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Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Gambling On Biden Agenda, Plans To Move Forward With Infrastructure Vote Tonight As Progressives Threaten To Tank It; Records Reveal Police Called To Laundrie Family Home Multiple Times Before And After Petito Reported Missing; House Panel Subpoenas Organizers Of January 6 Trump Rally; CDC Issues "Urgent" Alert For Pregnant Women To Get Vaccinated; Monica Lewinsky Opens Up About Emotional Toll Of Clinton Affair Scandal. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired September 30, 2021 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Republicans narrowly won the game 13-12, holding off a late inning push to secure their first win in five years.
Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM." I'll see you tomorrow.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. We're following breaking news. The Democrats are taking a high stakes gamble with the Biden presidency tonight. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is urgently hunting for votes as she aims to bring the bipartisan infrastructure bill to the floor in the coming hours. But many progressive Democrats don't appear to be budging on their threat to vote down the legislation in hopes of influencing party infighting over the broader economic plan. It's not clear, at least not now, how all of this will play out. Stand by.
We do know Congress is averting a crippling government shutdown just hours before the deadline. The House and Senate passing a stopgap funding measure that President Biden is expected to sign over at the White House very soon.
We're covering this breaking story from both ends of Pennsylvania avenue. Kaitlan Collins is standing by over at the White House. First, let's go to our Congressional correspondent, Ryan Nobles. Ryan, the big question tonight, will there be a vote on infrastructure?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they say there's going to be, Wolf, but we're not exactly sure how they're going to pull it off. In fact, just the last few minutes, the House majority leader, steny hoyer, who controls the action on the House floor, said that we shouldn't expect a vote before 9:00 tonight but they still intend to vote on this bipartisan infrastructure plan.
How they get there though remains an open question, because at this point, House progressives remain steadfast in their desire to vote no on this piece of legislation unless they get some sort of firm commitment and guarantee on the much broader $3.5 billion reconciliation package, that's that massive expansion of the social safety net that the government provides to American citizens.
And the big reason they're at an impasse right now is because of two key senators in the United States Senate, that's West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Today, Manchin said the furthest he would go in terms of spending in the reconciliation package would only be $1.5 trillion. That's a long way away from the $3.5 trillion that progressives are looking for. And he said that he told President Biden that definitively.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Be really sincere. He would like to have a lot more than that. And I said, Mr. President, I understand that. It's just -- you know, hopefully, you can respect -- he's always been so respectful. He said, hey, Joe, I'll never ask you to go against your convictions. He says, I think we want all the same thing. We want to help children, we want to help seniors, we want to have those long- term goal. We want to risk, to pay the fair share, do the tax reform, I'm all for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Now, negotiations are ongoing despite what appears to be just a huge chasm between the two sides. In fact, right behind me right now in House speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, officials from the White House are meeting with the speaker's team and officials from the United States Senate as well trying to bridge this gap.
But, Wolf, at this late hour, I'm told that the House progressive caucus just did a status check with all of their members and all of their no votes remain solid at this hour. Remember, the progressive caucus chair, Pramila Jayapal, has said at least half of her members are prepared to hold firm and vote no. As of right now, that appears to be unchanged even though the leadership here in the House continues to say there will be a vote at some point tonight. Wolf?
BLITZER: We'll stand by for that. Ryan, I want you to stand by as well and have you back in just a few moments. Right now, I want to go to our Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, amid all the wrangling on Capitol Hill, what is President Biden doing tonight?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's been here at the White House, Wolf. Of course, they said he essentially cleared his schedule so he could be in touch with those White House aides that Ryan just noted are up in Speaker Pelosi's office on Capitol Hill right now as she is trying to solve this Democratic stalemate over his domestic agenda. And we are told by a senior administration official that the president has spoken with Speaker Pelosi this afternoon to give him an update on what the latest has been because they are at this standoff between those progressives that Ryan just mentioned are still maintaining publicly at least that they are a no unless they get a vote on reconciliation for this infrastructure vote.
And so they're waiting to see here at the White House whether or not that's going to happen. And the one thing we will see is potentially President Biden himself, because that funding bill that you mentioned earlier to ward off a government shutdown at midnight is on its way to his desk right now for the president to sign it. And he typically does that in the Oval Office with cameras there and reporters, of course, to ask him questions about his viewpoint of the latest in these negotiations and in these talks over his agenda.
We haven't heard from the president publicly on this since Monday, Wolf.
And, of course, many things have changed since then, including Senator Manchin informing us today that he has told the president $1.5 trillion is his price tag at this moment, which, of course, is about $2 trillion underneath what the president had initially laid out when he envisioned these two packages.
And so, Wolf, we're waiting to see what the White House says. We know his goal all along has been to get Senator Manchin and get Senator Sinema on board so they can get those progressive yes votes tonight. Of course, whether or not that happens, really, the White House says, depends on speaker Pelosi as she is doing her magic right now on Capitol Hill and they're waiting to see if it works out tonight.
BLITZER: Kaitlan, I want you stay with us. I want Ryan to come back. He's up on Capitol Hill. Also joining us are Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger and CNN's Chief National Affairs Analyst Kasie Hunt.
Gloria, the House speaker is apparently working furiously behind the scenes to whip this vote. But does anyone know how this will all unfold later tonight?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, and I don't even think she does. She calls all this work she's doing, these negotiations, it's my favorite quote of the day, somebody asked her what is it like, and she said it's constant invigoration, words only Nancy Pelosi can speak about herding her cats up there. But it's unclear exactly what is going to occur.
I talked to a moderate House Democrat today who said to me that there seems to be some interest in a framework. A framework is a word we're hearing now over and over again. And Ryan can speak to this, about sort of an outline about what would be in the reconciliation bill. Whether that would have a certain price tag on it or not, I don't know. So, honestly, the answer no your question, Wolf, is no one knows.
BLITZER: Yes, that's a good answer, that's the best we have. Kasie, progressives say their no votes are solid right now. Earlier this week, the speaker said she would never bring a bill to the floor that doesn't have the votes to pass it. She could still delay this, couldn't she? KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: She could, Wolf. And that is something that we've heard both about Nancy Pelosi and then from her own mouth, that she wouldn't actually take it to the floor if she doesn't have the votes.
But I would just remind everyone that there's knowing you've got the votes and then there's the situation that can unfold on the floor if you feel confident that you can get there. And I'm interested in looking to see how much of a risk the House speaker is willing to take here, because it's one thing to go in front of the cameras and say that you're going to vote no if you're a progressive to your president's agenda. It's quite another to stand out on the floor, surrounded by members of your own party who are, some, probably pleading with you in the face of leadership that's trying to push this through. You've got people on the phone calling you and telling you, hey, you really have to do this for your president, for your party, for your country.
And so my question is can she get close enough? Can they come up with a, quote/unquote, framework or set of principles with the White House that will allow the progressives to say, okay, we've got enough trust. And even if the whip count that the progressives are putting out isn't quite the same as what the speaker has behind the scenes, I think there is an element of feeling politics here that we really shouldn't overlook, especially because, big picture, again, this is a group of Democrats who are going out publicly and saying, we're going to tank a priority that our president, a Democrat, is asking us for. It's a pretty unusual situation in Washington, at least on the Democratic side it has been for so many years.
BLITZER: You know, Ryan, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal just tweeted this. She's the chair of the progressive caucus. We won't let massive corporations, billionaires and a few conservative Democrats stand in the way of delivering transformational progress for millions of working people. Stick to the plan, pass both bills together. So, she's firm, they're all going to vote, at least a lot of those progressive Democrats, they're, what, 95, 96 progressive Democrats, she says at least half will vote no. Are there enough Republicans potentially to offshoot that? Because, as you know, there were 19 Republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the Senate, including the Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, all 50 Democrats voted for it. Are there going to be a whole bunch of Republicans that will vote for this infrastructure plan?
NOBLES: At this point, Wolf, there aren't enough Republicans. Especially if Congresswoman Jayapal's numbers are what she says they are. She said that more than of half her caucus would hold firm and vote no. That means somewhere in the of 45 to 50 members. At most, we know publicly about four or five Republicans that have said they're willing to break ranks and vote for this.
And we also know that the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, is specifically whipping his members against this measure. He does not want Republicans to deliver this victory for the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. So, because these margins are so great, it would be hard to envision a scenario by which the House speaker could peel off enough progressive votes that would equal the number of Republicans that would vote for it.
And I would also make one other point about this, Wolf, and it's also to Kasie's point, Congresswoman Jayapal never said don't delay the vote. In fact, she said today, bring it to the floor, we're prepared to vote no. She's almost daring the House speaker to do that. So, they're almost ready for the House speaker to call their bluff.
BLITZER: Kaitlan, the president's approval rating has really taken a serious dip since the start of this presidency. Take a look, in April, he was at 57 percent job approval, in August, down to 49 percent, and now in September, 43 percent. How much is at stake for his presidency right now?
COLLINS: I think the White House views this as if this infrastructure bill could get passed tonight by the House, it would be a much-needed boost for that approval rating that has suffered a string of setbacks from several different things, ranging from Afghanistan to the coronavirus pandemic that, of course, is still happening here in the U.S. And so that's how they're viewing it.
But they're also viewing it in a longer term picture. And if they can get both bills passed and it just doesn't happen tonight, that movement tonight happen tonight, they're also preparing expectations for that, because you heard Secretary Granholm, the energy secretary, saying on CNN earlier today that if this vote doesn't happen tonight, to them, it's not the end of the world, that they will, in their mind, get both passed. But when she said that, she said they believe they would get this infrastructure bill passed and a version of the reconciliation bill passed, so also lowering expectations for what that reconciliation bill is going to look like. So I think those are two big parts of this.
But also another big aspect of this, Wolf, if they do come to that framework agreement tonight that Gloria was talking about, is trust, that is whether or not those progressive members, Jayapal and others that you've heard from, trust the moderates, like Sinema, like Manchin, that their word on a framework is good enough for their vote. And earlier, she said that wasn't good enough. The White House is betting on that being a public stance, not a private stance. We'll see if it changes tonight, Wolf.
BLITZER: Gloria, the normal circumstances, Democrats and a whole bunch of Republicans would be anxious to pass this traditional infrastructure legislation, roads and bridges, power grid, high speed internet, trains, clean water, public transit, airports, environmental remediation, electric vehicle charger. These are elements that are so desperately needed in the country right now. But these are not normally circumstances.
BORGER: No, they're not. And, by the way, there are like 70 percent approval rating for infrastructure bill. So only in Washington would Democrats, who proposed this infrastructure plan, who ran on an infrastructure plan, end up voting against a measure that they actually support in order to get another measure passed. It's very complicated, and I think it's almost irrational. And I think at some point, they're going to have to figure out a way to vote for infrastructure, because it is what their constituents want. I mean, it's so popular in the country. And they're going to have to explain a negative vote, which is always very difficult to do.
BLITZER: Yes, you're absolutely right. Kasie, after months of negotiating on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, it turns out that Senator Manchin actually gave his top line number back in July, and it's only $1.5 trillion. It's still a ton of money. It's a lot of money, $1.5 trillion. It's not $3.5 trillion. Clearly, that doesn't necessarily sit well with progressives.
HUNT: Of course, and they will tell you, progressives, they're already compromising at $3.5 trillion, they wanted it closer to six. Bernie sanders, at one point, had floated eight. Obviously, we're not there. And I do think that the fact that that number came out, first reported in Politico earlier today, suggests that the negotiations are moving along. I mean, that's the floor now, right, for how they're going to try to compromise on this. It's going to be somewhere between that $1.5 trillion and the $3.5 that we have right now.
But, again, I think if we step back and look at the big picture here, Democrats fighting over this, some of them moderates, are saying -- like Joe Manchin, are saying, we don't need to rush this reconciliation package, let's just vote on infrastructure now.
But if you look at what Republicans are doing, they are, one, staying out of the way of Democrats, as Gloria was just outlining, fighting over their own priorities, and two, Mitch McConnell is trying to jam them on the debt ceiling. He is insisting that they use this arcane process, reconciliation, which they can only do one time, to include the debt limit. And that, of course, is October 18.
So, they are really on the clock here, this is very, very urgent. And they need both to deal with moderates and progressives to move it forward.
BLITZER: Yes, so much is at stake right now.
All right, guys, stand by. Just ahead, we'll have more on the showdown up on Capitol Hill. I'll speak with a key moderate representative, confidently predicting the bipartisan infrastructure plan will pass the House of Representatives later tonight.
Stay with us. You're in The Situation Room.
BLITZER: We have live pictures from outside the west wing of the White House. You see the marine guard there, that means the president of the United States right now is in the Oval Office.
We're following the breaking news. We could be on the verge of the biggest moment of the Biden presidency or a truly embarrassing failure by Democrats despite controlling the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House.
Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, he is the co-chair of the partisan problem solvers caucus, a key moderate. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.
You said earlier today we're going to vote today on the infrastructure bill and that the vote is not going to fail. Congressman, do you still stand by those two statements?
REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER (D-NJ): A thousand percent, Wolf. And I'm optimistic that it's going to be a late night but we've got the Chinese food out and we're going to be eating late. But I'll tell you, by the time we finish this, we're going to deliver the largest infrastructure investment in a hundred years for our country and it's going to be supported by Democrats and Republicans, just like it was in the Senate when it came out with 69 votes in early August and, Wolf, it's got everything from helping us fight climate change with climate resiliency to our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, broadband infrastructure, for Jersey, what's so important, the tunnel between New York and New Jersey, the train tunnel.
So, this is essential for America. It's an essential investment and we're going to get it done.
BLITZER: It's a long time since Congress has passed major infrastructure legislation.
GOTTHEIMER: Decades, 30 years.
BLITZER: That's correct. You say the House speaker is working her, quote, Pelosi magic, your words, to get lawmakers behind this bill, but progressives, you know that, they say they still have the votes to tank the bill. Do you think they're bluffing?
GOTTHEIMER: No. I think at the end of the day, and I stand by what I said about the speaker, there's nobody better at helping get the votes, and she's fully behind this. And it's a critical part of the president's agenda, as you know. And it's 2 million jobs a year, hard working men and women of labor. So, we're hearing a lot from them as well. These are really folks who rely on these projects.
So we've got to get this done. We will get it done. And I believe when we vote at the end of the night, people will hit the yes button for all those jobs, getting shovels in the ground. And, again, I think it's tough to vote against -- if you're a Democrat right now, to vote against this critical part of the president's agenda, I don't think anyone wants to tank that. So, that's why we'll have to get this done and get this great bipartisan win for the country.
BLITZER: God knows the country needs work on roads, bridges, airports, and all the other traditional infrastructure that has gone deteriorated so badly over these recent years. The vote already slid, as you know, Congressman, from Monday. This is an arbitrary deadline. If it looks like the bill is going to fail, wouldn't you want the House speaker to delay it rather than have the embarrassment of this failing?
GOTTHEIMER: Wolf, I'm totally optimistic that it's going to pass. And so I'm not even considering that scenario, because we're going to -- when she announces we're bringing this to the floor, the momentum is building, we're going to be there. I just talked to her a minute ago. We're all very optimistic about this. And, you know, Wolf, this is so important, not just, as I said, for the president but for the country.
And people back home, I'm hearing from so many folks who are saying, I'm sick and tired of the potholes, right, I'm sick and tired of waiting on the trains for hours because they're broken down. People want this fixed, this is broadband in rural areas, it's water infrastructure, we've got lead in the drinking water in New Jersey and so many parts of our country, and forever chemicals we have to get out of there.
And the fact that you've got Democrats and Republicans coming out for this in such a strong way in the Senate when this bill passed, you had everyone from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, to Mitch McConnell getting behind it and voting for it. So that's why I really believe we'll have a strong vote tonight. Again, it may be late, but that's how these things work until the end.
BLITZER: What do you say to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, chair of the progressive caucus, who says, stick to the plan, pass both bills together? She just the tweeted that.
GOTTHEIMER: Listen, I have said for months now I support also doing a reconciliation package. We've got to do both. And we've got this one now, the bipartisan infrastructure package came out of the Senate, it's been sitting in the House since the beginning of August to pass to get to the president's desk. But we're also working feverishly on the reconciliation package. And, in fact, I was up late last night and early this morning working around the clock on it with my colleagues and with Senate colleagues. They're working right now still on the details of that. So, that's going to get done as well.
But it doesn't make any sense -- these are separate bills, Wolf. It doesn't make sense to tank a key part of the president's agenda and infrastructure investment. And that's why I don't see while this other bill is going through the process and building legislation, it just doesn't make any sense to me that we would do that.
So I believe at the end of the day, and I talk to Pramila all the time, and my colleagues, that we're going to get both done. You heard from Senator Manchin today, his commitment to getting reconciliation done, we know Senator Sinema has said the same. So we're going to get this done across the finish line, both bills. But tonight, it starts with infrastructure.
BLITZER: We'll see what happens, Congressman Josh Gottheimer in New Jersey, thank very much for joining us. GOTTHEIMER: Thanks, Wolf. Thanks for having.
BLITZER: Thank you. All right, we'll stay in close touch.
Coming up, significant new developments in the Gabby Petito investigation. We're going to bring you details on new revelations that police were called to the family home of Brian Laundrie multiple times before and after Petito's disappearance.
BLITZER: We're following breaking developments in the Gabby Petito investigation. CNN has learned that police were called to the family home of Petito's fiance, Brian Laundrie, multiple times before and after she was reported missing.
CNN's Randi Kaye is on the scene for us. She's got new details. What are you learning, Randi?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this flurry of calls took place between September 10 and September 27 that we've gotten a hold of. So, someone was calling the Laundrie home here behind me in North Port, Florida on some very key dates around this Petito case. The weekend of September 10th and 11th, we know that Gabby Petito's family reported her missing on September 11th, while on September 10th, the day before, two police calls related to the Laundrie home.
On September 11th, the day she was reported missing, three police calls. On the 14th, which is the day that Brian Laundrie's family says that was the last time they saw him, there was one police call related to this address. And on the 17th, which was the day that Brian Laundrie's parents reported him missing, there were four police calls related to this home.
We also know that there were a couple of calls made on the weekend of September 10th and 11th that came from Gabby Petito's father, police are telling us, that he was trying to figure out how to report his daughter missing but he gave this address, so that's why they were sort of clocked as being related to this address even though he was never at this home. None of those calls were 911 calls, we know that.
Also, Wolf, today, we can tell you the FBI was here. They were collecting more DNA evidence. We're told by the Laundrie family attorney that they were here to gather DNA evidence that would assist them in this search. They were trying to get some personal items related to Brian Laundrie to use with the K9 search dogs. So, that's why they were here. They did show up with a large brown bag, which they left behind and they did go briefly into that camping trailer parked here in the Laundrie family driveway. Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: This investigation continues. Randi, thank you very much.
Let's get some insight from CNN LEGAL ANALYST JOEY JACKSON and CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Anthony Barksdale.
Joey, what do you make of the series of calls for police service to the Laundrie home?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Wolf, I make of it that obviously you had a family here that is Gabby Petito's family, that was very desperate, that was in a search for answers. We know the context in which the calls were made. You had a situation where the family was not getting any cooperation. The family was not getting any information. The family wasn't being told anything as to the whereabouts of their daughter, as to what if anything Brian Laundrie knew with respect to where she was, where he left her, what he was doing, what if anything he could do to assist or help.
And as a result of that, I think you have the family being very desperate and wanting to know where their daughter was, who was with you, right, for a number of months, who you recorded every day with regard to where you were, what you were doing, what you were eating, what you were participating in, that trail goes home -- that trail goes cold, excuse me, you go home, the daughter is not there. And so I think this is just a family really seeking and trying to find and determine what occurred. We know later what occurred, and that is that the remains were found, and, of course, she was identified as Gabby Petito, and it being identified as a homicide.
BLITZER: Yes, indeed. Anthony, when you see a high volume of calls concentrated in a relatively short period of time, what questions does that raise in your mind?
ANTHONY BARKSDALE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It raises a lot of questions. If you got that many calls, what did the police do at the first call, the second call, the third, the fourth? So, what did the police -- what's documented? What officers responded? What supervisors responded? You can't sit and keep hearing an address come out over and over again without giving it special attention and saying, what in the world is going on at this address. So I would want to know that immediately. The FBI needs to know immediately what the department did with those phone calls.
It's very important. These pieces of the puzzle all have to be straight if we're going to ever find out what is going to happen with this case.
BLITZER: I think we're going to never find out. Joey, the FBI, and we're showing our viewers some video, they returned to the Laundrie family once again today, the family's attorney says they were collecting items that could help them in the search for Brian Laundrie. What does this tell you about the search?
JACKSON: So I think there's a number of things. I think the first thing obviously is that the police and investigators want to secure DNA, right? That's important, of course, as you look at the body of Gabby Petito, you look at the actual crime scene that they're looking at, they're looking to make links and matches with regard to what they found there, what items were there, is there anything that potentially matches the items they found in the home. In the event, for example, that they're searching -- or excuse me, we know they're searching but they find Mr. Laundrie, they're going to either find him in a state of life or otherwise. And in the event that he's alive and well, you want a DNA match to determine that indeed it's him. In the event you find remains, you want a DNA match to otherwise indicate that it's him as well. And so that's an important link.
And then, of course, the final piece is that every single piece of this investigatory mix is going to give you additional information on who is responsible. And if that can be discerned by getting items from his house, then I think that's what the police are doing.
BLITZER: Joey Jackson, Anthony Barksdale, guys, thank you very much, we'll stay on this story for sure.
Coming up, details about a new round of January 6 subpoenas, that's coming up right after the break.
BLITZER: The January 6 select committee is pushing ahead with new subpoenas tonight as investigators await a response from several Trump allies already asked to testify.
For more on that, let's bring in former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe, he's a CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst and the author of the book, The Threat, How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.
Andrew, could these new subpoenas for organizers of the January 6 Trump rally help the committee establish what the White House new leading up to the insurrection and just how much contact these organizers had with those in Trump's orbit?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That is absolutely right, Wolf. What they are doing here is they are beginning this story with the first chapter, and that is to develop an understanding of exactly how the rally that led to the riot was organized and possibly coordinated with the White House.
So, the first part of the subpoena is a request for documents, which are due about two weeks before the folks will actually be -- are planning to be interviewed. And in those documents, you would expect the committee is looking for evidence of communications, coordinations, emails, text messages, handwritten notes from meetings between rally organizers and people connected with the White House or the campaign.
BLITZER: The deadline, as you know, Andrew, for previously subpoenaed Trump insiders, like Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon, to produce documents is just one week from today. If they don't comply with the committee's deadlines, what happens next?
MCCABE: Well, typically, as you get closer to the deadlines, the lawyers will make contact and ask for additional time or ask for deadlines to be rescheduled. And that usually happens once or maybe in some instances twice. But if these folks completely stonewall the committee, refuse to provide anything, don't really respond in any way, then I would expect that the committee will move to enforce those subpoenas, which they can do either by going to the Justice Department and asking for a criminal referral, for a referral of criminal contempt, or they could go to the courts, the federal courts and basically file a lawsuit in an effort to compel those folks to respond.
BLITZER: Does it surprise you, Andrew, that several of these Trump insiders have not even responded to the committee's subpoenas, at least not yet?
MCCABE: Well, it's disappointing but it's not surprising. Because let's remember that these folks were a part of or supporters of the administration that set a new low in terms of responsiveness to Congress, starting, of course, with the formerly president himself, who proudly rejected any efforts of Congressional oversight, refused to send witnesses up there, claimed executive privilege over communications that clearly had no connection to executive privilege. So it's disappointing that they're still taking those sorts of positions but it's not surprising.
BLITZER: And very quickly, before I let you go, Andrew, I want to turn to another subject. The special counsel, John Durham, today issued new subpoenas in his probe, which has been going on for a couple of years of the FBI's Russia investigation. Is this the action of a special counsel who, after, once again, two years of investigating, has found essentially not much, at least not yet?
MCCABE: Well, that's absolutely right. There's really very little here relevant to what he supposedly was hired to investigate. He's getting pretty far afield from the FBI. In fact, the recent indictment and these subpoenas really hold the FBI more in the position of victim rather than subject of an investigation. So it's a bizarre turn of events and it's one that I'm sure is disappointing a lot of Republicans.
BLITZER: Andrew McCabe, thanks very much for joining us.
Coming up, the CDC issues an urgent appeal to pregnant women to get COVID vaccinations. We're going to break down the benefits versus any potential risk.
BLITZER: Tonight, the CDC has a new target in its campaign to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. It just issued an urgent alert for pregnant women to get their shots. Let's discuss with Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA's advisory
committee. He's also the author of the brand new book entitled, "You Bet Your Life: From Blood Transfusions to Mass Vaccination, the Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation."
Dr. Offit, thank you so much for joining us tonight and for writing this book as well -- very, very informative.
Last month saw the highest number of COVID deaths in pregnant women since the start of this pandemic, more than a year and a half ago. Can you explain why the benefits of this shot outweigh any potential risks?
DR. PAUL OFFIT, MEMBER, FDA VACCINES ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Well, it's interesting the way this played out. I mean, what happened was when Pfizer and Moderna did their phase 3 trials, they didn't include pregnant women in those trials.
Typically, the CDC will say contraindicated for use in pregnant women because we have no data. But even then, the CDC knew that pregnant women had more risk of severe infection which could cause ventilation and death from COVID. So they said pregnant women could reasonably choose to get the vaccine and then thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of women made that choice.
So, now, you have data, you could look at the women who were pregnant who got the vaccine and compare them to the pregnant women who didn't get a vaccine, and see whether the vaccine affected maternal health or whether affected fetal or neonatal health, and the answer was no. It was fine. It was perfectly safe, except if you didn't get the vaccine, you're at risk.
So, then the CDC changed its mind, it went to you could reasonably consider using it to you should get it, it's recommended. Now because you're seeing more and more pregnant women suffer, not only the women but also their unborn children who are often born severely prematurely, so now, they've stepped it up and said it's urgent that pregnant women get this vaccine.
BLITZER: Very important announcement from the CDC.
A new poll meanwhile finds just 34 percent of parents of 5 to 11-year- olds say they will vaccinate their children, as soon as it becomes available. Which could be the end of October, and November. How disconcerting is that, only 34 percent?
OFFIT: Well, of course, it's disconcerting but not surprising. We've had a vaccine available for 12 to 15-year-olds for several months, yet only about 40 percent, 43 percent have chosen to vaccinate their children to protect their children. I can understand the initial hesitancy.
You know, it's a new vaccine. We tend to see our children as more vulnerable. But once the vaccine gets out there and it's being given to a lot of
people, it's clearly safe, clearly effective, and hopefully, that hesitancy will melt away. It hasn't yet, hopefully it will soon.
BLITZER: Dr. Offit, thanks as usual for joining us, always important to have you in THE SITUATION ROOM. Appreciate it very much.
Up next, a central figure in the Clinton impeachment scandal as you've never seen or heard her before. Monica Lewinsky is now speaking out now that a new TV drama is also retelling her story. Stand by.
BLITZER: It's now been, what, 23 years since most Americans first heard the name Monica Lewinsky. Only now are we getting a fuller picture of the former White House intern and what she went through during the Clinton impeachment scandal.
Our Brian Todd is joining us right now.
Brian, Lewinsky is telling her story now in new interviews as well as in this -- as a producer in this new TV drama that has just come out as well?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. Monica Lewinsky's profile has ramped up after tenaciously avoiding the public eye for so many years. She seems ready to own her story. And she's doing so with a surprising revelation.
TODD (voice-over): A jarring new narrative from Monica Lewinsky, who sheds new light on the struggles she example do you remembered while the Clinton impeachment scandal swirled around her. The former White House intern is reflecting openly about the mental health problems she experienced during that period in the 1990s, telling CNN's David Axelrod in his podcast that she had suicidal ideations at the time and even asked the office of independent counsel, Ken Starr, who was investigating, about it. Lewinsky referring to Starr's office as the OIC.
MONICA LEWINSKY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN: I just couldn't see a way out. And I thought -- that maybe -- maybe that was the solution. And had even asked -- you know, which this is also an interesting point of just -- I had asked the OIC lawyers about what happens if I die?
TODD: A clinical psychologist sheds light on the trauma Lewinsky likely went through which could have led her to think about suicide.
RUTH WITTERSGREEN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Not only was it the legal situation hanging over her head, the threats, her having no idea what might happen to her and to her life ahead. It was the public shaming. It was incredibly intense. And what it meant to be called a sexual predator. She was accused as the one causing this trouble for Clinton, and being a narcissist.
TODD: Lewinsky addressed the issues of shaming and bullying in a 2015 TED Talk.
LEWINSKY: Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop. And it's time for an intervention on the Internet and in our culture.
TODD: The latest podcast interview comes as new attention is being focused on Lewinsky, who is now 48, but was in her early 20s during the Clinton affair and investigation.
She's a producer for a new drama series on FX titled "Impeachment: American Crime Story".
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry, I'm so nervous. I have a huge crush on you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's really flattering.
TODD: Lewinsky told the "Today Show" recently that project has taken its own emotional toll.
LEWINSKY: I'm nervous for people to see some of the worst moments of my life and a lot of behavior that I regret. If you remember your 20s, not that long ago, it was pretty cringe worthy.
TODD: Lewinsky withdrew from the public eye for years after the Clinton scandal, rarely speaking about it, building a wall around her personal life. Analysts say she now seems to be owning her story more, reclaiming the narrative as a survivor.
MARGARET TALEV, MANAGING EDITOR FOR POLITICS, AXIOS: After more than two decades, largely in the wilderness -- I mean, her ability to have a normal life was sidetracked, her ability to have a career that she was in control of was sidetracked. This relationship with the president defined her life, and she couldn't get away from it. Now she sees an opportunity to use that in a way that allows her to take more control. And that's what she's doing.
TODD (on camera): For his part, former President Clinton said in a documentary that aired last year that he feels terrible that his affair with Lewinsky unfairly defined her life. Lewinsky in a recent interview said she doesn't need an apology from Bill Clinton transfer.
Now, if you or a loved one have contemplated suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255, or text "HOME" to 741741. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Defenders Worldwide provide contact information for crisis centers around the world -- Wolf.
BLITZER: You know, it's interesting, it's not just bill Clinton who regrets, several late-night talk show hosts say they regret being cruel to Monica Lewinsky in their various so-called jokes. TODD: That's right. One of them was David Letterman. A few years ago
he spoke to Barbara Walters. He was really regretful of how relentless he had been in those days in the 1990s, just going after her every single night, almost, on his show. So many of them, and I can recall, you can recall it at the time, so many late-night talk show hosts just were absolutely relentless on this young lady. And it really was unfortunate.
BLITZER: It certainly was.
All right, thank you very much. Important report update from Brian Todd.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WolfBlitzer. You can always tweet the show @CNNSitRoom.
THE SITUATION ROOM, by the way, is also available on a podcast. Look for us o CNN.com/audio or wherever you get your podcasts.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.