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David Hogg, Co-Founder of Never Again MSDP, Discusses GOP Silence after Rep. Taylor Greene Compares Mask Mandate to Holocaust; Bipartisan Talks over Infrastructure Deal on the Brink of Crumbling Days Before Deadline; Biden Demands End to Anti-Semitic "Despicable" Attacks; From the Golf Course to the Gymnastics Arena, Proof Some Athletes Improve with Age. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired May 24, 2021 - 14:30   ET



DAVID HOGG, CO-FOUNDER, NEVER AGAIN MSDP: And we need Marjorie Taylor Greene and every person on both sides of the aisle to come out and condemn the anti-Semitism that she showed in the clip and all other forms she continues to promote because it's truly horrific.

For that matter as well, all forms of intolerance. We have seen incredibly Islamophobic comments and racist comments that deserve to be condemned in -- shut down in the first place because it's unacceptable.

We need leaders that lead with compassion and tolerance, and a love for justice and the people, and not a hatred for the people. And a love of injustice in the first place.

Those are the type of leaders we need, not Marjorie Taylor Greene.

I would call on Kevin McCarthy to do his job and realize that simply removing her committee assignments is not enough. We need to actually -- I believe that Marjorie Taylor Greene has shown repeatedly she needs to be expelled from the United States Congress.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: David Hogg, we always appreciate talking to you and getting your voice on all these things. Take care of yourself.

HOGG: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me on.

CAMEROTA: We'll speak again.


ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Still ahead, the ball in your court. That's the message from the White House. Now rolling out the welcome mat for Republicans, inviting them to offer a counterproposal on infrastructure.

We have new details on the deal on the brink of crumbling before the deadline.


CAMEROTA: The ambitious Biden agenda facing a challenging week on Capitol Hill. Bipartisan talks on the president's massive infrastructure plan appear on the brink of collapse.

Today, the White House press secretary putting pressure on the GOP.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Our concessions went 10 times as far as theirs. The ball is in their court. We are awaiting their counterproposal. We would welcome that. We're eager to engage and even have them down here to the White House.


HILL: CNN's Phil Mattingly and Lauren Fox with new reporting.

Lauren, the White House says the ball is in the Republican court at this point. Anybody picking that ball up?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that's still remaining to be seen up here on Capitol Hill. What you have right now is a week that's do or die for infrastructure in terms of the bipartisan negotiations.

For some time, the White House and Republicans have been trying to find middle ground. But they are still miles apart in how they define infrastructure and also how they might want to pay for infrastructure.

That meeting on Friday did not go well. Republican aides telling Phil and I that there was a lot of frustration with that proposal that the White House rolled out.

Though the White House's argument from that they came down some amount, the argument from Republicans is it's nowhere near the number that they would be willing to go to on some kind of bipartisan infrastructure deal.

So a lot of moving parts right now. We expect that conversations are going to continue over the next couple days.

But this is really a moment where they're going to have to decide whether or not they are going to continue these bipartisan talks or start to move to a more Democratic-focused proposal.

CAMEROTA: So, Phil, what about that? If the $4 trillion price tag is the sticking point and if Biden doesn't want to come down very far from that, what happens next?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, that's a great question. It's one element that Lauren and I have been talking about that hasn't been explored.

There's the idea that if Republicans aren't willing to come to the level where the president and team want to go then Democrats go alone, unilaterally. The question is, can they, can they right now?

Keep in mind, yes, there's a budget procedure that they can move through the United States is not Senate that would allow them to move something with a simple majority. They wouldn't need Republican support. But do they have all 50 of the Democrats in the United States Senate to do that?

I'll tell you, behind the scenes, obviously, there's a lot of work from the White House side on Republicans on trying to figure out if there's a pathway forward, which is what the president prefers on a scaled-back infrastructure package.

But there's work going on with Democrats, key leadership members, key committee chairs, making sure that they'd be onboard if they have to go it alone.

I think there's some sense right now that if the White House could go alone with the entire proposal, $4 trillion, physical infrastructure and on the families economic plan, they might want to do that.

But they aren't there yet. There are a number of steps still to go.

That's why, to Lauren's point, this week is crucial because they need to make the decision not just based on whether or if Republicans come closer to them in any type of counterproposal but whether or if Democrats are ready to cast Republicans aside.

Guys, remember, moderate Democrats made very clear they want real tangible, substantive, bipartisan negotiations before they'll even consider going it alone. Have they done that yet? It's an open question that only a few Democrats can answer.

HILL: Wouldn't we love to get the answers from them at this moment.

Phil Mattingly, Lauren Fox, thank you both.


President Biden again pushing back against hate. This time, vowing to do more to stop anti-Semitic attacks in America.


HILL: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken heading to the Middle East hoping though to shore up a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. He will visit Jerusalem and the West Bank as well as parts of Egypt and Jordan.

And will not only look to address the ceasefire but also the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. Both sides agreed to halt the deadly violence on Friday amid the devastation that has completely ravaged the West Bank.

CAMEROTA: At the same time, there's been a disturbing rise in anti- Semitic attacks in the United States. After recent incidents in New York, Los Angeles and Tucson, Arizona, President Biden went to Twitter this morning saying the hate has to stop.

HILL: The rise in attacks in New York City prompting NYPD to step up patrols in several Jewish neighborhoods.

One man who was viciously attacked in Times Square last week says he wants to meet with lawmakers about stopping this growing hate. And also described just what he endured during that attack.


JOSEPH BORGEN, VICTIM OF ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK IN TIMES SQUARE: I was walking union the street. I see out of the corner of my eye someone chasing me with their arm back like they want to punch me.

Before I even could react, I was surrounded by a whole crowd of individuals who, as you mentioned, proceeded to kick me, punch me, hit me with flag poles, crutches.

Towards the end of the assault, I thought he were urinating on my face, but it was actually pepper spray, which they were pepper spraying me upwards of a minute.



HILL: CNN national correspondent, Brynn Gingras, is in New York.

Brynn, how are police responding at this point?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erica, those interviews like from Joseph Borgen and others that they spoke to have been victims of the hate crimes. They're trying to find a way to stop it.

Really at this point, they are sitting down with community leaders here in Jewish communities in New York City and trying to have discussions of how they can help.

In addition to that, they're basically sending more patrols, as you a mentioned, to the areas of New York City where people are being targeted.

Not just the incident there in Times Square but we saw more over the weekend in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods in New York City.

And that includes sending these strategic response groups, you know, these highly tactical police officers who go to areas of concern after terrorist attacks in this city and other places.

They're going to be going, flooding to the communities to try to be a deterrent so the hate crimes can stop.

But they've certainly seen an increase, according to the mayor of the city and also the NYPD, of these anti-Semitic attacks and hate crimes in general. Most recently, of course, with what's going on in the Middle East.

CAMEROTA: Brynn, what about lawmaker response? The victim we heard from the Times Square gang attack said he wants to meet with lawmakers to try to address this. What are officials saying?

GINGRAS: Yes, I think everyone is invited to the table. The mayor saying, of course, we have seen an increase in hate, 71 percent from this time -- hate crimes from this time a year ago.

And he says it's anti-Semitic attacks. Of course, we have seen the attacks on the Asian-American community across the country, here in New York City, anti-Muslim attacks.

So he wants everyone at the table, Mayor De Blasio, other lawmakers here in this city, to come to the table and really have a discussion of how we can alleviate this and really find what the root of it is.

Of course, we saw those Asian-American attacks after the coronavirus, right, or during the pandemic. We still see those.

Now we see this with the Jewish communities. And in some cases, the Muslim communities with what's going again on in the Middle East.

So really the talk among lawmakers, let's figure out how to solve this. And for now, it's trying to keep the communities safe and secure.

HILL: Trying to keep them safe. New Yorkers, too, I'm certainly hearing in talking with people in the city there's a real concern that there's such a rise in hate, full stop, in this city, and a real concern about what's happening in New York.

GINGRAS: Yes, absolutely. And that's the thing, right? We had these discussions all last year when we saw communities, Asian-American communities in New York City getting -- their victims -- getting attacked constantly. Because of the pandemic.

It's almost like new reasons to spread the hate that people are finding.

That's why lawmakers want to come together to figure out how to have the conversation to understand each other and stop this.

That's actually something that Joseph Borgen says he wants to be part of, even as being such a victim to that horrific attack last week in Times Square.

CAMEROTA: Brynn Gingras, thank you for reporting.


CAMEROTA: Now to this. There's new hope for athletes who some might describe as past their prime. From the golf course to the gymnastics arena, more proof that some athletes, like fine wine, only improve with age.



HILL: A history-making moment at the PGA championship. Legendary golfer, Phil Mickelson, claimed the trophy and also claimed the title of the oldest winner of a major.

CAMEROTA: Mickelson is 50 years old. How can he even still be walking?


CAMEROTA: He beat the record previously held by Julius Boros, who won the PGA championship in 1968 at age 48.

Mickelson now has won six major titles. He last won the PGA 16 years ago in 2005.

That is a very good news story on so many levels.

HILL: Yes, it is.

CAMEROTA: But prepare yourself because we have this fossil. She's 32 years old.

I don't know why we're including her. She's 32 years old.

For an Olympic Silver medalist, Chellsie Memmel, does break some records. This mom of two just competed in her first gymnastic meet in nine years.

Look at her. She came out of retirement to just get in shape after having children.


CHELLSIE MEMMEL, OLYMPIC SILVER-MEDALIST GYMNAST: I feel like this is a win. I didn't know what to expect, honestly, when I got out on the floor. I was just going to fall over, faint of nerves.

I don't know. When people said, you should have retired when you were 20 or 24, you can't have kids and come back to a sport. Like, it's -- that kind of thinking, I feel, is so backwards.


HILL: Yes, it is so backwards. I'm glad that thinking is changing. Memmel competed Saturday in vault and beam. She won Olympic Silver in 2008.

CAMEROTA: Some other ageless moments in history this year. Joe Biden, of course, becoming the oldest person to be sworn in as the president of the United States at 78 years old.

HILL: And Tampa Bay's Tom Brady, known as John Berman's first love, at 43, the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl title.

CAMEROTA: So, I guess there's open for us.

HILL: I think there is.

CAMEROTA: Once we turn 40 --

HILL: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- then there's still a future for us, I would say.


HILL: Yes. Which, by the way, now that rules are being relaxed, I'm really excited about your 40th birthday party next year, because we can have a real party now.

CAMEROTA: I love you for that, number one.

Number two, Nancy Pelosi is 81 years old. OK?

HILL: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So I think we have a lot of examples of people who are still doing their jobs and doing them with a lot of gusto. You know, what used to be thought of as past their prime.

HILL: I don't think we need to write everybody off because of age.


HILL: Yes.

Busy week. Speaking of Nancy Pelosi, busy week on Capitol Hill. GOP Senators threatening a filibuster fight over the January 6th Commission vote. Why some supporters of that bill are actually seeing signs of optimism today.

CAMEROTA: But first, we have a programming note. The richest black neighborhood in America was ripped apart by a violent white mob. We're going to uncover the hidden story. The CNN film "DREAMLAND: THE BURNING OF BLACK WALL STREET" premieres next Monday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.