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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  August 25, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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good morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. breaking news this hour. cnn has learned that the u.s. has a, quote, very specific threat stream on plotted attacks
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against crowds outside the kabul airport. meaning to heighten concerns about security there. the u.s. believes the terror group isis-k wants to create mayhem at the airport, something that the u.s. and taliban both want to avoid. and the u.s. has credible intelligence that isis has both the capability and planning to carry out such attacks. all this according to u.s. defense official. president biden acknowledged the growing threats of violence around the airport, part of the reason he cites for announcing he is standing firm on that fast-approaching august 31st deadline for the withdrawal of all u.s. troops from afghanistan. it is making the rapid pace of airlifts out of the country more critical than ever. the white house has just announced that about 19,000 people were evacuated in just the past 24 hours. you can see some of them going there. in total, more than 82,000 people have been airlifted over the course of the past 11 days.
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we are expecting an update on that evacuation effort from secretary of state anthony blinken a few hours from now. we'll bring it to you live. let's begin, though, on the ground at the scene. cnn's sam kiley is on the phone on a c-17 about to take off from kabul. sam, that plane is going to be loaded with refugees as well. tell us what you're seeing now. >> reporter: right now, jim, i'm watching a royal air force aircraft, the back end of it closing up to take a couple of hundred refugees. that's going to be packing away. we're going to be loaded with about 450 are going to be joining myself and other journalists who are also being evacuated at this stage as part of the military draw down here. they will be flown to qatar where they are likely to be held for many, many hours, we
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understand, on the ground, awaiting clearance. this has been one of the real issues in terms of the evacuation. it's been highly successful of getting people out of kabul. it's a lot less successful from a humanitarian point of view later. you were just reporting about isis-k. intelligence -- since the very beginning and indeed serious concern for the taliban as we discussed the taliban two days ago -- isis-k at the location, for exactly the bomb attack you were reporting there in your introduction. >> sam, question for you. i've been speaking to afghans who work for the u.s. who have been trying desperately to get to the airport over the last 24 hours, and they can't get there. the taliban controls the entry points. they have been beating them and others. of course, you and cnn has
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reported that previously. based on your vantage point over the last 24 hours, have some been able to get to the airport? and how exactly? >> reporter: in really slow numbers. there's only about -- as of this morning there were only about a thousand passengers, evacuees to go. it is drastically down from the 4,000, 5,000 ready to go most days. and, of course, down from the 20,000 people. now there's only a thousand. that is because the taliban have taken access to the airport -- afghan, even those with special immigration visas. that is now being highly effective. there are very few numbers indeed getting through to the gates. yesterday there were 9,000 at the gates in the morning, but --
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not exactly sure of the figure. and so clearly they have been getting a few more people in. it is very difficult indeed. and get pockets of people when they've been able to be identified and when safe passage has been possible or when it's been possible for security officials to get to them or find a method or seek a method by which they could organize that without causing friction with the taliban. inevitably and tragically, there will be people who can't get to the airport because they're afghans, even though they have been working closely with the united states. inevitably in the end, there may be some americans that get left behind. possibly as a result of their own choices, but there have been a lot of urgent messages going out from the evacuating authorities as we speak. the people running the evacuations here to the state department -- from the state
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department, effectively to americans to get to the air field as soon as you can. that's easier said than done when taliban cooperation seems to be falling away, at least in terms of the movement of human beings here. so the numbers are very significantly down. >> the sad fact is many of them, they're on their own. sam kiley, we're glad you're safe. safe flight home. let's go to cnn international security editor nick payton walsh. he's in qatar where many of the evacuees have been going. first, i do want to talk about this very specific threat stream that defense official has told me about on planned attacks against crowds outside kabul airport. it's been a continuing concern as you and i have talked about. they say they have the capability and the plans to do so. what does this mean for the evacuation efforts? >> reporter: yeah, i mean, look,
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i think if you've been around the outskirts of the airport, seeing the taliban checkpoints, seen the panic, the crush, the difficulty getting people over the gates, the idea of adding isis-k potentially detonating a suicide bomb or something in those crowds is either not the main thing you're worried about because of all those other issues, or a massive potential extra threat that changes everything. so isis-k have been substantial problem in afghanistan for a long time, blamed for a lot of the most savage attacks we've seen in kabul. so certainly they are a group with a track history of this. how they get their way through the taliban checkpoints there, how they maneuver themselves, that is unclear. but it's certainly playing heavily into the minds of u.s. officials, be no doubt about that. if you put together all the other things they have to worry about now, particularly their own evacuation of their own troops and how that will function over the days ahead, the enormous pressure put on the soldiers there to put their gear
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in the planes to leave behind nothing that could be of use to any potential adversary, that, of course, is just another n dynamic in the issue to be concerned about. this morning i was told by a source close to the airport situation that there are about a thousand people on the airbase at that particular point. that's not necessarily an ambition massively dropped. they're being taken out fast when they get on. it does appear the numbers getting on have reduced. that's because the scenes at the gates have been chaotic. the taal been do appear to be stopping some srv applicants getting through. it appears to be chaotic. some being escorted on, some getting on through their own ingenuity, others simply being stopped. also to the south of that airport, there does appear the main entrance to be some sort of taliban-negotiated entrance through which convoys that have prior arrangements can get through and then onto the u.s. side. so there are ways in, but from
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what i understand, the numbers getting on have dropped a lot. and the fact you're seeing sam and other journalists being flown out at this point may suggest we're into a different phase of this operation, jim. >> it's a fair point. i've been hearing similar. nick payton walsh in qatar, thanks so much. this afternoon we will hear directly from secretary of state anthony blinken on the acquisition, not only for those who worked for the u.s. and americans in afghanistan out. the president urging, quote, the sooner we can finish the better. cnn's jeremy diamond is at the white house. jeremy, the sad fact is if finishing is the goal, that's not going to happen. many will be left behind. i've been speaking to folks all night who can't get to the airport. is the white house aware of that? are they willing to live with that, in effect? >> reporter: well, the white house press secretary jen psaki was pressed on this very important yesterday especially in the wake of the taliban saying they were not going to let afghans go through the checkpoints to the airport.
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she insisted the white house is coordinating with the taliban and siv applicants will be allowed to go through. but the reality on the ground as you say, jim, is very, very different. even reports of green card holders not being allowed through these checkpoints, not being able to get to the airport. as this mission begins to shift as we are seeing from an evacuation mission to withdrawing u.s. forces who are all supposed to come back within the next six days according to the president's orders, we are going to see some people left behind. a senior administration official acknowledging as much, that there are some deserving afghans who will be left behind. now, the president, though, is making clear that his rationale for doing this withdrawal by august 31st, is based on those evolving security concerns that you're reporting on. listen to the president just yesterday. >> i'm determined to ensure that we complete our mission, this mission. i'm also mindful of the increasing risks. every day we're on the ground is another day we know that isis-k is seeking to target the airport
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and attack both u.s. and allied forces and innocent civilians. >> reporter: and clearly here, the president's nightmare would be to see a terrorist attack on these civilians around the airport, potentially hurting u.s. forces as well that are on the ground. but listen, the question is how many more people can the u.s. evacuate before it needs to withdraw all of its forces. and remember, the president did commit last week to getting every afghan who helped the united states who is eligible for siv visas out of the country. it is hard to see exactly how that happens. we are lastly, jim, expecting to hear from secretary blinken today who is going to give an estimate on the number of americans who have gotten out so far and those who still remain in afghanistan. that's going to be a key figure. jim? >> many remain sadly. that's a fact. jeremy diamond, thank you. joining me now to discuss the broader picture, david sanger, white house and national security correspondent for "the new york times." david, always good to have you. before we get to the evacuation
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efforts, i want to begin with you with another headline this morning. that is the taliban telling afghan women in the simplest terms to stay home. they claim until they can establish security measures. but i wonder in reality, knowing the taliban's medieval view of the world and of women and women's rights, if this is a taste of things to come. >> well, we certainly got to think that that is going to be what's coming, jim. it was interesting how they worded that. they said that they wanted to have women out ultimately, but they aren't framed their own forces and did not have the discipline right now to treat them properly. i think that tells you just about everything that you need to hear about how this is probably playing out outside of kabul and outside of areas where there are cameras. the taliban are walking this fine line here right now where they know the way they want to rule the country, but they also know that they need the funds from the west, and so they need
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to appear to be different from the way they were 20 years ago. i'm not sure they can hold that together for very long. >> yeah, well, listen, i was talking to a woman who is eight months pregnant, overnight, trying to get to the airport. the taliban was beating her with bicycle chains. so their words and their actions, the actions are alarming. i want to ask you about this deadline, august 31st. it's coming. it does appear by the moves that are being made now, journalists out of the country, some u.s. soldiers being pulled already, that, in fact, the evacuations will at least taper off before that date. is the president right that it's too risky to extend it, to extend that deadline? >> well, certainly there is huge risk in extending it, and there is risk every day. i think everybody is sort of amazed there hasn't been an attack on the outside of the crowds outside the airport, because it's not all that difficult, one would think, for
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isis-k or others to pull that off. i think the president was caught in a vice here. clearly they started too late with the evacuations because they thought they had the luxury of time. now they've been trying to make up for that. we wrote in today's times about the president's desire to have the greatest airlift in history. but we now know that airlift will be short in duration. the berlin airlift which he mentioned not long ago lasted for nearly a year. this one is going to have lasted for about two weeks. while they've gotten a lot of people out, all the reporting we've been hearing suggests those numbers are about to diminish dramatically because people simply can't get inside the walls. >> let me ask you this question, alternatives, right. there was a view. i've talked about it a lot on this broadcast. general milley and others to say, finger in the dam. keep 2,500 forces on the ground, as counter terror presence. it allows confidence for the afghan military as well as the government.
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prop up the "house of cards," in effect. alder and others made a pointed to that that status quo was not realistic because the taliban had held off attacking u.s. forces by agreement, and that had the u.s. stayed, in fact, it would have been a very different picture going forward. which do you think is correct? >> well, i think they're probably both correct. had we stayed, jim, i think it might have made a significant psychological difference to the afghan forces. once it was clear that everybody was leaving, they saw very little reason to fight because they didn't think the backup would be there. that isn't necessarily an excuse after 20 years. it's just the reality of what happened. that said, i think that the analysis that you heard from alder is the same one you and i heard from president biden. is that basically to make a difference, you'd have to move up to 3500 or 4,000 troops, and you would never have the right moment to leave. and so i think consistently the
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president has taken the position that he's going to set a date certain because if he doesn't, there is no date ever to get out. >> yeah. a consistent position between trump and biden, republican and democratic president. >> that's right. >> david sanger, thanks as always. >> thank you, jim. catch 22, you know the phrase. it was about world war ii. fits right now about afghanistan. all night i've been speaking with those who worked in afghanistan and trying save their lives as well as organizations trying to evacuate them. the biden administration says it will attempt to evacuate all afghans who worked for the u.s. and want to leave. however, to take up that offer, most must get to the airport and those evacuation planes on their own. their freedom and their lives depend on one gate to one airport in one city all surrounded and controlled by the taliban.
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what does that look like? begging, pleading, bribing, fighting their way through taliban checkpoint while taliban fighters beat them and often block them entirely. i spoke with a woman last night who is eight months pregnant who tried for hours to run that gauntlet and understandably gave up. she was beaten with a bicycle chain. her husband told her he'd rather be killed by the taliban than put his family through that again. so that is the reality. a hunger games fight to the exits, or you're left behind. a catch 22 for a new war, and a new time. new details released this morning on the johnson & johnson booster shot. there is some promising data. we're going to have that for you. plus the number of children testing positive for covid-19 is now at levels not seen since last winter. experts warn it will only get worse. and speaker nancy pelosi, she's at the podium right now. this after moderate democrats coalesced around her strategy on the president's economic agenda.
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news this morning as the nation tries to fight the delta-fueled covid surge. johnson & johnson says that its preliminary data showed that people who received booster doses of its one-shot covid-19 vaccine had a big spike in antibodies. cnn's senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen has been looking at the data here. this is important because it shows that not only one vaccine, if you get that booster, you can really boost your immunity to this. >> that's right.
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let's go over a little bit what the johnson & johnson vaccine is. it's been a while since we've spoken about it. so, johnson & johnson has been called the one-shot wonder. you only need one shot. but remember, in their clinical trials it was 66% effective against moderate and severe covid. good, but not as good as the other two vaccines that at that time were more around 95%. so let's take a look at what the study did. it was a small study. what they did was give everyone one shot. waited six months later, and antibodies increased nine fold. in other words, from the one shot, about 28 days later, antibodies reached a certain level. but when they waited 28 days after the second shot, antibodies increased nine times where they were shortly after that first shot. that really is saying something. now, jim, i'll adhere that one-shot wonder, several public health experts we talked to said it didn't quite work out that way. only 14 million americans have received johnson & johnson. compare that say, to pfizer which is 100 million johnson &
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johnson vaccine to be used around the world. one shot doesn't need to be kept at these really cold temperatures. it hasn't quite worked out this way. we'll see if this changes anything. >> for sure. options are good. just have to get people vaccinated. let's talk about children. cases in children, can't be vaccinated unless they're 12 and above, our now reaching levels we haven't seen in months. where is that and where is it expected to go? we're not even into wintertime. most kids aren't back in school yet. >> that's right. so these numbers are really quite alarming. let's take a look at what has happened, even just over the course of the summer. if you take a look at the week of august 12, there were about 180,000 new cases among children. compare that to the week of july 15th. not even a month before. only 38,000 new cases in that week. that really tells you something. now, some people might look at these numbers and say, oh, does it really matter? children, you know, a tiny percentage end up in the hospital or end up dying. that is true. but the more cases you have, the
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more hospitalized children you're going to have. the more dead children you're going to have. and as dr. rochelle walensky the head of the cdc put it to a member of congress, children are not supposed to die. you shouldn't even have one child dead from this virus. so it is worth trying to get these numbers down. >> elizabeth cohen, thanks very much. let's speak more with dr. carlos del rio, executive associate dean of emoryie school of medicine grady health system. dr. del rio, always good to have you on. help us understand what we're learning here about children. listen, i've got two kids below the age of 12, not vaccinated. i don't want them to get infected certainly, but i do look at the data and i know it's a very small percentage of children who get severe disease. how should parents view this? should they view this as a moment to take reasonable precautions, wear a mask in school, for instance, watch for news of approval for a vaccine for 12 and under? or do they need to look at this, in your view, more -- with more concern?
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>> jim, i would think about it the way you would think, for example, about letting your kids walk to school or, you know, drive their bike to skoom. you want to allow them to do that, but you want to do it in the safest possible way. you want to put a helmet on them, when to cross the street, et cetera. i would say the same way. the best way to protect children not candidates to be vaccinated, 12 and under, are to do two things. one, have all the adults around them vaccinated. anyone over the age of 16 should be vaccinated. and number two, we need to make sure everybody who is with them and those kids are also wearing a mask. and that's why, you know, baffles me that we have had so many controversy about masking in school. if i was sending my kids that age to school, i would want them mask and also ask the teacher, anybody who is with them also mask. reduce the risk to the kids is critically important. >> i'm with you. the idea that people either for politics or not understanding the science or refusing to mask
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or get vaccinated themselves, putting kids who can't be vaccinated at risk just blows my mind. let's talk about the news about the j&j booster because the j&j shot, it's a small percentage of the many hundreds of millions of doses now put out. pfizer and moderna in this country far in the lead. that's it, it's important. it's one shot. should this give us some encouragement here? because now you have another option with the booster that reliably according to the data fights back against the delta variant. >> well, you know, jim, let me start by saying we have no clinical evidence that you're seeing more failures with just j&j than with the other vaccines. so i think we're coming to a premature conclusion. we have no data saying those who got j&j are getting hospitalized more than those who got pfizer or moderna. the protection is about the same. i'm not very concerned about that. what we see in the studies, an increase in antibodies, we need a study that tells us it
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translates to better protection from infection and decrease hospitalizations and death. and the clinical outcomes data simply not there. so this is encouraging news, but again, i would be very careful about making the leap of faith saying because of this therefore that means it's protective. >> fair enough. it's a smart point. by the way, having options is good, no question. final question, if i can. we have a lot of concerning data about what the delta variant is doing, particularly in states with low vaccination rates. we have some better news, though, right, where we see the daily average of vaccinations tweaking up, that kind of thing. we see a lot of school districts requiring masks as the public health guidance is. are you seeing any, any data that gives you an indication that the country is responding to the delta surge in a way that should encourage us? i'm not saying the threat is gone. you get my point, though, here. are there signs that we're getting a handle on this? >> well, you know, without doubt
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we're seeing more and more people vaccinated. but again, the people vaccinated today are not going to be protected until six weeks from now. so it's going to take some time. but i think people are taking de delta seriously. i think they're realizing this is something they need to be concerned about. i'm hoping as a result of that we're starting to see a flattening of the curve, delta increases in some places. even florida is beginning to see a little bit of flattening which may be encouraging news. the reality is delta is better. i want to reassure if you've been vaccinated, you really are in good shape even with the lower protection against infection from delta. there may be breakthrough cases but you're unlikely to be hospitalized or dead. the problem is people who are not vaccinated. if i was not vaccinated, i would really be scared about this strain. this is really highly transmissible and you can get -- you can end up being very sick. i can tell you, we have our hospitals full of people who have not been vaccinated who are in the i.c.u., who are on ventilators. and this is really -- this is the tragedy, right. >> the vast -- the data shows the vast, vastst vast majority
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of folks getting sick or hospitalized are the sick and unvaccinated. dr. carlos del rio, thank you very much. >> glad to be with you. just moments ago speaker pelosi addressing the visit to afghanistan of two members of congress in recent days. let's have a listen. >> when did you learn that congressman molten, congressman meyer traveled to afghanistan and is that what prompted your letter instructing members not to travel to the region? >> around the same time -- a little before it was in the public domain. i'll tell you why it wasn't -- we didn't make it known, because it would be dangerous for them. a matter of hours, but still, until they were airborne, it would not have been safe for them. the secretary of defense, secretary of state, there is a real concern about members being in the region, and so with the,
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shall we say -- shall we say knowledge of the secretary of defense as to what the risk would be to these members, a, resources necessary to facilitate their visit and to protect them was an opportunity cost of what we neededs to do to be evacuating as many people as possible. so it's not just about them going to afghanistan or them going to the region, because there's a call on our resources diplomatically, militarily and the rest in the region as well. so this is deadly serious. we do not want members to go. >> so you're disappointed in them specifically? do you wish they hadn't gone? >> i haven't heard what their -- in other words, let me say, i think my letter speaks for itself in terms of people shouldn't be going there. >> madam speaker -- >> yes, ma'am. >> just on that front, have you spoken to them since --
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distraction? >> i don't think this is much of a distraction. we don't want anybody to think this was a good idea and that they should try to follow suit. again, i haven't been busy -- it is an important thing. we wanted to make sure they were safe for themselves, but also for what consequence could flow and ramification if something happened to them while they were there. so they had to make their own case as to why they went and this or that. but it is -- it was not, in my view, a good idea. >> are you going to speak with them, then? >> we'll see. there are other -- they had their committees. see, when you -- this is not just like -- i think i'm going to go to afghanistan. you need the approval of your committee chair. we put out the word to committee chairs, there ain't gonna be no planes for this or that for
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people going to the region or any facilitation. see, the defense department has to protect, but the state department has to facilitate. really? we're trying to get people out. so, again, without having a fuller knowledge of -- i don't think they had any committee approval. i don't know that. i don't know what happened on the republican side, but my understanding is they didn't have committee approval on the democratic side. but in any event, interesting -- i don't think a major distraction because we put an end to any thought that anybody was going there right away. >> thank you. to that end on afghanistan with this -- particularly an effort to try to withdraw folks safely and evacuate them, are what does it say about the fact two members, democrat and republican -- i've talked to a
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number of officers who are working to get people out, they feel so desperate that people need to be evacuated, that they need to freelance on their own. does that speak to this problem about the evacuation? >> no, i think it speaks to that they want to freelance on their own. i would not make anything bigger of this. we have a big challenge to get people out safely and to get them -- to get them -- i talked to malala last week. you know malala. she's a heroine of the world. personal sacrifice, great leadership. and we talked about women and girls, which is probably what her foundation does. but she basically in our conversation and follow-up letter said, most important thing right now is for us to have -- the u.s. to have a strong military presence at the airport and the opportunity for people to get to the airport. it is not in furtherance of that strength for us to have members going over there. yes, sir.
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>> mr. crow, who you mentioned was leading the effort, caucus on this. he said yesterday he's against withdrawing our troops by the 31st. if we're not willing to use the military to protect our citizens and partners and friends, what do we use it for? do you think this is a wrong decision to stick by this deadline if there are potentially thousands, tens of thousands of afghans, partners, their families that are left behind? >> we obviously made a promise and we want to honor it. and i had the enormous respect for mr. crow. he's been a leader, just visionary. he saw what would happen early on and was a leader in passing the legislation in a way to facilitate. the judgment about leaving is a judgment that the president has made. he has to balance the equities of what is the threat to our military and the people at the
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airport versus the advantage of staying, and that's kind of what he said yesterday, but i think we may -- will unfold in that regard. so i'm not -- i think that our most -- i can't go into what happened as a caucus yesterday, but one impression that one might take of people coming out, which i said before, people really wanted to encourage the president to stay longer. but he has to, as i say, weigh the equities of the danger versus the advantage, and i trust his judgment. >> madam speaker, tell us about your reaction to -- your reflection on this week with the gottheimer crew. you've been to a lot of these the last 15 years. i'm curious what your reflection is on what they claim is a deal, you say is not much of a deal. >> no, it's not. it's a clarification. >> we have been listening there to the speaker of the house nancy pelosi. her final answer there
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endorsing, in effect, president biden's decision to leave afghanistan by the deadline, saying she trusts his judgment. we'll be right back. dad! hey, son! no dad, it's a video call. you got to move the phone in front of you it's a mirror, dad. you know? alright, okay. how's that? is that how you hold a mirror? [ding] power e*trade gives you an award-winning mobile app with powerful, easy-to-use tools and interactive charts to give you an edge, 24/7 support when you need it the most and $0 commissions for online u.s. listed stocks. don't get mad. get e*trade and start trading today. what's the #1 retinol brand used most by dermatologists? it's neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® smooths the look of fine lines in 1-week, deep wrinkles in 4. so you can kiss wrinkles goodbye! neutrogena® you have the best pizza in town and the worst wait times. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do.
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this morning president biden's sweeping economic agenda is moving forward after house democrats approved a budget framework paving the way for democrats to spend trillions of dollars in expanding the social safety net as well as moving forward the infrastructure plan. all this critical pieces of president biden's domestic agenda. what's next? joining me now to discuss, anita
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kumar, white house correspondent associated editor for politico. so, rumors of the death of this plan greatly exaggerated perhaps. they have a deal at least for now. i know there are procedural jumps to go through going forward. but in effect, do you expect to see the infrastructure plan passed in september and then the move forward on the budget after that? >> well, it does look like it's going that way. i mean, you're exactly right. for months we keep saying or hearing that things are going to die and they continue on. so it's clear congress, you know, and the white house are really pushing forward on this. it looks like it's going that way, but look, as you mentioned, there is a really big tough task ahead which is coming up with this plan, the details of the plan. and as you know, moderates and progressives really still disagree on the scope of the plan and what should be in the plan. >> they do, but let's be honest here. they both want to spend money, right? i mean, the easiest thing to do in washington is spend money. virtually no one in either party seems to care about the deficit any more. so, i mean, if it's really a
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debate about the top line figure and manchin and the moderates in the house want to bring it down a bit, do you really expect that they're not going to come to agreement on spending some number of trillions of dollars? >> no, i mean, it really does look as you said, that they will agree on something. we just don't know exactly what that looks like. and remember, look, they want to spend money as you've indicated. they also want to keep the majority in the senate and the house. and they really need to pass something to show voters and constituents, look, we did this. this is a huge deal. here's what we've come up with. a lot of the democratic agenda besides this has not gotten anywhere. immigration, voting rights, police reform, the minimum wage, all these things that president biden and the democrats talked about. this is really where they're putting their priority and they need to get something done. >> the president, as you know, getting flack from both democrats and republicans for his handling of the withdrawal from afghanistan. though there is broad, fairly bipartisan agreement on withdrawing from afghanistan in general. but this evacuation, how quickly
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it's unfolded, the mess we've seen in kabul. what are the administration's concerns about this sticking with it, in effect, his approval ratings are down. are they concerned this is lasting damage? >> yeah, you've seen a lot of democrats who are really nervous about this. they think that this is right up there with a couple of the other issues that the republicans are using. so we've seen republicans talk about crime, talk about what's been happening, the surge on the southern border and how that continues on. and also afghanistan. i mean, the good news for democrats, of course, and the thing they keep trying to tell themselves is it's still early. this may not be the issue voters are talking about next year, you know. we've got more than a year to go. and oftentimes as you've seen the last decade, we haven't seen foreign policy really move the needle on some of these midterm elections. so they're looking at that. but, look, they are nervous about it. there are people talking about how president biden made a mistake. these are people in his own
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party that wish he had done things differently, a month ago or two months ago when he announced this withdrawal and he had -- wished that he would go beyond august 31st. and so far we haven't seen the president budge. >> i remember being in baghdad in 2004 when george w. bush was re-elected. it was some of the worst weeks and months in the iraq war. anita kumar, always good to have you on. >> thank you. well, president biden has now been briefed on the intelligence community's review into the origin of the coronavirus. are we closer to a definitive answer on how this pandemic started?
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get a quote and start saving. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. . it's been 90 days since president biden ordered u.s. intelligence agencies to review their intelligence on exactly how the pandemic started. the intel community today is no closer to a conclusive answer as to whether covid-19 resulted from a lab leak in wuhan, china, or if the virus jumped naturally from animals to humans. cnn's david culver joins me from beijing. no closer to a definitive answer. that's kind of rare in the intelligence community. are they any closer to an answer? >> reporter: for folks who were hoping that this might be what brings this all to some sort of conclusion, we're not there. it's not looking like that's
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likely in the knee futures. scientists say it's so heavily politicized now -- on both sides but i would say mostly from beijing, it's unlikely we'll get to the truth soon, at least from a scientific perspective. you have lawmakers that will be briefed on the findings of this intel community review. we expect some of the information to be declassified and released to the public. in the midst of that, nothing that will indicate anything of a smoking gun evidence, if you will. so what are we looking for if you're talking about that one piece of evidence that would say this, in fact, jumped from animals to humans. for that, scientists say you need the one animal that initially carried it. that's going to be tough to find because you need to be on the ground to find that. same thing with the lab. you need to be on the ground and talking to chinese experts in a transparent way, access to the lab books in order to see whether or not the virus was present in the lab before the
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outbreak. that's not going to happen. neither of those are going to happen because the chinese say they have essentially closed the door to any phase two of the w.h.o. investigation. not only that, they're pushing a relentless campaign of propaganda saying not investigate china, go to the u.s. >> classic disinformation from china. no evidence of that. david culver, thanks very much. here at home, the supreme court blocking the biden administration from ending a controversial trump-era immigration rule. the so-called remain in mexico policy forces migrants to stay in mexico as they await immigration court dates in the u.s. the white house argued that reviving the program would result in irreparable harm. joan, i'm old enough to remember month ago when the court had an expansive view of presidential power. we saw that with many trump administration policies. now this. what happened? >> it was the first major
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confrontation between the biden administration and the roberts supreme court. it's not off to a good start. you mentioned the context of deference to the administration, especially in an area of immigration like this, something that touches on foreign policy. >> national security. >> exactly. the justices not only shot it down, but shot it down quickly. what the biden administration said was please intervene. pause this order from the lower court that has said that the biden administration had to, was going to be compelled to revise its remain in mexico policy. not only did they shoot it down, they shot it down within an hour of the final filing from the biden administration. the contrast to what happened in former president trump's early months on his immigration policy was really stark. one other thing i'd mention is the justices did this in a very brief order. the only three justices who protested this and said they would have granted the biden
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administration's request were the three liberal justices. so this was definitely one that broke along familiar ideological lines, but the only thing they wrote in that short order was a reference to a ruling that they had issued last year in president trump's daca policy, the dreamers program. but that was a case that had been -- where the justices said that president trump had not fully explained why he wanted to roll back the dreamers program. that was a case that had been briefed over a series of months. this was handled in a matter of hours, and it's such a different kind of policy. >> explain to me how -- the supreme court is supposed to be on principle and precedent. how can you have conservative justices who for years have been talking publicly about the president has these powers, we respect and support a broad executive power. how do they manage that? >> i think it's all in what someone can argue, the eye of
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the conservative beholder here. i'm sure what the justices who wrote that order were thinking is that back in 2020, we told trump he had to go back and justify his dreamers program. but that was a domestic program where the consequences of ending what -- intervening there would have so disrupted so many young people's lives. whereas this was not a domestic program. this is one that obviously, as you know, impinges on foreign policy, and the consequences would have been the opposite, frankly, and could be the opposite because of all the people being sent back to mexico are having to remain in mexico in dangerous conditions. so quite the opposite, jim. >> goodness gracious. joan business coupe pick, good to have you break it down. still this hour, an update within the hour from the pentagon on the ongoing evacuation efforts in afghanistan. we'll have our next team coverage next.
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good morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. this is the breaking news we're following this hour. growing worries of violence as evacuations continue from afghanistan. cnn has learned the morning that the u.s. has a very specific threat stream on planned attacks on crowds outside the kabul airport leading to heightened concerns. they believe isis-k wants to create mayhe


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