Return to Transcripts main page

The Situation Room

Biden: "I Believe" Manchin Will Vote For My Spending Plan; Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) Is Interviewed About Biden's Spending Plan; McAuliffe, Youngkin In Dead Heat In Virginia Governor's Race; Soon: CDC Advisers To Vote On COVID Vaccines For Children Age 5-11; 6P Deadline: Awaiting Trump Response To New January 6 Court Filings. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 02, 2021 - 16:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now -- breaking news. President Biden speaking out just a few moments ago on this, his final day at the global U.N. climate conference and his stalled domestic spending plan saying he believes Democratic holdout Senator Joe Manchin will -- repeat -- will be on board.

It's Election Day in America. Voting taking place right now in pivotal races across the country that could determine what the future holds for both parties. We're following a very tight race in Virginia. And an extremely consequential race in New York City and more.

And we're moments away from a CDC panel vote on whether children ages 5 to 11 should be eligible for a covid-19 vaccine. Shots in arms could start as soon as tomorrow.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: We're live in Scotland tonight following three major stories, including President Biden speaking out just moments ago on the last day of the United Nations Global Climate Summit here that he's participating in.

But back at home his sweeping plan to spend trillions of dollars on overhauling the U.S. social safety net is at an inflection point right now.

CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins here to bring us all the breaking coverage.

The president spoke about all these issues but he was specifically very, very optimistic that Senator Manchin eventually will support the broader legislation.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And this is notable because the president is voicing confidence he's going to get this moderate senator who has wavered on his plan so far on board in the end. This is the first time we've actually heard President Biden, Wolf, weigh in on Senator Manchin and talk about what exactly he said at his press conference yesterday when he had questioned whether or not he was going to fully support this social spending plan that, of course, the president and Democrats have been negotiating for weeks.

But the president was asked and he said in the end he does believe Joe Manchin will get on board.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am not going to talk about the specifics of my conversations. He will vote for this. In this proposal, what he has anticipated and that is looking at the fine print of the detail, what comes out of the House in terms of the actual legislative initiative. I believe that Joe will be there.


COLLINS: Now, Wolf, this is notable, of course. I was told earlier today that President Biden had not yet spoken to Senator Manchin since making those statements yesterday but senior White House staff have been in touch with him. Maybe that's why the president is so confident today.

BLITZER: As far as this global summit is concerned here on climate change, he was very positive about what was achieved, but he also spoke out about those world leaders who were no-shows here, including China.

COLLINS: Yes. And this is notable because obviously China is one of the world's biggest polluters. They were not here. Russia was also not present in this. The leaders of Saudi Arabia also not here and, of course, that speaks to the level of commitment here because you're hearing from all of these world leaders talk about the fact that in order to get anything done they believe they all need to be on board in the end.

And so, the president said yesterday that -- or two days ago he was disappointed China was not going to be at this International Global Climate Conference and, of course, today, he said he believed it was a mistake for them not to be at the summit.


BIDEN: We showed up. We showed up. And by showing up we've had a profound impact on the way I think the rest of the world is looking at the United States and its leadership role. I think it's been a big mistake quite frankly for China and -- we expect China not showing up. The rest of the world will look to China and say, what value added are they providing?


COLLINS: And what the president was talking about during this question and answer with this reporter was saying essentially China wants to take leadership in the world. That's what often they talk about, of course, and there are other interactions with world leaders. But the president was saying it's a mistake that if that's their point of course to not show up and take leadership at a major conference like this.

We had heard from White House officials the president was going to try to take advantage of the fact that China was not present here in Glasgow at this summit and, of course, that is what he was essentially arguing there, though it does raise questions, Wolf, because, of course, the question of whether or not China is actually going to commit to the same levels of these climate goals other nations are has an impact on what the entire world can achieve.


And the president was also asked about the idea that now, India's prime minister says they'll not reach a net zero emissions, that goal that so many nations have set to hit by 2050 until 2070. That's two decades later.

And so, the question that so many activists have had and you've seen a lot of angry protesters here saying that these wealthy nations are not living up to their word. And the president was saying it's understandable why they're angry but, of course, if none of these nations live up to these commitments or they're all rhetoric and not delivery, that is the question of what's going to happen as the years go on.

BLITZER: The leaders of Russia, China, brazil didn't show up and that's a huge disappointment. Other leaders didn't show up as well. Stand by. You're going to be with me.

I want to bring in Phil Mattingly who was there at the news conference. Phil, Dana Bash is with us as well. David Gergen is with us.

But, Phil, you there were at the news conference. He called on you first.

What was your major impression from what we heard?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think that from the U.S. side of things, from the president's side of things, they feel like despite maybe some low expectations heading into COP26, the U.S. involvement, the U.S. leadership and U.S.' ambitions they brought into this conference enabled them to come out and secure significant commitments. I think that was something U.S. officials thought was a distinct possibility coming in. While obviously they wanted the leaders of China, Russia, Brazil here due to the fact just purely from an emissions basis let alone their leadership in the world that those countries not being here would give the U.S. an opportunity.

And I think that was -- when I asked the president about his disappointment in China not being here, something he mentioned in Rome at the first press conference and also his view of the relationship with China, he made very clear that he believed that coming out of this conference there's a clear missed opportunity and that gave the U.S. an opportunity in that place, in its place to make very clear its role. The other issue, too, asked more broadly about -- given the fact that tension between the U.S. and China has only ratcheted up over the entirety of the president's entire ten months in office, just look up and down the line, Wolf, their diplomats are rarely engaging in substantive matter with U.S. diplomats. The president obviously hasn't had a face to face with President Xi Jinping. They'll have a virtual one in a couple of months.

But based on where things stand is he concerned about the potential for armed conflict and how does he see this playing out given where it's been the last ten months. He said, no, he did not believe there was the potential of an accidental armed conflict but also made very clear that the U.S. will compete and it's a message he's delivered personally to President Xi Jinping and will continue to in the weeks and months ahead, Wolf.

BLITZER: Very interesting indeed. Stand by.

Dana Bash is with us as well.

Dana, from your perspective, how awkward was it for the president of the United States, he's seer overseas. He's in Scotland at this climate summit for Senator Manchin yesterday to hold a news conference and say he's not with him. At least not yet as far as the broader $1.75 trillion economic relief package is concerned which contains hundreds of billions of dollars for climate change?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Wolf, you've covered so many presidents, particularly when they have to split their priorities between something that is going on internationally. This is more than something. This is a huge event for the president to attend where you are in Glasgow.

Between that and what's going on domestically, look, there's a reason why he came to Capitol Hill before he left. And he used very fatalistic terms about the future of his presidency and the need to get this done and the speaker of the House saying in a private meeting with Democrats, with the president there, don't embarrass the president. The reason for that was because they wanted to get the ball rolling.

Having said all of that, Joe Manchin and President Joe Biden talk. They talk very frequently. And there is very little chance that the president was to -- and the people around him were surprised by what Senator Manchin did.

Does it feel, you know -- is it potentially look bad or is it bad protocol? Maybe. But if the president wants to get this done as quickly as he does and the reality is that House progressives were waiting to hear from Manchin, there was kind of little other choice than for this to unfold the way it did. And the fact that President Biden said point blank, I'm not worried about Joe Manchin, it is because the two of them have a long relationship and they do talk frequently about these things.

BLITZER: Yeah. So that reconciliation, the $1.75 million reconciliation package has to wait several weeks, maybe until Thanksgiving, maybe beyond even for them to get all the work done.


But, David Gergen, what seems to be in the works now is that the bipartisan infrastructure bill that already passed the Senate with 69 votes, including 19 Republican senators, including Mitch McConnell, it looks now like the House of Representatives is at least going to pass that. Then it will go directly to the president and the Oval Office for the president's signature. That's something the White House wanted.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It is something the White House wanted. And it would be a very, very good result for the White House to pull this off because impressions have been this was falling apart and it would be very helpful to the president if he could get this infrastructure bill done and if he can win Virginia tonight. You put those two things together and, you know, his presidency gets more back on track.

But I don't think you -- I don't think it's an international matter that Glasgow turned out to be a success. This was going to be the biggest environmental gathering in years. Every environmental activist was looking forward to great results coming out of this. If you are an environmental activist, you can't help but think this was a severe disappointment of the top six nations, the top six emitters of carbon, only one, the United States, under Joe Biden, has actually stepped up and been hard nosed about this.

The other five nations in the top six, they disappeared on this. They didn't come or they lowered the bar as India did. Putin doesn't come from Russia. Very important Xi doesn't come. He's snubbing the president when he doesn't come like that.

So, this is a mixed situation, Wolf, and I don't think we know fully how these major, major events are going to all turn out in the end.

BLITZER: Yeah, because the stakes are enormous.

Kaitlan, the president was not only confident, very positive about what happened here in Scotland. He was also confident, positive that Senator Manchin will eventually support what he wants. But he was also predicting success in Virginia and other races, Election Day in America is happening.

He was basically saying they're going to win, the Democrats.

COLLINS: It was surprising how confident he was given how we know how close the polls have shown this race but clearly the president feels good about it. Of course, Virginia is a state he won handily when he was running. And the question has been will that transfer over to Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor? And so, the president said he does believe that Terry McAuliffe will win, that he will pull this off. The president predicted the results may not come in until 1:00 a.m., which is when Air Force One is expected to leave here in Scotland, go back to Washington, and be landing around that time.

What was an interesting, an argument the president made to reporters was one that we've heard from moderate house Democrats who have said they really needed to get this bipartisan infrastructure bill passed before this race because they believed it would have boosted Terry McAuliffe in effect, energized Democrats to go out and vote because they're seeing what Democrats on Capitol Hill are doing and what they're achieving.

The president doesn't think that's the case. He doesn't think the fact they did not get his agenda passed will have any effect on this race at all. He also predicted success in the New Jersey governor's race.

And so, of course, it remains to be seen if that will be the case. These races are often seen as a bellwether for the midterm elections which we know many Democrats have raised questions about. And so, the president has said previously he doesn't think this is a bellwether but he does seem to feel confident that his friend, Terry McAuliffe, who he's campaigned for several times, will end up pulling it off tonight.

BLITZER: Dana, I'm curious to hear what you think. We're over here. We're in Europe. You're back in Washington.

How did the president's visit here to Europe over this past week, how did it seem to be playing back home?

BASH: You know, it was -- if you go back to his meeting in Rome or at the Vatican with the pope and the other meetings he had with G20 nations and, of course, what's going on there, there were a lot of very important discussions that Americans who were paying attention heard about all of these important issues.

But the reality is, back to the original question that you asked me, sort of political policy discussion that is going on over there has been in a lot of ways eaten up by the back and forth and toing and froing that continue in Washington about his agenda among members of his party. So if he wanted the White House spotlight on directly what he was doing, he didn't get it fully and that is because of the fact his agenda hangs in the balance here in Washington.

BLITZER: Yeah. There is so much at stake right now. I'm going to be speaking later here in THE SITUATION ROOM with the former Vice President Al Gore who won a Nobel Prize back in 2007 for his work on climate change. He's got very strong views on what has been going on here. We'll discuss.


That's coming up. There's more breaking news, guys, that we're following here. President

Biden saying he believes he can get Senator Joe Manchin's key vote to pass the spending plan. But is the house on board? We're going to ask the key Democratic moderate. We're back live from Scotland. That's next.


BLITZER: We're live tonight in Scotland where President Biden just spoke on this, the last day of the U.N. climate summit and voiced optimism that his spending plan will pass Congress soon after months and months of haggling.

Joining us to discuss that and more, Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. He's the co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. He's a moderate.

Congressman, thanks for joining us.


BLITZER: We've spoken several times. You've been optimistic for weeks about the vote on the infrastructure bill that passed the Senate already.

Now that progressives have said they're ready, are you confident you'll be voting on both of these bills, the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill in the House of Representatives this week?


GOTTHEIMER: Well, Wolf, as you might imagine, I've gotten out of the prediction business, but I'll tell you, we are making very good progress. We've been working around the clock. All of us sitting at the table working together to find common ground here. And we're making really good progress just in the last hours alone. So, you know, I'm very hopeful.

BLITZER: Very hopeful. All right. Let's see what happens.

Some of your fellow moderate Democrats, as you know, Congressman, have echoed Senator Manchin's concerns about spending in the broader reconciliation bill, saying they want to see the official tally to make sure financing offsets the cost of these measures.

Do you agree with that approach?

GOTTHEIMER: Well, I've asked and others have, too, for data to make sure we get that from the White House and Treasury and Joint Committee on Taxation. I believe we will get that data which will help us get that information we're looking for. So, I've been having conversations and I'm confident about that, Wolf.

BLITZER: Your colleague, the Progressive Caucus chair, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, said she expects the Congressional Budget Office to finish their scoring. You've seen for parts of the bill, a scoring for parts of the

reconciliation bill. Will that be enough to appease many moderates like you? Will you vote for it based on what you know now? Are you waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to officially score the $1.75 trillion that supposedly is in this bill?

GOTTHEIMER: Well, you know, we're expecting the final text any minute now as you know, Wolf. And once we get that, plus what we've seen section by section from the CBO, plus what I believe we'll get from Joint Committee on Taxation and from Treasury, I'm optimistic that that data will give us what we need.

Obviously, we've got to see it first but that's the kind of information we should see to responsibly make a decision here.

But the good news is that we're making very good progress on the Build Back Better program or what was called reconciliation as you know, which includes reinstating the state tax deduction and helping fight climate change and child care and universal pre-K, many things we all believe deeply in and they're good for my district.

And, of course, Wolf, the thing we've been waiting for which is critically important to get across the finish line, the bipartisan infrastructure package which passed out of the Senate in early August. It creates 2 million jobs a year. Our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our water infrastructure, our broadband, all of that waiting for a vote. I think if we get that done and, obviously, we can deliver a very big win for the American people.

BLITZER: Yeah, if that gets done, it's already passed the Senate. If it gets done in the House of Representatives in the next few days, then it goes to the president for his signature and becomes the law of the land.


BLITZER: The reconciliation package hasn't yet passed the Senate.

Senator Manchin said today that he thinks negotiation on what's called the social safety net plan is going to take, in his words, quite awhile.

Does it concern you that Senate Democrats are still so far apart on this?

GOTTHEIMER: No, I don't think we're far apart. And I think it's only right for Senator Manchin and others to say that we've got to see the bill that passes out of the House and see the final text and then, of course, they're going to have to do work on their side.

But so much of this has been, obviously, worked through and at the end of the day, Wolf, we'll get it done. I'm optimistic about that, but these things take time and we've got to give them due consideration.

But the bottom line is, what the good news is we're making very good progress on getting over here the reconciliation package, the social infrastructure package agreed upon. We're very close, and all working in good faith. And we're going to get that bipartisan package, the one Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate worked on and got with 69 votes back in early August.

The key is to get that to the president's desk. We've been talking about it. I'm ready for that. I think the country is. That's all I hear back home. And so, I'm optimistic that also will get done.

BLITZER: Congressman Josh Gottheimer, thank you so much for joining us.

GOTTHEIMER: Thanks, Wolf. Great to see you.

BLITZER: All right. Thank you.

Up next -- we're just a few hours away from polls closing in Virginia in a governor's race seen as a bellwether for the midterm elections. We're going to go live to both campaign headquarters. That's next.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM. We're live from Scotland.



BLITZER: We're reporting live from Scotland where President Biden just spoke only moments ago, capping off his international trip with a news conference at the COP26 climate conference. We're also following the neck and neck governor's race in Virginia. Polls close just a few hours in what is seen as a bellwether for the midterm elections.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny and Eva McKend are on the campaign trail for us.

Jeff, you're at the McAuliffe headquarters. First of all, what are you hearing from his campaign?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we're hearing from a former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe who is trying for a second act at his job that they are feeling some positive signs of strong turnout on election day. Going into this day, more than 1.1 million Virginians had already cast their votes. But the vast majority of votes will come today on Election Day.

So, the McAuliffe campaign is telling us they're seeing strong signs of turnout in northern Virginia. The suburbs just outside of Washington that they do believe that that indicates some signs of strength.


But, Wolf, the reality is this is a very close race. They know that. And they are not closing this campaign, perhaps as strong as their opponent, Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. But they do believe the combination of early vote, which has been cast over the last 45 days, as well as that vote since 6:00 a.m. and for the next two hours or so, they believe that that could make up the difference. But, Wolf, there are a sense of jittery and nervousness among every

Democrat we are talking to as Governor McAuliffe -- former Governor McAuliffe tries again for his old job.

BLITZER: Eva, you're over at Youngkin's headquarters. What are you hearing there?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, they are feeling very confident. Glenn Youngkin saying that he has seen a surge in momentum in the last six to eight weeks on the campaign trail. That's certainly something we have witnessed as well, sometimes upwards of a thousand people at some of his rallies. You know, from the campaign's perspective, even if they make slight gains in traditionally Democratic strongholds, they feel as though it could be a good night for them. They don't necessarily have to win places like Loudoun County outright but just to do better than some of their Republican candidates have done in the past, they think that that is a good sign.

Also noting Glenn Youngkin talking about how many Virginians didn't know who he was. His name ID didn't have any name recognition. But now to be running neck and neck with the former governor of the commonwealth, all of this having them feel pretty good.

BLITZER: You know, Jeff, Democrats believe that what happens in Virginia tonight potentially could have national implications. Is the outcome an indicator of what's to come in next year's midterm elections and indeed beyond?

ZELENY: Wolf, it certainly will be one of the indicators. The off year gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey often give a sense of the mood of the country, if you will. It's the first time that voters have a chance to offer a referendum on the president's party. How the White House is doing. How Congress is doing, which is why in Virginia, history shows that the opposing party of the president, the person running for governor on that side generally wins.

So it is definitely an indication of the first chance for voters to offer their sense of the direction of things, the direction of the administration. But, Wolf, it's always wise to issue some caution here.

You'll remember when Terry McAuliffe won the Virginia governor's race the first time back in 2013, a year after former President Barack Obama was re-elected, Democrats went on to a bloodbath in the midterm elections in 2014. So it does not always portend good things. But a loss here from Terry McAuliffe, no question, would send Democrats into something of a tailspin and a ton of finger-pointing about that divided Democratic party in Washington.

That, of course, has been hanging over this entire race -- the gridlock that we've seen in Congress and between the White House. But President Biden speaking just a short time ago in Glasgow, Wolf, as you know, he indicated optimism. He believes that Terry McAuliffe is going to win tonight.

BLITZER: Yeah, he predicted it. He said it flatly.

All right. Jeff Zeleny, Eva McKend, we're going to be getting back to you, guys. So, stand by.

It's election night in America. Tune in to see who wins the high stakes Virginia governors race. Plus, the battle in New Jersey, New York City. Our special live coverage starts at 6:00 p.m. Eastern tonight.

And just ahead -- it's the moment so many parents have been waiting for -- COVID shots for kids, could get the official sign off as soon as tonight. So how soon could your child get vaccinated?

That's next here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We're live from Scotland.



BLITZER: We're live in Scotland for the United Nations Global Climate Summit. But we're also following a very important meeting of CDC vaccine advisers who could vote at any moment on whether young children in the United States should be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Let's bring in our CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's the author of the new book entitled "World War C: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One."

Also with us, CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen. She's author of "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health."

Doctors, thank you so much for joining us.

Sanjay, CDC vaccine advisers are expected to vote any minute now on whether to recommend Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 through 11.

Just how significant would it be for some 28 million children in the United States to become vaccine eligible?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, it could be pretty significant, Wolf. I mean, if you look over all the impact on the pandemic, there's some modeling data that was presented basically showing that it can basically accelerate the decline of the pandemic by about 8 percent over the next few months. That would be about 600,000 cases potentially prevented by March.

But also, you know, the images you see on the screen here talk about the benefits of the vaccine. For every million children who are vaccinated, how many cases of COVID we prevented, how many hospitalizations prevented, how many ICU admissions prevented. It's significant.

We know that kids are at less risk for this disease but there's still a risk there. And I think that's one of the things they're talking about in this meeting quite a bit.


One thing that may come out of this, are they going to say hey, look, there are certain children who are more at risk of this disease and they should be prioritized in terms of vaccines. We've been listening for that. I've been hearing that they have said this a few times, that the side effects overall for the vaccine in these younger children appear to be lower than in older children. Even things like fever or myocarditis which is something that's been discussed quite a bit. Myocarditis appears to be something that's typically happens in someone post puberty so not as big an issue for some of these younger children.

But that, you know, overall, could be a significant impact on the pandemic and obviously on these children themselves.

BLITZER: Certainly could be. And, Dr. Wen, you are not only a doctor, you're a mom.

What do you say to parents who may be worried about potential side effects from this vaccine for their kids?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Wolf, I would say that I understand where they're coming from, of course. We want to make sure whatever we're giving to our kids is safe and it's effective. But I think that parents should really be reassured that the federal regulatory authorities, the FDA and CDC went through this thorough, thoughtful and transparent process that's playing out right now. This is a four-step process.

The third step of CDC advisers are meeting, the CDC will be voting after that. It's been this very careful vetting of the data. And at this point, we know that in the 3,000 or so children in this age group who received the vaccine that the most common side effects are things we saw in adults. They are sore arm, fatigue, headache, fever is less common as Sanjay mentioned than compared to adults.

And I think whatever side effects we've seen have to be compared to the risks of not getting the vaccine, which are substantial. That already more than 8,300 children in this age group have been hospitalized due to COVID-19. One-third of them ended up in ICU. There are thousands potentially living with long-term consequences who are children.

And very tragically, COVID-19 is now one of the top ten leading causes of death in this 5 to 11-year-old age group. So it's really important, I would say, for parents to get their kids vaccinated, not so much to help society, although there's also a benefit there, but specifically to protect the children themselves.

BLITZER: Very important.

You know, Sanjay, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey released last month found that 66 percent of parents of 5 to 11-year-olds worry that the vaccines might negatively impact their child's fertility later on.

Is there any validity to those concerns?

BLITZER: There really isn't, Wolf. This has been out there for some time, almost since the vaccines were first authorized. There's been these concerns about fertility. But they are really without merit.

So I don't know how much more we should really even say about that because it's not something that's real.

I'm kind of with Leana on this. I'm a dad myself. I think about these things. I have three girls. They all got vaccinated.

But as far as concerns go, and everyone should approach this thoughtfully for sure, but that's not one of the concerns you should really put on your list.

BLITZER: Yeah, that's very important that you said that.

Dr. Gupta, thank you. Dr. Leana Wen, thanks to you as well. We'll await the final decision from the FDA, that's coming up very, very soon. The CDC, I should say, very, very soon.

Coming up, also here, the clock is ticking. Officials say Donald Trump's records from the January 6th insurrection should get turned over to investigators. Now the ball is back in the former president's court. How will he respond?

And one on one with the former vice president of the United States, Al Gore. What is his key takeaways from the global climate crisis and the summit that has been under way here that's been going on.

That's next in THE SITUATION ROOM. We're live from Scotland.



BLITZER: We're live in Scotland where President Biden just wrapped up his international trip at the COP26 climate conference.

Back in the United States, we're getting new insight into what happened on January 6th. Donald Trump is up against the 6:00 p.m. Eastern deadline to respond to officials who say the former president's records should be handed over to investigators.

Let's get straight to our senior legal affairs correspondent Paula Reid.

Paula, so what do we expect Trump will say in this response?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: They are really taking it down to the wire, Wolf. They have just one more hour here to file their latest arguments in this effort to block the National Archives from handing over hundreds and hundreds of pages of Trump White House document to the House committee investigating January 6th. Now, this case goes before a judge on Thursday and raises really novel

questions about executive privilege. Let's take a look at how we got here. The committee requested the National Archives hand over certain documents related to Trump and January 6th. And Trump raised privilege concerns. He tried to assert executive privilege.

But the current president, President Biden, he is actually the one with the power to assert privilege to protect records from previous administrations. And here, he declined to assert privilege. The White House said this was an extraordinary circumstance and it would not be in the best interest of the United States to block the committee from getting these documents.


So Trump has sued. And in the original lawsuit, they accuse the Biden White House of political maneuvering. Now, when they file this next document, we expect them to really expand on some of the arguments they've already made. They've tried to attack Congress' investigative power. They've suggested the subpoenas are too broad. They've also argued this committee does not have a legislative purpose.

Now, a lot of these questions, these are really novel, untested questions about executive privilege and Congress' investigative powers. And again, this will be heard by a judge, towards the end of this week and even if the former president doesn't prevail on the overall case. If he can just convince the judge to delay handing over these documents to the committee while this is decided, that would really hinder the investigators' work.

BLITZER: The former vice president, Paula, as you know, Mike Pence, has given some insight into why he defied Trump January 6th and certified the 2020 election. Tell our viewers what he said.

REID: It's really interesting. Pence was asked who specifically urged him to reject Trump's plan to undermine Biden's victory. And he gave a really interesting response.

Let's take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the name of the person who told you to buck President Trump's plan and certify the votes?

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: James Madison. Psalm 15 says he who keeps his oath, even when it hurts. The only role of the federal government was to open and count the electoral votes that were sent by the states. You've got to be willing to do your duty.


REID: Of course, Pence was under enormous pressure from Trump's legal team to undermine Biden's victory. Of course he was on the Capitol during the attack and he could hear some protesters screaming "hang Mike Pence" -- Wolf. BLITZER: Yeah, he did the right thing, the former vice president.

Paula Reid, thank you very, very much.

Let's get more on this with Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

He has a brand-new book just out entitled "Integrity Counts." There you see the cover right there.

Mr. Secretary, thanks for joining us.

What's your reaction to the former vice president citing James Madison for his decision to stand firmly and not overturn the 2020 presidential election?

BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: Nothing better than James Madison, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, some of our great foundational leaders of our nation. And so that's what I lean into. I lean into the Constitution, the rule of law.

And that's why I wrote the book to set the record straight. First of all, integrity counts. Always has. Always will.

But also to really explain to people exactly what the facts were. And the facts were that President Trump came up short in the state of Georgia.

BLITZER: You, of course, as a lot of our viewers remember, faced enormous pressure from Trump to overturn the election as well. So how revealing could those documents from the White House be, the documents, the select committee is seeking?

RAFFENSPERGER: I have no way of knowing. I'm down here in Georgia. You have the Washington political scene. But what I do know, as it relates to Georgia elections, president Trump and all people, there's 28,000 Georgians that didn't vote for anyone for president in the last election. So they skipped Joseph R. Biden, President Trump and then also Joe Jorgensen. Purdue got 20,000 more votes in the metro areas than President Trump.

And the final data point that gives clarity to all of this is the Republican congressman got 33,000 more votes than President Trump. And those are objective criteria. Those are data points. You can't argue with facts.

And as a Republican, I know we didn't like the results but the facts are that President Trump did come up short.

BLITZER: You say the January 6th Select Committee in the House has reached out to you. What do they want to know?

RAFFENSPERGER: I guess I don't know what I could really add to it because we had a conversation with the president about one hour and ten minutes long. It's out there in the public domain. Anyone can listen to it. Also my book came out today and I had that full conversation in there. And when President Trump made some points during our conversation, I

had what I call observations. I really just provide some background information. So when he said that there was 5,000 dead people that voted, some of his surrogates said there's 10,000. There's actually less than 5. And when he said there's underage voters of 66,000, there's actually zero.

And so, I just respond to all those data points throughout the book. Also provide my letter I sent to Congress on January 6th which rebuts everything, every allegation that was made.

BLITZER: And you've written this really important, very important timely book essentially fact checking the Trump election lies. But you think a lot of Republicans are going to listen right now?

RAFFENSPERGER: Well, one of the things I think would be helpful for everyone is if we had intellectual curiosity and intellectual honesty.


So those are the facts. I'm not saying that you're going to like them because I'm disappointed also but those are the facts.

And as Republicans, what are we going to do about building a broad coalition that we can win majorities and get over 270 electoral votes? Or do something really big and tremendous, win 49 states like Ronald Reagan in 1984. That's a mandate.

BLITZER: Secretary Brad Raffensperger, the new book is entitled "Integrity Counts" -- thanks for joining us. And thanks so much for writing this important book.

Coming up -- President Biden wrapping up his overseas trip by touting the United States' new plans to try to tackle the climate crisis and making a prediction on how tonight's crucial governor's race will turn out in Virginia.

Plus, the former Vice President Al Gore joins me to discuss the key takeaways from the global climate conference. That's coming up in the next hour right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We're live from Scotland.