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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  February 24, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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with that nomination because things could be changing. really appreciate it. and thank you all so much for joining us this hour. i'm kate bolduan. the news continues, and john king picks up our coverage right now. ♪ >> hello, everybody and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king in washington. thank you for sharing what is a very busy news day with us. big news in the coronavirus fight. the fda now says johnson & johnson single-shot coronavirus vaccine clears its bar for emergency use. final authorization from the fda should come a bit later this week. a green light there would add millions more doses to the critical vaccine push. priority one now for a biden covid team that just moments ago gave a pandemic update. >> one of the most impactful things we can do is wear a mask. and this is so important during this critical period where cases are declining but variants that spread more easily are
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increasing throughout our country. >> awake and responsive. those are the words doctors in california now using to describe tiger woods this morning, that after lengthy surgery. the legendary golfer suffered open leg fracture after his car crossed onto the wrong side of a california road, smacked into a curb, then a tree and landed its side. back here in washington, more progress in getting key biden cabinet picks. the president's pick to lead the cia getting a confirmation hearing today. but another major personnel pick is being postponed. and the white house is scrambling this hour in hopes of avoiding its first capitol hill defeat. the budget chief job, that's a powerful job anyway, but this tanden fight is also a reminder that with a tiny democratic edge in the house and an evenly divided senate, every sensitive biden personnel or policy move is a high-wire act.
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the president's covid relief package is another early test. it hits the house floor friday. >> the notion that we have people working for $7.25 an hour, which is the current federal minimum wage, is egregious. joe biden promised not a return to normalcy but to build back better. building back better includes a $15 per hour minimum wage. >> let's start with the pandemic and the likelihood the united states will soon be adding a third vaccine to its arsenal. let's walk through some of the numbers right now. if you look at a state-by-state trend map, things are improving. 31 states in green. that means they are trending down. fewer new covid infections now than a week ago. 31 states. 17, that's the beige, holding steady, meaning about the same.
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only two states reporting more new infections this week compared to last week. so the map is improving. if you look at it this way, you see the case count from the beginning of the year, case counts coming down. back in january 1st, 153,000 plus new fections a day. now we're averaging a little over 70,000. case kous comes down, hospitalizations coming down as well. progress in cases and progress in hospitalizations. this is the sad and stubborn statistic, the death count essentially stable since the beginning of the year. it was 2,125 on january 1st. this is beginning to trend down, but this one's going to take a while longer. still a lot of sadness in the picture. vaccines, 14% of americans have received their first dose. 6% are fully vaccinated. so some progress there. but still a long way to go. if you look at the seven-day average, the winter weather, this number took a hit. the biden administration was up above 1.6, 1.7 million, dipped down a little bit. back at about 1.5 million doses
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in. a moment we'll talk about the plan to try accelerate that, especially as more doses come in. 240 million doses, that is now the promise of pfizer, moderna, and if the johnson & johnson vaccine as expected gets approved for emergency use on friday, 240 million doses available by the end of march and shipped out. johnson & johnson is the new vaccine. the fda saying the safety checks look good. the committee will vote on this on friday. it has been proved as effective against moderate, severe coronavirus. 72% effective rate in the united states. 68% in latin america. you see somewhat less effective in south africa where you have that vile variant there. but the j&j vaccine getting pretty good scores so far. it prevents 85% of severe cases. no haptizations or deaths in its clinical study. so the j&j vaccine could be part of the pipeline within days. the top white house covid response coordinator saying, add those doses to what's already in the system, get them out to the states quickly. >> the governors are carefully
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planning their efforts and getting ready for the possible new vaccine. if authorized, we are ready to roll out this vaccine without delay. if an eua is issued, we anticipate allocating 3 to 4 million doses of johnson & johnson vaccine next week. >> let's get straight insights from infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist. dr. gounder, grateful for your time. perhaps not as many doses of the johnson & johnson vaccine up front as people would've liked but still 3 or 4 million next weeks and you build from there. how significant is it to have a third vaccine, and it's a different vaccine. this is one dose and you don't have the cold storage problems. >> that's right. it's a much more easily delivered vaccine because it is just the one dose. and we don't need this ultracold storage that at least until now we've needed for pfizer and moderna. i think the number one message
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viewers should take away is get whatever vaccine you're offered first. whatever you can get your hands on is the vaccine that's right for you. all of the vaccines, the pfizer, moderna, and johnson & johnson vaccines have been shown to be 100% effective in clinical trials at preventing hospitalization and death. and that's why we vaccinate. we don't vaccinate to prevent the cough and sniffles. we vaccinate to prevent hospitalization and death. they're really all equivalent from that perspective. >> and another announcement today. we talked about vaccines, and the doctors have consistently, you included, have said vaccines are great, but don't let down your guard. we need to continue to mask up, social distancing. the white house announcing it's going to distribute 25 million masks to community health centers around the country and also to food pantries and food banks where we know americans have been lining up in the middle of this pandemic, jeff zients who is the white house covid coordinator explaining the significance of this. >> on masks, the cost will be
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$86 million. and we really believe that this policy makes a lot of sense in that it allows people who are not able to, in some situations, find or afford a mask. >> what do you think of this approach? essentially, they're saying in places where people either don't have the money, don't have the resources, don't have the access, we're going to essentially put a mask right in front of them so they can grab one? >> yeah. so me and other members of the biden/harris covid transition advisory board recommended that the administration distribute masks to households across the country. and i think what they're doing is really smart. they're targeting the communities that are most vulnerable that have been hit hardest and where the risk of transmission is greatest. and these are also people who may not have as easy access to masks. so i think it makes a lot of
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sense. i think unfortunately americans have been getting somewhat complacent big picture about the mitigation measures and especially with the emergence of these new variants. until most people, especially those highest risk, can get vaccinated, we really do need to double down on things like masking. >> the most part is still a couple months down the road at best as we hope more vaccines in the pipeline. dr. gounder, always grateful for your important insights and expertise. to the politics now of the covid relief. hold democrats together on a pandemic relief deal that is the biden administration's top legislature focus. to win the messaging package. cnn's jeff zeleny and seung min kim. the administration feels like it's in good shape here. however, you can already see saying the house progressives, they insist the minimum wage
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should be in there. it will pass the house on friday if the democrats keep their votes together. it appears they will. then it goes over to the senate. where is the president on the horse trading here? >> well, the president obviously, first and foremost, wants this bill to pass. so whatever it takes to do that, that's what he wants. he believes this money is necessary to open schools, et cetera. but we are about to see the first challenge for the biden white house of corralling all of these democrats. up until now in the first month plus of this administration has largely been focused on republicans, president trump. now we are going to see potentially a democrat-on democrat, some issues here. the president himself wants this to pass the -- all eyes in washington are on the senate parliamentarian because she will have to make a decision if it is allowable to have the senate vote on the $15 federal minimum wage hike in this reconciliation bill. if she does, that creates some issues for democrats as well.
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there aren't necessarily 50 votes for that. if she does not, it makes it a little easier in the short term but harder in the long term here. so a lot of this is out of the white house's hands here. that's a potentially uncomfortable place for the white house to be when they don't control all the cards. >> and seung min kim, we're going to talk in a moment about one particular cabinet pick is in trouble for the president. president biden biden knows this, just about anything important he does is going to be hard because you've got four votes in the house and no votes to give in the united states senate. you and your colleagues write about this today, the president believes he has pretty good public support, it's a plan that has $1,400 in direct payment per person. it's targeted based on your income. increases federal weekly boost to $400. that's unemployment aid. nutrition assistance, homeowner assistance, expand the trial tax credit. increase subsidies for health care. so the individual piece the white house believes is popular.
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but it gets hard now when the more progressive house thinks some of those proposals are absolutely essential. but then you get over to the 50/50 senate where biden's going to lose. the question is how much is he prepared to lose? >> so, you've heard president biden actually talk for a little bit in the last couple of weeks being skeptical that the $15 per hour minimum wage increase would actually survive. because of the senate parliamentarian issue that jeff discussed earlier. managing expectations. but, yes, he is running against, first of all, certainly a progressive force in the senate and in the house who are adamant about putting this minimum wage increase on their obviously senator sanders, leader of the senate budget committee a key force behind this. but also senator joe manchin and senator kyrsten sinema who oppose this for various reasons. if the senate parliamentarian
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does decide that the minimum wage increase is allowable, then how much does the biden white house, how much does chuck schumer want to work witho manchin to not make it $15 per hour but 11 or 13? that's horse trading. that is negotiating. but it may be necessary in the coming weeks or in the coming days to get those key votes. you certainly do see the power of just one senator in this 50/50 senate and just how the focus has turned so much to what joe manchin will do and what kyrsten sinema will do on this critical covid bill in the coming days. >> the administration has tried to say we're going to have washington negotiation, we're going to have trading, we'll see where we get in the end. but trying to insist that it has broad support out there with the american people. including what you would think of traditionally as a republican constituency, meaning corporate america, the white house noting just goldman sachs, google, intel, ibm, american airlines, united airlines, those are just
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some of the companies. from your time when you do reporting at the white house but then up on capitol hill, in terms of how the administration is selling this. are they breaking through? >> they are certainly not breaking through. our sources have told us that they don't expect house republicans, nor a single senate republican to end up supporting this bill at the end of the day. if all those pieces are kept together, and there are no major amendments that are made. we had a pretty remarkable chat with senator susan collins yesterday, probably the most centrist republican in the senate. first of all, she said the discussions with the white house with those ten republican senators had, quote, stalled, and they were really focused now on trying to make amendments that could get a majority of the senate that could change the bill more to the republicans' liking when that bill comes to the floor in the senate in the coming weeks. but then you have to wrangle with the more progressive house. would they accept any changes that are made by the senate? because, like you mentioned earlier, john, they have such a narrow margin of votes to work with as well over in the house.
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and with would the biden white house get on board with that? so these are all kind of pulsepu puzzle-moving pieces in the coming weeks. >> and that is what makes part of this washington conversation pretty fascinating in the sense that the new president knows this. he has to do this largely with democratic votes. he remembers the early obama administration. but you do see -- he's president biden now. the but you have republican senators, mitt romney writing in the "wall street journal" biden's stimulus bill is a $1.9 trillion clunker. senator rob portman, republican, writing in the "washington post," biden promised bipartisanship. biden's position is the president's position is i won the election, then we won georgia. if you want me to compromise, you have to come closer to me, i don't have to come closer to you it. >> but they seem to be clamoring. some ito gum up the works or get attention? >> he obviously reads the "wall street journal," and he did indicate friday the president said that he's willing to negotiate on the top line
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number. but the reality is they want to get this bill passed. they have lessons from '09 in their head. they are not going to let any republican, as well intentioned as they may be, to hijack this bill or delay it. they want to get i. that's job one for president biden. next new the white house now sticking by a cabinet pick even as her nomination teeters very much on the brink. research shows that people remember commercials with exciting stunts. so to help you remember that liberty mutual customizes your home insurance, here's something you shouldn't try at home... look, liberty mutual customizes home insurance so we only pay for what we need. it's pretty cool. that is cool! grandma! very cool. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ visible is wireless that doesn't play games. it's powered by verizon for as little as $25 a month. but it gets crazier. bring a friend every month and get every month for $5.
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team biden is learning today it has little room for error with cabinet nominees in the 50/50 split senate. and it's facing what could be its first defeat on capitol hill. this morning two senate committees delayed planned votes on neera tanden's nomination to become the director of office of management and budge. right now though the white house sticking by its choice, from the press secretary tweeting this morning neera tanden is a leading policy expert. she has a broad spectrum of support and has a strong record of working with both parties
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that we and educate to grow in president biden's cabinet as the first south asian woman to lead omb. back with me cnn's jeff zeleny, "washington post's" seung min kim. jeff, she's a close friend of the chief of staff ron klain. she was one of the early appointees' nominees announced by president biden biden. the votes are simply not there this hour. you have the president and his chief of staff trying to pull a rabbit out of the hat. the question is how long will they continue the search before they say not going to happen? >> and in this case that rabbit is senator lisa murkowski of alaska. she said there are times she's not indicated how she's voting, but there's also a question about democratic support. senator kyrsten sinema, democrat of arizona, has also not said how she'll vote. the reality is a couple things are going on here. one, the white house does not want to in the middle of all of these contentious confirmation hearings this week show defeat. they're trying to delay this
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process as long as possible. and they do believe that there is a legitimate argument that there is a double standard, a sexist double standard here that is coming up to bite one of the first nominees. for the last four years, the idea of a mean common on social media, it doesn't even compare to what neera tanden has done. so is there a double standard? yes, there probably is. was this always going to be a tough nomination? yes, it always was. and most presidents lose at least one cabinet secretary. president obama lost three for health and human services. so this is not all that big of a surprising deal. but in the moment it is a big deal. they like neera tanden. ron klain especially likes neera tanden. >> it's a big deal for the personnel and just for the idea that anything controversial because the divides are so close. so if you get one, then republicans are going to think they can get more and democrats who are trying to get more out of the white house are going to say we can get more as well. jeff does raise a good point. mean tweets were a trade mark for four years of president
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trump. republicans usually just run down the halls when you try to ask them a question and not answer it. this is senator john cornyn, i'm going to say right up front there's a lot of hypocrisy here. but listen. >> my friendly advice to president biden is to withdraw neera tanden's nomination and select someone who at the very least has not promoted wild conspiracy theories. >> uh-huh. so we should withdraw the trump presidency, i guess, from the historical record if that's the new republican standard. but that is the status test of republicans. so if you're president biden, okay, i don't have republicans. that means you need every democrat. the democrat has said i can't vote for her first was joe manchin of west virginia. he insists this is just on the idea that he can not support somebody with that tone. >> there's been some complaint that you're in opposition of neera tanden is sexist. what do you make of that? >> he says it's not personal.
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well, maybe it's not sexist, but it's not consistent. he voted for rick grinnell, a trump nominee who was before that a fox commentator who said some pretty mean things on twitter. >> exactly. i mean, rick grinnell, when he was being nominated to the ambassador of germany had some pretty fiery partisan even toxic tweets of his own. and most if not all republicans and several senate democrats supported him for that position. but i think the difference between the situation beyond kind of the obvious is that at the end of the day, fair or not, neera tanden attacks senators directly. she had made comments about susan collins, mitch mcconnell, ted cruz, and what not. and senate, you know, senators, they don't necessarily have control over president trump. but they do have control over who gets nominated to the cabinet. they are certainly exerting that power right now. >> and to that point, she was
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pointed. and in every administration, i'm not forgiving, a, i think it is sexist, b, it's certainly inconsistent anyway from what happened four years ago. but she did do what she did. and, jeff, let's go through some of it. august 2018 tweet about susan collins, she is the worst. another tweet about susan collins right there december 2017 if susan collins and jeff blake believe, that's about immigration. so three times for susan collins who is still in the united states' senate. and about hillary clinton. russia did a lot more to help bernie than the dnc's random internal emails did to help hillary. there's bipartisan angst about her past twitter handling. she was involved in a progressive thinktank. a lot of people in washington tweet their politics. the question is, i guess, is everyone now supposed to know if you have any aspirations of being in the cabinet someday, keep the fingers off the keyboard? >> probably so. when she was tweeting that in 2016, of course she did not think that she would be nominated for omb.
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but the bernie sanders situation is interesting. when she was nominated, no one necessarily knew that he would be chairman of the budget committee. republicans were still likely in charge of the senate. so georgia happened obviously in the intervening weeks there during the transition period. so, look, we'll see where this goes. most people, i was speaking to someone who's close to her this morning. they say that she understands, she understands where this is going. it's unlikely she'll be confirmed. it's still possible. depends how much the white house -- how much they want to fight for this. is it worth them right now to give up a huge thing when you may need something else down the road. but the reality is, yes, it's a double standard. and, b, if she's not confirmed, there will not be that much surprise by her friends and her enemies alike. >> and they're already saying they'll find another job somewhere in the administration for her that doesn't senate confirmation. jeff zeleny, seung min kim, grateful for the reporting. coming up for us, a bit of a shift. tiger woods now awake and recovering. more about the emergency surgery
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tiger woods is described as awake and responsive after a lengthy surgery on his lower right leg and ankle. that surgery after a rollover crash so serious the county sheriff says woods lucky to live through it. >> arrived on scene.
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the vehicle was rolled over onto the driver's side door. so there was no way to open the door. and he was still seatbelted in. >> that he is alive and well is good. it's nothing short of a miracle considering the damage. >> cnn's omar jimenez joins us live with the latest. omar, what do we know? >> well, john, by all means when you look at the condition of that car, it is a miracle that we're not here in los angeles area talking about the loss of another sports icon. thankfully, we're not. what we know about tiger's condition right now is, as you mentioned, he is awake, responsive, and recovering right now after emergency surgery. they had to have -- he had to have a rod inserted to stabilize both the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg, and screws and pins inserted to stabilize his right foot and ankle bones. now, a big question in this moving forward, not just on his health, but he is expected to be
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okay by the way, but also about how this crash could've happened. out at the scene, there were no skid marks, no indications of breaking according to law enforcement. when deputies responded, there was no indication of any sort of impairment, at least visually on the initial scene, though it's unclear if further toxicology reports will be conducted. though, the sheriff's office says he was going fast, and this happened at a known trouble spot down a hill or that goes down a hill and straight into a curve. so a lot to look into on that front. but the reason tiger was here in the first place was he was taking part in the genesis invitational this past weekend here in the l.a. area, but also shooting a golf digest and golf tv series where he gives on-the-course instruction. but of course that changed in just a matter of days. and here we are, john, awaiting to see what the future of tiger woods will hold. >> omar jimenez, grateful you're
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on the scene for us as we flesh out this reporting. we'll stick on top of this story. thank you. up next for us, back to po politics. a gop declares a civil war is over.
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in a moment, the republican party's conspiracy problem. first, though, it's fantasy problem. senator rick scott of florida is in charge of helping republicans win back the senate in 2022. so you cannot blame him for wanting to gloss over divides and focus on areas of unity. but wishful thinking does not an
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identity crisis erase. quote, the republican civil war is now canceled. that's what senator scott wrote yesterday. well, let's just say there were plenty of republicans who did not get that memo. senator ron johnson of wisconsin is among the incumbents on the ballot in 2022. at a hearing yesterday he quoted from a nonconspiracy theorist and suggested those trump supporters we all saw storming the capitol were not true trump supporters. >> a very few didn't share the jovial friendly earnest demeanor of the great majority. some obviously didn't fit in. and he describes four different types of people plain-clothes militants, agents provoceteurs. >> senator johnson was quickly criticized by republican congressman adam kinzinger.
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kinzinger says they must now -- disgraceful, disservice, dangerous all labels congressman kinzinger attached to senator johnson's remarks. with us the former utah republican congressman mia love. i want to start with you. your old friend in the house thinking that he must call out what he heard from senator johnson in the senate. is it helpful to the party if leading members like senator johnson continue to promote conspiracy theory and things that our own eyes tell us are not true? >> i really don't think it's helpful. and i've said it over and over again. i've worked with adam kinzinger. he's a great friend of mine. and he's doing everything he can at this point to try and save the republican party. i talked about this with adam at length. and he said we need to start talking about what we are looking towards the future, what we're looking forward to, which is our policies that are good for america, not the past, not donald trump.
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we need to start getting away from the trumpism, as you would say. >> but trump remains quite central to this, scott, as you well know. you still conduct with the republican leader mitch mcconnell who wants to move the party away from the president. i want to come to some specifics on that in a moment. an ally of congressman kinzinger, liz cheney gave a speech yesterday in which she said it's critical for the republicans to make clear they're not the party of white supremacy. that you have to say that tells you right there you have a problem. today at the house leadership conference, the question of president trump and his plans to speak at the cpec meeting this weekend came up. listen to this. >> do you believe president trump should be -- speaking at cpec this weekend? >> yes, he should.
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>> on that high note, thank you all very much. [ laughter ] >> it's both funny and it's not in the sense that you see the open tension within the house republican leadership. the former president is going to come back to the stage this weekend at a meeting cpac used to be called -- it's still called the conservative political action conference, but i'm going to call it the conspiracy action political conference. they have a whole bunch of workshops on the big lie. is that helpful to the party as it tries to build for 2022? >> well, no. i mean, i think on november the 6th last year we reached the limits of trumpism. we saw what he can do. and that was before the insurrection. and so now we have what he could do plus the new stuff. and it just strikes me as unlikely that if we put trump at the center of our election strategy in '22 or '24, that we would do any better than we did in november, which is to lose the national popular vote.
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i think what a lot of republicans are wondering is, you know, how do you continue on with some of the new people that trump has brought to the party, which is undeniable? well, at the same time recapturing some of the old people, which is probably more than he drove away. i think what we learned is a lot of folks didn't really mind so much the policies. but they just didn't think that trump was a responsible governing person, that he was responsibly running the country. and so i think that's the question for the republican party. are we going to tell and show the american people that we can be trusted with a high level of responsibility? and that's why we got rejected last year, and it's not helpful if you go around trying to deny what happened at the capitol on january 6th. >> well, we don't know what the climate will look like in november of 2022. but we do know history tells us the republicans have a pretty good shot to take back the house and take back the senate, given the narrow majorities right now, given that a president's party normally loses seats. senator david perdue of georgia went down to mar-a-lago to see
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president trump to think about this race. the meeting did not go well. people briefed on it said. mr. trump was focused on retribution, particularly against senator mitch mcconnell the majority leader, now the minority leader. and governor brian kemp of georgia. this is the subtext of any republican trying to run for any competitive important seat anywhere. do you want to deal with the former president's insistence that if you want my backing, you have to continue to push the big lie? >> yeah. this is going to be a mountain that republicans are going to have to climb. and donald trump has made it very clear that his agenda is to actually go after republicans who weren't 100% supportive of him. which the leadership really has to do something about that. they really have to find a way to get trump out of the picture and start talking about those policies. remember, the house of representatives is only won by
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the democrats by 31,000 votes. a little over 31,000 votes is what splits the majority between democrats and republicans. and there are some people still there trying to figure out where to go, what president that they could support. and as biden is working towards stimulus and it's totally partisan and we see all of this issues that's going on in terms of partisanship in congress, this would be a great opportunity for republicans to regain the house and even gain the senate. but if republicans continue to fight each other and continue to put donald trump as the center of the part eye a, we're going to lose. and they're going to lose big. >> and so what are the conversations, scott, among especially in mcconnell land, for example? yesterday he was asked, he gave a very devastating speech. but a very tough speech against the former president. he was asked about it yesterday. he said i really don't have anything to add on on that subject. is that the mcconnell approach,
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just not talk about trump and hope people eventually stop asking? >> well, i don't think he plans to mention donald trump again. i don't think they're going to speak again, at least in the short term. and i think what he's thinking about are all these senate races that exist in a 50/50 world where republicans do have a real chance to regain the majority. that's the difference i think between mcconnell and trump is mcconnell has this one singular mission which is to get up and go to work every day and to keep his conference unified and to try to win back the majority. and trump has a mission that's more personal, which is a revenge tour. these things are not necessarily, you know, going to be able to coexist in all races. i think where the rubber's going to hit the road here is when the party wants to try to do something in a race and thinks it moves towards getting the majority back, what's that going to look like? and i expect that drama is going to play out in a number of states. so i think the conversation is just simply this.
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what do we have to do in enough states to get back the majority? for mitch mcconnell it's not emotional, it's not personal. it's just you can't govern unless you have the majority. and to him a political party is supposed to win races for the purpose of governing. i think trump has a different purpose. >> if the former president can talk to the top republican in the senate, then senator scott might have to rewrite that civil war is canceled memo. scott jennings, congressman love, we'll continue the conversation. it's going to be fascinating going forward. up next the postmaster general apologizing for what you already know, last year's slow mail delivery. available in parts of many cities. it's ridiculously fast. buy samsung galaxy s21+ 5g. get one on us. only on verizon. did you know you can go to libertymutual.com to customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? really? i didn't-- aah! ok. i'm on vibrate. aaah!
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covid's still a threat. and on reopening schools, we know what happens when we don't put safety first. ignore proper ventilation or rates of community spread, and the virus worsens. fail to provide masks or class sizes that allow for social distancing, and classrooms close back down. a successful reopening requires real safety and accountability measures. including prioritizing vaccines for educators. parents and educators agree: reopen schools. putting safety first.
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topping our political radar today, we could get details as soon as tomorrow about who the intelligence community believes is behind the murder of the "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi. three sources familiar with the plans say the u.s. intelligence community will soon give congress that long-awaited unclassified report on the 2018 murder. we know the cia assessed with high confidence that mohammad bin salman had personally ordered that killing. but no intelligence officials have spoken publicly or presented their evidence. the postmaster general louis dejoy called the slow season unacceptable. >> we must acknowledge that
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during this peak season we fell far short of meeting our service targets. too many americans were left waiting for weeks for important deliveries of mail and packages. this is unacceptable, and i apologize to those customers who felt the impact of our delays. >> asked how long he was planning to stay on at the top of the usps, dejoy told the house and oversight and reform committee, quote, a long time, get used to me. up next for us, the biden administration and the border already a political flashpoint. ...and then what happened daddy?
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early biden administration actions affecting the u.s./mexico border are drawing fire from both the right and the left. it is just day 36 for the new administration and will take some time to implement the major changes team biden promises from the trump approach at the southern border. and so it will take time to have a more thorough assessment of their impact. but these early days are quite busy. the white house issued a 100-day moratorium on deportations. but a federal judge is blocking that change from taking effect. the biden team is still using a trump administration order that allows it to use the threat of the coronavirus to turn away migrants who approach the border. and biden administration plans to open an overflow facility for unaccompanied migrant children under fire from a leading house progressive. the democratic congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez tweeting, this is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay. no matter the administration or the party. cnn's priscilla alvarez is with us to help us sort through all
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this. if you watch conservative outlets, biden as opened the border. if you look at liberal twitter feeds, biden is continuing a lot of trump. where are we and where are we going? >> so, the reality on the border, john, is that migrants continue to come to the southern border in addition to the thousands who are still there under a trump-era policy. so the biden administration is in this juggling act where they're trying to take a more humane approach to immigration while also trying to manage the increase of migrants on the border. so, they're leaning on a trump-era border policy to do that. and so border officials can turn away migrants who arrive at the border, meaning that they can kick them back to mexico or their country of origin. now, the make-up of who's coming includes families and children, and that's where trouble comes up. so, as you mentioned, there is an overflow facility that was opened up this week for children who arrive to the u.s./mexico border alone. because of limited capacity in facilities and because, honestly, border patrol facilities are just not equipped to take care of children. so, again, this really boils
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down to the biden administration trying to execute on its campaign promises, while contending with the realities on the ground. >> and in some cases having to contend with pending court cases including this judge who blocked the deportation policy. >> so, correct. and what is going to happen now is that the biden administration wants to lean on this trump-era border policy. but soon it may not be up to them. the lawsuits are in federal courts challenging the use of this public health order on families and unaccompanied children. so, in time, the courts, they make the decision for the biden administration on how it proceeds with this border policy. >> priscilla, grateful for that reporting. and we'll see whether congress gets involved in this and does anything as well. priscilla alvarez, grateful for the context. there's a lot of dust about this issue as it plays out. thanks for joining us on "inside politics" today. we'll see you back here at this time tomorrow. don't go anywhere. ana cabrera picks up our news coverage right now. have a good afternoon.
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♪ hello on this wednesday. i'm ana cabrera. and i want to welcome our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. we begin with a potential game changer in the devastating pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 500,000 americans. the fda revealinusa single dose 85% effective against severe coronavirus. now, even more encouraging perhaps is the data hints that this vaccine may even prevent asymptomatic infection. j&j found after about nine weeks after the vaccine was given, it seemed 74% affective against asymptomatic infection. it doesn't just keep you from getting sick, but it may prevent you from getting sick at all. today the fda is confirming johnson & johnson has met the requiremts

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