tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN October 22, 2020 6:00am-7:00am PDT
very good thursday morning to you, 12 days until the election. i'm jim sciutto. >> and i'm poppy harlow. we're glad you are here. it's a big day today, a final debate tonight, a growing health crisis and a consequential supreme court vote today. also fresh attacks on an election that is as jim said, just 12 days away. first the senate judiciary committee is set to gavel in at any moment and vote to advance the nomination of president trump's high court pick, amy coney barrett. republicans pushing ahead despite democrats' plans to boycott. we will take you live to capitol hill to see that. then tonight the debate, a final face-off between president trump and former vice president joe biden, the nation bracing for a fiery debate despite new rules meant to crack down on interruptions. see if it works. this morning early insight into the president's strategy. >> the topics themselves i'd say
he's going to answer those topics, but he's also going to frankly answer the questions he wants to. >> all right. all this 12 days before election day and we're learning that iran and russia are actively interfering in the 2020 election. both countries have obtained, and this is key, u.s. voter registration information. u.s. officials are linking iran in particular to threatening emails sent to voters warning them if they don't vote for trump they are in trouble. we have the latest on that. and this, a health crisis gripping the nation and getting worse, a new report has slammed the administration's response to the pandemic, saying that that response has led to somewhere between 130 and 210,000 deaths that could have been avoided. at least 31 states now seeing a rise in cases and new infections right now. we begin with cnn's jessica dean on tonight's final presidential debate. tell us what the two candidates are hoping to accomplish
tonight. >> well, jim and poppy, as you guys mentioned, there are going to be some rule changes, i will walk you through those really quickly so we all know what to expect from that this evening. each candidate is going to be given two minutes of what they're calling uninterrupted time to talk about the subjects at the beginning of each segment. at that time the opposing candidate's microphone will be turned off. after the two minute remarks there will be a period of what they're calling open discussion. at this point the microphones will be on so we can only imagine how that will go. the topics, again, just to remind everyone what the topics will be tonight, fighting covid-19, american families, race in america, climate change, national security and leadership. you can imagine that all of those topics you all just talked about, including these new reports about election interference will likely be talked about on that debate stage behind me tonight. as for the two candidates themselves, you heard a little bit from president trump's adviser there about what they're
anticipating for tonight. we also know that his advisers have counseled him and told him that this is likely the last time that he can change people's fundamental view of his behavior, especially women and senior voters. those are key demographics that he's losing ground to to biden, where biden is really making up a lot of ground. they've also told president trump to cool it down, to not come in as hot as we saw him at that last debate and he has indicated he wants to do that, but will push back. as for vice president biden, guys, we know that he is anticipating personal attacks against himself, against his family, but we can anticipate that as we saw last time they want to be talking -- that biden really wants to be talking directly to american voters, they want to keep bringing this back to issues, two key issues they want to keep talking about, the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. >> okay. jess, thanks for the reporting. big night ahead. let's bring in john avalon, cnn senior political analyst and
susan page, washington bureau chief for "usa today" who might know a thing or two about the pressure of a day like this. i bet you're happy that your evening may include sitting on the couch and watching this instead of having to moderate it. what would you ask tonight, susan, if you were doing this one? >> you know, i think this is the coronavirus campaign, it's all about the health effects we're seeing across the country, the economic repercussions and what it tells us about presidential leadership in response to this pandemic. that is the issue. when we talk to voters those are the issues that they raise with us. >> to that point, susan, and john, the former president, barack obama, unbleached you might say on the campaign trail yesterday and he spoke to this issue of the covid response. i want to play that sound and get your reaction. >> we literally left this white house a pandemic playbook that
would have shown them how to respond before the virus reached our shores. they probably used it to, i don't know, prop up a wobbly table somewhere. we don't know where that playbook went. >> now, what he said is true, that there was a plan and largely set aside. i just wonder will biden -- will his focus or his attempted focus be on covid tonight? >> yeah. i mean, i think there's no question about that. we've got a brand-new study out this morning saying that the government's, the president's botched response led to many, many, many more deaths, which accounts for the difference we've seen between most other industrialized nations in the united states. this is a crisis that the president did not create, but he compounded through his own denial and unwillingness to rely on scientists and best practices, including that pandemic playbook. this is a problem that had been identified and focused on by the
federal government going back to george w. bush. so, of course, joe biden will hammer that home and we will see how specific ekts, but this is the issue number one as susan said, no question about it. >> john, we know from melissa farrah at the white house that the president is going to find a way even if he is not asked about it to bring up china and bring up one of joe biden's sons, hunter biden. and the reason i ask this is listen to how president obama in that speech in philadelphia yesterday addressed the issue of china and i want to get your reaction on the other side. >> listen, can you imagine if i had had a secret chinese bank account when i was running for reelection? do you think -- do you think -- do you think fox news might have been a little concerned about that? they would have called me beijing barry. >> so he did it with a smile and humor and i wonder if you think that's the way that joe biden should respond tonight. >> look, you should always be a
happy warrior and biden is going to be a lot more effective at joking -- using humor as opposed to being a scold. but these are serious fundamental issues, obviously trump is going to trigger him by going after his only surviving son but he should push back by pointing out just that story because it hasn't gotten nearly enough pickup, entirely ignored in conservative media that president trump has a secret beijing bank account and has it during the last election. he's paid more taxes to china than to the united states. >> susan, the former vice president -- listen, the president is going to push the issue of hunter biden attempted business deals in china, emails, et cetera. the president is going to push it probably more than once. i know there's been some debate in the biden camp as to how to respond to that. i imagine they have to. what should that answer be? >> we know that they've been talking about really not just in connection with this last
debate, about how to respond to the accusations about hunter biden and this is, i think, the issue that joe biden has struggled the most to address because it does get under his skin. it's not one that he can handle with humor. what he has declined to do is turn it around and talk about the president's children and their business interest. he has been unwilling to do that. it's a test for biden. can -- can president trump get him off his stride by raising the issue of his son and that is something we certainly should be looking for tonight. >> look, we got a preview of that in the last debate and what joe biden did was talk about his love for his son and his struggles with addiction, which was kind of a judo move that was at the empathetic and relatable. lyndon johnson, i think, is credited with an old line that said the problem with a pig is that you get dirty and the pig likes t that's always the danger
of getting in the dirt with some of these debates. >> interesting that joe biden appears to be trying to put the question of court packing and whether he would support it or not if elected to bed in the "60 minutes" interview. he doesn't totally directly address court packing, it's more about supreme court reform, but listen to this. >> if elected, what i will do is i will put together a national commission of bipartisan commission of scholars, constitutional scholars, democrats and republicans, liberal, conservative, and i will ask them to over 180 days come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it's getting out of whack. >> does he put it to bed, susan page, or if, again, you were the debate moderator would you say can you clarify if that means you would support packing the court? >> you know, it's clear that joe biden's instinct is not to expand the size of the supreme court. he lass said that, he said that
as recently as the last couple days, but that's not good for his progressive supporters who very much are angry about what's happened on the supreme court and want to take some action. but a commission? really? a bipartisan commission over 180 days is the way to avoid coming down with a conclusion not to get to one. >> certainly that's been the washington experience and i give susan all the reasons in the world to be cynical about that, but i think the keyword is bipartisan and the fact he doesn't talk just about the supreme court. he's trying to deal with the politicization of our courts in a way that doesn't compound the problem. >> we will be watching tonight. there are a lot of unanswered questions that need to be answered. susan page, john avalon, thanks very much. well, this morning a damning new report that takes aim at the trump administration's response to the covid pandemic and here is what it says. up to 210,000 lives could have been spared in the united states
if -- globally, rather, if officials had acted sooner. today the fda is holding a meeting with vaccine advisers as the director of the national institutes of health says a vaccine could be available in the next few months. also right now only one state is seeing a drop in new cases in the u.s. 62,000 new infections were recorded in this country yesterday and at least 1,100 americans died. we are so glad on these headlines that mike gloucest gloucesterhome is here. good morning to you. it's very good to have you here. let's start there if we could. the report that i just mentioned about up to 210,000 additional deaths that could have been prevent it had comes from columbia university. i know we can't move back, but given that you've said the next 6 to 12 weeks could be the darkest of this pandemic, what does we as a nation and these
leaders in power take from this report and try to change in the next three months? >> well, you've really hit the question right on the head. this is what we need to look forward to and say, okay, what we've done so far has not been all that successful and we will see this big surge of cases. we know how to reduce the risk of this virus transmission. just look at the asian countries that basically have it largely under control and whose economies are coming back, but it takes inspired leadership. we need to do is explain to people why we don't want them to go to bars and restaurants right now, why we don't want them going to public spaces -- >> michael, i'm sorry to interrupt. stand by. i'm going to take everyone to capitol hill. what you're seeing play out here on the floor of the senate is a consequential moment, it is the senate judiciary committee voting on the nomination of supreme court -- soon to be supreme court justice amy coney barrett, which we believe none of the democrats have showed up for this. let's listen in. >> senator cornyn.
>> mr. chairman, i will just take a couple of minutes. i just find this to be a surreal environment we are in where our democratic colleagues announced yesterday they are going to boycott one of the most important votes this committee will have probably during our enti entire senate for y'all tenure, providing advice and consent to a nominee for the supreme court of the united states. i just want to comment on the pictures that are in their chairs like this is some sort of sporting event during covid-19 and rather than show up and do their job they choose to continue the theater that was part of the hearing. of course, this is all pretext ul. their argument as i understand it is somehow amy coney barrett will violate her oath of office,
contrary to everything she has done and who she is, and somehow that the affordable care act is in jeopardy. she explained, i think, with great skill the issue before the supreme court, it's really one of severability, which is a technical doctrine, it doesn't have anything to do with the merits of the affordable care act, it has to do whether you can sever the -- >> okay. so let me bring in our expert on this, sunlen serfaty who joins us on the hill. can you explain to our viewers what's happening right now? >> reporte sunlen, can you hear me? sunlen -- >> as we wait for sunlen, just a note about the photos that you see there and that senator cornyn was referring to, those are pictures of people who -- democratic members of the judiciary committee say are
affected by the affordable care act, obamacare. of course, their focus in these hearings has been if you confirm judge barrett that she will be the swing vote that might overturn obamacare and that's the origin of those pictures that they put up in their seats and senator cornyn said it was like a sporting match but that's the back story as to why those photos are there. >> they're going to hear that case on november 10th so really, really soon. with he now have sunlen serfaty with us. there is a rule that says you need at least two members of the minority party to make this vote happen, rule 26, something like that, but there is no member -- there are no democratic members of judiciary there right now but the vote is still going to go through? >> reporter: the vote is going to go through, poppy. a complex procedure, first and foremost, the committee rules do say that two minority members, two democrats on the committee must be present in addition to nine other members on the committee in order for this to move forward.
that is what democrats are arguing, that they need two members, two democrats, to push this forward, but there is a senate rule, it's called rule 26, and that republicans argue supercedes the committee rule and that rule says that you just need to have a majority of committee members. so here that's where republicans are saying now we have 12 people here, we have a majority here, and that's why they are pushing this through today, advancing her nomination, advancing it to the full senate floor. >> and, sunlen -- >> i want to note that -- >> just a brief note, sunlen, because, you may not know this, but they have advanced her nomination in a vote of 12-0 here, all republicans of course. so judge amy coney barrett, the nominee for the supreme court, she has now -- her nomination has now advanced to the full senate. sorry to interrupt you, but i just wanted to give that update. >> reporter: absolutely. an important advancement here of course and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has already set up a monday vote for her final confirmation and she is expected to be confirmed in
front of the full senate on monday, by next week, and importantly as republicans' goal before the election day and i just want to again take a moment to step back and say this wide shot of the room that's the image that democrats wanted of this morning. in effect their last protest, this boycott of the committee room, seeing these large posters 2 feet by 3 feet approximately across of people who had been affected by the aca, men, women, children. this is what they have made these committee hearings about, the affordable care act, what would happen if amy coney barrett becomes the next supreme court justice, what that means for your health care, and this is the picture the democrats wanted. i should say the other side of that strategy is the fact that they let the chairman of the committee, lindsey graham, of course, lead off this hearing, speak for i think it was 13 minutes before they voted through 12-0 her confirmation, voted her to the senate floor, and in that -- right off the bat he talked about the fact that democrats had decided to do this
boycott, he said this was their choice, i'm not going to allow them to take over the committee, they made the choice today not to participate. so democrats will be holding a press conference later on capitol hill, but, again, not showing up for the committee today. >> we should note that lindsey graham did say a number of months ago he would not bring up a nominee to close to an election if he were chairman. going back to 2016 that didn't happen when the democrat was a president. just the remember the recent history. >> i'm smiling because that was then and this is now, right, jim? he is also in the middle of a really tough race to hold on to his seat. i would note for our viewers before we move on, remember that this judge will fill as a justice the seat of ruth bader ginsburg, the last justice ginsburg, who was confirmed almost unanimously, right, and those were very different times. thank you, sunlen, for explaining it all. so we're going to get back to michael osterholm on covid right after the break.
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♪ oh, oh, oh, ozempic®! ♪ you may pay as little as $25 for a 1-month or 3-month prescription. ask your health care provider today about once-weekly ozempic®. okay. back with us now is michael osterholm director for the center for infectious disease research and policy at the university of minnesota. thank you for standing by. we wanted to bring our viewers that consequential vote for the supreme court on the senate floor. let me ask you about children because the american academy of pediatrics came out and said in the last two weeks child covid cases have jumped 13%. a, do you know why, and perhaps more importantly, i understand children likely won't die from covid, but they go home to their grandparents or parents and teachers who might. >> we have to break down the category of kids, unfortunately that's a large category. if you look at the cases in children ten years of age or
younger, we have seen only limited transmission, not widespread transmission, we have seen more limited number of cases and we haven't seen nearly the same evidence of severe illness. when you get into adolescents and into high school, which often are all referred to as kids, we're seeing lots of transmission and we are seeing more severe illnesses. so at this point we really have to distinguish between the two and i feel more comfortable that we can have grade schools open in many instances and only see limited transmission. >> you are the author of a new report that was just out, i just read it this morning and the big warning in it is that the covid pandemic has severely strained the u.s. drug supply chain, not to mention so much of the primary ingredients in those drugs have historically come from china, that's an issue of supply, but does that mean that people who are getting sick with other diseases in this country are going to have increasingly hard access to care and treatment because of covid? >> absolutely. there's really a -- two different things happening at
the same time, one is that we already had a drug supply system that was severely challenged of 156 lifesaving critical drugs we need every day. all are generic and most are made outside the united states, particularly in countries like china and india, which when they have their own covid problems that only makes the manufacturing and supply even more difficult. now you add in over 40 drugs that we're using front lines for treating covid patients and the surge need for those drugs has meant that, again, there are more shortages. so the drug area right now is a very, very important achilles' heel for us and we are going to have people who in themselves will not die necessarily from the disease we're trying to treat, they're going to die because we don't have the drugs we need to treat them with. >> in america in 2020. it's a an astounding thing. testing is a big deal, it continues to be a big deal, it's been a big failure point in many
respects, especially early on in the u.s. for this. when or are we going to get to a point where that rapid test is as accurate as a pcr deep naval swab or is that just not possible? i feel like that would make all the difference because then you could test everyone before they went to school, before they got a plane, before they went to work. >> and that's exactly what we need, but we are a long ways from that. i think the white house example pointed that out, that you can't test your way out of this pandemic. you have to really reduce your risk. but it could help. but i think we are a ways away. no the only are we missing people who are really infected with these tests, but unfortunately we're turning up an increasing number of people who are said to be positive when they are really not, which then causes a whole other series of problems. we need to do so much more in testing and to get better tests readily available, but for the time being right now we have to just assume that anything that puts us in harm's way in terms of being in crowds with people, that's what we have to count on,
the testing won't save us there. >> we're not going home for the holidays and i think that is hopefully the story for a lot of folks unfortunately. >> very wise. >> but i want to see the snow that you already have there in minnesota, michael, so enjoy it for all of us. thanks very much. >> thank you very much, poppy. >> for being with us this morning. jim? >> maybe we will see snow? washington this year. >> maybe. still ahead -- well, my kids want a sled. still ahead, top national security officials warn that russia and iran are interfering in our election. what that to mean for the next 12 days, we will speak to someone briefed on the intelligence. that's next. you can get up to 60% off amazing hotels. and when you get a big deal... ...you feel like a big deal. ♪ priceline. every trip is a big deal.
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welcome back. the director of national intelligence john ratcliffe says that iran and russia are attempt to go interfere in the election. he says both countries have, and this is key, obtained u.s. voter registration information with iran posing as the far right group proud boys to send intimidating emails to democratic voters. joining me now is colorado congressman eric swalwell. congressman, thanks for taking the time this morning. >> of course, jim, thanks for having me back. >> now, i know you've been briefed repeatedly on intelligence regarding foreign threats with regard to this election. a headline seems to me beyond the politics that both iran and russia have obtained voter information. without getting into classified information, is this public voter information that they've accessed or have they hacked things that are private? >> well, following what was said yesterday, you know, obtaining any voter information is concerning, still trying to learn more and hoping to get
briefed in the next 24 hours on this, jim. we know that russia sought to do this in 2016. i'm concerned, though, that the dni, the director of national intelligence, ratcliffe, continues to conflate iran's scope, intent, preferences and capabilities with russia's. russia had done this before, they had a reference to tear down hillary clinton and help donald trump, we know right now they have a reference to help donald trump and to tear down joe biden and that they're going to continue to do that. so to put them in the same league would be like putting a serial killer and pickpocket on america's most wanted. it's a different league that they are in. >> on the issue of how far a russia might go in this election or an iran or a china, in 2016 the nightmare scenario was not just disinformation, right, but accessing actual voting systems, whether it be registration or vote counting. >> right. >> what is your level of concern based on the intelligence you've
seen that russia or another foreign actor will take that step and, you know -- and it doesn't have to be nationally, right, it could just be in a few targeted counties here and there. >> well, we know that a few targeted counties here and there, jim, could make the difference and we know 60,000 votes in three states last night made the difference. so what we have to be mindful of as voters is the best thing we can do to outvote russia is to show up ourselves with our feet at the polls. what we're encouraging folks to do is to not let voter interference by russia stop us from achieving the results of showing up. we will sort this out in a biden administration, we will hold russia accountable, but right now the best thing we can do is to just vote with our feet, show up and make sure that russia does not have a bigger impact on this election. >> i get that, but is there a concern that russia will take a step it didn't take on 2016
which is mess with vote counting, try to stop people from being allowed to vote by messing with voter registration rolls? >> of course, that is still a concern, but if you don't have a president giving directives to the intelligence committee to stop that the best thing we can do is encourage people to show up to vote because that can be the antidote to it. they are interfering right now, they are laundering information through congress, you know, this andre durkosh character who has been working with rudy giuliani has had manufactured dirt on the vice president that he has been able to get senator ron johnson to use in his committee hearings. they're still actively trying to do that. i think the country has inoculated against that in a sense that the president was impeached for trying to do this, but russia is not going to stop trying to help donald trump. >> former deputy fbi director andrew mccabe said last night even in the midst of the politics or alleged politics of the statements last night that there is a positive note here
that shows the intelligence community, agencies like the dhs and fbi forward leaning on foreign interference in this election. there is a lot of concern among our viewers understandably that that kind of interference might make their vote not count. what level of concern should they have or should they be confident that even if the president is not talking about this the fbi, the dhs has their back. >> well, the president is the one behind the steering wheel with his hand on the pedal -- or his foot on the pedal and the brakes and he steers this country and people may be in the car pointing to the president saying don't go in that direction or go in this direction, but if he doesn't listen to them he could take our democracy off a cliff. so you could have the best fbi agents on this task but if the president is not giving directives the president is not telling vladimir putin stop doing this.
if he is not putting tough sanctions on russia and having our allies do the same you are going to have uncertainty. russia looks at the president and they have a green light so they're going to continue to press against us and that's why, again, we have to outvote russia and trust that a new administration is going to make sure our democracy always belongs to us. so it's going to be a bumpy ride, jim, but voter turnout is the best way to stop this. >> final question, the "washington post" is reporting that the president's advisers have repeatedly discussed firing the fbi director chrisly wray for among other things not acting on this demand that the fbi investigate joe biden and hunter biden before the election in 12 days' time. do you believe the fbi director's job is in jeopardy and what would your reaction be to that? >> i hope not. the fbi director has spoken truth to power. this president knows this in the last election while he was down in the polls ten days before he did get assistance from the fbi reopening an investigation, so i can see why he would want that,
but the best thing we can do in a new administration post donald trump is to really increase the independence of the department of justice so no president can seek to abuse it the way donald trump. >> congressman swalwell, thanks for joining us this morning. >> pleasure. well, the president's former white house chief strategist is pushing a conspiracy theory about the origins of covid-19, but, again, it's just not true. the cnn investigation into that is next. wanted more from my copd medicine, that's why i've got the power of 1,2,3 medicines with trelegy. the only fda-approved, once-daily 3 in 1 copd treatment. ♪ trelegy ♪ the power of 1 2 3 ♪ trelegy ♪ 1 2 3 ♪ trelegy with trelegy and the power of 1, 2, 3, i'm breathing better. trelegy works 3 ways to open airways, keep them open, and reduce inflammation for 24 hours of better breathing. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems.
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girls are gonna grow up and be about buproud of me for. that my reporter: facebook ceo mark zuckerberg admits a "operational mistake" after the company failed to take down a page promoting vigilante events in kenosha. the complaint says one of the 6 main suspects, adam fox, live streamed a video on a private facebook group. zuckerberg: i go home and just ask, "will my girls be proud of what i did today?" welcome back. so this morning a new cnn investigation is looking into the origins of a conspiracy theory that claims that the coronavirus was created in a chinese lab to be used as a bio
weapon. >> to be clear, it's not true, but cnn did find that a paper promoting this false theory has a direct link to president trump supporter and former white house chief strategist steve bannon. our drew griffin has more. >> reporter: it is a right-wing fueled conspiracy theory pushed to millions of americans. a chinese scientist in hiding but appears everywhere on right wing media and claiming her two research papers prove the virus that causes covid-19 was created in a chinese lab and is a chinese bio weapon. >> it is modern bio weapon in unrestricted way. >> reporter: but a cnn investigation has found shotty citations, questionable sourcing and so many scientists who say it's bunk, the paper is not a credible scientific work, but it is directly linked to one of donald trump's former top
strategists, steve bannon. >> do you believe that a super spreader or some -- was actually sent and somehow has been focused on the white house or focused on president -- >> 100%. >> that 100% comes from miles quo who is using his money and bannon's media expertise to try to discredit the chinese government. they appear together on bannon's podcast, fill the pages of g news and began two nonprofits together. the rule of law society and rule of law foundation. these are the groups who say they support dr. yan and appear on the top of her research reports. columbia university virologist angela rasmussen says the papers are scientific junk. >> anybody with an actual background in virology or molecular virology who reads this paper will realize that
much of it is actually nonsense. >> reporter: cnn spoke to a half dozen scientists who say yan's papers are filled with half-truths, not tenable, one who met with yan and said her first study wasn't plausible. a university of michigan professor said it lacked basic scientific practices. >> i was disturbed to see should a shoddy piece of work. >> reporter: cnn could find no trace of yan's three co-authors in the u.s. or china. she didn't respond to tell us why, but a source tells us three co-authors are sued anyone else for u.s.-based chinese scient t scientists who fear using their own names but the source offered no proof. guo told us yan's work is her work. steve bannon offered no response. yet there is more about her work, some of the sources of her research appear not to be credible.
amanda piefr first alerted cnn to issues with the citations at the end of yan's paper. >> people who aren't experts, aren't scientists, who have not done anything, these are not coming from credible sources. i think that's concerning. >> reporter: a cnn analyst finds yan's sky stations appeared as a paper that was o post on linked inn, written by someone cnn cannot locate. three of the citations that linked to posts on a website opposed to generically modified food. then there is citation 23 which links to anonymous blog posts published back in march. parts of yan's papers appear to be pulled directly from anonymous blogs. >> i don't want to say copy and pasted but it almost has that same effect. >> they took the exact same anything, the exact same phrasing and the exact same captions and put those into the report that was yan's paper and that does not happen in science.
>> reporter: guess where one of those blogs first appeared months before yan's paper, g news, the disinformation news site linked to steve bannon and miles guo. >> as much as i hate to think of the idea of component scientists using their work for political propaganda to me that's what this seems to be. >> reporter: drew griffin, cnn, atlanta. >> steve bannon now faces criminal charges for an unrelated issue, charged with wire fraud and money laundering, he is out on bond. he has pleaded not guilty. how can voter information in the hands of foreign adversaries hurt our election process? i'm going to speak to the man in charge of the election for the battleground state of ohio on that issue and others. it's next. in the bay area, we believe in science.
traffic and air pollution will be even worse after the pandemic. that's why we support measure rr to keep caltrain running. which is at risk of shutdown because of the crisis. to keep millions of cars off our roads, to reduce air pollution and fight climate change. and measure rr helps essential workers like me get to work and keep our communities healthy. relieve traffic. reduce pollution. rescue caltrain. [all] yes on measure rr. more than 41 million americans have already cast ballots in the presidential election. this shatters early voting turnout records. joining me now
to discuss ohio secretary of state frank larose. thank you for taking the time this morning. >> thank you, jim.
>> more than a million in ohio have taken advantage of early voting. does early voting in your state favor either party? >> i don't think it does. i tell you what it does favorite, the democratic process. we've seen double the numbers of voters that we've seen casting previously in 2016 have showed up for early voting as well as absentee voting in ohio and we're just proud to see it. >> no question. good news, more people vote. federal officials announced yesterday that both iran and russia have obtained u.s. voter information in an effort to interfere in the 2020 election. i wonder, have you seen evidence of that in ohio and are you concerned that might be used to disrupt thing oselection day or in advance of election day? >>
we've not seen thinking like this. what i remind our team, the bad guys only have to be right once, the good guys and gals have to
be right every day. so this is something we're always on the lookout for. and ohio has been at the tip of the spear making sure we're prepared for this. we used our federal dollars last year to get our 88 counties up to speed with a checklist they need to get through. i feel good about where ohio is but there's more we have to get through. >> you asked citizens to two things, one report disinformation and two vote. the disinformation, a great deal is coming from outside the country but the sad fact is some of it is coming from inside the country, and the president himself has made unfounded claims about, for instance, the insecurity of mail-in ballots. does that make your job more difficult? >> sure it does. any time somebody is spreading unfounded information about elections, it's something i have to push back against and speak out against, i've been clear about doing that. in ohio our voting system is
trusted, its's been trusted by republicans and democrats for 20 years. it's a secure and safe way to cast your ballot. it's irresponsible no matter who does it. >> understood. the question of poll watchers has come up reportedly. cnn has learned that both republicans and democrats are prepared to deploy approved vetted poll watchers as well. i wonder, do you think that's necessary? there are concerns about voter intimidation. >> sure. it's always been the right of candidates and parties to nominate elections observers, that's what we call it in ohio. their job is to observe. it's tightly defined in ohio's law, they can't be uniformed, armed, interfere with what's going on at the polling location. a party can nominate an
election's observer that's right. but more important than poll watchers we need poll workers. if you want to make a difference and make sure the laws are being enforced, become trained and work the election. >> we had an effomphasis about getting the facts out about voting. what would you say to voters who are concerned, and understandably, about foreign threats, disinformation from outside the country, inside the country, can they have confidence their vote will be counted and two what can they do to make sure it is? >> the answer is, 100%, yes, we run better, more accessible, more secure elections in this country, in ohio, than we have ever before. everyone should feel confident
casting their vote, you have early voting, absentee voting and election day in-person voting. our adversaries want to cause you to distrust the election. don't let them win, vote. that's the bottom line. >> thank you for your time this morning and thank you for your military service as well. >> thank you, jim. tonight, president trump and former vice president biden square off. it's the final debate. but will rule changes keep this from going off the rails? we'll see. our coverage begins at 7:00 eastern right here on cnn. we'll be right back.
all right. it is a huge day. it is debate night. we're glad you're with us. good morning i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. just hours from now, president trump and joe biden face off for the final time before election day, and there are new rules tonight, including a mute button, but don't expect the president to play by them his aides say. >> the topics themselves i'd say he's going to answer those topics but he's going to answer the questions he wants to, frankly. >> okay. one of the key topics of the debate tonight, the growing health crisis i