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New Day

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is Interviewed about Her Congressional Race; NFL Appealing Ruling; Congresswoman Killed in Car Crash; Conservatives Host Hungary's Leader; David Axelrod on his 500th Episode. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 04, 2022 - 06:30   ET



ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: President Biden run again in 2024.


LOUIS: Mr. Nadler?

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): To early to say. It doesn't serve the purpose of the Democratic Party to - to deal with that until after the midterms.

LOUIS: Ms. Maloney?

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY): I don't believe he's running for re- election.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: That was Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in the congressional primary debate in New York's 12th Congressional District, and she's with us now.

You took heat for those comments. You did later say that if President Biden does run for re-election you're going to back him. But why did you - you'd you say that? Why do you think he's not going to run for re-election?

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY): Well, first of all, I think we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to President Biden. He saved the country by running against former President Trump, and he defeated him. And he has also done an incredible job as president, passing the Build Back Better -- the American Rescue Plan, the infrastructure plan, now - and - and now the infrastructure -- the inflation reduction plan, which is based off the Build Back Better.

So, I think he's done an incredible job and is giving us a record to run on in the '22 elections. Let's finish the '22 elections before we get to '24.

KEILAR: But why did you - why do you think he's not running? MALONEY: That was just my own personal belief, which I'm not going to

- this could -- but I will support him if he runs. And it's totally his decision.

KEILAR: But why do you have that personal belief?

MALONEY: Well, we're all entitled to have our own information and our own beliefs, but I will support him if he runs for president. He's already been an outstanding president. He's helped the city tremendously with the American Rescue Plan. It brought $5.8 billion to our city, kept our hospitals, our trains running, helped the small businesses and provided free vaccines to everyone. And the new bill that he's come out with I think is really exciting, the inflation reduction bill, which will allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. That will be extremely helpful. And has the first and most -- largest investment in greening of America. And I particularly like his -- his move to electrify the postal fleet. That's the second largest fleet in America. And it will move us towards green energy. He can use the postal offices as charging stations. And 70 percent of the toxic fumes that are polluting the environment come from fossil fuels, so it will reduce that tremendously.

KEILAR: So, you are -

MALONEY: So, thank you, President Biden.

KEILAR: OK. You're a fan of his. You're a fan of his, to be clear, even as you said that you - you think he won't be running.

I do want to ask you - I think that debate gave -

MALONEY: You know, I probably should -- Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run. I happen to think you won't be running. But when you run or if you run, I will be there 100 percent. You have deserved it. You are a great president. And thank you for everything you've done for my state and all the states and all the cities in America. Thank you, Mr. President.

KEILAR: I think that debate may have been the - we'll see if he hears that. I bet he probably will. But I think that debate may have been the entry point for a lot of people watching this race, and then they start to realize, wait, why is Jerry Nadler and Congresswoman Maloney, why are they running against each other? He -- there was a redistricting for obviously New York.


KEILAR: And he actually now lives in your district. He could have run in the 10th still, his old district, but now here you are running against each other in the 12th. And it's gotten pretty testy. Case in point, a tweet that you put out questioning where Nadler was on the extension of a subway project, a very important one that matters to a lot of New Yorkers on the east side of Manhattan. He replied, here I am, I'm standing right next to you, a picture from the same event where he was above -- aboveground with you.

Why has it gotten to this point where you guys are tit for tat on Twitter and it's getting kind of - kind of testy?

MALONEY: Well, I don't think it's -- we're friends. It's unfortunate that it happened. I am running in the 12th district. Sixty percent of it is the 12th district, the district that I represent now. He could have easily run in the 10th because his -- his congressional office is in the 10th and the property that he represented before is in the 10th. I expected him to run in the 10th. I was very surprised when he tweeted out that he was running in the 12th.

But now we're running. But he had claimed credit for the Second Avenue subway, which is fine with me. It's on the - it's on the east side and I worked very hard on it.


It was my top priority for years. It was the only subway that's been built since I've been in Congress, not in the city, not in the state, but the whole country. And -- but I sort of agree now with former President Truman, you can do a lot more if you just let everybody claim credit. So, he's entitled to claim credit for it if he wants to. My only question is, why didn't he build something on the west side? He came to Congress saying he wanted to build a rail freight tunnel. It still hasn't -- 30 years, he still hasn't built it.

So, I built the subway. He can claim credit for it. But, for the west side, he should have built his tunnel. All you have to do is work on it every day.

KEILAR: Congresswoman, we are looking forward to seeing what happens in this race. It's capturing a lot of attention. Carolyn Maloney, we appreciate you being with us.

MALONEY: Well, thank you. Thank you.

KEILAR: So, happening overnight, China fired multiple missiles toward waters surrounding Taiwan. This occurring one day after that controversial visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: And the NFL now appealing a judge's decision to suspend Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShaun Watson for just six games. What they're pushing for instead.



AVLON: A face-off begins as the NFL says it's appealing the six-game suspension handed down to Browns quarterback DeShaun Watson.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."



So, the NFL, you know, is saying that six games is not enough. The NFL's independent disciplinary officer, Sue Robinson, said the NFL did prove its case against Watson, but due to precedent, only suspended him for six games. Well, the league, according to ESPN, is now appealing for an indefinite suspension lasting at least one year and they want Watson fined. So the way Watson's $230 million guaranteed contract with the Browns is structured, makes it to where he would lose very little money if he were just suspended for games this season.

So, this decision is now up to Roger Goodell. He's going to decide whether he hears the appeal on appoints someone to do so. That ruling will be final and binding to all parties. But the Players Union could challenge the ruling in federal court, setting the stage for a prolonged fight.

Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women but was not charged with any crimes. He had settled 23 of the lawsuits against him. Watson has denied any wrongdoing.

For the time being, guys, Watson can still practice with the team and play in pre-season games while this continues to play out.

AVLON: All right, Andy, thank you very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

AVLON: All right, internationally condemned, but embraced at CPAC. American conservatives get ready to welcome an authoritarian leader who railed against race mixing just last month.

KEILAR: And a big announcement from Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, nearly two years after a heartbreaking pregnancy loss.



KEILAR: This morning, flags at the Capitol are at half-staff after Indian Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and two of her staffers, Emma Thomson and Zachery Potts, were killed in a car crash in northern Indiana on Wednesday.

I want to bring in CNN's Melanie Zanona on Capitol Hill.

This is shocking the community there in Congress, Mel.

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes, this is an absolute tragedy that has absolutely rocked the Capitol Hill community. To not only lose a member who has been serving in Congress since 2013, but also two really young staffers. And so the tributes have been pouring in.

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy called Walorski a dear friend and a trusted adviser. She was very close to leadership as a deputy member of the GOP whips team. She also was the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee. So, she was in line to become a chairwoman if Republicans take the House next year. And she also had a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. So just a very well-respected, well-liked member on both sides of the aisle.

Here's how Senator Todd Young, a fellow Indiana Republican, remembered his colleague.


SEN. TODD YOUNG (R-ID): Jackie was a person of deep faith and strong conviction and just an incredibly smart person. But what I really remember about her, she had an amazing sense of humor, high energy. She knew how to light up a room. She'd go into a room and immediately people would be happier.

I personally relied on Jackie, a lot of the years, for emotional support, for encouragement, for friendship. And she was -- she was a genuine friend. She wasn't just a colleague. And I'm just so saddened by her loss.


ZANONA: Now, no word yet on memorial services for Walorski. But as you mentioned, flags have been ordered to fly at half-staff at both the Capitol and the White House in her honor, Bri.

KEILAR: Yes, and those staffers, so young, 27 and 28, from Indiana and Washington.


KEILAR: And I know that certainly that, as you said, is rocking the Capitol as well.


KEILAR: Melanie, thank you.

AVLON: Happening today, the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, kicks off in Texas. Now, the usual speakers will be there, Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Ted Cruz and so on, but so will a controversial foreign leader, Hungary's Viktor Orban, whose government is accused of undermining women's rights, LGBT rights, controlling the media and much, much more.

CNN's Ben Wedeman is live in Budapest.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, despite all of that, even the critics of the prime minister here concede that over the last 12 years some of his policies have managed to help improve a lot of many Hungriness. Yet despite that of late, as the economy has begun to falter, Viktor Orban has resorted to rhetoric reminiscent to some of the darkest days in this country's history.


WEDEMAN (voice over): You could call it a meeting of like minds. Video from his official Facebook page shows Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visiting former President Donald Trump Tuesday at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. On his way to this week's Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas.

The hard right anti-immigrant prime minister recently set off alarm bells with his speech laced with sinister undertones.

We Europeans, Orban said, are willing to mix with one another but we do not want to become peoples of mixed race.

He has since come out insisting he isn't racist or anti-Semitic. The damage, however, is done.

WEDEMAN (on camera): Victor Orban's talk about racial mixing, about racial purity, stir up dark, still fresh memories. These metal shoes commemorate the spot where, in the final months of World War II, Hungarian Nazis murdered thousands of Jews.

WEDEMAN (voice over): It's time for evening prayer in Budapest's historic Dohani (ph) Street Synagogue.


Rabbi Robert Frolich says Orban's words hit too close to home.

ROBERT FROLICH, CHIEF RABBI: You saw this small congregation here who come here every evening, every morning to pray. They are older people. Most of them are Holocaust survivors. And they are worried. They heard this before. And it didn't end well.

WEDEMAN: Often described as an authoritarian, Orban has been in power for the last 12 years, re-elected in April. His economic policies have won him support, but with inflation rising, that's beginning to change, says economist Zoltan Pogatsa.

ZOLTAN POGATSA, ECONOMIST: In the longer run, yes, I think Orban remains popular. But in this particular point in time, I think more people are skeptical about him than ever before.

WEDEMAN: In Budapest's central market, opinions vary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest, Viktor Orban is not even liked in our own country.

WEDEMAN: Margareta Krinik (ph), the butcher, begs to differ.

Viktor Orban is doing everything for his people, she says. He loves his people.

Evening and city residents saver the soft breezes off the Danube. History flows through this city. The fast never far from the surface.


WEDEMAN: And with a possible recession on the horizon, the fear is the prime minister is looking for scapegoats. Something this part of Europe has seen in the past.


AVLON: Ben Wedeman, looking at liberal democracy and the echoes of history. Thank you very much.

All right, more votes coming in overnight in several key primary races with election denialism on the ballot and some voters going for it. We're going to break down the latest numbers.

KEILAR: Plus, the jaw-dropping revelation at the Alex Jones trial that could have huge implications for the January 6th investigation.



KEILAR: Today we celebrate CNN's senior political commentator David Axelrod's 500th episode of his podcast "The Axe Files." Over its seven years in existence, Axelrod has gotten personal with everyone from political insiders to Supreme Court justices, like in this interview with Justice Sonia Sotomayor.


JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR, SUPREME COURT: The one thing I took out of the lesson of my diabetes and that fear of dying young was that I had an obligation, and that is to squeeze out of life every minute that I could, to make every moment in my life meaningful in some way.

I was a nerd in school, studied very hard, did a lot of after school activities, stayed up late studying. I worked on Saturday and Sunday, full days, but I partied Friday and Saturday nights. And I still live my life somewhat like that.


KEILAR: Partying Friday and Saturday nights.

AVLON: I love it. The partying nerd.

KEILAR: Just like David Axelrod, maybe or maybe not, who joins us now.

Seven years, 500 episodes.


AVLON: Congratulations.

AXELROD: Thank you. Thank you. A lot of conversations.

KEILAR: It's -- and they've been amazing. I do want to listen to your most recent one, your 500th episode available for download now.


KEILAR: You spoke with John Legend.


KEILAR: Right? And he talks about this devastating miscarriage that his wife Chrissy Teigen went through well into the second trimester of her pregnancy. Let's listen to that and then talk about it.



JOHN LEGEND: Having gone through that situation with my wife, essentially anyone who would have a miscarriage, after all of that trauma, after all of that pain, after all those tears we went through, to then have the local DA or a local law enforcement do an investigation and make sure the miscarriage was approved by the state and not just a regular run-of-the-mill abortion, to have the government involved in that conversation in any way is so offensive to me. It's nasty. It's evil.


KEILAR: Such an interesting perspective.

AXELROD: That's what drove a whole bunch of people to the polls in Kansas this week. Yes, you know, he was talking, obviously, about the Dobbs decision from his very personal perspective of the experience he went through. And that's, of course, why I like doing this podcast, because everyone has a story and often the stories are surprising, and those stories shape their thinking and their point of view. And this is an example of that.

And, of course, John Legend is far more than a musician. He's an activist. He's an organizer. He's someone who really devotes a lot of his life to public issues that he feels passionately about.

AVLON: Well, and I think that's what helps "The Axe Files" really stand out. Folks who might know you primarily as a presidential political strategist might not know you were a journalist before. And you really are dedicated to telling people's stories and confronting people's -- some of their deepest, darkest secrets and difficulties that they've gotten over.

And one example of that is when you spoke to Karl Rove, in some ways your opposite on the Republican side of the aisle.

AXELROD: Exactly.

AVLON: But you share a very common, personal tragedy.


AVLON: Both your parents died by suicide.


AVLON: Let's listen.


KARL ROVE: My mother was a troubled person. She never seemed to be able to hold a course in life. Finally, there was a little bit of light and my sister and she went for a ride and my sister said she just had a sense for the first time that mom was sort of, you know, starting to see that there was a possibility. And within a matter of hours, she had committed suicide.

AXELROD: Oh, my.

ROVE: If possible, get help for those that are suffering from mental illness. You know, think about it, your dad, my mom, probably today, if diagnosed early, would be able to have some regime of drugs that would help them navigate this.



ROVE: And it happened to both of us in part because our parents didn't get help.


AVLON: What impact did that have on you?

AXELROD: Well, a lot.