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Officer Charged with Obstruction for January 6th Rioters Seeking Revolution; FDA Advisers Unanimously Recommend J&J Vaccine Boosters; Bill Clinton Health Update as He Remains Hospitalized. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired October 15, 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: Have a wonderful weekend. I'll see you Sunday morning. Be kind to yourself and to others.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, a chilling new indictment tied to the January 6th insurrection. A Capitol police officer is accused of obstructing justice to help a rioter who wanted to start a, quote, revolution. This as the investigation of the insurrection is heading into another critical week.
Also tonight, FDA advisers unanimously recommend COVID boosters for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The panel says all adults who received a J&J shot should be eligible for a second dose at least two months after their first.
And we're getting updates on Bill Clinton's health right now. The former president remains hospitalized for an infection that spread to his bloodstream. We're going to tell you what we're learning about Clinton's condition tonight.
We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We begin with a new indictment against the U.S. Capitol police officer accused of obstructing justice for a January 6 rioter. Let's go right to our Congressional Correspondent Ryan Nobles up on Capitol Hill. Ryan, what are you learning first of all about these charges?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, federal officials are taking these accusations against the Capitol police officer very seriously. They are saying that he reached out to one of the individuals accused of breaking into the Capitol on that day and warned him to take down his pictures of his role in the insurrection to avoid being charged.
NOBLES (voice over): Tonight, a Capitol police officer is being charged with obstruction of justice, accused of warning someone who participated in the riots on January 6 to pull down their pictures of the insurrection from social media. Michael A. Riley, a 25-year veteran of the force, is accused of spending private Facebook messages to Jacob Hiles, with posted pictures from that day and wrote, feeling cute, might start a revolution later, after tagging himself on Capitol Hill.
Riley told him he was a Capitol police officer who, quote, agrees with your political stance. In one message Riley allegedly wrote, quote, take down the part about being in the building. They are currently investigating and everyone who is in the building is going to be charged.
Chief Tom Manger responding quickly to the arrest, placing Riley on administrative leave. Obstruction of justice is a very serious allegation. The department was notified about this investigation several weeks ago. Upon his arrest the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the case.
The arrest comes as new video emerges from that day that shows Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone being pulled from inside the Capitol out into the mob by a rioter. At one point, another rioter puts what prosecutors say is a taser on the back of his neck. Fanone suffered from a heart attack that day and is still dealing with post- traumatic stress disorder.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the attacks is heating up on Capitol Hill.
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Steve Bannon shouldn't hide behind executive privilege when he wasn't even in the government just because former President Trump says it.
NOBLES: Select Committee Chair Bennie Thompson said his team will use every resource at their disposal to hold the people behind the insurrection responsible. The committee meets Tuesday to formally refer criminal contempt charges against Bannon who says he is following Trump's directive not to testify. Next Thursday is the deadline for documents to be submitted by two Stop the Steal rally organizers. Then on Thursday and Friday, the committee has scheduled depositions of three different people who planned and executed the event. Thompson making it clear, no one, including the former president, is above the reach of their investigation.
THOMPSON: I would say this at this point. Nobody is off-limits to a subpoena from this committee.
NOBLES: And the committee is hoping their aggressive stance with Bannon will send a message to other potential witnesses that they are not messing around.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): We have the power, basically equivalent to the court, to get to these answers and we are dang determined to do that.
NOBLES (on camera): And back to that Capitol police officer who is under arrest for obstruction of justice, his attorney just responding to CNN in a statement saying that they plan to do everything they can to fight the charges. And he's also getting some support from his police union. The chairman of the Capitol police union putting out a statement earlier today saying, quote, we need to wait until all the facts of the case are known and this officer has been given the opportunity to defend himself.
BLITZER: Ryan, we're just getting in some additional brand new video just released of the first rioters to actually enter the Capitol on January 6th. Tell us about that.
NOBLES: Yes, Wolf. This is pretty remarkable video, and it's part of an effort by CNN and other journalistic organizations to ask the Justice Department to release this video to the public. And this piece of video that we're showing you right now is pretty startling. It shows a members of the Proud Boys using a riot shield to actually crush one of the windows at the Capitol, bust it open, and then that led to a flood of rioters and protesters streaming into the Capitol on that day.
And this video, there's two pieces of video that the Justice Department is releasing today, really showing the first moments of where the riot went from being a situation where the Capitol police were able to keep the protesters at bay for a certain period of time to the point where they breached the Capitol and then there was total chaos.
And, Wolf, this is just an example of just how chaotic and violent that day was. One of the reasons you see not only law enforcement, the Justice Department, but, of course, members of Congress on the select committee doing all they can to get to the bottom of what happened that day. Wolf?
BLITZER: So, so important. Ryan, I want you to stand by. I want to bring in our Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, the former Washington, D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey. Chief Ramsey, thanks so much for joining us.
This new video shows these riot rioters smashing through windows, trying to hunt down lawmakers, it's yet another reminder of how violent things actually got on January 6th, isn't?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it's very, very important that we not forget what actually took place on January 6th. And I suspect as time goes on, more and more video is going to be released. And I think that's important because there are people who are trying to revise history and pretend as if this never happened or it was no simply different than a regular tour of the Capitol, which we all know is a lie, it's just not true.
BLITZER: And yet as we just reported, you just heard, this Capitol police officer has actually now been indicted for trying to help one of these rioters, get away with it. How disturbing is that to you, Chief Ramsey, knowing how many police officers put their own lives on the line that day to defend the U.S. Capitol?
RAMSEY: Well it's very disturbing. I mean, that's a very serious charge. And if the allegations prove to be true, then he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and if convicted, should get a very, very substantial prison time, because you just can't have that sort of thing.
And it does take away from the valiant efforts of the men and women of the Capitol police and the Metropolitan police that defended the Capitol that day. Many of whom were injured seriously, and unfortunately, of course, Brian Sicknick died as a result of his injuries that day. So, you know, this takes away from all that.
So I hope people maintain a balance, that he's not a reflection of the entire Capitol Police Department or Metropolitan Police Department.
BLITZER: That officer, as you know, is now on what's called administrative leave. We're going to see how this plays out in court obviously. But do you think in the meantime he should be fired?
RAMSEY: Well, you know, you have union contracts. And Chief Manger is following the provisions of the contract. And if he doesn't, and if he's not convicted, then he gets him back, he would lose the opportunity to even fire him.
So you've got two investigations going on now. You have an administrative investigation looking at, you know, policies and rules and so forth that he may have violated, and then you have the criminal investigation taking place as well. So, what Chief Manger is doing is simply following a process that's laid out in the union contract. I wouldn't look at it any other way.
BLITZER: All right, Chief Ramsey, thank you so much. Ryan Nobles, thanks for your reporting as well.
Let's talk with a key member of the January 6th select committee. We're joined by Democratic Congressman Pete Aguilar of California. Congressman, thank you so much for joining us.
I want to ask you about the latest in the investigation. But, first, what goes through your mind, Congressman, hearing the details of the indictment of this Capitol police officer, especially in light of this new video that has just been released of the violent attack?
REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): That's the first time I'm seeing that video as well. You know, it's disturbing and heartbreaking at the same time. I think Chief Manger is handling it appropriately, just as Chief Ramsey indicated. I think he's doing everything he needs to do by putting this individual on administrative leave.
And I think it just needs to be said and reiterated that the Metropolitan Police Department as well as the Capitol police officers acted heroically to protect us. They were that last line of defense of our democracy. And it's important to give them the due that they're entitled.
There were a couple of bad examples, clearly. But the majority of them acted heroically and we continue to appreciate the work they do each and every day to protect democracy.
BLITZER: Well said, indeed. As you know, the chairman of your January 6th select committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson, he was here with me in THE SITUATION ROOM last night. He said that nobody, nobody, his word is off-limits for a subpoena, not even the former President Trump. Is his testimony, Trump's testimony, worth pursuing knowing he'll likely stonewall?
AGUILAR: Well, I hope nobody stonewalls. You know, I'll back up my chairman. Nobody is off-limits. But our goal here ultimately is to get to the truth. And we feel that we can do that. We feel that we are doing that, and the subpoenas that we've leveled will help us get to that truth.
And it should also be said that a majority of individuals who have received subpoenas are engaging with the select committee. We are receiving interviews, we are receiving documents. So we continue to make progress to get to the truth of what happened on January 6th and what led up to those activities on the 6th.
BLITZER: As your committee, of course, is sending a very, very strong message by moving to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt, potentially. Is the end goal to get his testimony, as your colleague, Congressman Luria, says? Because this could take -- potentially could take years. It's really seen as a punitive measure rather than something to force his testimony. Is that right?
AGUILAR: Our goal is to get to the truth. And that continues to be the goal and the north star of what this committee seeks to undertake. And we want Mr. Bannon's cooperation. He's clearly hiding behind his privilege that he doesn't hold, and that's fine. If he continues to stonewall, we will continue to use every means necessary which includes that Tuesday meeting where we plan to proceed with criminal contempt.
And I think others should take note that the committee will employ every tool available, including that same tool if they don't want to cooperate. But, thankfully, like I mentioned, Wolf, there was 11 subpoenas offered to the funders and organizers of the activities and we're engaged with those individuals and we'll receive documents and hopefully testimony from them in the future.
So our goal is cooperation. Our goal is to get to the truth. And if folks want to stonewall, then they're going to have to face those consequences.
BLITZER: Well, do you think criminal contempt charges may eventually be necessary for other key witnesses like Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, or Dan Scavino, for example?
AGUILAR: I think they may be. And the committee can't be shy about using that tool. But, again, our goal is compliant. Our goal is touched out the truth for the American public, to find out and to share how close we came to democracy ending just based on those videos that you showed. It makes it ever more clear that the mission, and the goal, and the focus is to tell that complete story.
BLITZER: The chairman of the select committee, Bennie Thompson, also told me last night that the testimony you guys heard from the former acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, during the final days of the Trump administration actually validated a Senate report about the push inside the Justice Department to overturn the election.
What stood out to you, Congressman, from his testimony? Did he have any additional information beyond what we read in that public report?
AGUILAR: I think it's important to say that that public report was very detailed. I thought the Senate did a very good job. We accepted a lot of the conclusions that they came to and what the staff sought to do was to ask additional questions that would help us with our investigation.
I didn't sit through that interview. But we received readouts of what transpired. And I agree with the chairman that this continues to shed some light on the pressure campaign that the former president invoked on officials within his own Justice Department to try to pressure them to tell lies and falsehoods that would help him thwart democracy.
BLITZER: Congressman Pete Aguilar, thank you so much for joining us. You guys are certainly going to have your hands full. Appreciate it very much.
AGUILAR: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Just ahead, the clock is ticking on a self-imposed deadline for congressional Democrats to unite around President Biden's effort to overhaul the U.S. social safety net. We're going to take a closer look at how the president is now upping the pressure on members of his own party. That's next.
BLITZER: President Biden on the road today trying to ratchet up pressure on members of his own party to bridge deep divides and pass his ambitious proposal to overhaul the country's social safety net.
Our Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins is joining us now. Kaitlan, the White House says time is running out for congressional Democrats to save this cornerstone of the president's agenda. What's the latest?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, and they say that the president feels a sense of urgency when it comes to getting this done. And while aides insist the progress is being made behind the scenes, publicly, if you look at the stands of those two senators who are at the center of this Democratic standoff, they're pretty similar to where they were in their positions just a few weeks ago. But, of course, the White House says right now they believe they are going to move forward on this. But currently they're in a messy, messy phase of the negotiations.
COLLINS (voice over): President Biden making the case for his sprawling domestic policy agenda on the road.
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: We cannot be competitive in the 21st century in this global economy if we fail to invest. That's why I proposed two critical pieces of legislation being debated in Washington right now.
COLLINS: But it may be in Washington where he needs the most support.
BIDEN: Too many folks in Washington still don't realize it isn't enough just to invest in our physical infrastructure. We also have to invest in our people.
COLLINS: Biden is at the center of a standoff and his own party over the size and scope of his education, climate, and tax plan.
BIDEN: To be honest with you, we're probably not going to get $3.5 trillion this year. We're going to get something less than that.
COLLINS: But two key moderate holdouts, Senator Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Sinema of Arizona, have yet to even endorse a lower budget around $2 trillion.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's not going to be everything that Joe Biden wants. It's not going to be everything Joe Manchin wants or Kyrsten Sinema.
COLLINS: Sources say Senator Sinema is reluctant to endorsed any final deal on the social safety net plan until there's been a vote on the infrastructure bill first, which progressive Democrat have said it's a nonstarter.
PSAKI: Ultimately, we can't do this forever. We're not doing this forever, time is running short here. We've got to come to a time where we figure out what's the best version, we can enough votes for.
COLLINS: As the clock takes down to an end of the month deadline set by Democratic leaders to pass both bells. Democrats in Virginia are growing more frustrated by the day, calling on the House to pass the infrastructure bill ahead of the state's critical governor's race.
SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): I hope the house will get that to President Biden's desk ASAP. It would really help here. But I also urge my Senate Democratic colleagues no need to play coy anymore on the reconciliation bill. We have to get that done too.
COLLINS: President Biden noting today that the Virginia governor's race is seen as a potential bellwether for the 2022 midterms. BIDEN: Sometimes it's been right, sometimes it's been wrong. I think Terry is going to win. If he doesn't win, I don't know how much you read into that.
COLLINS (on camera): And, Wolf, also earlier, the president talked about what could potentially be cut from this reconciliation package as there are these negotiations ongoing among Democrats. One of those that he seemed to express skepticism about was that plan to have free community college. The president seemed to say potentially that may be something that changes and shifts as these negotiations go on.
Though later when he was asked, he said this is a negotiation. And if something is not in this now, he said it could be built upon later on, although, of course, that is tamping down expectations from that initial proposal. But, Wolf, that remains to be seen because, of course, this debates are still happening on Capitol Hill.
BLITZER: They're certainly are very intense. All right, Kaitlan, thank you very much.
Let's get some more on all of these. Our Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash is with us. And our Senior Political Commentator David Axelrod is with us as well.
Dana, Democrats went past their last self-imposed deadline. This new deadline of October 31 is coming up rather quickly, isn't it?
DANA BASH, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It sure is. And they're not there yet. And, again, we have to remind our viewers over and over again, they probably -- they get it by now, but it bears repeating. These are negotiations among Democrats. These are debates within the party about how far they want to go on what is President Biden's agenda but certainly is on the more progressive side.
And there is so much frustration. I've talked to several house members who have said point blank, Wolf, that they really want the president of the United States, the leader of their party, to be more aggressive in getting the different sides of these issues in a room and just figuring it out, because the chaos, particularly those who are in tough districts, is really hurting them with their voters and with people who expect them, if they have control in Washington, to do things and explain why and what they are doing.
BLITZER: You know, David, Republicans have their own problems right now with former President Trump making races a referendum on him, threatening that Republicans won't vote in the 2022 elections or the 2024 elections unless they get to the bottom of the nonexistent voter fraud that he alleges all the time. That could be a huge problem potentially for the Republicans, right?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, they had a little preview of it, Wolf, in 2000 -- and, well, in the Georgia races after the last election, the runoff election in Georgia, where he was casting doubt about the election process and a lot of Republicans stayed home. And this is a big fear of Republicans, that somehow if he keeps this up, that that will happen again.
Now, his spokesperson said, in explaining his position, that he wants Republicans to address the problems that plagued the last election. The way I read that was not just about his status in the last election but to seize the tools to try and overturn the next election, if he should run. And in that sense, you know, it's less about whether the last election was honest but whether they can overturn the results in 2024.
But it is a nightmare for Republicans.
Let me just say, as for Democrats, you know, Dana said that this is an intraparty negotiation. We went through one of these in the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act. It's not unusual. The Democratic Party is pretty diverse. But I actually -- my sense, soundings -- taking soundings around, is that there is basically a consensus, and it's all boiling down to these two senators. And a lot of Democrats, as Dana said, want the president to bring the hammer down and say, okay, this is it, are you with us, are you in or are you not.
BLITZER: The stakes are enormous. All right, guys, thank you, guys, very, very much.
Coming up, a major move for Johnson & Johnson booster shots. We'll update you when we come back.
BLITZER: If you're among the millions of Americans who got the one- dose Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, you may be eligible for a second shot very, very soon. FDA vaccine advisers just issued their recommendation on J&J boosters. And as CNN's Nick Watt reports, it was unanimous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do have 19 out of 19 unanimous yes votes.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): FDA advisers just agreed with Johnson & Johnson, a second dose of their vaccine is a good idea.
DR. PENNY HEATON, GLOBAL THERAPEUTIC AREA HEAD, VACCINES AT JANSSEN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: It will increase efficacy against severe disease. It will increase efficacy against all symptomatic COVID and it will increase the breadth of the immune response against variants.
WATT: And they say adults should get that second shot at least two months after the first.
DR. PAUL OFFIT, FDA VACCINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER: I think this frankly was always a two-dose vaccine. I think it's better it's a two dose vaccine.
WATT: More than 9 million Americans have already had a boost booster rate but this isn't. More people are getting a booster every day than getting their first shot. And unvaccinated adults are 19 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die.
In Chicago, starting tonight, cops must submit to testing or prove they're vaccinated. Their union says half haven't had the shots.
JOHN CATANZARA, PRESIDENT, CHICAGO FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: But even the ones that are still, like myself, believe that a forced mandate is absolutely wrong.
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOD (D-CHICAGO, IL): What we've seen from the fraternal order of police and particularly the leadership is a lot of misinformation, a lot of half-truths and, frankly, flat-out lies in order to induce an insurrection. And we're not having that.
WATT: Finally, good news for the U.S. tourist, trade. November 8th, fully vaccinated foreigners can enter this country.
WATT (on camera): And file this under news you probably didn't want to hear, but the CDC has just updated its guidance for the upcoming holiday season. Outdoor gatherings are still best. Indoors, you should still wear a mask. But top of their list, if you haven't already, just go and get vaccinated. Wolf?
BLITZER: It's so important. All right, Nick Watt reporting, thank you very much.
Joining us is CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, the Author of the new book, Lifelines, A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health. There's the cover. Dr. Wen, thanks for joining us.
The unanimous support of this broad booster recommendation for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes as a new study shows protection from that shot declines to just 3 percent after several months. What shall we take away from today's unanimous decision, unanimous vote, and this new study?
DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: What we should take away is that there are a growing number of studies that show that the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is inferior to two doses of Moderna or two doses of Pfizer. This is not just about waning immunity over time. It's that the initial vaccine, just one dose, probably is not enough.
A lot of us think that probably the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be considered to be a two-dose vaccine at the very least. And so, what the advisers did today was exactly the right thing, which is to say that probably this should be a two-dose vaccine. And so, all those individuals who got the one-dose J&J vaccine, if it's been two months since their initial vaccine, they should be getting a second dose at this time. So, note that this is very different from the Pfizer and Moderna recommendation, which is only for high risk individuals to get that third dose six months after their initial shot. This recommendation says, everybody, 18 and above, two months after their initial dose, if they haven't gotten another booster yet, they should get a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
BLITZER: Yes. Let's not forget the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the first dose, you get the second dose three or four weeks later and then you wait for a booster if you're eligible. I know, and you've told our viewers several times, you've got the Johnson & Johnson vaccines. So what are your intentions now?
WEN: Well, I am very glad, first of all, that there's some type of guidance for the 15 million Americans who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. I was also very heartened to hear today the advisory committee discuss the very exciting mix and match data, because I think there are a lot of people including myself who do not want to get a second dose of the J&J vaccine necessarily and who might want to have the option of a mix and match approach.
And so what I plan on doing is to get an mRNA second dose. And the reason is that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been associated, especially in women under 50, with a very rare but very severe blood clotting disorder.
So it might be less safe than the mRNA vaccine, which has been found to be safe in combination with J&J.
And also the new mix and match data show that at least a second dose of the mRNA vaccine appears to be as effective, if not, much more effective than the second dose of the J&J vaccine. I really hope that the FDA and CDC will come out with that recommendation too.
BLITZER: So, you want the Moderna or Pfizer?
WEN: To me, they are equivalent, whatever I can get sooner. But the FDA has not yet -- to be clear, the FDA has not yet made this recommendation. But I actually think that hearing their discussion today, that it's likely that they will make that type of permissive allowance to give people the preference.
BLITZER: I appreciate it very much, thanks so much, good luck you to, Dr. Leana Wen. She always helps us better appreciate the enormity of this pandemic. Thank you very, very much.
There's more breaking news we're following next. We're getting new information into THE SITUATION ROOM right now about former President Bill Clinton. He's still in a hospital tonight fighting what could be a very dangerous infection.
[18:40:00] BLITZER: Breaking news just coming into THE SITUATION ROOM on the condition of former President Bill Clinton who is in a Southern California Hospital right now being treated for an infection that clearly has spread.
Our Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah is on the scene for us. Kyung, you're getting new information, a new statement. Update our viewers.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This came in just a few minutes ago to us here at CNN, Wolf. And we are now just learning that the former president will spend another night in the hospital here in Orange, California.
In the statement, Clinton's spokesman says this, quote, all health indicators are trending in the right direction, including his white blood count, which has decreased significantly. In order to receive further I.V. antibiotics, he will remain in the hospital overnight. The statement continues to say the former president is grateful for all the well-wishes that have come in from around the world.
The president checked in here to the hospital on Tuesday evening with a urinary tract infection. He had been receiving these antibiotics intravenously. He needs to move to oral antibiotics in order to self- treat after being here in the hospital with this serious infection.
As far as what's happening inside here though, doctors and staff tell us that the former president has been in a very good mood. He has been joking around. He has even been reading books to people here in the hospital. He has been visited by his wife, Secretary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, was seen arriving here at the hospital. We have not seen her exit. The vehicle that she arrived in remains here at the hospital. So, the presumption is that she is still inside with her husband.
And the former president also did hear from President Joe Biden. The two men spoke by telephone. The president said that they talked about politics, as you might guess, Wolf, talking mainly about the Virginia gubernatorial race, where his ally and friend, Terry McAuliffe, is running for Governor. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, Kyung Lah reporting for us on the scene, Kyung, thank you very much.
Let's get some more on all of this. Dr. Gregory Bernstein is joining us. He's a urologist who formally treated patients at the Walter Reed National Melitary Medical Center here in Washington. Dr. Bernstein, thank you so much for joining us.
What is this latest report potentially -- I know you're not on the scene. Tell us about the former president's condition. A urinary tract infection but then it got into the blood and there's sepsis, right?
DR. GREGORY BERNSTEIN, FORMER WALTER REED UROLOGIST: Right, thanks, Wolf, thanks for having me here. So it sounds that urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are very common and they infect both women and men. And when they get into the bloodstream, they can cause an overwhelming -- your body will put up an overwhelming response and start to fight off that infection. And that can sort of lead to problems with the heart, with the kidneys, with the lungs, and that's called sepsis.
And what you want to do is if you get to that point where you have sepsis and you meet the criteria, you want to get to get treatment sort of immediately.
BLITZER: So he got into the hospital on Tuesday. So Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, now Friday night, what does that say you to? He's been in the hospital now, what, for four days.
BERNSTEIN: Right. So it sounds to me that he probably came to the hospital with a pretty serious infection. He's been receiving the treatment, it sounds like he's responding very well to the treatment from the reports that we're getting in the news. And what we would like to see is we like to see that his heart rate is coming down, his temperature is not spiking anymore, or elevating. His white blood cells are coming down. He's feeling better. And now we want to wait to see what the cultures, that's the important piece, what cultures are growing, what kind of bacteria is this, what antibiotics is it responding to, what antibiotics can they send him home with that are oral that he can use to continue to treatment once he leaves.
BLITZER: He's 75-years-old. How normal, how, you know, routine is this kind of condition for a 75-year-old man?
BERNSTEIN: That's a good question. You know I see men with urinary tract infections in the office all the time. It's very common, especially in men as they get older. Probably the most common reasons that men will get urinary tract infections is due to a enlarging or swelling prostate, which is normal as you get order, which leads to sometimes for emptying the bladder or kidney stones are probably the other causes. There's no suggestion to think that he has a kidney stone but it's probably of his age, I would guess, probably the leading cause would be prostate-related issues.
BLITZER: So, when do you think it's likely he will be release from hospital?
BERNSTEIN: Well, again, without having any additional data it's very difficult to know the answer. It sounds that they will be getting all the reports he's responding. Again, it's going to hinge on when they get the cultures back, when they have an antibiotic that they can identify they can send him home with. He's no longer having any fever, he's meeting the criteria to go home, including improve the white blood count.
BLITZER: I assume they're extra cautious and extra careful given that he is a former president of the United States.
BERNSTEIN: Sure. I think that's pretty safe to assume.
BLITZER: All right, Dr. Bernstein, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate very much your expertise. Thank you.
BERNSTEIN: Thank you.
BLITZER: Coming up, a lawmaker's meeting with voters turns deadly after he's stabbed multiple times. We're going to have details on this attack in Britain and on the suspect who is now in custody.
BLITZER: Britain is reeling tonight after a member of parliament was stabbed to death during a meeting with his constituents. CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is on the scene for us tonight about an hour east of London.
Nic, what are you learning about this attack?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the police say they got a call to go to the church just lined the street behind me here. There was report after a stabbing but by the time they arrived, Sir David Amess was already fatally injured. He had multiple stab wounds and he couldn't be saved.
But what they are saying is they arrested a man on the scene. They also found a knife at the scene.
And they are saying from that, well, at that moment, they didn't believe there was an immediate threat to other people in the neighborhood. The police have subsequently said that the -- the investigation is being led by the terrorism command. They are keeping an open mind as to where the investigation goes. It doesn't necessarily mean that this was a -- a terrorist attack. But the other detail that the police have now released is the -- is the nationality of the man involved, the 25-year-old man. A British national of Somali descent.
Now, of course, the concern for the police going forward would be is there an additional threat? And so far, they have said there doesn't appear to be. But the investigation will certainly look at this man, his connections, his motivations, his state of mind over the -- over the past weeks.
And to help do that, the counterterrorism command brings a vast array of assets. There is their domain, to build that social-media picture of this person. Who was he talking to? Who was he connected with? What sort of person was he? Was he mentally stable? These are going to be the key questions and that's what the counterterrorism command will bring this to investigation.
BLITZER: Will security change for British lawmakers going forward? I know there's a lot of concern right now, understandably so.
ROBERTSON: Yeah, Wolf, this is really a big topic of conversation in the UK right now. Five years ago, the labor MP, Joe Cox, was murdered by a right-wing gunman who shot her then stabbed her in the streets of her constituency. So to have what at the surface at the moment appears to be a repeat of that. Where the mp is meeting with constituents in an open forum as lawmakers traditionally do in this country, it raises that question can this be done safely?
The second -- the home secretary in the country here has said that she wants the police to review all procedures around MPs and their activities with their communities. Of course, this tradition of meeting with constituency members in pre -- prearranged open sessions, as this was today, is something that many MPs are going to want to keep but many of them and Amess was one of them -- was concerned about the threats going forward. He was very aware of incidents of stabbing in the U.K., had raised it as a question in parliament. And even raised the question of the safety of MPs after the murder of Joe Cox five years ago, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Nic Robertson on the scene for us. Nic, thanks very much.
We are gating some breaking news right now. President Biden has just weighed in on the select committee that's investigating the January 6th insurrection.
Our chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, is joining us.
What -- what is the latest, Kaitlan? What is he saying?
COLLINS: Well, Wolf, the president did just say something significant when he got back here to the White House, returning from Connecticut earlier today, talking about this January 6th committee and, of course, what has been at the center of all of this which is whether or not those former Trump officials and advisers are going to Cooperate.
And, of course, we know Steve Bannon has defied a congressional subpoena from -- from the committee. The committee is set to meet next week to talk about holding him in criminal contempt. And we just saw president Biden and I asked him what his message is to those who defy these congressional subpoenas on the January 6th committee since the president has talked about how important it is. And he said, Wolf, that he hopes the January 6th Select Committee goes after them and holds them accountable.
I asked if that means having t justice department prosecute those who defy those January 6th subpoenas and he said yes, I do agree that is what should happen here.
So quite significant, Wolf, because of course that has been a big question over what is going to happen when the House and that committee does return on Tuesday to talk about criminal contempt for Steve Bannon. Of course, a former-Trump aide who was not working in the White House on January 6th but was still closely involved in the president's inner circle.
BLITZER: Let me play that exchange of what the president just said on this very, very sensitive issue. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: -- defy congressional subpoenas on the January 6th committee?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope that the committee goes after them, and holds them accountable.
COLLINS: Should they be prosecuted by the Justice Department.
BIDEN: I do, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Ryan Nobles is joining us from Capitol Hill, as well.
Kaitlan, stand by for a moment.
Ryan, so the president is now weighing in on this. What's the likely reaction?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this is pretty significant for the president to weigh in on this level because as you recall in the interview that you did with Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the select committee yesterday. And you specifically asked him if the committee itself had been in talks at all with the Department of Justice about how this would play out, were they to file these criminal contempt charges. And Thompson made it clear that the committee was not cooperating or even having any kind of conversation with the Department of Justice because they didn't want to give the appearance of any type of collusion.
Now, one of the things that Biden has talked about over the course of his administration is that he would allow the Department of Justice to operate autonomously. That, they wouldn't be operating at his direction even though he, of course, appoints the attorney general. So, you know, there is no doubt that he has created that level of separation but obviously the president's influence ago on something like this is pretty significant.
And also, Wolf, gives us indication of what his thinking could be perhaps down the road as we deal with more executive privilege claims. You know, the White House has already given the select committee a pretty wide breadth in terms of executive privilege when it comes to the collection of documents that they are hoping to obtain from the Trump administration, even though the former president has attempted to defend executive privilege, in that regard.
So there really isn't a tangible impact on this, Wolf, to answer your question. The president really has no role in deciding, you know, how heavily the Department of Justice responds to this criminal contempt referral. But it certainly speaks volumes from a symbolic standpoint that the president is on the side of the select committee in their search for answers about what happened on January 6th. And the fact that he is signaling a willingness to cooperate with them on some level I think is very significant. BLITZER: Jeffrey Toobin is with us, as well, our chief legal analyst.
Jeffrey, it's a very, very sensitive matter for the president of the United States to be weighing in on what the Justice Department may wind up doing.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST (via telephone): It is. It is unusual. But I -- I think there are a whole constellation of facts, including the president's statement today. That suggests the Justice Department is going to seek criminal contempt prosecution of at least Steve Bannon, and perhaps others who were defy -- who were defying the January-6th committee. I think that that is close to a foregone conclusion, at this point.
I think it's important to say that beginning that process of criminal contempt is very different from a resolution of the issue because it is a largely unused power that -- that the justice department has. It is complex, legally. It involves going to a grand jury. It involves, potentially, a jury trial of the criminal contempt.
All of which could take a great deal of time. But it is symbolically and practically and realistically significant that criminal contempt will be used for the first time in decades. What it leads to, I think, is very uncertain. But it is important that it's going to be done, or so it appears now.
BLITZER: Well, Jeffrey, you know, it -- it -- I guess, the critics of the president will say he should not be trying to pressure the Justice Department. He should stay out of this. I assume we're going to get a lot of that reaction, right?
TOOBIN: Well, that's true. And -- and, you know, one -- one of the -- complexities of the executive branch in United States' government is that the president of the United States is the direct supervisor of the Department of Justice. However, there is a tradition that prosecutorial decisions are made independently of the president's direct involvement. Whether that is, in fact, true and whether messages are sent -- often indirectly or -- or not -- not through normal channels for prosecutorial decisions -- is another question.
But it -- it is going to lead to some criticism of -- of the president for getting involved. But that criticism is going come from people who don't support the president, anyway, and don't support the Justice Department proceeding against Steve Bannon and the other people defying the committee. So, you know, I -- I don't think a lot of minds are going to be changed by this criticism. But you're right, that this criticism will -- will -- will come, especially since President Trump was accused so often of interfering with the operations of the Justice Department.
BLITZER: Let me get Ryan nobles on the hill. Are you bracing for that kind of criticism, Ryan?
NOBLES: Well, I do think you know, we should make clear it's not as if the president said that he wants the Justice Department or he is going to instruct the Justice Department to do this, I should say. He just thinks that they should. Obviously, he is the president and whatever he says weighs pretty heavily but I do think, wolf, that in the grand scheme of all of this, it also plays back to the -- the select committee's long-term strategy here.
Their ultimate goal is not to put Steve Bannon in handcuffs and put him in jail, it's to get the information they are looking for. This is another layer of pressure on Bannon to do adjust that.
BLITZER: All right. Ryan Nobles, Jeffrey Toobin. Kaitlan Collins -- guys, thank you very much.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.