Return to Transcripts main page
Biden to Speak as Key Agenda Items Stall in Senate; String of Shootings Leaves Long List of Casualties; Biden to Issue Rallying Cry Ahead of July 4th Vaccine Deadline. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired June 2, 2021 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Arizona's current governor, Doug Ducey, it term-limited from running again.
And, finally, get a shot, grab a beer. Anheuser-Busch, the national brewer behind brands like Budweiser, says the next drink is on them if the United States reaches President Biden's goal of getting 70 percent of adults are partially vaccinated by the 4th of July. The company says people 21 and older can enter to win by uploading a picture of themselves in a favorite bar or similar hangout to a website for the company's campaign.
Thanks for joining us today, see you back here this time tomorrow. Ana Cabrera picks up right now.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks so much for being with us.
Minutes from now, President Biden addresses the nation as hopes that he can deliver on some of his promises fade (ph). His remarks soon will focus on the pandemic. But looming over him, his lofty agenda, voting rights, infrastructure, police reform are all stalling in the Senate. Why? Current rules say the president needs all Senate Democrats onboard and at least ten Republicans. Right now, he can't get either of these two things, but he promised the nation he could.
And now as frustration builds, he's adding fuel to a filibuster fight on Capitol Hill and he is taking a veiled swipe at members of his own party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I hear all the folks on T.V. saying, why doesn't Biden get this done? Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends. But we're not giving up.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood is with us. And, John, the president's remarks today, as we mentioned, are expected to be about the pandemic and vaccinations, but today is also a very big day for infrastructure. What is expected on both fronts?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think one task may be more pleasant than the other. On the pandemic, the president is going to talk about trying to sprint to 70 percent overall vaccination rate with at least one shot for American adults by the 4th of July. That's a goal that he has set. And the vaccination metrics, like the broader pandemic metrics, are moving in the right direction. That has been a success story for the administration.
On infrastructure, like some of the other legislative issues you mentioned, it's a very tough negotiating slog. He's going to meet with Shelley Moore Capito, the Republican point person on this subject, this afternoon at the White House, very difficult to reach an agreement with her, much less ten, nine other Republicans to try to get this through on a bipartisan basis. But they need to try.
The president wants to try to show he can get bipartisan progress, and moderate Democrats, like Joe Manchin, who would be needed, if they are going to go Democrats-only later in the process, need to see that he tried to do that. So they are going to try and see if they can produce a smallish kind of deal on infrastructure that would carve out a piece of the president's agenda, perhaps carve out a way to pay for that. Mitch McConnell voiced some optimism earlier today.
In either case, they are going to have to pursue legislation through the special budget procedures to allow it to pass with Democrats-only votes later in the year. The question is do you do what needs to be done now to hold those Democrats, like Manchin, together. And you saw a bit of that frustration leaking out from Joe Biden yesterday when he called out Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for their reluctance to go along with his agenda. Not easy, still trying.
CABRERA: John Harwood, thank you for your reporting. We'll check back as we get more information.
And CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger is with us now. Gloria, Biden said this before he took office, and I'm quoting here, with Donald Trump out, you will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends. And yet here we are, voting rights stalled, police reform stalled, gun background checks stalled, infrastructures stalled. Biden has been steadfast that Republicans will work with him. Is it time to give that up?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it may be. Don't forget, Mitch McConnell said he is 100 percent for blocking the Biden agenda. They know that infrastructure, for example, is popular back home.
People want to repair infrastructure, which is why you see a little bit of optimism from McConnell. But you have to figure out how to pay for all of these things. They don't want to raise taxes on corporations. They want to repurpose money, as McConnell put it, taking it as some leftover money from COVID that he sees and Joe Biden doesn't see.
I think when Biden predicted that there was going to be an epiphany, Ana, I think the reason was he thought that Donald Trump was going to be totally out of the picture after the election. And, of course, that's not the case. You have lots of Republicans who are still worshipping at the altar of Donald Trump and I think that's caused a great deal of complications, not only for McConnell's leadership, but also for Republicans in the House, in those districts where Donald Trump is still quite popular.
So I think Joe Biden did not see that coming down the pike.
CABRERA: And he didn't call them out by name but he did seem to reference the two Democratic senators, Manchin and Sinema, yesterday. They don't want to budge on this filibuster, something actually Biden, as a senator, backed when it benefitted him for decades.
And, by the way, we should fact-check the one statement he made, because Manchin and Sinema have actually voted with Biden 100 percent of the time. So do you read those comments from Biden in a certain way? Is the president signaling a strategy shift, do you think, with those words?
BORGER: Well, you know how I read them? I read them as Joe Biden talking to the Democratic base, actually. And Joe Biden saying to the Democratic base, I hear you, I'm a little peeved at these people too, and I am putting them on notice that I am going to need them at some point.
And I think we're really at an inflection point, because will the president use them or need them on voting rights more than on infrastructure, for example, if he cuts a small deal with them on infrastructure, will he get promises out of them on something that is very important to the president and the Democratic base, which is voting rights?
So I think right now, the president has got to figure out what his top priority is, and where Sinema and Manchin can cut a deal with him and what he can give on. And I think that's the point the White House is at right now.
CABRERA: Here's the thing though. Manchin is a Democrat in an overwhelmingly Republican state.
BORGER: He sure is.
CABRERA: Does President Biden really think that putting pressure on him and Sinema publicly will change anything?
BORGER: No. I honestly don't think he does. That's why I really think that this was to let Democrats know that he intends to deal with these people and that he hears Democrats when they say, wait a minute, if they are not going to help us in any way, what is the point of dealing with them? And I think he's got to figure -- Democrats have to figure out what their priorities are. So if he can get those guys on voting rights, for example, maybe he will give a little bit on infrastructure.
So we have yet to see what kind of deal he's going to cut, that's why he's going to meet with Shelley Moore Capito today, who is leading this moderate group of Republicans to figure out where they are. So I think there's a chessboard here, and he's got to figure out what his next moves are on what particular issue, because they are all coming together kind of at the same time.
CABRERA: You mentioned how former President Trump has the strong hold still over his party, and there's this new reporting from The New York Times Maggie Haberman that former President Trump is telling people that he expects to be reinstated as president by August. I mean, he lost fair and square, so this is just yet another lie, but these lies are dangerous. Look no further than the deadly insurrection attempt. Do you think he really believes this?
BORGER: Far be it for me to tell you what is in Donald Trump's head, but I don't know what he really believes. I know that he wants to feed the base of the party which supports him, and those group of supporters that are cheering on Michael Flynn and that group.
Does Donald Trump really believe this or is he trying to raise money off of it, it's hard to tell. It's hard for me to say whether this is just another fundraising ploy from the president, but I think you have to take it seriously. Because no matter what Donald Trump believes or doesn't believe, it's dangerous. It is dangerous.
CABRERA: I have to wonder -- I do wonder though if it's about money and power or if it has anything to do with the ongoing investigations and potential prosecution.
BORGER: But at the very base of it, what he's talking about is a coup. What he's talking about is a coup. Whether he believes it or he doesn't believe it, this is what his supporters are saying. And if Donald Trump is whispering this to anybody, whether he believes it or not, it doesn't make it any less dangerous.
CABRERA: Yes, you have to take it seriously. Gloria Borger, thank you and good to see you.
BORGER: Thanks, good to see you.
CABRERA: And we have this just in. We are told when President Biden speaks with Vladimir Putin, he will address this week's cyber attack on the U.S. food supply, which is being blamed on Russian hackers. Government officials issuing a new warning to all U.S. businesses after this latest ransomware attack hit JBS, that is the world's largest meat producer, nine major plants shutdown.
So what does it mean for meat prices? Beef, chicken, pork prices already sky high.
CNN Senior National Security Correspondent Alex Marquardt is here. Alex, first, it was Colonial Pipeline, now JBS, and now this warning to all the U.S. businesses.
Just how common are these types of attacks and what is the government asking businesses to do now?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Ana, it's extremely common. Cybersecurity officials and experts talk about it like it's an epidemic. It happens daily across all sectors, across all industries. We hear about it most often when it hits major critical infrastructure companies, like Colonial Pipeline, or like JBS Foods, but this also hits hospitals, for example, it hits schools and school districts.
And I was just speaking with a cybersecurity expert who says there's new term schools these days. It's called a cyber day when schools are hit and they have to go offline and they can't carry out classes. So that just gives you a sense of how common it is.
We also heard about another ransomware attack today from a ferry company up in Massachusetts. The Steamship Authority, which has ferries that go out to the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, they say that their operations were impacted today.
So it is really across all sectors and across all industries. So now we have the cyber arm of the Department of Homeland Security coming out and speaking to that. They said, and I'm going read part of the statement that they put out just a short time ago. They say that the threat of ransomware continues to be severe. Ransomware can affect any organization in any sector of the economy. All organizations should urgently review our available resources and implement best practices to protect their networks from these types of affect.
So, essentially, Ana, the Biden administration has been asking repeatedly and continues to ask in the wake of this JBS attack for private companies, particularly those who operate in the critical infrastructure sectors, to harden up, to modernize their cyber defenses to make it much harder for these types to go after these countries.
We have heard from JBS. They say that most of their operations, the vast majority, they say, will be up and running again today. That is after, as you mentioned, nine of their beef production facilities, all nine of them here in the U.S., did shutdown after what they called an organized cyber attack, which the Biden administration has blamed on cyber criminals in Russia.
We should -- that's the differentiation from the government hackers, which do go after -- which carry out their own series of attacks. But it is notable because what the Biden administration is essentially saying here is that the Russian government has responsibility over these criminals because they are operating out of Russia. Ana?
CABRERA: Right. And we know that this, again, is something that the president plans to bring up with President Putin of Russia when they meet just in a couple weeks. Alex Marquardt, thank you for your reporting.
A whole new level of horror. Listen to this. A 12-year-old boy, a 14- year-old girl getting into a shootout with deputies in Florida in a new explosion of gun violence overnight.
Plus, why now? The Federal Election Commission finally hits the publisher of The National Enquirer with a fine, years after the tabloid paid illegal hush money about to woman claiming an affair with then-candidate Donald Trump.
And free beers for shots, how Budweiser is now trying to help President Biden reach his July 4th vaccination goal.
CABRERA: Another explosion of gun violence leaving a disturbing trail of carnage across the country. Overnight in Springfield, Ohio, at least six people were injured in a shooting at a party. Police are still searching for a suspect.
In California, a grisly seen yesterday after an off duty firefighter shoots two fellow firefighters killing one, the suspect later found dead at his home as it burned. In Florida, a furious manhunt still underway for suspects who sprayed bullets into a crowd early Sunday. And we have new video of that moment when the gunman opened fire. A warning, it is disturbing.
This video was posted by onlydade.com. You can see bystanders scrambling there for cover. And this shooting killed two and injured at least 23. One of the survivors is speaking out after getting shot multiple times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KA'DEDRA THOMAS, HIALEAH SHOOTING SURVIVOR: It really felt like I was in a movie.
To see people dropping like that, it was females and people like me that had nothing to do with it, and he's shooting a whole crowd of people, that's wicked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And nearby in Miami Beach, a shooting Monday night left two people injured near the popular Prime 112 Steakhouse. Rapper DaBaby was questions and released. And now, a member of his entourage has been arrested and charged with attempted murder.
But perhaps the most shocking new episode of gun violence came last night near Orlando. Law enforcement officials say a 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy opened fire on police sparking a gunfight that left that girl shot twice and fighting for her life.
CNN's Leyla Santiago joins us now with the latest. Leyla, what do we know about this incident involving children?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, 12 and 14 years old, let that sink in for a minute, Ana. Just in the last few minutes, we've heard that the sheriff will be having a press conference at 4:00. So in the next few hours, we are hoping to have body cam footage as well as helicopter video that will give us a better understanding of exactly how this went down.
But let me tell you what the sheriff said happen. He says this 12 and 14-year-old ran away from a foster home and broke into a home that had guns inside. When police -- excuse me, when deputies approached, they were fired upon multiple times, tried to de-escalate, according to the sheriff. At one point, the 14-year-old threatened to kill a sergeant on scene.
And we also know that the sheriff says that they were firing from multiple parts of the house leaving deputies to hide only behind trees. There were eight deputies involved, none of them were injured.
But I got to tell you, one of the things that really stuck with me watching the sheriff talk was his tone. He is angry, he is critical of the juvenile justice, and he is questioning the future of law enforcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF MIKE CHITWOOD, VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA: Can you imagine the firepower in that home in the hands of 12 and 14-year-olds that want to threaten -- and they opened fire us and come out and defy us to shoot them because they were going to kill deputies. This is something I have never seen in 35 years of policing. And I'm sad to say, and thank God my career is starting to come to an end because I don't know what the future of law enforcement looks like in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTIAGO: So what do we know about the conditions of the two children involved? Well, the 12-year-old, according to the sheriff, is a severe diabetic, so he was treated for injuries related to that. But he is expected to be okay.
And as you mentioned, Ana, at last check, the status of the 14-year- old girl, we're told that she is fighting for her life. Ana?
CABRERA: Leyla Santiago in Miami, it's so disturbing, thank you.
Finally paying the price, the Federal Election Commission fines the publisher of The National Enquirer over hush money paid to a woman claiming an affair with then-candidate Donald Trump. Why now?
CABRERA: Any moment now, President Biden will address the nation where he is expected to issue a rallying cry for America and deem June a national month of action to get more people vaccinated by July 4th. Biden wants at least 70 percent of adults at least partially vaccinated by then, but can he do it?
CNN Senior Political Writer and Analyst Harry Enten is here to show us the numbers. Harry, where do we stand as a country right now?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: So we are not at 70 percent yet. Where we are with adults at this point is just south of 63 percent, so at 62.8 percent of adults with at least one dose. To give you an idea in the real numbers, and that's 162 million. That's a lot of adults.
This is a very strong campaign that we're doing, but, of course, we see major differences by states, right? So what do we see across the nation at this particular point? We see that certain parts of the country, basically in New England and then in California and New Mexico, you see that green on your screen, that's 70 percent-plus of adults with at least one dose who have already met that goal that Biden set, but that's only 12 states.
Then you see those states in yellow, 65 to 69.9 percent, again, that's on the west coast and in New York and Virginia as well and a few states in Midwest, those are the states I think that will get close to the 70 percent-plus goal by July 4th. They will probably make it.
But look at all that red, under 65 percent. Those states at this point, a lot of red states in the south particularly are not likely to reach that 70 percent goal if the current rates keep up.
CABRERA: That is the majority of states in the U.S. that you just showed us red right now, Harry. What is it going to take to get to that goal of 70 percent of adults with at least one vaccine dose by July 4th?
ENTEN: We're going to need a strong campaign. That's what it's going to take. Because at this particular point, the weekly rate that we need from this point forward is about 1.5 percent of adults each week, new adults that need to get at least get a new dose -- to get their first dose, excuse me. This last week, only 1.2 percent of adults, new adults, got their first dose, so that's short.
But what I should point out is that two weeks ago, it was 1.6, so we were on the right path two weeks ago. And even three weeks ago, it was 1.5 percent, matching basically the rate that we needed. So what we need to do is figure out a way to boost that campaign, boost those number of doses back to where we were two or three weeks ago, because what we did in the last week simply won't cut it, Ana.
CABRERA: Yes. As we that drop-off, it doesn't seem significant. It seems like just 0.3 of a percentage point but that does make a difference in the long run. I know you're going to stay on top of it for us. We will check back with you as the days and weeks go on. Thanks, Harry.
ENTEN: Thank you.
CABRERA: And now, I want to bring in Dr. Leana Wen. She is a CNN Medical Analyst and the former Baltimore health commissioner.
Dr. Wen, as we await the president, who is set to speak any moment, we are told this is going to be a rallying cry. What does that sound like?
DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think it sounds like telling people this is the time to get vaccinated, that if you are vaccinated, you are extremely well protected from getting coronavirus, but if you are not, you are still at high risks. And, look, we have almost 600,000 Americans who have died from COVID. Let's prevent the next people from dying.
I also think that the president will be laying out even more steps on making vaccinations the easy and convenient choice, trying to eliminate all barriers, making sure people know that this is free. He has already announced the partnerships to make transportation available and we expect that he is also going to be announcing child care initiatives and other things that employers can be doing to facilitate vaccination.
All of these are really, really important steps.