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GOP Investigation in Michigan Rejects Trump's Election Lies; Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) Discusses Democrats Sharpley Divided on Filibuster, Path Forward on Key Issues & Biden Soon to Announce Gun Crime Prevention Strategy; World Watching Highly-Anticipated Britney Spears Court Hearing on Conservatorship. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired June 23, 2021 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Today, a major blow to former President Trump's big election lie delivered by Senate Republicans in Michigan, who, in a 35-page report, rejected Trump's bogus claims the election was somehow stolen.
CNN political director, David Chalian, is following this for us.
David, 35 pages debunking all of these lies. What can you tell us?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. There's the 35-page report.
What basically this committee, this Republican-led committee out of the State Senate in Michigan comes to the conclusion that, quote, "It found no evidence of widespread or systemic fraud in Michigan's prosecution of the 2020 election."
No evidence of widespread fraud.
Now, this is key, this deep dive into this. Not only is it obviously key to debunk President Trump and his allies and the conspiracy theories. But there were some that grew so large.
You may remember, Ana, that there was a lot of focus in November and December and beyond, one of Sidney Powell's lawsuits dealt with this Antrim County, Michigan, and the Dominion Voting Systems.
And Donald Trump was tweeting that 68 percent of the vote was mis- tabulated.
All of which is demonstrably proven false here in this report, again, a Republican-led report by the Michigan State Senate.
CABRERA: David Chalian, thank you.
CABRERA: That was important to get in there. Another state pushing back.
Let's go back to Washington now and the current administration. Republicans aren't the only problem for President Biden's agenda. Progressive Democrats are signaling they could throw in some roadblocks, too.
CABRERA: Right now, the rift within the Democratic Party over how to tackle key agenda items is at an inflection point.
President Biden now facing growing calls to put bipartisanship aside and take more forceful action as Senate Republicans strike down voting reform and disrupt several key plans.
I want to bring in Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.
Thanks for joining us.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): Aloha, Ana.
CABRERA: First, voting reform. Republicans blocked it. What's next? What's your best path forward?
HIRONO: The best path forward is that if you don't have the Republicans and Democrats at least wanting to get on the page in terms of protecting people's rights to vote, which is where the Democrats are, and the Republicans want nothing to do with it, where is the compromise there?
So I think as we go forward with this as well as so many other key issues that the American people want us to tackle and get done, we are facing the need for filibuster reform.
And then to proceed with reconciliation as a way to get all of the other important things done.
CABRERA: Yes --
HIRONO: Just as we had to do for the American Rescue Plan.
CABRERA: But you don't even have all Democrats on board when it comes to the filibuster reform.
Some of your progressive colleagues in the House have expressed frustration with President Biden, saying he's not doing enough, specifically on voting.
Do you think the president has done enough, yes or no?
HIRONO: Why don't we talk about -- I would be more focused on the need for all of us in the Senate, in particular, to come to the conclusion that, unless we do filibuster reform, we're not going to be able to move ahead with protecting a fundamental right to vote.
So my hope is that all of my Democratic colleagues will -- some of them will need to change their minds. That is my hope.
But in the meantime
HIRONO: Excuse me?
CABRERA: Please, go ahead.
HIRONO: But in the meantime, there are votes coming up and the state legislative races, et cetera, because it is the state legislatures all across the country, sadly, that are enacting all of these voter suppression laws.
So everything in regard to protecting voting rights doesn't happen in the Senate, that there's a lot going on in the state legislatures and by many Republican governors.
So there's a lot that we need to be doing. And my hope is that we will be able to change the appropriate minds regarding filibuster reform.
Unless we're going to wait around for the Republicans to suddenly decide that they actually should be protecting people's rights to vote as opposed to tearing away their rights to vote. What I call stealing our votes.
CABRERA: Some Democratic lawmakers are actually threatening to block the president's key infrastructure legislation if voting reform isn't resolved first.
Rep. Mondaire Jones telling CNN, "I can't imagine having a vote on an infrastructure bill before resolving the issue of whether we will continue to have a democracy."
Is it a red line for you? Would you vote against a bipartisan infrastructure bill over this?
HIRONO: There's no question that an infrastructure bill that really meets the infrastructure needs of our country, which, by the way, is not the current compromise plan, not to mention the concerns of the pay for.
This is not an either/or proposition.
The infrastructure bill, as well as the American Families Bill Act, need to go through so that we can get our families and our country back to some level of normalcy.
At the same time, we need to continue to push for the voting rights bill and the John Lewis voting rights bill. All of these things need to be happening at the same time. I would say there are a lot of moving parts. And as far as I'm
concerned, I'm going to continue to push for all of it.
Now, as far as infrastructure, I am very much a supporter of Joe Biden's infrastructure plan.
I am open to some movement there if we can get agreement that the other parts of the American Jobs Plan, which is the American Families Plan, goes through also.
So I'm keeping an open mind on the American Jobs Plan. That includes infrastructure as well as the family plan.
CABRERA: Why do you think -- you've said Democrats may be doomed if you don't get through some of these agenda items by the president that he's put forward to help American families.
But you still have people like Manchin and Sinema and Kelly and others, who are key Senators, that give the Democrats the majority in the Senate.
And they're the ones who are pushing back right now on Democrats just ramming these agenda items through. They represent more moderate, maybe even conservative constituents.
So why do you think what progressive Democrats want is what the country wants?
HIRONO: Because it happens to be the case that the country wants their roads to be protected. The country wants us to move on with infrastructure. The country wants common-sense gun safety legislation. The country wants to protect essential workers.
These are all things that the country wants. And they have an expectation we are going to get these things done.
So I was expressing my sense of urgency about getting these things done. If we don't, then we certainly raise the potential for losing the House and Senate.
And I don't want to get there, of course. That is why I am pushing so hard for us to get these things done.
If we have to do it by reconciliation, as we did to get the American Rescue Plan done, then that's what we ought to do.
So there's a lot of discussions and debates still going on. I'm not ready to throw in the hat or bang people over their heads. We need to come to a meeting of the minds on --
CABRERA: Let's turn --
HIRONO: We, Democrats.
CABRERA: Let's turn to the spate of violence and crime happening across the country.
The president is set to address this today. Republicans aren't going to let voters forget the calls by some Democrats to defund the police.
Does your party need to do more on the messaging front to prove they are not soft on crime?
HIRONO: The fact that we've never taken the position as a party that we should defund the police.
I am a progressive Democrat. I have never said we should defund the police.
Clearly, there are a lot of things we need to do on the law enforcement side, including, by the way, addressing the rise in domestic violent extremism and the prevalence of gun violence that is occurring on a way, way too regular basis in our country.
And yet, we can't get even the most basic gun legislation through. Why? Because there are so many Republicans who won't go there.
So these are all areas we need to focus on using facts. And the fact is that there's a rise and concern about domestic extremism in our country. And we better face up to that.
CABRERA: That is true. But that's not what is driving crime all around the country right now when you're talking about murders and burglaries and car/vehicle thefts and other forms of crime that communities are experiencing and are grappling with right now.
Are you overlooking those types of crimes?
HIRONO: Not at all. That is why the Democrats do not stand for defunding police.
The police have a major role to play, especially community policing and reducing the incidents of violence and crime in our communities.
But it is a multifaceted issue and concerns and that's how we should approach it. It is not all about let's just get tough on crime.
And at the same time, by the way, I note that as we look at creating a commission to find out what really happened with the tremendous violence that happened on January 6th, you have a whole bunch of Republicans who don't even want to go there.
So they need to address the criminal situation, the crime situation.
It has to do with sensible gun legislation. It has to do with increasing community policing. And looking at those things that really make a difference.
Not to mention some root causes of crime in our country, which also has to do, I would say, with the fact that there are lots of people who lost their jobs and are having a very hard time. That is no excuse to turn to crime. CABRERA: Right.
HIRONO: But clearly, it's not as though the Republicans have a handle on all of this. They do not. In fact, they are quite to the contrary in my view.
CABRERA: Senator Mazie Hirono, I really appreciate you taking the time.
CABRERA: Thank you.
HIRONO: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: It has been 13 years since pop icon, Britney Spears, was in charge of her personal life or her finances. Today, she breaks her silence in court.
CABRERA: Free Britney. You have heard that rallying cry from her fans. And today, we hear from the pop icon herself in court.
CNN's Chloe Melas has the details.
Chloe, fill us in.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Hey, Ana. It's a very big day when it comes to Britney Spears conservatorship. For the very first time, Britney is going to address the court publicly.
She has had this conservatorship since 2008. That's 13 years. Many are wondering, what could Britney say? We will find out very soon.
But members of the Free Britney movement and conservatorship attorneys tell me that she may ask the judge to terminate the conservatorship entirely or perhaps get a new attorney since her current attorney is court appointed.
Or maybe just ask for some basic, everyday freedoms since many believe that this conservatorship, which has lasted more than a decade, is incredibly restrictive.
But I just want to point out, Ana, no one ever, Britney Spears herself or anyone in her inner circle or her family, has ever filed an actual court petition to terminate this conservatorship.
So even after her legal battle is over between her and her father, on this $60 million estate, this conservatorship will continue for the foreseeable future.
So it could -- maybe Britney may move to terminate it today. We will just have to wait and see.
CABRERA: There's so much mystery over this conservatorship. It will be interesting to see what she says.
Thank you, Chloe, for that preview.
And thank you all for joining me. I'll see you back here tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter, @AnaCabrera.
The news continues next with Alisyn and Victor.