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Obama Says Speed and Prevalence of Misinformation Worries Me; Interview with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) Infrastructure Package Deal and Reconciliation Bill; Researcher Says Sea Level Near Surfside Building Rose 7-8 Inches in Last 40 Years; Russian Court Denies Reed's Appeal of 9 Year Sentence; Gas Shortages and High Fuel Prices Ahead ff July the Fourth. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired June 29, 2021 - 15:30   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: I don't know what the solution is but I know that everyone has become more entrenched and it's gotten deadly.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: One of the words he's used recently is nationalization. I think that's a helpful way to think about it. As local news is hollowed out, as local politics get to more and more polarized, everything is being nationalized.

And he's identified that as part of the problem. It gets the media business structures. That's gets to way that our media is funded and how it's profitable to be polarized and fighting all the time. So again, he's pointing to those issues. I think he's doing it really well, but the solutions are structural. They are financial as well as psychological.

CAMEROTA: I mean, I was just pointing out -- we were just listening to President Biden's jobs plan. They weren't playing it on Fox. The very crowd, the MAGA crowd that wants to hear about no more outsourcing. You know, you don't need a college degree to have a well-paying job and they are not getting that information.

STELTER: And as a result polls show Republicans are so much more pessimistic about the economy. They may not be actually hearing the same information.

CAMEROTA: It's so frustrating. Brian, thank you very much.

STELTER: Thanks.

CAMEROTA: OK, now we want to bring in one of the lead Democrats fighting for a reconciliation bill to go along with that bipartisan infrastructure deal that President Biden was talking about today.

We have Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). She's the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Congresswoman, great to see you. So we covered President Biden's jobs

plan today. He sounds very enthusiastic about it. Is it accurate to say that you will not support it unless it's in tandem with that bigger reconciliation package of trillions more in other social programs?

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Well, it is absolutely correct to say that we are not going to support only the reconciliation package but we're looking -- oh, excuse me, the bipartisan package but we're looking forward to supporting both the bipartisan package and the reconciliation package together.

We have been clear about that for weeks now, Alisyn. We're not going to undermine the vision that the president laid out, the priorities that we as Democrats have campaigned on, around childcare and the care economy, around healthcare and Medicare expansion, around full climate action.

These are all critical priorities for us. And so we need to make sure that the reconciliation package has 50 votes in the Senate to move and then we are going to be delighted to vote for the two together.

CAMEROTA: But to be clear, you are willing to sacrifice the bipartisan infrastructure plan that President Biden talks quite enthusiastically about and has put a lot of work in if you don't get it in tandem with the other?

JAYAPAL: Yes. I mean there aren't the votes to just pass the bipartisan plan without the reconciliation plan. We've been clear about that. The Speaker has now been clear about that. The Senate Majority Leader has now been clear about that. We need to do them both. Because they both go together.

I understand there's some people that want to do a bipartisan plan. We had a meeting with the White House. It was a very productive meeting. I'm excited about what they have been able to negotiate into the bipartisan plan. We don't know all the contours. We still need to see those. But at the same time, we need to pass the reconciliation package with 50 Democratic votes. They have to go together. That is the only way that they're both going to pass.

CAMEROTA: You had that meeting with the White House today. What is the upshot of it? What did they promise you?

JAYAPAL: Well, it was just a very productive conversation for us to hear some more detail about how they are envisioning the two packages, about what is in the bipartisan package. That was very helpful to us because there are a number of priorities that are part of the jobs and families plan that are in the bipartisan package and that means we don't need to fund them through reconciliation.

So I think that was important for us to really understand and also to hear that the president is absolutely committed to doing both. And look, the president doesn't get to sign a bill unless we send him a bill. The Speaker has been extremely clear on the same message that the progressive caucus has had for six weeks now that there isn't going to be a bipartisan package unless there is a reconciliation package.

CAMEROTA: So press reports suggest that you're interested in an additional $6 to $10 trillion for these other social spending programs, the reconciliation program. As you know, Republicans say that's too much and some Democrats also say that's too much. It was just Joe Manchin was just on this weekend. He said he's eyeing $2 trillion for those things. So would you be willing to come down from the $6 trillion?

JAYAPAL: Well, the important thing to us is to really think about what are the priorities we want to deliver on? This is what we did with the rescue plan by the way. We didn't come to the number and then figure out what to do. We actually figured out what we wanted to provide and then we came to the number.

So that's what we're doing again. And obviously If we're funding something that's a priority in the bipartisan deal, it doesn't need to be in the reconciliation package. And so we don't have to put the money in there. So we're looking at all of these pieces to come up ultimately with what is it we want to deliver?


I know the five priorities. I know I want to deliver on Medicare expansion, on the care economy. I know I want to make sure that people have universal childcare, that we're taking on climate action, that we're addressing essential workers who are immigrants and that we're investing in housing. Those are the five things. And so now we're going to look what's already funded? What isn't funded that needs to go in reconciliation. The number will come out of that.

CAMEROTA: Understood. OK, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, thank you very much.

JAYAPAL: Thank you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK up next, we return to our coverage of the condo collapse in Florida. Officials say a close analysis is under way of everything, including the soil. How the environment could have contributed to this catastrophe, next.



CAMEROTA: The deadly condo collapse in Surfside, Florida will likely lead to changes in building construction and regulations in Florida. Earlier today Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced her plans to look at every possible factor that could have caused this collapse.


DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAYOR: I will be meeting with subject area experts from multiple relevant fields from engineering, to legal, to construction, to development, to soil, to geology to look closely at every possible angle on this issue related to building safety. So that my staff and I can develop a set of recommendations for changes that need to be made at all steps in the building process to ensure a tragedy like this will never ever happen again.


CAMEROTA: CNN's Tom Foreman joins me now. So Tom, is this disaster making everyone with beachfront property reassess their home structure?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it should be because the proximity to the water here absolutely has to be considered by the investigators.

Look, here is some concerns that people have for beachfront buildings in this country. Bear in mind, close to about 100 million Americans live in coastal communities. Rising sea levels, that's one of the concerns here.

A researcher out of the University of Miami has said he believes in this area sea level has risen six to seven to eight inches over the past 40 years.

Porous limestone soil level underneath. Think about it. When you're in this kind of area you don't just drill down with a piling and hit granite. You go very, very deep trying to find a firm footing for these buildings.

The ground water underneath all of this is able to surge based on the tides. There's a lot of movement. We heard a lot of talk about the question of movement below the soil by water and whether or not that was a contributing factor. And of course, gradual settling because of erosion, sinking surfaces around here.

Look, coastal areas are dynamic areas. The land itself is constantly changing. When we build towns and we build cities and put up buildings, we want them to be static. We want them to just sit there and be fine. But these areas are dynamic. Look at the photographs "The Miami Herald" had from just a couple of days before this. An inspector down underneath the ground next to this building -- not in the building.

But he was talking about spalling of the concrete. People talk about how much water could be found very often below this building, below the building next to it. Sometimes they didn't know where it came from. Sometimes from rain. Maybe sometimes from the water outside. They just didn't know.

All of these are questions that have to be looked at, Alisyn, because as I'm saying these are very dynamic areas where the environment itself is changing all the time.

And that raises questions of corrosion based on salt air, corrosion based on seawater, corrosion based on the humidity level. It's very different than building a house in the mountains and people do have to think about that. CAMEROTA: Tom Foreman, that's really helpful, thank you for showing us

all that.

So up next, the U.S. State Department is still fighting to get former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed out of a Russian prison. But yesterday, a Moscow court held up his nine year sentence. His parents are going to join us after this quick break.



CAMEROTA: The U.S. State Department says it's deeply troubled by a Russian court's decision to deny former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed's appeal of his nine-year prison sentence. The 29-year-old Texan was convicted last year of assaulting two police officers in Moscow in 2019. Reed steadfastly maintains his innocence.

The U.S. Ambassador to Russia calls the verdict and sentence, quote, an absurd miscarriage of justice. A spokesman for the State Department tweeted, the U.S. will continue to work on Trevor's behalf until Russia does the right thing and returns him to his family. And just moments ago, the House passed a resolution calling for Trevor Reed's immediate and unconditional release.

Joining us now, Trevor Reed's parents Joey and Paula Reed. Thank you both for being here. Let me get your reaction to the Congressman who sponsored it just put out this tweet.

Incredibly humbled that my first bill to pass the House is a resolution calling for the immediate release of Trevor Reed, a Marine veteran who is being held as a political prisoner in Russia. We will not tolerate Putin using Americans as political pawns.

Your response -- Paula.

PAULA REED, MOTHER OF TREVOR REED: Of course we're very happy that that has passed. We've been waiting for it for a little while. We're glad that it is out there and it's passed. And I know that it will make Trevor feel great as well.

CAMEROTA: Joey, tell me about yesterday, about the court decision yesterday and where you were when you heard that the court had denied Trevor's appeal and what your reaction was.

JOEY REED, FATHER OF TREVOR REED: My reaction was a little different than my wife's. But we were expecting this, we had been told all along by the attorneys that no matter what defense we presented, we could have had a thousand witnesses and he would have still been found guilty. And we'll have to appeal to the next level of court.

We were a little surprised that judges actually fell asleep during the hearing. It was about a two-hour defense argument, and some of the judges actually fell asleep during the hearing.

[15:50:00] CAMEROTA: Not a good sign. Paula, what was your reaction?

P. REED: So, as Joey said I had a little different reaction. I expected it to, like as he said, they had told us it was going to happen. However, having just the finalization of it all hit me a little bit harder than I thought. And I had a very tearful morning. So.

CAMEROTA: I understand, Paula, I understand. Even though you know something's coming when the news is delivered, it can still be crushing.

P. REED: Yes, it was very crushing.

CAMEROTA: And so, Paula -- go ahead, go ahead, Joey.

J. REED: Can I make a statement about the House resolution that passed today?


J. REED: We'd like to thank Congressman Pflueger and Congressman McCall for introducing that bill and for all of the bipartisan support with the 57 co-sponsors and everyone who voted for it today. And I'd just like to say, we're hurt and ashamed of the 40-something Congressman who voted against it. For some political statement they were making, I believe they gave President Putin a gift today in voting against this.

And my son's a patriot, and especially those Texas Congressmen who voted against it, my son's an eight-generation Texan and a veteran and an Eagle Scout and he deserves more.

CAMEROTA: So Paula, what's next now that this has been denied?

P. REED: It's my understanding that they're preparing Trevor to go to the labor camp prison. And this is it. So he'll be going there. And until we can get him released, I guess that's where he'll be. So we're just hoping that the government can work quickly to make a deal of some sort to bring our son home to us because he's totally innocent and does not need to be there wasting his life.

CAMEROTA: And, Joey, let's talk about that. Because President Biden had said I won't walk away from this after he met with Putin. And so what have the conversations been since then, since that meeting?

J. REED: Well, we have a weekly meeting with the State Department, the SPEHA's office, Roger Carson's. But they're not able to tell us any details of what might be going on. But not only did President Putin say -- I mean, President Putin said that he was open to negotiations and he directed the Foreign Ministry to work with the State Department to come up with a resolution. But when President Biden said I won't walk away from this, we took that as being no man left behind. And so from both countries we've had good indications that this might have a good outcome hopefully in the near future. CAMEROTA: And Paula, when we last spoke to you, you told Victor that Trevor was still having chest pains after he had come down with COVID- 19 in prison. So how is he today?

P. REED: He is still having chest pains. He had a visit today from his girlfriend, and he said that he is still having chest pains, but you know obviously, he's still pretty young and everything. We're just concerned. And he is at least now getting medical treatment, you know, Aleve and stuff to help alleviate some of the symptoms.

CAMEROTA: Joey and Paula Reed, we appreciate talking to you. Obviously, we will stay on this and speak to you many more times as this progresses.

J. REED: Thank you very much.

P. REED: Thank you so much for having us on.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for being here.

Up next, gas stations running low on fuel. What's causing the shortage and what it means for your holiday weekend?



CAMEROTA: Breaking sports news into CNN. Some unfortunate history being made at Wimbledon. Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has been forced to retire from her first round matchup because of an injury suffered in the first set. The forfeit marks Williams' first- ever first round loss at Wimbledon. Before today Williams had a 19-0 record in first round matches at the tournament.

Well, Fourth of July is just around the corner, and gas prices are the highest they've been in seven years. Not only that gas is getting harder to find. Alison Kosik is CNN's business correspondent. So Alison, what is behind the shortage and how long will it last?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alisyn. So this is not a gas shortage. There is plenty of gas. The issue here is a labor shortage. There's a shortage of drivers, of tanker truck drivers to take the refined gasoline from the terminals to gas stations like the one I'm standing at.

This is an issue actually that's plagued the trucking industry for a while now. But we're just noticing now because we're getting out of our homes, all this pent-up demand is getting us out of the house and we're taking summer vacations and we're looking for gas.

The thing is what we're seeing happen now is we're seeing scattered outages happen across the country where gas stations aren't being well supplied as before. So you're either running into gas stations maybe that don't have any gas or don't have a particular kind of gas like premium. But remember, this is a scattered issue, it's not something that's

condensed into certain areas. The advice from experts they say don't top off your tank because that will certainly cause a gas supply shortage -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh, the worker shortage has such a vast ripple effect. Thank you, Alison Kosik.

OK, so wherever you are this July 4th, join CNN to celebrate with a star-studded evening of music and fireworks. The fun begins on July 4th at 7:00 only on CNN. That's great for places where your own Fourth of July celebration has been canceled like my town. So you will be able to join CNN's celebration.

And "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.