Return to Transcripts main page
New Day Saturday
Biden Meets With World Leaders At G20 Summit; Protests In Rome As Biden Meets With World Leaders At G20 Summit; Biden To Attend United Nations' Climate Summit In Glasgow; Source: W.H. Preps Climate Action Rollout To Help Meet Biden's Goal. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired October 30, 2021 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thanks for keeping us posted. Alison Chinchar, thank you.
And your next hour of "New Day" starts right now.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your "New Day." It is Saturday, October 30th. We are so grateful that you're with us. I'm Boris Sanchez.
WALKER: Oh, grateful that you are having me. I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul.
Let's get right to it because we are learning this morning that in the middle of the insurrection of January 6, one of former President Trump's attorneys sent an e-mail to an aide for then Vice President Mike Pence, blaming him for the violence that day because he refused to overturn Trump's election loss.
SANCHEZ: And this is new reporting from the Washington Post about what happened during the Capitol attack and the intense pressure that the former president's team put on Pence to block the election certification. The Post says that as Pence was hiding from rioters, some of whom were chanting hang Mike Pence, one of his top aides sent an e-mail to Trump attorney John Eastman, describing the attack as a siege. Eastman wrote back, quote, the siege is because you and your boss didn't do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened.
WALKER: Eastman has confirmed the content of the e-mails but denies that he was actually blaming Pence for the violence. He tells the Post, Trump's team was right to exhaust quote every legal means to challenge the election results. But this report sheds new light on video captured by a Democratic activist. Now in it, Eastman boasts of the importance of his memo that outlined a scheme to subvert the Constitution and throw out the election and blames Pence for not carrying out the plan. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All your legal reasoning is totally solid. JOHN EASTMAN, DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Yes, yes. There's no question. But --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Maybe like, you know, this supporter to supporter like why do you think that Mike Pence didn't do it?
EASTMAN: Well, Pence, Mike Pence is an establishment guy at the end of the day. And all of the establishment Republicans in D.C. bought into this very myopic view that Trump is destroying the Republican Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: And once again, we have to point out, as always, there is not now nor has there ever been any credible proof of widespread election fraud, or irregularities. And of course, we'll continue to follow this story for you throughout the morning.
And the other big story that we're following this morning, President Biden meeting with world leaders at the G20 Summit in Rome.
SANCHEZ: And let's get straight to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. He's live for us in Rome, joining us now.
Wolf, it's been a busy day for President Biden, a lot of meetings and a lot at stake here.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Certainly has been already very busy. It's about to get even more busy. Good morning, Boris. Good morning Amara, to you.
The President meets with world leaders to tackle some really pressing global issues while his domestic agenda back in Washington hangs in the balance. The President arrived at the G20 summit in Rome this morning. He was greeted by Italy's Prime Minister. Italian authorities have ramped up security big time for the global gathering in anticipation of major protests. More than 5,000 security forces have been deployed, along with 400 units of the armed forces.
As the summit got underway, the leader is opposed for the traditional so-called family photo. They also met with first responders on the frontlines of the COVID 19 pandemic. The fight against the virus is one of the top items on the agenda understandably so at this summit.
As for President Biden's domestic agenda remains stalled. Right now he's pushing for a global minimum tax rate but efforts to pass a tax increase to pay for his agenda have hit a roadblock back in Washington.
Our chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins is joining me now, she's here with us in Rome covering the summit.
Kaitlan, this is an important day for the President of the United States.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is a big day. It is the first time he's meeting with these world leaders in person since he has taken office on this kind of a scale. And they have a lot on the agenda to discuss because there are some things that we know they are going to talk about the global minimum tax, Iran is a big meeting that the President has coming up today, vaccine sharing, of course, when it comes to the pandemic.
But also at summits like these there are so often those meetings, those pull asides between a world leader and another that happens on the sidelines of these summits where often they have a chance to talk about what is on the agenda, what they want to talk about what are important things they want to push, where it's easier to have this interaction when you're in person instead of maybe on the phone with other staffers, other translators.
And so, those are also opportunities for the President and he's also seeking to take advantage of the absence of two significant world leaders and of course that is from China and Russia who were not here at this summit. The White House says that's because of COVID-19. As we know Chinese President Xi Jinping has not traveled since the pandemic started in early 2020.
And so, they're also trying to take advantage of those moments in his interactions with other world leaders.
BLITZER: We got a lot going on right now as these world leaders. Kaitlan are meeting at this G20. A large group of protesters are demonstrating on the streets of Rome, and they're raising serious questions about security here.
I want to bring in our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman. He's right near some of those demonstrations unfolding right now.
So, first of all, Ben, what are they protesting?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well they're protesting a variety of things, because there are a variety of groups here. There are members of the Friday's For The Future. There are anti-fascist groups, there are trade unions represented, as well as the Italian Communist Party, or branches thereof. Now, at the moment, they're just perhaps a bit over 100 protesters here. But we're still about an hour and a half before the official start of the protest.
Many people are calling for real action on climate change, and not just a lot of rhetoric. There are those who are calling for economic justice, and an end to the capitalist system. It's questionable whether people out there at the Conference Center, the so-called La Nuvola, will be listening to what they say.
Now, according to the Italian police, they expect at least 5,000 people to show up here, and perhaps as many as 10,000. Now we understand that in Rome, more than 5,000 security personnel have been mobilized for the G20 over Rome, it's now a no fly zone. There are certain parts of the city where only those with proper credentials or local residents can enter. Because the Italian authorities still have vivid memories of the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001 where there were massive protests, the police took a very heavy hand with those protests, killing one of those protesters.
So, the hope as of today, and tomorrow, there will not be a repeat of what happened back in 2001 in Genoa. Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Ben stand by, we're going to get back to you as you continue to watch these demonstrations.
Let's discuss what's going on, here Jim Sciutto of course is here with us. Kaitlan is here with us as well. Also joining us, CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser.
Susan, let me get your thoughts on how all of this is the impact of this summit on the world leaders because there's so many critical issues on the agenda right now.
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, that's right Wolf, first of all, I think it's a measure of the fact that the world is still in the middle of the pandemic that two major leaders from Russia and China are not attending. But it's an opportunity for President Biden, I think, to reassert American leadership is certainly probably a welcome departure for him in a way from the gridlock back here in Washington, he spent months negotiating with his own party on his agenda. So, now he gets to go be a leader on the world stage again, climate is the big focus of I think that diplomacy both at the G20, and also at the upcoming COP26 meeting that the President will attend.
But this global minimum tax is a big win, it's kind of a surprise that this is sort of become a centerpiece of Biden's agenda as well, internationally. But this is a very significant move that would essentially recognize the effects of globalization and the idea that companies can't just move their money around without having accountability in the countries that they come from. I think it's a very significant global action at a time when, frankly, global action has been slowly missing, right.
BLITZER: You know, Jim, as we watch all of this unfold, clearly hovering over this summit right now is the COVID-19 pandemic. And so many of these world leaders, they recognize that in the developed countries, the wealthy countries, 60, 70, maybe even 80% of the people have been vaccinated, you go to the poor countries, maybe 2 or 3% of the people have been vaccinated. And that potentially could cause enormous problems not only for the poor nations in the world, but it could spill over.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's our understanding that they're discussing a new goal among G20 nations to vaccinate 70% of the world by mid 2022, replacing a goal they didn't meet, which was to have 40% of the world vaccinated by the end of this year there. They're just not going to do that. By the way, 70% by the middle of next year, is quite an ambitious goal given that even in the U.S. of course, we have problems, getting it out to some portions of the population, but that that is a goal. It's an important one. And the test here will be financial commitment right to this how much money will countries put up to support getting those vaccine doses to the countries that can't afford them.
The other point I would add, just to Susan's point about the global tax is, you know, you talk about getting deals across the finish line, the President was not able to get his domestic agenda across the finish line by his departure here. But this global tax is something that Biden put his muscle behind a number of months ago, he got the G7 nations to agree middle of the summer, they inked it formally in July. Now here, here we are, end of October, and you have now G20 on board for that.
That's not an insignificant achievement. You know, when we talk about testing U.S. leadership on global challenges, that's something. A lot of other big challenges, no question. But that's at least something that should be noted, you know,
BLITZER: You know, and Kaitlan, as we watch all of this unfold, the President of United States, normally under normal circumstance, he loves these international events. He spent what 36 years in the Senate, was Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, eight years as Vice President's love traveling around the world, here he is, and the stakes for him personally, politically, but for the United States in the world are enormous.
COLLINS: They're very high. And the President recognizes that. And I think the challenge that is facing him here is that he is not walking into this with an obvious message like he did at the G7 summit --
COLLINS: -- four or five months ago, which is that America is back, he was not Donald Trump. And he was here to restore these alliances that his predecessor, often, you know, devalued, or tried to disrupt. And it's a tougher message now because of what has happened over the last four or five months. And that is the U.S.-Afghanistan exit, which of course, turns deadly we know at times. It is the French dust up over which you saw the plain view yesterday when the President was admitting that the United States handled that situation in a clumsy manner.
And so, those are also things that are facing him. But also when it comes to vaccine sharing, that has been something that a lot of nations have pushed this president on, and world leaders in their conversations and their meetings and whatnot.
And so, it is incredibly important. It's a difficult task, though, because we're talking about wealthy nations sharing vaccines. I've talked to a lot of officials about this. A lot of these third world countries don't have the infrastructure to keep these vaccines at these ultra-cold temperatures. They don't have the ability to say, OK, we've tracked your one shot, here's your second shot. And here's what its do. They have issues with infrastructure, as simple as that. And that is when we struggle to meet that goal of 70% by next year.
BLITZER: Let me get Susan Glasser back into this conversation. Susan, you know, from Rome, Monday and Tuesday, the President will be in Scotland for this, this climate summit and the stakes there are enormous as well. Set the scene for us.
GLASSER: Well, Wolf, I think this is where American credibility really comes onto the line. Because remember, a lot of the world is wondering, even if we have a switch from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, what about America's world right at word, when it comes to making international commitments, and President Obama joined the Paris Climate Accord, Donald Trump withdrew from it. Joe Biden is back. So, when he comes bearing promises, I think one big question is, is the U.S. going to follow those through, even though we're so divided politically back here at home.
So, President Biden hasn't managed to pass his legislative framework, but he is going to come saying, look, have a major investment in climate. I believe it's $550 million. This is a commitment of U.S., like we haven't seen before. That is going to be, I think, a crucial thing, because between them, China and the United States (INAUDIBLE) 40% of the world's emissions, these are the crucial questions. It's not what everybody does. It's what the United States and China do together.
So, I think this is probably the biggest long-term challenge for the Biden president.
SCIUTTO: Yes. Yes.
BLITZER: And it's interesting that Susan, that after the President Biden is in Scotland, for this climate summit, the former president of the United States, I'm not talking about Trump, I'm talking to President Obama, he will be in Scotland also addressing this issue. And I think that's significant as well.
GLASSER: Absolutely, Wolf. I think, remember that for President Obama, this was a key part of his legacy. Obama didn't just bring the United States into the Paris Climate Accord, he actually came to this international summit and exercise an enormous amount of personal diplomacy, when things were looking tenuous at various points to get this over the line. And first of all, it's a reminder that it used to be possible for American leaders to operate in a one-on-one setting and to make things happen. Kaitlan made the point. That's why these meetings in person are so significant.
And that is part of the opportunity, by the way that exists for Biden right now, when the Chinese are not there, when Vladimir Putin is not there to show people that the U.S. can still make things happen.
SCIUTTO: You know, to Susan's point there, Obama put the U.S. into the climate accord, Trump took the U.S. out, Biden put the U.S. back in and that raises an ongoing question that you hear I hear frequently from European diplomats do commitments made today in the moment by the sitting president last through the next administration and that's the issue that cannot be solved in this summit or even in the next couple of years.
[08:15:08] BLITZER: And very quickly Kaitlan, Obama worked out the Iran nuclear deal Trump got out of the Iran nuclear deal. And now the Biden administration would like to get back in.
BLITZER: That (INAUDIBLE) Iran nuclear deal.
COLLINS: They're having issues with that, though, because Iran, of course, is now moving aggressively with their nuclear program. And so, today, one of the most critical meetings that President Biden has is what Susan and I were talking about these meetings where it's not an official formal thing, where they're going to walk out with this pretty statement after. He's going to be sitting down the leaders of Germany, France and United Kingdom to talk about Iran and what they are going to do. And they're calling it a No BS conversation, because they really need to figure out what that's going to look like is they're entering a really critical period on what's going to happen.
SCIUTTO: And who's on the other side of the table in the Iranian nuclear talks. Hardliners Iran who oppose the nuclear deal, that's a tough obstacle to get over if you're trying to resurrect.
BLITZER: The stakes over there are enormous as well, Israelis, specially a very, very nervous right now the U.S. is watching that very closely. Guys, stick around. Susan, thank you very much. Susan Glasser, The New Yorker.
As President of Biden meets with world leaders here in Rome, there are some major headlines when it comes to the pandemic. For that, let's go back to Boris and Amara. Guys, you got a lot of news going on over there.
SANCHEZ: Quite a bit and specifically disputes over vaccine mandates Wolf, we'll keep checking in with you throughout the hour.
The vaccine mandate deadline for all New York City workers to get their shots in effect right now. Still, some union leaders are fighting back and that's causing officials to warn of a possible shortage of first responders. New details, straight ahead.
WALKER: Also, a few days of campaigning left in Virginia leading up to Tuesday's election for Governor. It's being viewed as a big test for Democrats in a state where President Biden won by a big margin. We'll have a live update from the campaign trail.
SANCHEZ: Pfizer now says it will begin immediately shipping out his COVID vaccine for kids ages five to 11. It comes after the FDA granted emergency use authorization of the vaccine for that age group, which is a major step toward protecting one of the last unvaccinated populations in the country. WALKER: Next, the CDC vaccine advisors are set to meet on Tuesday and that is when we will know if the CDC director greenlights their recommendation, 28 million kids could start getting the shots as early as Wednesday.
By Monday unvaccinated employees in New York City can be expected to be placed on unpaid leave they haven't received -- if they haven't received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Now this comes as thousands of workers scrambled to apply for a reasonable accommodation to avoid the mandate for municipal workers.
SANCHEZ: Yes, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea says that any requests that were made after Wednesday are too late. And despite the possible staffing shortages, they are in quote, good shape.
CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now live from New York. Polo, give us an update on where things stand right now.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey guys. So it seems like there was this sort of 11th hour push for some of these city workers who actually get vaccinated, because as you guys just mentioned a while ago, those that do not have at least one dose administered of the vaccine face getting put on unpaid leave. And that last minute push that we saw yesterday evening has increased the numbers at least just a little bit, just look, take a look at where they stand.
As of yesterday evening, the fire department, for example, about 77% of them already now fully, at least receiving that first dose of the vaccine and also a significant increase up from 80 to 84% for the NYPD. Again, these are numbers that are likely to continue to rise this weekend, obviously ahead of Monday. The union's basically caught in a game of chicken with the city saying that it plans to send their employees into work. And then of course, leave it up to the city to take a respective course of action here and the city is basically maintained their ground.
You mentioned New York police commissioner a little while ago, Boris, saying that the situation is or at least they are in good shape. But they do say that anybody who did not submit that reasonable accommodation request before Wednesday, they will be placed on unpaid leave. And also officials here in the city of New York basically saying they do have multiple plans in place at first that they do experiencing -- experience of staffing shortages, and they're likely going to be pushing, pausing some training programs also reassigning some personnel. And if that doesn't work, then they'll potentially turn to overtime and extending some shifts.
So again, they do have a plan in place. And they are certainly hopeful that those numbers will continue to climb to this weekend and into next week. Guys.
SANCHEZ: We'll keep an eye on it. Polo Sandoval. Thank you so much.
SANDOVAL: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: New York Attorney General Letitia James has officially entered the race for governor. The announcement kicks off a Democratic primary clash that pits the progressive favorite against current moderate Governor Kathy Hochul, who took office this summer following the resignation of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
WALKER: Now, if James wins she will become the first black woman in American history to be elected governor of any state. The next gubernatorial election in New York will be held in November 2022.
Now the race to be Virginia's next governor is now in the homestretch. In the increasingly nationalized race, both Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are hitting the campaign trail in decidedly different ways as they make their closing pitches.
SANCHEZ: A new poll from the Washington Post shows the racist neck- and-neck with no clear leader.
CNN's Dan Merica is live in Virginia Beach for us. Dan a few months ago Terry McAuliffe held a reasonable lead. Glenn Youngkin has caught up and now this race is a toss up.
DAN MERICA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, it's a remarkably tight race. And you're right. You've seen some momentum in the clothes from Glenn Youngkin the Republican in this race. They're both hitting the trail very hard this weekend events across the Commonwealth. You have Youngkin actually campaigning right now in Northern Virginia spending much of the day in the vote rich suburbs around Washington D.C. And Terry McAuliffe the Democrat in the race will actually be here in the Tidewater region in Virginia Beach where I am right now, also events in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and ending the day in historic Williamsburg.
But what you're seeing the close of this race is how these candidates are running dramatically different campaigns. For McAuliffe, this race has really been about the national mood. He has talked about Virginia issues, but he's really focused on the nationalization of this race, and has brought in a number of big top name surrogates to do that. Kamala Harris was here yesterday. He's also held rallies with President Joe Biden, Barack Obama, a number of other top surrogates.
For Youngkin, the close of this race has been much more focused on Virginia with no surrogates, he has not invited top name surrogates to come to Commonwealth. Donald Trump has not come. A number of top federal office holders have not come. It has really been all about Youngkin in the close of this campaign. Take a listen to what they said to voters yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE (D-VA) GOV. CANDIDATE: We only have a few days to go. I cannot tell you how critical this election is. The stakes could not be any more clear. On one side, you think what we have over there, conspiracy theorists. We've got anti-vaxxers, and we got Donald Trump. They're all on one side. GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA) GOV. CANDIDATE: There is something really special going on across this Commonwealth of Virginia, we can all feel it and friends, it is happening right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MERICA: So, this is honestly the most important day of these final days of campaigning. This is the day that early voting here in Virginia ends. This is the first gubernatorial election where Virginians have had the chance for no excuse early voting. And that is really a huge issue in this candidate -- in this campaign. Over a million Virginians have already cast ballots in this race. That could mean at the end of this race huge swings at the end are unlikely because so many ballots have already been banked.
SANCHEZ: Dan America from Virginia Beach, thank you so much.
And be sure to join CNN on Tuesday for "ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA," special live coverage starting Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern all right here on CNN.
Stay with "New Day." We're back after a quick break.
SANCHEZ: Formed in 1999 as a response to a series of financial crises, the G20 aims to fix problems in the global economy. It's made up of 19 countries and the European Union. Members include the United States, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Mexico. It's essentially a collection of the world's largest economies. In fact, they account for more than 80 percent of global GDP.
The focus for the G20, achieving financial stability through regulating international trade. They also try to solve global problems, things like climate change. Since 2008, the G20 summit has been held annually at locations around the world. Of course, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last year were scrapped and leaders instead met virtually.
Famously, former President Donald Trump took part in the opening ceremonies. He delivered a message to world leaders, and then he skipped out on a session about pandemic preparedness, instead opting to hit the links at one of his golf courses.
This year, attending virtually and not in-person because of the pandemic, two key figures, China's President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. COVID-19 is going to remain one of the central issues up for discussion at this year's summit in Rome, specifically, the issue of vaccine inequality and ensuring that developing nations also have access to the vaccine.
Climate change is also going to be a central part of the discussion, as is the potential for a looming devastating energy crisis. WALKER: Boris, thanks for that. Now, following the G20 Summit, President Biden will travel to Scotland to attend the United Nations Climate Summit. And CNN has learned that the White House is planning to roll out a slate of executive actions and federal regulations to help reach Biden's goal to have U.S. emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. Sounds quite ambitious, doesn't it?
Well, here with me now is Erin Sikorsky, the director of the Center for Climate and Security. Erin, good to see you. Thanks for joining us this morning. So let's start with this aggressive plan that President Biden, we expect will tout this pledge at the COP26 summit. How will he achieve this goal knowing that he's going to need Congress on board right, not just executive actions?
ERIN SIKORSKY, DIRECTOR, THE CENTER FOR CLIMATE AND SECURITY: Sure. So this ambitious plan from the President is sends the message, right, that cutting emissions is so important after what we saw this summer across the country. We saw wildfires in California, we saw heat waves in Oregon, we saw hurricanes that traveled all the way to New Jersey, killing people there. And therefore, cutting emissions is critical to our national security and keeping America safe.
And so he's going to push for this from the White House. He's going to push Congress to do this and he's going to go to Glasgow and encourage other counties to make commitments as well because we can't do it alone, right?
We need every country around the world to step up to keep people safe and make this summer not just a preview of what's to come in the future.
WALKER: And what are the implications with China, you know, its President not being there?
SIKORSKY: Sure. You know, ideally, you'd have everyone there around the table to negotiate. And it's absolutely critical for China to be involved because they're a huge emitter, and they are shaping the landscape to come. And if they don't take action, it won't be good for the rest of the world.
But, look, I mean, they -- you can still have the conversation, you can still move the ball forward and really as a scientists are warning, and is now security leaders are warning, there's no time to waste.
SIKORSKY: Just last week, the U.S. actually released a series of new reports on climate security, highlighting the fact that China is trying to take advantage of many climate changes around the world to strengthen its position. So that's why it's so important to link these changes that President Biden wants to make to security and protecting America. WALKER: Yes. And so many people around the world now feeling that urgency, because you were mentioning, I mean, the droughts and the flooding and the wildfires, a lot of us seeing that happening right in our own backyards. But back to the security implications and, you know, this first of a kind report that was released by the administration, the Biden administration, concluding that climate change would exacerbate longstanding threats to global security. Tell us more about this report, and your thoughts on how this will, you know, challenge our global security?
SIKORSKY: Sure. So this report represents the consensus of all 18 intelligence agencies here in the U.S., it's the most significant report the AIC puts out. And it named 11 different countries that were most at risk of insecurity due to climate change. And some of those countries are very close to the United States down in Central America, where countries have faced hurricanes and food shortages due to drought, that are pushing migration out of those countries. It also named countries like India and Pakistan and North Korea, which are all armed with nuclear weapons.
India and Pakistan have a very tense relationship. And when you add climate shocks on top of that, it creates a real combustible mix that is a threat to the United States.
WALKER: So, what do you anticipate when President Biden takes to the stage and makes a major address during this summit, especially knowing, you know, that there still hasn't been a vote on the spending package that includes $555 billion in money to flight -- fight climate change? President Biden said it would be the most significant investment to deal with the climate crisis.
What do you expect to hear, and especially with president -- former President Obama being there, which is a very unusual presence for any former president at such an international event? How will his presence impact the summit?
SIKORSKY: Sure. I mean, it's really a full court press here from the United States, right, to push change, show that we have high ambitions and have as many conversations as possible with allies and partners and other countries around the globe encouraging them to do the same. And showing that the U.S. is going to do its part, I think, is so critical. And that's why Congress has to act, right, to move forward on all these proposals, so that we can put our money where our mouth is, as it were, and encouraged then other countries to do the same. And I expect many conversations along those lines at Glasgow, and then in the months to come afterwards.
WALKER: And just lastly, how important is the money, the $555 billion in this plan, you know, in fighting climate change?
SIKORSKY: Sure. I mean, what we're seeing is that communities here in the U.S. are already so strained by these shocks. There was an article in The New York Times this morning highlighting that in California, individuals are building their own fire prevention cadres to tackle the fires there. And so, the more money that's available to state and local communities to manage these challenges, the National Guard in 2016 spent 14,000 man hours (INAUDIBLE) and 2021 they spent 70,000 man hours fighting fires in California and the rest of the United States. And so more funds, more money to move this forward is critical.
WALKER: Yes, it is an urgent crisis. Erin Sikorsky, we're going to leave it there. Thank you so much.
We're going to take a short break back after this.
WALKER: Authorities in New Mexico say they want to follow-up with a gun supervisor or armorer for the "Rust" movie. The sheriff investigating the shooting says he wants to ask Hannah Gutierrez about her on-set protocols after she released a statement through her attorneys claiming she was focused on safety and had no idea where the live rounds came from.
Here with me now is Professional Firearms Instructor Dave Brown. Good morning to you, Dave. I know you have worked with actors on both film and theater sets in this role. When you hear Hanna Gutierrez, the film's armorer saying that she had no idea where the live ammunition came from, what goes through your mind?
DAVE BROWN, PROFESSIONAL FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR: Shock. Absolute stretching the bounds of credibility, it's just -- it doesn't make sense. I wasn't there, but I think in my mind, there's no question she brought the live rounds, they were in the gun. But the point is that you could have had 50 people bringing live rounds, put them down on the table. But if these people had to follow standard industry safety practices, they never would have made it to set anyway, they skipped all of that.
WALKER: So, OK, you think that she brought the live rounds. Why would anyone bring live ammunition to a movie set?
BROWN: I have no idea. I think that would be safety rule number one. We never use live ammunition. We never allow live ammunition on or near the set for, obviously, very good reasons. But we also have multiple safety steps performed by multiple people multiple times a day observed by multiple people to make sure that things like that never ever happen. And it's not a matter of keeping people safe, it's a matter of making sure they know they're safe.
WALKER: So --
BROWN: So, when we're working, we keep -- everyone observing, everyone double-checking each other. The first AD is always looking, the actors are always looking any actor that it's -- the gun is pointed at, the cinematographer, camera crew. Everybody is looking, everyone is double-checking each other.
WALKER: So when you talk about double-checking, before the gun is handed to an actor like Alec Baldwin, who was the last person to check it? Who does the buck stop with?
BROWN: The buck stops with multiple people. The person who is handling it is the armorer and that is the only person who is actually handling the firearm except for the actor. So the armorer will do a personal safety check before it even goes out. Then they will do the same thing in front of the actor that will be observed by the first assistant director.
So the first AD is the person ultimately in charge of safety on the film set. So they observe it. Any other actors that the firearm might be pointed at -- and we're talking an empty firearm, we're not talking about ready to fire blanks or anything else because that's a little more extensive. But any actor is going to have a look at it. Any of the camera crew could have a look at it. Cinematographer could have a look at it. Basically, anyone who could possibly be in front of that firearm at some point is going to have a look at it, too.
WALKER: OK. And lastly, I have to ask you this because I know lots been raised about, you know, whether or not real guns should even be used on set. I know filmmaker Ava DuVernay who spoke with our Christiane Amanpour said, no, real guns shouldn't be on set. She hasn't been using real guns on sets for five years. I know you beg to differ.
BROWN: I think so. There's -- we've done hundreds of thousands of movies with firearms with no incidents, whatsoever. We have a long history of safety and our safety checks have worked. When all these people violated all those safety rules, that was the problem. It's nothing to do with the gun, it's the people.
If we ban real firearms from film productions, one of the problems with knee-jerk reactions like this is all it's going to do is take the really experienced, skilled people, the armorers, firearm safety coordinators, whatever, and you're going to now reduce it to a props assistant who's going to be handed a bunch of fake guns, a producer can say, great, we don't need that experience on set anymore.
BROWN: We don't need people of that caliber (ph) anymore. Let's just give it to the lowest paid props assistant. And so, what are they going to do, they don't know how to check it, they don't know how to check for even -- if it's a pellet gun. They don't know how to notify the police. They don't know how to train the actor and how to hold it. So now you've gone backwards.
WALKER: Got it. Well, we're out of time. Dave Brown, a very important voice. Thank you so much.
BROWN: Thank you. WALKER: And we'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: Air travel is getting back to its pre-pandemic levels as more and more people returned to airports all over the country.
WALKER: And more travelers also means longer lines and lengthy delays. But facial recognition technology could be a solution. CNN's Pete Muntean has more.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time, your next flight could be unlocked by facial recognition technology starting at baggage check, going through security and all the way to the gate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Success. You're welcome aboard.
MUNTEAN (voice-over): The new partnership between Delta Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration aims to save passengers time as people are flooding back to airports.
RANJAN GOSWAMI, DELTA AIRLINES: And really hopefully reduce stress and increase the speed at which people traverse to the airport.
MUNTEAN (voice-over): Delta's Ranjan Goswami showed me how the system works at baggage check. He says what typically takes two minutes and 30 seconds is now down to 30 seconds. He says the process of verifying your identity at the TSA checkpoint is now down to only six seconds.
GOSWAMI: I think the timing could not be more perfect in many ways because you're right, more and more regular travelers are coming back to travel.
MUNTEAN (voice-over): The trial will start at Delta's busiest hub at first for those in Delta's frequent flyer program, who also have TSA Precheck. Passport and visa photos in a federal database are compared with your live photo. The TSA insists that file is immediately destroyed, upping security from cyber threats and hacks.
JESSICA MAYLE, TSA SPOKESPERSON: We've definitely taken privacy considerations into account the whole way. Somebody does not want to participate. They do not have to opt in and participate. They really have that choice if they want to have the experience.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Welcome to the Airlines, sir (ph).
MUNTEAN (voice-over): American Airlines is also trying facial recognition at its DFW terminal lounges. But industry experts think using the technology from the moment you arrive at the airport, could cut the time you spend waiting in half.
HENRY HARTEVELDT, TRAVEL INDUSTRY EXPERT: If we see the TSA get that kind of an increase in productivity, long airport security lines could be a thing of the past.
MUNTEAN: Delta is already using some of this technology at its hub in Detroit and it says more hubs will come online soon, but this will be really put to the test here in Atlanta. Delta anticipates serving about 2.5 million people during the Thanksgiving travel period. More than 40 percent of all of its passenger's airline wide.
Pete Muntean, CNN, Atlanta.
SANCHEZ: Thanks for that report, Pete.
Hey, join us again in just about an hour.
WALKER: I think I will. "Smerconish" is up next. We'll see you again in one hour.