This time around though, 31-29, I think that is sending a message that individuals don't agree with just keep bringing this topic now just to get attention. There's fatigue on the matter. A lot of individuals even question the reasoning of why you would say someone is not a Republican. They know you can't do that. There is no power behind that vote. All it does is just show how far out of touch the state party leadership is with the common voter and with the Constitution, in general. So, that 31-29 vote was extremely symbolic and really did send a sign that enough is enough on this topic.

BERMAN: Republican Joe McGinley, and I say, Republican, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, we appreciate you being with us this morning. Thanks for getting up.

MCGINLEY: Thank you.

KEILAR: Jacob Chansely, the self-proclaimed QAnon shaman, is set to be sentenced today for his in the January 6th Capitol insurrection. Prosecutors are seeking a prison term of 51 months, which would be the longest for any of the hundreds of rioters who have been charged so far.

CNN's Whitney Wild is live for us outside of the D.C. district courthouse, and she has more on this. That is a long sentence as we look at these charges.

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And if you put it in perspective, there is a recent sentencing that brings more clarity to that. For example, there was another man sentenced to 41 months. Prosecutors had asked for 44 months. And, Brianna, that was for a crime of violence. Jacob Chansley not convicted of a crime of violence. So, this is certainly meant to send a message to anybody with any inclination to attack the government.


WILD (voice over): He is one of the most recognizable figures from the January 6th insurrection. Soon, the case against Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon shaman, may serve as a bellwether.

Chansley became notorious after parading through the Senate chamber shirtless, wearing bull horns, face paint and fur and carrying a speared flagpole. Chansley admitted he left a note on the Senate dais where then-Vice President Mike Pence had stood moments earlier. It is only a matter of time, Chansley wrote. Justice is coming.

Chansley pleaded guilty to a felony for obstructing the electoral vote count and has spent the last ten months in jail. Even behind bars, Chansley has generated headlines refusing to eat nonorganic food, asking a pardon from then-President Trump, and conducting a jailhouse interview with 60 Minutes+.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My actions were not an attack on this country. That is incorrect. That is inaccurate entirely.

WILD: Prosecutors disagree and are asking for more than four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. That is one of the most severe sentence requests so far, meant to deter others inclined to similar crimes.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: They argue he was a leader. And under the federal sentencing guidelines, you can get a sentencing adjustment upwards for somebody who is a leader. They argue he was literally a flag bearer for those that stormed the Capitol on January 6th.

WILD: The Department of Justice has charged at least 660 people for their roles in the insurrection. So far, at least 131 defendants have pleaded guilty, 35 have been sentenced with only 15 headed to jail.

Chansley's case ushers in a new phase of punishments for higher-level defendants after prosecutors have faced criticism for letting rioters plead to lesser offenses.

HONIG: Coordination is essential for the Justice Department, both in handling the cases efficiently and in being consistent and making sure that you are handling them fairly and in a way that both judges and the American public trust and find credible.

WILD: Investigators continue to comb through thousands of hours of video footage taken inside the Capitol, as well as images posted on social media. The number of defendants only expected to rise.


WILD (on camera): Chansley's attorneys are asking for time served, Brianna.


He should be sentenced today around 10:00 A.M.

KEILAR: All right. We'll be watching. Whitney Wild, thank you.

Could an innocent man --