tv CNN Newsroom With Brianna Keilar CNN February 2, 2021 10:00am-11:01am PST
assault. and i have not told many people that in my life. but when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other. >> very powerful. thanks for spending your time with us today. hope to see you back here tomorrow. brianna keilarpicks up our coverage right now. ♪ hello. i want to welcome viewers here in the united states and around the world. we are following breaking news in the impeachment trial of former president donald trump. the pretrial briefs from both sides are in. they lay out
their strategies ahead of next week's trial. the trump team filed their 14-page briefing last hour denying that he incited an insurrection and calling the trial unconstitutional. they write the constitutional provision requires that a person
actually hold office to be impeached. since the 45th president is no longer president, the clause shall be removed from office
on impeachment is impossible for the senate to accomplish. now the house impeachment manager's brief was a lot longer. it was 80 p0 pages, it focuses president trump's betrayal of historic proportions and the threat he poses to the constitution. they say the president is to blame for the insurrection writing it's impossible to imagine the events of january 6th occurring without president trump creating a powder keg, striking a match and then seeking personal advantage from the ensuing havoc. jim accost osta joins me now. the trump team was concise in comparison. they appear to have come to a compromise with the president on whether to focus on the constitutionality or the stolen election. >> that's right. i think it boils down to what the president's advisers have
been saying for weeks now, that his speech on january 6th, while some may view it as incendiary and it certainly was, that it's prot protected speech. that's the argument they make throughout this brief that was filed in response to what the house managers are alleging. they are also saying that you can't constitutionally remove a president from office who is no longer in office. that's essentially what's at stake
in the senate impeachment trial. let's show you some highlights from the trump impeachment team, his defense team. this is from bruce castor and david schoen. it's denied the phrase if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore had anything to do with the action at the capitol as it was clearly about the need to fight for election security in general as evidenced by the recording of the speech. that references an infamous quote from the president during that speech on january 6th when he says if you don't fight like hell you won't have a country
anymore. we can move on to the next one and talk about that one. this one says it is denied that the 45th president engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the united states. the 45th president exercised his first amendment right
under the constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect. so that gets to that compromise you were mentioning a few moments ago that essentially the president wanted to say that, you know, he believes this election was stolen. he wanted his lawyers to argue that. the first team of lawyers he had evidently did not want to make that a focal point of their defense, of the former president. but it is included in this response from the trump impeachment team. the house managers anticipated a lot of these arguments from the ex-president. we can put up what they allege in their brief. it says the framers of the constitution clearly intended for the impeachment process to reach former officials, this goes straight to the heart of
the president's impeachment team's defense that you can't impeach and remove from office a president who is no longer in office. they say trump is personally responsible for the violent attack on the capitol. he was impeached while still in office, the case trying him after he left office is stronger than any of the press depths. there's another key point that the house managers make in these allegations. they say there is no january exception to the constitution when it comes to whether or not you can be impeached or removed from office for high crimes and misdemeanors. what the democrats are going to be saying in this impeachment trial is that if inciting an insurrection at the capitol does not qualify for a president to be impeached and punished in a senate trial, then what does? what you're seeing throughout this trump impeachment defense document that we obtained is that, you know, they don't
believe you can constitutionally do this. i've talked to trump advisers over the last 24 hours, they feel that's the best defense for the ex-president. that constitutionally you can't do this. they point to the fact that there are dozens of republican senators who are in the republican senate caucus who agree with that analysis. they're trying to hang their hat on that. in part because they know all too well, they don't want this to get bogged down in the senate impeachment trial in terms of an argument over whether or not the election was stolen from donald trump. that's what he believes. just about everybody else in the world believes that that is not true or knows that is not true. so that is why you're seeing it sort of slipped in there in this trump impeachment defense document that we just saw. it's not by any stretch the main focal point of what the trump impeachment team is arguing. but it's in there. i do think it is worth saying, as we said so many times, that obviously what the president is saying about the election
results of 2020 is just a huge lie on his part. there's nothing to substantiate it. but of course his impeachment lawyers would not be able to probably stay in the good graces of the ex-president had they not tried to make that argument somewhat in this brief filed today. >> that's right. jim, thank you very much for walking us through that. we have a big week ahead of us. i want to bring in cnn senior legal analyst laura coates and also with us is former u.s. attorney, former deputy assistant attorney general harry litman. laura, the house impeachment managers are pushing against the trump team's major defense team that the trial is unconstitutional. do you think they made their case in these briefs? >> i think they did. it was thorough and pointed to specific instances of presidential value going back as far as the 1700s to say how long ago the senate was trying former representatives, talked about this being a vindication of the
first amendment, not somehow the infringement of it or the exercise of cancel culture run amok. talking about the link of his statements at the reality, during perhaps the insurrection and afterwards and what the conduct was. they made a key point of anticipating exactly what the defense would say, which is to have a procedural off-ramp of saying, hey, procedure stops us from having a former president. i think they obliterated that. but we're not in a criminal court where cooler heads and commonsense is the requirement to exercise and evaluate the claims. >> harry, the president's lawyers are arguing that the president has a right, he has a first amendment right to question the election results. they wrote insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable juryist could conclude whether the 45th president's statements were accurate or not and he therefore denies they were
false. what aare your thoughts? >> this is not a criminal trial. you can commit all kinds of impeachable offenses with speech. it's not as if in a criminal trial they're coming after him. there's many ways including here when things he says could be impeachable offenses. so it's a very -- the whole brief is very thread bare, 14 pages to 80 pages. it doesn't even have arguments. this is the sort of compromise they tried to reach with him. it's written like an answer to a state trial where they say we deny this or deny that. they are outgunned hugely in everywhere except where it probably matters, which is the bottom line vote. >> that's a very good point, harry. laura, house managers wrote president trump insists that his constitutional offenses were perfectly acceptable and so the precedent set by a failure to try him would pose an
astronomically greater threat to the republic. what do you think about that? >> this is essentially their argument that addresses what the american people are saying after that vote of 45 senators saying, hey, we're not even thinking this is constitutional. we don't want to go forward at this point. they want to respond to the notion that this is an exercise in few utfutility. and it's not. if they're going to cede all of their power as a co-equal government to exercise oversight regardless of whether it ends in conviction or not, they subordinated themselves and they could be imperiled as they wrote by a future president. they're concerned about the deterrent value of future courses of action and future branches of government looking down their nose and saying you have no power here. >> we're going to be seeing perhaps the major witness,
harry, being the cameras, right? when it comes to evidence, the house impeachment managers plan to use video and there's a lot of it. president trump's lawyer, david schoen, thinks that's a bad idea. let's listen. >> does this country really need to see videotapes? we know now apparently that mr. swallow and the other managers tend to show videotapes of the riots, people coming in, people being hurt. why does the country need that now? we would stipulate there was a riot that went on that day. it's a tragedy. president trump condemned violence at all times. >> what do you think about him saying there shouldn't be video? >> it's a common defense claim, we will stipulate. there has to be evidence. that is the evidence and the fact that everyone saw it and they were victims only makes it more vivid and there's many from many different directions that tends to show more clearly than others that one little line they rely on, go peacefully, is
contradicted by everything he did including after. if this were someone who unintentionally let these forces loose and was horrified he would have tried to tamp it down right away. he's silent for two hours and by many accounts sitting back delighted. it couldn't be clearer what happened. of course that's going to be the centerpiece of the evidence. >> we are awaiting certainly what will be a very visual trial. harry, thank you very much. laura, thank you. >> thanks. as donald trump's second impeachment trial nears, one senator led the charge to challenge the electoral college count and enthusiastica ally thw his weight behind multiple efforts to undermine the democratic presidential election and is now trying to cleanse himself of the stain of those actions. >> president trump's rhetoric. i think it went way too far over the line. i think it was both reckless and
irresponsible because he said repeatedly, over and over again he won by a landslide, there was massive fraud, it was all stolen everywhere. >> texas republican senator ted cruz now says donald trump crossed a line but before insurrectionists attacked the capitol in a deadly siege that cost at least one capitol hill police officer his life, cruz didn't seem to mind the reckless and irresponsible rhetoric from the president. in fact cruz joined in speaking to voters in georgia in early january days before the senate runoffs there. >> i am inspired. each of you look around, the men and women gathered here. you are patriots just like the patriots gathered at bunker hill. just like the patriots gathered at valley forge. just like the patriots who forged this nation. the men and women gathered here and across the state of georgia are fighting for the united states of america. >> fighting for the united states of america. i know it sounds familiar,
because we also heard that rhetoric a few days later on january 6th right before trump supporters tried to pay ted cruise and his supporters a visit with flexicuffs. >> we fight. we fight like hell. if you don't fight like hell you won't have a country anymore. >> cruz on his recent revisionist history tour criticized president trump for failing to produce evidence of these baseless accusations of a stolen election. >> that evidence, the campaign did not prove that in any court. >> right. >> and to make a determination about an election it has to be based on the evidence. simply saying the result you want, that's not responsible. you never heard me use language like that. >> never heard him use language like that, he says, remember, this is senator cruz who signed on to a texas lawsuit that challenged the election results in georgia, pennsylvania, michigan and wisconsin.
senator cruz who former president trump wanted to front the lawsuit before the supreme court if had ever made it before the justices -- it didn't, of course, because the court tossed it out -- senator cruz calling out trump because of the baseless claims that the trump team lost or dropped between november 4th and january 6th, the day of the insurrection when he stood on the senate floor and still challenged the election result in arizona. >> but for those who respect the voters simply telling the voters go jump in a lake, the fact that you have deep concerns is of no moment to us. that jeopardizes, i believe, the legitimacy of this and subsequent elections. >> for this he lost his communications director who reportedly resigned over his act. and by the way, i want to address the question that you are no doubt asking, what is up
with this random show featuring a sitting u.s. senator in a lounge chair? ♪ >> welcome back to verdict with ted cruz. >> let me say to all our viewers. it's good to be back canwith yo. >> this is a podcast shown on youtube that cruz started up during trump's first impeachment trial, complete with fancy graphics, a floating money tar, a carpet square, a cactus and a rocks a leather chair masterpiece theater style. his podcasts includes ada adaptations of fiction. in this latest episode cruise tries to resolve himself of the participation in the big lie. and in another clip he makes reference to more contemporary works like avengers end game and watchman, the comic book based hit series.
>> have you noticed in how many movies how often rabid environmentalists are the bad guys? whether it's -- go to watchmen. you know, where the view of the left is people are a disease. >> that reference prompting a writer and producer of the show "watchmen" to tweet at the senator literally what the bleep are you talking about? which is also an acceptable response to another comment that cruz made on his podcast. >> reuters polling shows 39% of americans believe the election was rigged. that's a terrifying statistic. >> says a guy who spoon-fed trump supporters the big lie. who helped dig a hole only to marvel curiosly at how deep and dark it is as he stares up at us from the bottom of it insisting
he's not in a hole at all because cruz's masterpiece theater rewhrite of history is just that. theater. the biden administration making a big move to speed up the vaccine rollout. plus once you get the vaccine what can you do, what can't you do? the former cdc director will join us live to sort that out. and protests in russia building as russian opposition leader alexei navalny is sentenced to more than two years behind bars. we will take you there. keeping your oysters business growing has you swamped.
say hello to way more quality finds you'll love on wayfair. way more brands you trust. and way more dependability. so with wayfair you'll always find your perfect match. breaking news from russia where alexei navalny has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail. i want to bring in fred pleitgen he has more from outside the courthouse in moscow. tell us what's going on. >> well, it's still a massive scene here outside the courthouse. i want to show you this real quick there's a huge amount of riot cops who are out here
securing this courthouse. there's vans coming out, we're not sure whether alexei navalny may be in one of those vans. they're unmarked. so we're not sure. he is going to spend at least the next 2 1/2, possibly the next 2.8 years in prison. a suspended jail sentence that had been put on him in 2014 was turned into a real jail sentence because this court deemed that the fact that he was poisoned by nov novichok and had to get treatment in germany was a violation of his probation. navalny's legal team said they will appeal all of this. at this point in time it's not looking good for alexei navalny in terms of him probably spending the next couple of years in jail. his supporters have already called for protests in central moscow around the kremlin for tonight. we'll wait and see how that pans out. i can tell you that at this court and throughout the city, there is a gigantic security presence by security forces, by
roy lie riot cops. we witnessed dozens of arrests and detentions today. the latest number i have is just around this court building more than 350 people were detained today. another quick word, alexei navalny's wife, who has been through all this with him, throughout this entire process, she was in the courtroom today. she was very composed when that verdict came down. he trdrew a heart on the glass was in. >> unfortunately we lost fred's signal from moscow. we'll follow up on that. thank you very much. with less than 2% of the nation fully vaccinated, the biden administration just announced starting next week 1 million vaccine doses will go directly to pharmacies. officials made sure to manage expectations.
>> due to the current supply limitations, they will be limited to start out. in the early phase many pharmacies across the country will not have vaccine or may have limited supply. people should first make sure they meet their state's eligibility requirements for vaccinations. >> the covid response team says the 1 million doses for pharmacies is in addition to the 10 million doses given to states. all of this is as a result of moderna and pfizer scaling up production. some states are currently allowing vaccinations states. and fema will reimburse some expenses due to covid. as millions are waiting to get vaccinated, there were 134,000 new infections on monday. if you look at this map of green and tan, it indicates that all
states are steady or seeing a decline in new case trends. this is what we want to see. nationwide there's a double digit drop in the seven-day average of new cases, down 14%. and the same average for hospitalizations is also down, more than 11%. dr. richard besser is with us now, he served as acting director of the cdc and is currently president and ceo of the robert wood johnson foundation. thanks for being with us. starting in two thursdays, february 11th, the white house is going to send these 1 million doses to pharmacies directly. why isn't this something that was being done at a federal level before? >> you know, one of the big challenges is the demand, the need for vaccine is so much greater than the supply of vaccine. and the earliest phase, the desire was to make sure our health care system would stay up and running. so vaccinating health care
workers from doctors, nurses, receptionists, environmental hygiene people getting everyone you could in the health care system vaccinated and then vaccinating those who are the greatest risk of dying and that wes was people in long-term care facilities. as the vaccine supply increases and hopefully it will continue to increase, you want to make sure you're able to get it out to where people are. one of the biggest concerns i have is that in most states we're not seeing data broken down by race, by ethnicity, by occupation. we know that this pandemic has hit black and latino and native americans the hardest. if states are not collecting and sharing the data on how they're reaching the most at-risk populations, our numbers could look good but those at the greatest risk of infection, hospitalization and death will still be at risk. >> leading infectious disease
expert dr. anthony fauci says south africa is seeing a higher rate of infection with that variant that is showing resistance to the vaccines and there could be a higher rate of reinfection. >> if it becomes dominant, the experience of our colleagues in south africa indicate that even if you have been infected with the original virus that there is a very high rate of reinfection to the point where previous infection does not seem to protect you against reinfection. >> what do you make of that? >> it's very concerning and something we have to watch out for. it puts more and more pressure on all of us to do our part to slow down transmission. i look forward to when i can get a vaccine when my group is called, but in the meantime what we can all do is wear our masks, keep apart, wash our hands, avoid crowded indoor places. that will help slow this down.
you know, when we think about these new variants, they're not going to spread unless we allow them to spread. so if we decide as a country to all do those measures, to really shut this thing down, we'll see less spread of these variants. if it turns out that you can get one of these other variants after you had infection with this strain circulating here, that changes the ball game. that says we could be dealing with this pandemic for a very long time. >> there's a new study that suggests people who have had coronavirus may need to only get one dose of the pfizer or moderna vaccine. we should certainly point out here the study has not yet been peer reviewed. what are the implications potentially of this if it is found -- if it is peer reviewed and found to be reputable? >> the thing that's true about any new infectious disease is that we're learning as we go. if it turns out one dose is sufficient to protect people who had infection before it becomes a logistical challenge of how do
you identify people who truly had covid before. is it true for people who were asymptomatic before or those who just had symptoms. if there's a population that can get away with just one dose of a vaccine, that extends the -- increases greatly the number of people we would be able to vaccinate with the existing, you know, products on the market. >> finally, dr. besser, i'm wondering as people are getting vaccinated, you know, obviously there's a sense that you can go back to normal but what can they do or what should they do and what should they maybe refrain from doing still even after they get vaccinated? >> yeah. i mean, this is a really challenging question. especially with your earlier note from dr. fauci about the new strains coming in and how little we know about them. i think what you can do after you've been vaccinated is breathe a little easier and recognize that you have been vaccinated with a product that's
highly effective at preventing serious disease. that's an amazing thing. i think that it would make sense and it would be acceptable if everyone in the household has been vaccinated and you have friends coming over who have been fully vaccinated that you can get together for small gatherings. i'll be looking to see public health recommendations on that. we want people to get vaccinated. one of the things you want to do is show people the upside. the upside in terms of mental health is really high because you can feel some sense of relief since you will not spread this to loved ones. and you will be able to do increasingly more activities with a level of comfort. >> you said two groups of friends who are two households who are vaccinated. what about a household vaccinated and one isn't? >> no, then you -- you got to play it like you are all not vaccinated. because those people who are not vaccinated, you don't know what their status is. you want to be careful there.
but if everyone has been vaccinated, you know, i think that will allow people to visit loved ones in long-term care fac facilities. some of those things will be really good for peoples state of mind. >> i know. that's what we all miss. dr. besser, thank you very much. thank you for being with us. >> it's a pleasure. senator mitch mcconnell is just now publicly condemning controversial gop congresswoman majorie taylor greene. we're going to talk about that plus trump blamed unfounded claims of election fraud on his loss but a report by his top campaign aides points a damming picture of what led to his defeat. insurance is cool. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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only tylenol rapid release gels have laser-drilled holes. they release medicine fast for fast pain relief. tylenol rapid release gels. on monday mitch mcconnell issued a rare rebuke of a republican member of the house over her behavior. mcconnell, though not by name, slammed georgia republican congresswoman majorie taylor greene. he said her loony lies and conspiracy theories are a cancer for the republican party in our country. mcconnell is getting some pats on the back for taking a stand against these dangerous conspiracy theories that have been pushed by greene and others, but there are questions about why it took this long. oliver darcey is cnn's media correspondent. you wrote a piece in cnn's reliable sources news letter and you talk about how mcconnell is
right to bash green for e for h conspiracy theories, but you wonder where mcconnell has been. >> it's great that mcconnell found the courage to speak out against some of the wackiness that has come to defined the republican party in recent times. but where has he been? where was he when donald trump turned the republican party into a home of conspiracists? he stood fine standing on the sideline silent as he confirmed judges, now that this cancer progressed to a stage four level we're seeing him speak out. this would have been more effective if he nipped this in the bud before it metastasized. >> and majorie taylor greene is still going off on the criticism against her on social media.
>> definitely. the republican party has yet to really rein her in. we have not heard mccarthy react strongly yet. i guess he's going to wait until he meets with her later in the week some time and assess then. this is something that is a real problem for the republican party. it's become defined by these conspiracy, you know, theories that the former president was pushing and now some of its members are pushing. one other point to mcconnell, he seemed okay with members of the press over the past several years being the ones who had to speak out against this disinformation. he seemed fine with his own colleagues attacking the press when, you know, you or i or others would say, you know, that's a conspiracy theory, that's not true what the white house is saying. he seemed fine with his colleagues in the senate saying, you know, cnn is fake news, "new york times" is fake news. now that the president is out of power, now that this has really started to hurt the republican party politically, he's starting
to speak out. >> oliver, thanks for joining us to chat about this. soon we will hear from the white house ahead of president biden taking expecutive action against immigration. much of which will reverse trump era policies. we'll bring that to you live. and trump's impeachment defense is coming into view with lawyers arguing that trump's speech before the january 6th riots is protected by the first amendment. puffs bring soothing softness and relief. a nose in need deserves puffs indeed. ♪ i shopped for shirts online last night ♪ ♪ and body wash, just for men ♪ ♪ now, i think we're gonna buy new shoes, again! ♪ ♪ rakuten cash back on the things all in our home ♪
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country music legend dolly parton is known for her prolific song writing and making great hits, it's not only her chart-topping songs that attracted the attention of presidents. she's being recognized for her philanthropic deeds like her literacy program for children and for her help in developing the covid-19 vaccine. as she's revealing, donald trump wanted to reward her with the medal of freedom. but she said she had to turn him down not once but twice. >> i couldn't accept it because my husband was ill.
then they asked me again and i wouldn't travel because of the covid. >> it turns out that joe biden has also reached out to her. will she finally accept the honor? >> now i feel like if i take it i'll be doing politics, so i am not sure. those awards are nice but i'm not sure, you know, that it's a compliment for people to think i might deserve it. stephen colbert pressed former president obama back in november about why he didn't give that to pardon when he was in her office. >> how does dolly parton not have a medal of freedom? >> that's a mistake. >> do you realize that was a mistake you made? >> that was a screw up. i assumed she already got one, and that was incorrect. >> i assumed, too. she deserves one, i'll call
biden. >> worth noting here, parton is not alone in turning down awards by presidents for all kinds of various reasons. just a few weeks ago, belichick re refused to accept a presidential medal of freedom but he decided against it after the january 6th insurrection on the u.s. capitol. and former first lady jacqueline kennedy also turned down the award back in 1963. president lyndon b. johnson wanted to include her when he honored jfk. as one professor noted to the "new york times," mrs. kennedy
likely wanted to make sure kennedy was the focus of the award. a filmmaker who made a documentary about berg told the "new york times" he did not spy and risk his life every day for his country for a medal, he did it so naziism could be defeated. soon we'll hear from the white ho house. and new details on the fate of the coronavirus relief package. democrats are moving ahead without republicans. we'll bring that to you live. em, from 12 countries, over 10 years. olay's hydration was unbeaten every time. face anything. find out more at olay.com (♪ ♪)
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congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez speaking emotionally in an instagram live session where she described the terror of her experience during the capitol raid on january 6th. she described in a lot of detail how she feared for her life as she hid in a bathroom -- actually, we'll pause for a moment. the white house briefing is beginning. >> we have a few updates for you
all at the top. this morning, first today the president is signing three executive orders to rebuild and strengthen our immigration system. these actions are centered on the basic premise that our country is safer, stronger and more prosperous with a fair, safe and orderly immigration system. today's actions do a number of things. the first executive order creates a task force chaired by the secretary of homeland security to reunify families which will work across government to find parents and children separated by the prior administration. the second executive order develops a strategy to address the root causes of migration across our borders and creates a humane asylum siystem including dhs to end the migrant protection protocols program which led to a humanitarian crisis in northern mexico. and the third executive order promotes immigrant integration and inclusion and ensures our
legal immigration system operates fairly and efficiently by instructing agencies to review the public charge rule and related policies. as many of you also may have as many of you may have been on the briefing call earlier today or those who have not, we just announced a covid coordinator that starting february 11th, the federal government will deliver to select pharmacies across the country additional vaccines coming online next week. this will provide more sites for people to get vaccinated in their communities and is an important component to delivering vaccines equitably. more than 90% of americans live within five miles of a pharmacy. i don't know but my mom calls me all the time to call the cvs to find out when they can get their vaccine. this is a limited launch of the program but supply will ultimately go up to 40,000 pharmacies nationwide. second, we continue to work to ensure states, tribes and
territories have the resources they need to turn vaccines into vaccinations. president biden has already directed fema to fully reimburse states for the cost of national guard personnel and other emergency costs. and today we go further by fully reimbursing states for the purchases they provided back to the beginning of the pandemic in january 2020. that means states will be fully repaid for things like masks, gloves, mobilization of the national guard and they can use the additional resources for vaccination efforts and emergency supplies moving forward. this reimbursement effort is estimated to total $3 billion to $5 billion and is only a share of the resources states need to fight this pandemic. as we talked about a brit includes testing, genomic sequencing and mass vaccination centers. l last, we announced we would add the frequency of vaccinations by an additional 5%, following last week's 16% increase.
we've increased supply by more than 20% since the president took office two weeks ago. the these actions speak to the daily work we're doing to mount the federal coordinated pandemic response americans need and deserve, i should say. as you also know last night, the president had a meeting with ten republican senators. he's meeting right now with the senate democratic caucus over video to further discuss the american rescue plan and we'll have a readout on that later this afternoon that we will send out. he last night during the meeting, he welcomed the opportunity to have a constructive exchange of ideas over how we can improve the american rescue plan. he pledged that he would bring people together when he ran for president, and last night was an example of doing exactly that. a new poll yesterday by yahoo! and ugov shows this plan already garnered bipartisan support
among the american people. he also reiterated -- or we would like to reiterate i should say the urgency of acting quickly on the package. you all asked yesterday about the cbo reports, new analysis that came out by the cbo, that report showed also that without action, our economy won't reach pre-pandemic levels until 2025. that's too long, so our goal with moving this package forward is making it faster. i have a couple of additional readouts or followups, i should say, from some questions that have been asked in here over the last several days. somebody asked earlier, i think it was last week, about puerto rico. today there's an update i have. the administration is releasing $1.3 billion in aid allocated by congress to protect against future climate disasters, in partnership with the puerto rico department of housing, the administration is working to remove onerous restrictions put
in place by the last administration by nearly $5 billion in additional funds. someone also asked yesterday about how president biden keeps in touch. there's a number of ways but he receives correspondence letters in his briefing book every night, as past presidents have done. he also regular clionnects with americans on the phone. we will continue to put out videos of that moving forward. also he attends his typical rue tee routine of attending public mass every weekend, something he did and will continue to do, respecting covid protocols moving forward. and there were questions about the president's engagement with the capitol police officer -- ed, i think you asked this question, about the capitol police officer, officer sicknick, who lost his life in the events of january 6th. as many of you know, the president spoke with members of his family shortly after his
passing to express his condolences and sympathies to his tragic loss. i don't have anything to update in terms of his schedule tomorrow but i expect to have more of an update on that in the next 24 hours certainly. finally, i think finally, i know this is a lot at the top, we can confirm that the president will visit the state department now on thursday. that was originally planned earlier this week. we had to move things around because of snow, where he will thank the men and women of the national security workforce for their service to our country, and deliver remarks about reclaiming america's role in the world. sorry, i did actually have one more item. as you all have seen reports this morning of the fbi confirmation, two fbi agents are deceased and wounded in a shooting in florida. the two wounded agents were transported to hospital under stable condition, as some i think have reported. president biden was briefed this morning by homeland security adviser lynn sherrwood randall. this is obviously a terrible
tragedy. i expect you will hear more from the president later this afternoon when he speaks to all of you. i know that was a lot. with that, let's kick us off. >>ful wionderful, jen. two questions. congressional democrats are moving forward with covid relief with legislation set to hit the house budget committee by february 16th. what kind of timeline does that create for you with regard to talks with republicans? >> as many of you who have covered capitol hill know, there is a process. the budget reconciliation process is a lengthy one and because as i suspected people would want to talk about the meeting last night today, i just wanted to take the opportunity to talk a little bit about that process and where we see there being opportunity. so, first, as you know, once the budget -- maybe as you know, but a lot of people watching do not know, that once a budget resolution is passed, the house and senate negotiators will work
to develop a reconciliation bill that can pass through the house and senate. at selveral points in this process as we look to the weeks ahead republicans can engage and see their ideas adopted. at any point in the process a bipartisan bill can pass on the floor so just creating the option for reconciliation for a budget resolution does not foreclose other legislative options. this is when a bill becomes a law moment of the briefing today. second, republican ideas can be adopted during the reconciliation negotiations and is likely several bipartisan ideas may be, or we're certainly hopeful of that. third, republicans have the ability to offer amendments during the budget and construction phase of the process and later in the reconciliation phase and therefore can ensure their ideas are heard. i did all of that because i think it's important, there's been a misunderstanding how this process works. i think some of you, the final vote was this week.
you all know that's not the case. there is some time. that's why the president is engaging, demorepublicans last t and democrats today, and why he conveyed he would like to continue doing that in the days ahead. >> secondly, they sent alexei navalny to prison for 2 1/2 years for being in violation of going to germany and being poisoned. does the white house plan any additional steps in response? >> josh, you may not have seen this because i think it just came out but secretary of state tony blinken put out a statement in response to the sentencing. i will just -- let me reiterate some of the pieces from here. we're deply concerned about russian authority efforts -- decision i should say -- to sentence opposition figure alexei navalny. like every russian citizen, mr. navalny is he titled to the rights provided in the russian constitution and russia has international obligations to respect the quality before the law and the rights to freedom of
expression and peaceful assembly. we reiterate our call for the russian government to immediately, unconditionally release mr. navalny as well as the hundreds of other russian citizens wrongfully detaped in re detained in recent weeks for exercising their rights. i will say in regard to your specific question, there was an ongoing review we announced early last week a number of the -- you know, reported or concerning actions, i should say, by the russian government, which includes the treatment of alexei navalny. it includes the full assessment of the solarwind hack. it includes a review of the reports around bounties on troops. it also includes reports of -- an assessment of engagement in the 2020 election. that's an ongoing review by the national security team. when they conclude that, that will launch whatever policy process to determine what steps we will take from here. >> go ahead.
>> on the relief bill, democrats are considering moving ahead with this process. you are still hopeful you can get bipartisan support but you also made it clear you're not going to slim down this bill significantly. where right now is the greatest potential forcompromise to try achieve that bipartisan? >> mary, you're right and this was evident in the discussion last night, it was as we said in our readout and as senator collins also said, it was civil, it was constructive. this is how democracy should work. we should be he gaging, democrats and republicans should be engaging with each other but there certainly is a gap between where we are and where the proposal, the republican proposal that was discussed last night was. there are some, you know, bottom lines i think the president has, which he has conveyed in the meeting last night and reiterated to us this morning, which is, you know, to put us simply or accessibly for people, he believes a married couple, let's say they're in