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Biden Meets with Sen. Capito; Manchin Opposes Voting Bill; Brooks Served with Lawsuit; Violent Weekend in U.S.; Two Arrested in Chicago Shooting. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired June 7, 2021 - 09:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: To really open their eyes.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And also, you know, the fact that she hasn't really been contacted by the Manhattan DA and that investigation when that was the basis of launching the investigation to begin with, that's interesting.

KEILAR: Yes. It's fascinating. Great interview, Berman.

BERMAN: Thank you.

KEILAR: And CNN's coverage continues right now with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good Monday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto.

POPPY HARLOW, CAN: We're glad you're with us. I'm Poppy Harlow.

A $700 billion divide and no closer to a deal on infrastructure it appears this morning. Concerns brewing in the White House as the president and Senate Republicans struggle to really find that common ground on this. Soon, President Biden will meet again with top Republican negotiator Shelley Moore Capito after rejecting their Republican counterproposal on Friday.

And while some Democrats cast doubt on those talks, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is still hopeful, confident, he says, a bipartisan deal on this can be reached. This comes as he makes it abundantly clear in a new op-ed over the weekend that he will not support sweeping voting legislation, the For the People Act, or move to eliminate the filibuster.

SCIUTTO: Yes, he does actually support the Voting Rights Act, another less ambitious plan.

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: We'll see where that goes. And we will have more on that. Plus this, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney publically shaming her

GOP colleagues, calling out Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as well as former President Trump, for lying about the 2020 election and downplaying the violent January 6th insurrection.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): There was no question who was responsible then. But -- but then, of course, Kevin McCarthy decided to go to Mar- a-Lago at the end of January and -- and I think that -- that was a real moment where it became clear we weren't going to be able to move forward and focus on substance and policy because we had leaders who were embracing the president who had just been impeached.


SCIUTTO: And remember Mitch McConnell said at the time you didn't need to impeach because there would be other ways to investigate. Of course now he stood out against a bipartisan commission to investigate.

CNN's national -- chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny, he is at the White House this morning.

And, Jeff, help us understand the actual mathematical difference between the president's -- the Democrats' offer and the Republicans' offer. Because when you break it down in the new spending, the gap remains wide.


The gap does remain very wide on new spending and that is what is at issue here. We do know there is going to be another conversation with President Biden and the lead Republican negotiator, the West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito. I'm told that is likely to be this afternoon here at the White House. The president will be speaking with her about the latest offer or volley back and forth.

But look right here at these numbers. This is how far they are apart. The president has gone down in his plan from 2.25 trillion to 1.4 trillion. Republicans have gone up in their offer, if you will, up to 928 billion. But the difference is still very wide on new spending.

The Republican plan largely wants to reallocate spending already in the books. President Biden says no. This is called the American Jobs Plan for a reason. His economic agenda is really tied to all of this, wanting to remake and reshape the American economy through certainly rebuilding roads and bridges, but doing much more than that, reshaping the safety net, as well.

So the bottom line here is, they are far apart. We will get more of a sense if they are going to be able to reach a deal or if Democrats will be going it alone. And, of course, Senator Joe Manchin, who we've been talking about, is at the center of all of this. These bipartisan negotiations are part of, you know, bringing him along. He wants there to be a bipartisan deal. But if not, he could still very much support something that this president does. So we'll keep our eye on this here this week. That phone call coming later today.

Jim and Poppy.

HARLOW: OK. Jeff Zeleny at the White House, thanks a lot.


HARLOW: Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, you heard a little bit of it before, she is now calling former President Trump's actions ahead of the Capitol riot the most dangerous thing, that is a quote, a president has ever done.

SCIUTTO: Cheney likens Trump's continued election lies, keep in mind, he's still sharing them to his followers, to rhetoric from the Chinese Communist Party. This after she was voted out of GOP leadership, you may remember, for simply rejecting the big lie.

CNN's Lauren Fox joins us now from Capitol Hill.

Lauren, Cheney's next steps here, to keep speaking out for sure. Where do her ambitions lie?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, remember, she's removed from leadership at this point. She's facing primary challenges back home in the state of Wyoming, a conservative state that voted for former President Trump overwhelmingly in the 2020 election. Liz Cheney, though, finding her stride as someone up here on Capitol Hill who is willing to break with Trump on every turn and now willing to break also with Republican leadership, including the top Republican in the House, Kevin McCarthy.


This is what Cheney said when she found out that McCarthy went to Mar- a-Lago just a couple of weeks after the January 6th insurrection.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): I think what Donald Trump did is the most dangerous thing, the most egregious violation of an oath of office of any president in our history. And so the idea that a few weeks after he did that, the leader of the Republicans in the House would be at Mar-a-Lago essentially, you know, pleading with him to somehow, you know, come back into the fold or whatever it was he was doing to me was inexcusable.


FOX: And Liz Cheney clearly staking out her position here as someone who is not going to sit down and be quiet in the Republican conference, but instead really views herself as someone who should be the conscious of where the party should move.

I should also note that this was a newsy interview in which she said that, you know, she knew some of her colleagues on that second vote over impeachment voted not to impeach the former president because they were afraid about security for themselves and their families.

I think that that is something that has really overshadowed the dynamics up here on Capitol Hill. You know, you have metal detectors go into the House chamber at this point. I thought that that point was another salient one made by Cheney as part of this wide-ranging interview.

Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: No question.

Lauren Fox, on The Hill, thanks so much.

Joining us now to speak about all this, and there's a lot, Jonathan Swan, national political reporter for "Axios."

Jonathan, good to have you back on this morning.


SCIUTTO: So Joe Manchin is very much in the center of things right now on these issues, infrastructure, voting rights, you name it. I just wonder, if he becomes seen as standing in the way more and more of key Democratic priorities, including ones with broad, bipartisan support, such as infrastructure, is he at risk of overplaying his political hand?

SWAN: Well, that's a sort of -- that's a separate question. Manchin actually has all the cards in his hands. He's very safe. And one of the -- the big frustrations for progressive Democrats on Capitol Hill is that they have no leverage over Manchin. There's no credible threat to him, you know, in West Virginia for a primary challenge. He's in a state that Donald Trump won by 30, 40 points. He's a sort of unicorn Democrat in that state. So that's why he's in this very, very powerful position with an effective veto over all legislations.

So what you're seeing right now among Democrats on Capitol Hill is this sort of bursting out of emotion and anger because they can't actually move him. He's completely impervious to political pressure. And the anger is really starting to bubble out. It's been sort of simmering below the surface for the last few months and it's just exploding now, mostly over this issue of voting rights.

HARLOW: Well, I mean, just case in point is the Congressman Mondaire Jones tweet, right, I mean saying that Manchin's op-ed might as well be titled why I vote to preserve Jim Crow. That about a fellow Democrat.

I thought your take, Jonathan, was really smart about the progressive dam about to break. Aside from the anger and emotion of it, what can they do? It sounds like you're saying nothing.

SWAN: Yes, that's the challenge they have. And, look, just to put that tweet in -- I mean it's an astonishing tweet and it really signals where things are heading. Mondaire Jones, one of the most prominent, young progressives in the

House, congressman from New York, many people view him as someone on the rise. And he came out and -- and directly linked Joe Manchin to some of the most odious and racist laws in American history. That kind of intraparty rhetoric is another level and is really signaling where this is heading.

There's -- the next sort of stage in this is what I'm hearing when I talk to House progressives, that they really want to put pressure on Joe Biden to use his presidential bully pulpit to squeeze Manchin and put -- hammer Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to support this voting rights bill. That's really all they've got. It's just cohesion and pressure and rhetoric because nothing else -- he holds all the cards.


Jonathan, so we know Biden prefers a bipartisan path. He remembers working with Republicans during his own time in the Senate. We also know that Democrats believe that voters, swing voters, prefer a bipartisan path on a lot of issues, including infrastructure.

I just wonder, given where Washington is today, and steps we saw taken by Republicans, name a couple Supreme Court justices, and how that -- how that went down but also the 2017 tax cut again through reconciliation, no Democratic votes.


I mean are they remembering, you know, a historical Washington that doesn't exist anymore today?

SWAN: No question. The Washington that Joe Biden grew up in and he legislated in doesn't exist. And I remember on the campaign trail he kept using this phrase, he said, Republicans are going to have an epiphany.


SWAN: It was absurd. It was completely absurd. It was never going to happen. And, you know, he did say, give me a chance. You know, you guys have written me off before. And, fair enough, like a lot of people didn't expect Joe Biden to win the election.

He, obviously, was underestimated. But the idea that he could come into Washington and fundamentally change the dynamics of Washington through sheer force of his personality and sort of LBJ, you know, arm stroking or whatever LBJ did, I mean it was never going to happen. And he's been confronted with that now. Very startling (ph).

HARLOW: Jonathan Swan, you warn us, don't try to read the tea leaves on Joe Manchin, as we try to read the tea leaves with you on Joe Manchin. So thanks for letting us do that.

SWAN: Yes.

HARLOW: Good to have you.

SWAN: Yes. Thank you. Thanks so much.

HARLOW: Well, Republican Congressman Mo Brooks has now been served with a lawsuit over the January 6th insurrection. That lawsuit filed by fellow Congressman Democrat Eric Swalwell seeing to hold Brooks partially personally, Jim, accountable for the attack.

SCIUTTO: Yes, it's a tactic Democrats have attempted with several Republican lawmakers.

Whitney Wild following this story for us.

So, Whitney, has the court been formally notified Brooks has been served and then what happens next?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, when we were reporting this story over the weekend, the court had not yet been notified, but that is virtually imminent. I mean it's 9:00 a.m. now. So your expectation is that the court's going to be notified really any minute.

Mo Brooks has now 21 days to respond to this lawsuit. The attorney for Eric Swalwell was on CNN's NEW DAY. Here's what he had to say about the lawsuit.


PHIL ANDONIAN, ATTORNEY FOR REP. ERIC SWALWELL: He'll make whatever arguments he's going to make. But, again, we are confident that Mo Brooks' speech at the rally, which he implored people to kick ass, take names and alluded to people dying for former President Trump, we fully anticipated those claims are going to go forward and we looking forward -- we look forward to hold him accountable for his role in this deadly insurrection.


WILD: One of multiple lawsuits trying to tie the words that people said to the actual crime of the -- what ended up being this insurrection on Capitol Hill. So trying to make that connection, Jim and Poppy. But a significant moment here in this lawsuit after a back and forth because the accusation was that Representative Brooks had been sort of dodging it but now he's officially been served.

HARLOW: What about this new video appearing to show an Oregon state lawmaker explaining to rioters how to get inside the state building?

WILD: Right. This is another really big story we're following today. Republican Representative Mike Nearman is an Oregon state lawmaker who is accused of allowing protesters into the closed state capital building while lawmakers were debating COVID-19 restrictions.

New this morning, he's seen in video appearing to give insights on how to access the capital. The video, which is being reported by the Oregon Public Broadcasting, is posted on YouTube with a stamp that says it was streamed December 16, 2020. The 78-minute video shows Nearman speaking to an unidentified audience about steps to take to set up, quote, Operation Hall Pass.

Now, it's not clear in the video if he knows that he's being recorded. Nearman was eventually charged with misconduct and trespassing. He hasn't yet entered a plea in those charges. And his attorney did not have a comment about this new video, Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: We need to be clear because we showed two clips of video. You see him speaking about it, appearing to say, here's how to get in. But there's this other CCTV video, is there not, show him opening the door, is that correct?

WILD: Right. So there's the -- right, there's these two competing videos. That is the CCTV video. And the accusation here was that he was leaving -- you know, he's leaving the building and that's when these protesters were able to sort of run in there and then had this altercation with law enforcement.

But this new video he's giving, you know, a phone number, which CNN has figured out was his phone number and it's all of this sort of -- I think what he thinks is linguistic gymnastics to somehow absolve himself of any responsibility because he says things like, well, if I were to give you a phone number, it would be this, but I didn't give you the phone number. So a little hard to give any credence to that.


WILD: However, you know, the video, again, 78 minutes, being reported by the Oregon Public Broadcasting. So we'll see how this shakes out, too, Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Believe your eyes and your ears, I suppose.

Whitney Wild, thanks very much.

Still to come this hour, another American weekend scarred by gun violence. At least seven -- seven mass shootings across the country. No end in sight. The numbers are going up.

And new overnight, arrests made in a road rage shooting in California that you may remember left a six-year-old little boy dead.


We'll have the latest on those arrests, next.

HARLOW: Also, vaccinations in the U.S. are falling pretty sharply, putting President Biden's July 4th goal of vaccinating 70 percent of American adults in jeopardy.

A lot going on this morning. Stay with us.


HARLOW: More Americans died from gun violence in weekend as the number of mass shootings in this country just keeps going up and up and up. At least six people were killed and 43 others were injured in at least 9 different mass shootings across the country.

SCIUTTO: Yes, all sorts of gun violence increasing.

Plus, a second major incident in the Miami area in less than a week there.


Three people killed Saturday night outside a graduation party. Headlines sadly familiar.

CNN's Natasha Chen has more on what really is a wave sweeping the nation.

Natasha, tell us what the numbers show here. And when you're speaking to law enforcement, what they assign as blame for this.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim and Poppy, I mean just talking about numbers, looking at the one on the side of our screen there, 253 mass shootings since the beginning of the year. And, you know, that's and a number for sure. But think about how many families that is suffering right now with the loss of loved ones, with loved ones recovering from gunshot wounds.

And we're talking about mass shootings where at least four people are shot in one incident. And like you said, a number of those happened this weekend. We can show you the map again of where those happened this past weekend.

From Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, in Chicago, at least five killed, 40 wounded. A Friday shooting in Fruitport, Michigan. Saturday, in Indianapolis and Maury, outside of Baltimore. On Sunday in New Orleans, St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Cleveland. And then very early this morning in Miami-Dade County, a separate incident from the one you just talked about, a domestic incident where two people were killed, including a 15-year-old boy.

Here's the mayor of Miami-Dade County talking about how they're addressing this gun violence.


MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA (D), MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: This is a national phenomenon as we're emerging from the pandemic. We are seeing an increase in gunshots, gun -- murders all across the country. Unfortunately, we've not been spared.

We're sparing nothing to bring together all of our law enforcement agencies and our community as well to make sure that we identify possible places for violence, that we crack down and find the shooters, bring them to justice and send the message.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHEN: Now, these two incidents in Miami-Dade County come a week after a Memorial Day shooting where more than 20 people were shot. We were there to cover that. And we just saw the pain from the father of one of the people killed there and the county police director at the time told us there are additional challenges today in combatting gun violence, compared to maybe a couple of decades ago.

He said two things. One, that the culture of not snitching and, two, the existence of social media where people are posting perhaps inflammatory things and exacerbating tensions and causing people to want to retaliate with violence.

Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Interesting. So many factors here. Definitely worth delving into more.

Natasha Chen, thanks very much.

SCIUTTO: Well, a major development in the investigation of a suspected road rage shooting in California. One of the saddest stories we've covered in recent weeks, and there are a lot of them. This one killed this six year old little boy.

HARLOW: His name, Aiden Anthony Leos, was hit by gunfire last month while just sitting in his booster seat as his mother drove him to kindergarten.

Let's go to CNN's Josh Campbell in Los Angeles this morning.

And, Josh, you can't help -- you know, I think my daughter has always said, when am I going to be old enough for my booster, mom? And here Aiden was just gold enough for his booster seat. And look at that, on the way to school.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right and it shows you that this is yet another place in America that is no longer safe, on a freeway taking your child to school. That, of course, happening last month, that incident, suspected road rage is what authorities are saying.

But a major development over the weekend. The California Highway Patrol announcing that two people have been taken into custody, Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24 years old, and 23 year old Wynne Lee, were arrested by authorities. They are expected to be charged with murder.

Now, CNN is attempting to locate attorney information for both of them.

But, again, you know, just describe this sad incident. You have a mother driving down the freeway taking her kid to school. Aiden was sitting in a booster seat. There was what authorities say the suspected road rage incident. Someone in another vehicle opened fire. Aiden was hit and later died at the hospital.

Now, that started a massive investigation lead by the California Highway Patrol. The head of that agency speaking out after this arrest. I'll read a portion of her statement, saying that, while these arrests will not ease the pain of a mother's loss, my hope is for the Leos family to have some peace of mind and to rest assured the CHP will work with the Orange County District Attorney to bring justice for Aiden.

Now, over the weekend, there was a memorial service being held. Members of the community coming out. We heard from some of the family members of Aiden speaking out about this incredible little boy.

Take a listen.


JOANNA CLOONAN, AIDEN'S MOTHER: Everywhere we went he would greet people with a vibrant, hello, I'm Aiden, what's your name?

ALEXIS CLOONAN, AIDEN'S SISTER: This is the worst pain I've ever gone through in my life. But knowing that he's happy, dancing in heaven right now, away from the pain and suffering of the world, helps me get up every day.


CAMPBELL: Now, we continue to see, you know, as Natasha just mentioned, this gun violence over and over. You can see the numbers on the side of the screen. That due, of course, to the prevalence of guns that we see in this country. Finally, you know, I'll note that on Friday night there was a controversial riling here in the state of California by a federal judge overturning this state's assault weapons ban.


Now, gun rights groups have celebrated that. Gun control groups have said that this is an abomination. We continue to see so much violence. And, of course, you just have to wonder, and this incident -- this incident with Aiden Leos, if the suspects had had a gun -- or a knife versus a gun he would probably still be alive. Of course, that judge in that ruling came out comparing firearms to knives. That causing so much controversy.

Poppy. Jim.



HARLOW: Yes, like a Swiss army knife, the actual quote from that federal judge.

CAMPBELL: Right. Yes.

HARLOW: We'll talk more about that with a California lawmaker ahead.

Josh Campbell, in Los Angeles, thank you. CAMPBELL: Thanks.

HARLOW: Still ahead, the infrastructure talks seemingly at a standstill again. Maybe there might be movement. The president is set to speak with the key Republican lead negotiator today, but how long will they wait?

SCIUTTO: And we are moments away from the opening bell on Wall Street. Futures relatively flat this morning after markets closed at near record levels last week. Another record, U.S. oil prices hit $70 a barrel on Sunday, that for the first time in three years. Demand's going up as the economy heats up. Average gas prices pushed above $3 a gallon on Sunday, up from about $2 a gallon a year ago. We are keeping an eye on all of it.

Stay with us.