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CNN NEWSROOM

Biden Facing Pressure to Help End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Rep. Clyde Calls Capitol Riots a "Tourist Visit"; Some Vaccinated Americans Choose to Keep Masking. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired May 18, 2021 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00]

MAYOR MIKE ELLIOTT, BROOKLYN CENTER, MINNESOTA: I can transform our community.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Mr. Mayor, let me ask you before we go here, the union that represents Brooklyn Center police officers, they oppose the changes in part because they say that preventing custodial arrest or consent searches for nonfelony offenses there in the state of Minnesota prevents arrests for things like DUI.

ELLIOTT: Arrests for DUI or domestic assaults are still going to continue. We're going to follow Minnesota law. And our goal is to make sure that we keep people safe. We believe that we have a road map here that's going to ensure that. But at the same time, make sure that we're preventing the kind of deaths we've seen in the case of Daunte and in the case of George Floyd, we believe that the set of measures that we have actually achieve that.

BLACKWELL: Mayor Elliott, thank you so much. Mayor Michael Elliott there, of Brooklyn Center. Thanks for being with us.

So President Biden only briefly referenced the intense fighting between Israel and Hamas as he visited Michigan last hour and now the House Speaker is adding her voice to calls for a cease-fire.

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[15:35:00]

BLACKWELL: The pressure is growing for President Biden to do something more. At least say something more to stop the deadly fighting between Israel and Hamas. We've got video here of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, one of his critics, greeting the president there as he arrived in Michigan today.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: She is a Palestinian-American, and one of the Democrats who is urging the president to step up pressure on Israel and be more direct about demanding a cease-fire. Biden addressed her while speaking in Dearborn last hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I tell you what, Rashida, I want to say to you that I admire your intellect, I admire your passion, and I admire your concern for so many other people. And it's from my heart, I pray that your grandma and family are well. I promise I'm going to do everything to see that they are in the West Bank.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: CNN's senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly joins us now. So Phil, Biden says that he backs a cease-fire, but he has not explicitly called for one. Why not?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's an important nuance. Obviously, this decision or this position came out in a readout the White House released related to the president's call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

And when it came out, it read very clearly that he supports a cease- fire. The White House officials were very quick after the statement was released to clarify, that he was not explicitly calling for one, he is not explicitly pressuring either the Israelis or the Palestinians to come to the table and reach a cease-fire.

That puts him in a different place than Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer yesterday calling for a cease-fire or supporting a statement that calls for a cease- fire. Speaker Nancy Pelosi today putting out a very strong statement. Saying that while she supports Israel's right to defend itself, she supports a cease-fire, a push toward a cease-fire at this moment given how things have escalated.

The president is not in that place yet. The White House maintaining that their efforts are mostly behind the scenes, quiet and intensive. It's what's what they say over and over and over again. And for a series of days, the president has not weighed in publicly about this. He was asked about it yesterday after unrelated remarks. Said he would talk after his phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That didn't happen. He was asked about it today in Dearborn and this was the result.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, can I ask you a question on Israel before you --

BIDEN: No, you can't, not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it. I'm only teasing. OK, here we go. Ready?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir.

BIDEN: Ready?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY (on camera): And guys, obviously, the president is a self- proclaimed car guy. That's the F-150 lightning, a car that has not been released yet. And he's getting to test drive it. I understand the enthusiasm behind that. But I think that underscores the exchange, joking or not, underscores that the White House is just not -- does not desire having a public conversation about this at the moment.

They want to do their work behind the scenes. They are working behind the scenes. Calling not just Israelis and Palestinian Authorities President Mahmoud Abbas, but also regional players hoping that's their best way to de-escalation. But as of now, guys, no de-escalation has occurred.

CAMEROTA: Yes, it's hard to miss the symbolism of gunning it out of there when the question was asked, Phil. Thank you very much for that report.

OK, so next, a Republican Congressman who personally barricaded himself against the violent mob of Trump supporters during the January 6th attack now claims there was no insurrection. Hypocrisy alert, next.

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[15:40:00]

BLACKWELL: Two to four things, now. You ready for it?

CAMEROTA: I'm ready.

BLACKWELL: Let's do it. One of them is tied into this disturbing trend among some House Republicans to downplay or even deny all together the violence that we all watched on January 6th.

CAMEROTA: Case in point. GOP Congressman Andrew Clyde compared the capitol riot to a, quote, normal tourist visits during a House hearing last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): Let me be clear. There was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-face lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walk through Statuary Hall showed people in ordinarily fashion staying between the stanchion and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Well, Congressman Clyde has a funny way of greeting tourists because that picture was him barricading himself and other lawmakers behind furniture to prevent the violent Trump tourists from getting into the House chambers.

[15:45:00]

BLACKWELL: I just wonder here, he knows that he helped with that furniture to put it in front of the door to protect himself. He knows that people saw him, and just expects that the rest of the country was not paying attention or that they're going to accept that maybe they were just coming to get their t-shirts signed?

CAMEROTA: I mean that's the crazy thing about all this revisionist history. Is that we all saw it. We lived through it. If you open the dictionary definition to insurrection, violent insurrection, it's a picture basically of him barricading himself against the violent mob. So the idea that he thinks he can now call it tourism is truly remarkable. But not to be outdone. We have another hypocrisy alert.

We have also learned the Department of Justice under former President Trump tried to use a grand jury subpoena to reveal the name of an online parody Twitter critic of California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

BLACKWELL: Devin Nunez, you're thinking, where have I heard this before? Yes, same Devin Nunes who repeatedly railed against the Obama administration for unmasking Trump associates during the Russia probe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): What the hell were they doing unmasking like this? Unmasking, unmasked, unmasked.

Unmasking whoever that was and leaking it to the press, it's a big problem.

It should be pretty rare that American names are unmasked.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Yes, we also saw Devin Nunes tried to sue Twitter for a quarter billion dollars to learn who was behind or to punish them for tweets from Devin's cow, a Twitter account. So, this has been something that's been an issue for the Congressman for quite a while.

CAMEROTA: Yes, unmasking is the worst crime of the century. I mean, according to Devin Nunes. You know, he railed against it. Unless it's a parody Twitter account of his cow, then he's happy to, you know, get the Department of Justice and taxpayer dollars involved for unmasking.

BLACKWELL: Hypocrisy alert, we'll continue to bring them to you.

Next, we'll speak to a man who has already had it, he's had COVID, he's fully vaccinated, but he says he's keeping on his mask and the goggles, for now.

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[15:50:00]

CAMEROTA: Starting tomorrow, New York will lift its mask mandate for anyone fully vaccinated, but the jury is out on whether New Yorkers and other Americans are ready to throw away their masks. In fact, some Americans say they will stay masked up even though they've been vaccinated.

Let's bring in Joe Glickman, he's a New Yorker who despite being fully vaccinated wears two masks, as I understand it, and goggles when he leaves his home. Joe, what's that about? You've been fully vaccinated and, as I understand it, you've had COVID and recovered. Why are you still taking those precautions?

JOE GLICKMAN, CONTINUES TO DOUBLE MASK AFTER BEING FULLY VACCINATED: Well, I haven't fully recovered. That's one of the things is I'm still dealing with what they are calling long haul symptoms.

So you know, neurological stuff, gastrointestinal, and I'm about six months out, and I decided to start wearing goggles because the -- I've had a couple of doctors who suggested that I probably caught COVID through my eyes because at the time that I contracted it from a friend of mine I was wearing a double mask, and it was an N-95 which does protect me and or people and then a cloth mask over it.

And, you know, I -- the vaccine I think the misconception is that the vaccine is like a force field which it's not. The vaccine will protect you from getting very sick, but it doesn't protect you from actually contracting it. And --

CAMEROTA: I think it does. I mean hold on, Joe. I think it -- I think it's both. I think it protects you from getting very sick and being hospitalized but also protects you from getting infected.

I mean we do know there are occasionally these breakthrough cases but I think you have like a .05 percent chance of getting infected if you've been doubly vaccinated. So I mean, I guess what I'm just wondering is there some level of irrationality to this and it's just become sort of a security blanket?

GLICKMAN: I don't think it's irrational. I think that -- I personally am a member of a couple of support groups for people who are dealing with long haul symptoms and there are plenty of people, for instance, let's not -- you know, without vaccination, they have caught COVID two or three different times. Their anti-bodies did nothing for them.

And the vaccine, we haven't -- you know, we don't know enough about it. There are breakthrough cases, of course, but there are other cases where people are catching it and they are just not getting as sick.

That's -- that is really the way they have been marketing it, is you're not going to get as sick. And if you're already battling a chronic version of this, then you know, a vaccine is protective, but it's not, you know, it doesn't cover everything, and I think that I feel more safe.

I think there's an element of, hey, I went through something really, really tough. I mean many hospital visits. I had the pneumonia and I don't think there's anything wrong with taking that extra measure of protection. I'm certainly not hurting anybody, and I'm not telling you that you have to do what I'm doing.

BLACKWELL: Certainly, nothing wrong with it. It is certainly up to you. I read here in "The Times" that you experienced symptoms including extreme lightheadedness and issues with sight. Mr. Glickman, two masks and goggles, I know there are a lot of people who will continue do that. Thank you for sharing your story about why you are. Joe Glickman, thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: We appreciate it, Joe. Thank you.

GLICKMAN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, so still ahead, the top Republican in the House says he will not vote in favor of that bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riots of January 6th. So does it have enough support to go forward?

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[15:55:00]

CAMEROTA: In Louisiana, severe weather continues to hammer the state. Flash flooding and possible tornadoes have killed at least one person and left hundreds in need of rescue.

BLACKWELL: Overnight floodwaters washed away cars, look at this. The roadways blocked, the wind hurled there, the flash flood is in effect for southeast Louisiana through tomorrow morning. So there could be more on the way. So stay safe out there in Louisiana and on the Gulf coast.

CAMEROTA: Really scary stuff. Those pictures are incredible.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Okay, The Lead with Jake Tapper starts right now.

END