tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 20, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
biden takes questions from the american people in a special town hall. he will joined by anderson right here tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern. thanks so much for joining us. ac 360 starts now. good evening. we begin tonight with breaking news in a major discovery in the manhunt for gabby petito's fiance brian laundrie. what appears to be human remains and items belonging to him in a nature reserve in north port, florida. it comes a month and a day, i should say, after petito was found strangled in a wyoming national forest. our randi kaye is near the scene in florida. zw joins us now with some you? information she's been getting. so what do we know about what the fbi has found? >> reporter: well, anderson, earlier today, the fbi announced they found what appear to be human remains here at the carlton reserve alongside those remains, they found a notebook and a backpack which they say do belong to brian laundrie. we have some new information about where exactly this discovery was made.
i am told by a spokesman for the north port police department that all of this was found about a two or three-mile walk into the reserve from this entrance here behind me about a 45-minute walk is how it was described. and keep in mind, this entrance is where the laundrie family car, a mustang, was found by north port police on september 14th and tagged as an abandoned vehicle. so if these remains do belong to brian laundrie, and if it was him who drove the car here, then he did take a walk fairly deep into the reserve. and, anderson, we have also been able to confirm that the laundrie parents -- brian laundrie's parents were also here at the reserve when these remains were discovered earlier today, anderson. >> sorry, just two quick questions. sorry. how -- how far from where these items with found to the -- the place where the car was left? >> reporter: about two or three miles is how it was described to me by the spokeman for north port police. in the carlton reserve, this park where we are, this entrance
serves as an entrance, one of several entrances into the carlton reserve but the remains were found in the carlton reserve about a 45-minute walk from this spot. >> and you said brian laundrie's parents, are they cooperating? >> reporter: they are now, apparently. they haven't always been cooperating, though. they didn't really want to answer questions. they pointed police to their lawyer, early on. but just about a week or so ago, brian laundrie's dad did come out with authorities, and search this area. tried to show them where his son's favorite hiking trails are, where he liked to camp. and then, just last night, we're told by the family attorney that roberta and chris laundrie called the fbi, called north port police and said we want to go search for our son in the morning. we plan to do that. so law enforcement accompanied them on that search, as well. we did interview the spokesperson for the north port police department for this documentary that we did on gabby petito. and he said that, you know, early on, they wouldn't answer questions about why gabby petito might have been missing. they also waited four days to
report their own son had disappeared. so, he said that police described their behavior as odd. here's a bit more of that conversation. why do you think brian laundrie's parents would have waited four days to tell police that their son was missing? >> yeah. i can only speculate. i can only, you know, the potential that maybe they thought that he was surviving in the woods. i -- you know, i don't want to speak for them, certainly. but i don't know. i -- you know, that's -- that's something they will have to answer to. >> is there anything to suggest that you are aware of that brian laundrie's parents chose to give their son a head start from police? >> i have no information on that, one way or the other. we all want that answer, right? or that's one of the answers that we want. >> reporter: and cnn has reached out to the laundrie family attorney for comment on the apparent human remains that were discovered here, and we were
told no comment, anderson. >> randi kaye, appreciate it. randi, stay with us. i want to bring in forensics scientist laurence kobilinsky, john j. college of justice. and former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe. so, professor kobilinsky, what are the next steps in trying to identify whatever remains have been found? we know investigators removed evidence from the laundrie home last month to assist in dna matching. what happens now? >> well, that is the very first step in this process. first of all, dental records can be looked at. x-rays of bone fractures if he had any, that would be looked at. fingerprints would be helpful if there were fingerprints still on the body. decomposition can do quite a number on different body parts but obviously dna is the way to go. and the fbi is now using something called rapid dna. they can literally get a result in a matter of a few hours, so it's a great technology. it's usually not used in this
kind of a case. but it can be. so, i suspect they will have an identification very quickly. of course, we really need to know cause of death, manner of death, and time of death. cause of death here is very important. remember, the body was submerged and that means that decomposition would have been slowed down, as compared to a body above ground. now, how he died is a real important issue. toxicology may shed some light. that takes time. that's not like rapid dna. it could take a week or two till we find out what the tox report says but that's where we have to go. and then, time of death is also quite an important factor. it's just very similar to what we were facing with gabby petito's body. here, this body was exposed for about five weeks. so i expect advanced decomposition. >> andrew, i -- this -- the idea that brian laundrie's parents told investigators they wanted
to help with the search today, and these articles and human remains were found shortly after certainly seems -- i mean, how do you interpret that? >> well -- well, it seems odd, right, on its face. it's -- it's a remarkable coincidence and it's one that i'm -- i'm afraid a lot of people -- hopefully, not the investigators -- are -- are kind of jumping to conclusions about. but when you put it in the context of the rest of the information the fbi told us today, specifically that the articles that are -- belonged to laundrie and the suspected human remains were found in an area that was very recently submerged in water. it puts it in -- in a slightly different light. that could explain why when brian laundrie's father went out to search in a very -- you know, in that very area a week or so ago, there weren't any great discoveries. so -- um -- i would -- you know, i -- i think the laundrie family has raised a lot of reasonable
questions with the way they have conducted themselves throughout this situation. their reluctance in talking to law enforcement. their delay in reporting their -- their son's disappearance. all very curious and -- and issues that need to be dug down on i'd be reluctant to jump to any conclusions based on the coincidence of today's discovery. >> and randi, i know you have some reporting on what a source told you? >> that's right, anderson. a source close to the investigation just revealing to me tonight that the remains that were discovered today seem to have been there for a while. that is a direct quote. i am also told by the same source that the condition of the remains prove to -- to -- it -- it will be quite some time, he thinks, before they are officially identified. he said that that's why the medical examiner was brought in. this is going to be a very thorough process and a painstaking process to identify these remains. but having said that, anderson,
this same source also telling me tonight that he is not aware of any additional search for brian laundrie. so, some interesting information that we are getting tonight. >> so, professor kobilinsky, if -- if that pans out to be -- if that turns out to be accurate and based on what the source is telling randi, when remain -- when a body or -- when -- when a body is in water over a long period of time, how does that impact things one way or another in terms of being able to -- the process for identification? >> well, decomposition slows down. so that's a good thing. but, you know, remember, there's animal life in and around that area. bodies that are in advanced decomposition sometimes become disarticulated. parts become separated from each other. and animals can carry parts around to different locations.
that may be why they brought the cadaver dog in because there may have been some parts of the body that were not completely connected to the torso. and that -- that might explain that. um, where we go from here? again, the autopsy is going to be next. and we may learn a little bit more about the cause of death here. >> does it -- i don't want to get too specific here. but the fact that -- that remains are outside and, you know, bugs and insects. doesn't that actually help with ti timing -- figuring out the timeline or the -- the -- the time of death based on gestation period of various insects? >> you've got it right, anderson. you should be an entomologist. yes. after three days -- after three days, it becomes very difficult to determine time of death. and therefore, you have to resort to entomology. and different insect species,
like blowflies or sarcophagus-type flies will eat the flesh and change -- species change over time. and entomologists understand this time course. and that's why you have a broad estimate, a range of possible times. that's what we saw in -- in gabby's death. and we probably are going to see the same thing here. >> andrew, the fact that i mean according to a source, investigators are not searching, as randi reported, not searching elsewhere for brian laundrie at this time. again, does that say the manhunt is over? or is it just, you know, could -- could it just be they're not searching right now? >> you know, i think it's a clear indicator that their strongest lead is the one they're currently working at this crime scene, right? it also is an indicator the fact that they are probably condensing their resources on this search at the scene where the body was found. this will likely go on for several days. the fbi will -- will cover every centimeter of that area to make
sure they've recovered every single possible piece of evidence. it's a painstaking and kind of grueling process. and they will spare no effort in getting that done. let's not forget that despite what happens from this crime scene, they still have the responsibility to determine who killed gabby petito. um, and so, the investigation continues, working the evidence and the leads they developed from that crime scene in wyoming as well. so they got a lot on their hands. >> appreciate it. thank you. coming up next, profiles in republican courage and cowardice in the search for truth about january 6th. and answers from the former president's associates, congressman adam schiff from the house select committee joins us the night before an expected vote to hold steve bannon in contempt. and later, columnist and best-selling author tom friedman joins us with a lot to say about it and where it's leading us all. epair sensitive teeth. my patients are able to have that quality of life back. i recommend sensodyne repair and protect with deep repair.
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bipartisanship, for that matter. courage as well. also, sadly, the opposite which is the least surprising thing these days. today, the house rules committee took the final step needed to send a contempt resolution against steve bannon to the floor tomorrow. shortly before air time, steve scalise urged members to vote no on it. today's committee vote to proceed was 9-4 along party lines and follows the house january 6th select committee's unanimous vote last night to bring the charge. select committee chair bennie thompson and republican vice chair liz cheney both testified today. here's what she told her fellow republicans about steve bannon, the man who boasted on his january 5th podcast about what would happen the next day. >> he said all hell would break loose on january 6th and he was right. that over 140 capitol police officers who fought for hours and were injured. and there is no doubt that steve bannon knows far more than he says on that video. >> bannon, as you no he, is
defying a subpoena from the select committee. he was also, in more ways than just boasting involved in the planning and promoting of january 6th. in their new book "peril," bob woodward and robert costa recall a late december phone call he had with the former president. bannon told trump to focus on january 6th. that was the moment for a reckoning. people are going to go what the expletive is going on here, bannon believed. we are going to bury biden on january 6th. blank bury him. woodward and costa also report that the former president called bannon at the willard hotel in washington on january 5th. so you can see why members of the select committee, including republicans liz cheney and adam kinzinger want to know more. as for nearly every other republican on the rules committee today and throughout congress, it's a different story. congresswoman cheney closed her remarks today with a challenge to them which we think bears listening to in its fullness. >> i urge you to do what you know is right. to think of the long arc of history. we are told that it bends
towards justice. but it does so, only because of the actions of men and women in positions of public trust. in many nations, democracy has failed because those with authority would not act to protect it because they sat in silence. history will judge those of us in positions of public trust. remember that as you cast your votes. as you think about how you will answer when history asks, what did you do when congress was attacked? when a mob, provoked by a president, tried to use violence to stop us from carrying out our constitutional duty to count electoral votes. when a mob, provoked by a president, tried to overturn the results of an election. will you be able to say you did everything possible to ensure americans got the truth about those events?
or did you look away? did you make partisan excuses and accept the unacceptable? >> well, the answer was apparent even before she asked the question. here is a member of the house republican leadership this morning making partisan excuses when asked if he believed it was important for congress, his own institution, not to roll over when someone defies a lawful subpoena. >> i think you are seeing most members get tired of the witch hunts and the games. let's focus on policies that affect everyday families right now. instead of these partisan witch hunts they want to keep going on. >> he can't even use original words. witch hunt. he has to mirror the former president because that's all they can do now. here's ranking rules committee member, tom cole, making more partisan excuses. >> it was clear when speaker pelosi created the committee and unilaterally blocked leader mccarthy's appointments of republican members that her goal was to ensure that only her chosen narrative was told. a sad state of affairs, mr.
chairman. with that, i yield back. >> well, he did more than just that, actually. turning the floor over to republican congressman jim jordan and matt gaetz. as cnn was first to report, the select committee has asked their phone records be preserved along with those of the former president in connection with the 6th. today, jordan who was questioned by committee chairman and has given conflicting accounts on this, couldn't recall how many times he spoke to the former president that day. >> i talked to him that day. i have been clear about that. i don't recall the number of times but it's not about me. i know you want to make it about that. >> joining us mou now, house select committee member, adam schiff. democrat of california author of midnight in washington and how we almost lost our democracy and still could. congressman schiff, what does it say to you these republican members of congress are basically saying it's okay to ignore a congressional subpoena? even -- even if you don't think steve bannon did anything, even if you don't think this whole thing should go forward, this is
a lawful congressional subpoena. members of congress for them to not even back up congressional power is extraordinary. >> it is extraordinary. and it really defies the expectation of the founders that members of the congressional branch would defend their own institution. that ambition could be made to check ambition. but here, they are willing to sacrifice the congress. they are willing to sacrifice their systems of checks and balances in the service of this unethical-former president. and it is, you know, it -- it is really quite shocking. when you listen to steve scalise, their number two, the gop number two member of the house. just a week ago, couldn't admit that the election wasn't stolen. no wonder he doesn't want the contempt to go forward. he -- you know, he feels, evidently, as the republican leadership does, it's more important to support the cult of donald trump than it is to defend their own democracy. and -- and it's this abdication
of their oath of office that has our democracy on such fragile ground. >> it's -- i mean, i just -- i'm just struck by his use of the term witch hunt. you know, it's just kind of pathetic that he has to kind of even use the language of the former president. i guess, in the hopes that he will get an atta boy from the president. make, he'll get, you know, the holy grail. an actual call or, you know, a special message from the president. the former president. saying, you know, great. it's just kind of pathetic. i mean, after the full house vote tomorrow, it will almost certainly get referred to the justice department. what do you think attorney general garland is going to do? >> i think he will present it to the grand jury as the statute says he has a duty to do so. and i think all the signs have been very positive the justice department has made available top-former justice department officials without asserting any kind of privilege. they have made accessible, records from the national archives belonging to the prior administration without any
assertion of executive privilege. the president, himself, i think made it very clear that those who violate the law should be prosecuted. and i -- in my view, this will be an early test of our democracy. is it recovering? is -- is it still true in america that no one is above the law? because if that is true, you know, anderson, that if any one of my constituents back in california were to ignore a subpoena and simply failed to appear, there would be an arrest warrant for them very, very soon thereafter. >> select committee vice chair liz cheney said last night, quote, based on the committee's investigation, it appears mr. bannon has substantial advanced knowledge of the plans for january 6th. and likely, had an important role in formulating those plans, end quote. i mean, aside from what bannon said on his podcast the day before the insurrection which, you know, i guess you could interpret it as all hell is gonna break loose. you know, people are going to be really upset. they're going to, you know, just be upset. and ignoring what's in the bob
woodward and robert costa book "peril" about being at the willard hotel january 5th in a war-room type meeting. does your committee have more information beyond that on bannon? >> you know, i can't comment on -- on what we have that's not a matter of public record. but i think, certainly, someone that was as close to the president, is as close to the president as steve bannon, who was organizing in -- at the willard hotel, efforts to persuade lawmakers to decertify the election and overturn the results. and who made those comments which, on their surface, seem to predict exactly what happened. the fact that he was telling people also i think on that radio show or podcast that if they felt that they had missed out on the american revolution, here was an opportunity for them to participate in one. if there is an innocent explanation, then he should step forward and give it. the fact, though, that he is fighting this, that the former president is fighting this, i
think, speaks to his consciousness of guilt. >> so, congressman jim jordan says that he can't recall how many times he spoke with the former president on january 6th. he's been kind of all over the map on that one. does the committee want to talk to congressman jordan? >> well, i'm -- i'm not in a position to announce future witnesses. but i can tell you this. on a very nonpartisan basis, i think every member of our committee is dpetermined to go wherever the evidence lies. to members of congress, to the -- the former white house. anywhere we need to fill out the public record, and expose all of the events that led to january 6th. our whole goal is to write a set of recommendations to protect the country going forward. and if jordan has information or anybody else, we won't shy away merely because they're members of congress. >> just lastly, you said the big black box in all this is what the president's role was. you have also echoed chairman thompson's comments that no one is off the table for a subpoena. at what point would you subpoena the former president, himself?
>> you know, i think before you -- we take a step like that, you want to gather as much information and evidence as you can because you are going to get one crack at it. and so, i think we have a lot of work to do before we make the decision about whether we take that step. and certainly, before we would take that step. so, i still consider us, you know, frankly, although we're mobbi moving with incredible speed, to be early in the vision investigation. and i would want to know what documents we would present to a key witness, what other testimony we would be aware of before we questioned a key witness. so i don't see that happening until later in the investigation, if the chairman would make the decision to go there. >> adam schiff, appreciate your time. thank you. the book again is midnight in washington, how we almost lost our democracy and still could. next, new signs of how deeply the big lie is now embedded and growing in a state that went for joe biden but has now gone politically off the rails. piece of... no-you-really-have-to-try-this cake.
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we built the recycling system from the ground up, helping san francisco become the first city in the country to have a universal recycling and composting program for residents and businesses. but it all starts with you. let's keep making a differene together. we showed you in the last segment how most republicans on capitol hill continue to shirk any sense of responsibility or accountability for what happened on january 6th. it's all part of the president -- former president's big lie that's not limited just to washington. those lawmakers, along with former -- the former president -- have hammered that lie so hard and hammered it so often that it's spread beyond the capitol, and to the rest of the country. it's now basically the price for entry for statewide republican
candidates running for office in arizona. one candidate there is even suspected of being q, the leader of qanon. a reminder, arizona is where republicans spent months conducting a so-called audit and found no proof to support the former president's false claims of a stolen election. these candidates are dug in. and some are talking to cnn's kyung lah. >> no masks in here? [ applause ] another round of applause. of course, the media -- the media is all masked up because they want to spread the fear. >> reporter: this is our introduction to arizona gubernatorial candidate kari lake, a donald trump endorsed republican candidate for 2022. rising star of the right wing. and proud spreader of lies about the 2020 election results. >> you could say biden won the presidency kind of like oj is innocent. >> you're amazing. >> reporter: lake is among a
group of 2022 arizona candidates putting election falsehoods at the heart of their candidacy. secretary of state candidate, mark finchem, also endorsed by trump, is repeating the very lie trump wants followers to believe. >> by removing the fraud, donald trump won. >> reporter: ignoring facts and reality. finchem, a four-term state representative wants to be arizona's chief elections officer. but lake has gained early attention. a presumed front-runner in arizona. >> i am kari lake with a look at the top stories. >> reporter: a longtime former phoenix television anchor who quit her job. lake has built a name i.d. and a dedicated following like the students who insisted on gathering around her. >> you have a crowd. >> hi, everyone. >> reporter: as she agreed to speak with cnn. >> are you going to win? >> i believe we will. yeah.
>> reporter: a cornerstone of lake's campaign? baseless fraud claims raised by the republican-led sham review of maricopa county's 2020 presidential election. >> the system is corrupt. have you followed what's happened in our election here? >> absolutely. i covered the audit. >> reporter: relentlessly, repeating misinformation. do you think it was the right thing to do to delete a bunch of million files the day before the audit? >> that was roundly debunked. >> not by the press but by the maricopa county recorder's office. >> okay well, you are buying into everything they say. these are the same people who did not want this forensic audit. i know what you guys are trying to do. you don't give a damn about our elections. you have got a narrative, and you are trying to push it. >> and what is that narrative? >> we -- the narrative is everything -- it's fraudit. it's fake. i will be damned if when i am governor, we are going to have another election run this way. >> i'm afraid for our future. >> reporter: tyler mo mta g is an arizona republican strategist who fears the damage of his party's election-denying
candidates. >> they have a losing message. they are strongly identified with the conspiracy that -- that the election was stolen from trump. and a strong majority of the voting public does not believe this. >> hey, everybody. i just went behind enemy lines. >> reporter: ron watkins, the man many internet sleuths believe is the q behind the qanon conspiracy theory is another denier of the truth. a republican hopeful for arizona's first congressional district. the first-time candidate just moved to arizona to run for office. >> what do you think happened in november 2020? >> president trump did win the election. and that's -- the election was certified to president biden and that biden is currently occupying the white house. but the de facto leader is still president trump. >> reporter: but president trump didn't win the election. despite overwhelming evidence against it, watkins believes there was fraud. >> well, it could potentially be 100,000. it could be a million votes.
we don't know because the databases -- the databases were -- were deleted and -- >> they're still there. >> well, let me tell you, everybody has a superpower and i am a computer programmer and my superpower is abstract math and i am able to look and see things and patterns that most people are not looking for. >> reporter: while he denies his rumored rule as q -- >> i am not q. i never posted as q. i don't know who q is. >> reporter: watkins is an influential leader. trump retweeted him multiple times leading up to the january-6th capitol riot. telling followers to go to the capitol. some waving q flags, led the violent insurrection. to this day, watkins struggles to see the consequences of the conspiracies he spreads. including, what happened on january 6th. >> they were there because they were upset that their representatives -- >> were they wrong for what they did? >> i am not going to go into what was right or wrong. what i will go into is that i -- i asked people --
>> trying to kill representatives, you are not going to condemn that? you are not going to condemn what they did? >> i condemn crazy people doing crazy things. >> the capitol rioters? >> look, ms. lah, i condemn crazy people doing crazy things. >> not the capitol rioters? >> are they crazy people doing crazy things? >> storming the u.s. capitol? >> that is a pretty crazy thing and crazy people did that and i condemn crazy people doing crazy things. >> reporter: once on the fringe, conspiracy theorists and election deniers are now leading candidates fighting to bring their beliefs and their base into the halls of power. this time, not by force but by vote. with one catch. do you agree with president trump when he says that republicans should not vote unless 2020 is adjudicated again? >> i think that everyone should vote. i think everyone should vote. >> kyung lah joins us now. um, wow. you spent a lot of time in arizona recently. do you get the sense that voters buy into the big lie as much as these candidates do?
>> reporter: well, there is a reason that the candidates -- at least these particular candidates -- think it's a winning strategy. because if you talk to a certain section of voters, especially very conservative, you know, republicans in sections of this state, yeah, they -- they buy it. they believe in it. but here is the problem. and here's what a lot of moderate republicans or center-right republicans are telling me. that in the general election, in a purpling state, it is not a winning formula. that, if anything, this is hurting the republican party's future here in -- in the state of arizona because instead of talking about the policies of the republican party that can draw more voters in. what they are talking about are lies and conspiracies. and in a state that has a history of republicans, anderson, like barry goldwater, john mccain, they don't believe this is the dna of the state. >> anderson. >> kyung lah, appreciate it. thank you. thanks. coming up next. a look at where this all may lead and more with "new york times" columnist and
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black the blue, urging members to vote no on holding steve bannon in contempt of congress because he refuses to testify about his role in the attack on their workplace. given that along with flavor of politics you saw before the break, tonight is a good night to step back and take a look where it might lead. joining us is tom friedman, he is best-selling author of more books than we can list including this one. thank you for being late, an optimist's guide to thriving in the age of accelerations. i got to say, just watching kyung lah talk to some candidates in -- in arizona is -- was superdepressing. um, i just want to play one thing that one of them said. >> the system is corrupt. have you not followed what's happening in our election here? >> absolutely. i covered the audit. >> do you think it was the right thing to do to delete a bunch of -- million files the day before the audit? >> that was roundly debunked. not by the press but by the maricopa county recorder's
office. >> okay. well, you are buying into everything they say. these are the same people who did not want this forensic audit. i know what you guys are trying to do. you don't give a damn about our elections. you have got a narrative and you are trying to push it. >> and what is that narrative? >> the -- the narrative is everything -- it's fraudit. it's fake. >> first of all, she was a -- a -- allegedly, you know, anchor or newscaster or something, you know, i don't know how to even wrap my mind around that. um, this is superdepressing. i mean, i don't know if she believes that. or just if she knows this will get her that bunch -- you know, help her in the primary. and she is willing to be a shiny, happy liar. >> you know, anderson, couple things come to mind. one is something that i said to you in our conversation before the election. country not right. country not right. our country's not right. um, but given that, what is even more depressing to me is we have
one party who as we advance into the 21st century, we have so many things to think about and their -- their candidate, their main position is a big lie that donald trump won the last election. there is no diagnosis of the world, global trends, needs of education, needs of corporations. they are running on a big lie. against them, is a party running on a big idea. a big idea. but they have not sold that idea effectively. the democratic party, given where the republicans are right now, anderson, should be wiping the floor -- wiping the floor with them. and yet, we are watching the virginia election coming up and wondering if terry mcauliffe, the democratic gubernatorial candidate will squeak by. so i think we have to ask a couple of questions. one, how did this party get so crazy? this republican party. but what's going on with the
democrats? that they aren't just sweeping the floor when they have got a big idea against the big lie. >> well, what do you think? what is the answer to that? what do you think is wrong with them? >> i think that the party has gone too far to the left. for this country that is still center-right and center-left. think about it. you know, last year, we all watched george floyd killedby police in my hometown of minneapolis. and after that, millions of americans basically woke up and said, you know, i have been hearing this. you know, from african-americans. now, i get it. now, i get it. and they were really open for a both-end solution. both, better policing and more policing in neighborhoods that are really suffering from terrible gun violence. and what did the progressives offer, first? defund the police and then delegitimize police. what a wasted moment. the country was ready for a
both-end civil rights movement and it was squandered, i'm sorry. and now, we have got a similar thing with the economy. my god. people don't want democratic socialism. they don't want just to hear that we're helping people who are hurting. yes, we must help them. they want to hear that you don't have a safety net, you have a launching pad, joe biden. you have a launching pad plan that is infrastructure, hard infrastructure and human infrastructure that's going to launch a public-private partnership. both, our companies and our people to realize their full potential. we have a launching pad here. not some giveaway that got whittled down from 3.5 to 3 to 2.7 to 2.5 to wherever the heck it is right now. this is so exciting, what they are trying to sell and they have so poorly sold it. and that is what really democrats should be asking themselves how the hell could we be losing when we have a big plan, and all they have is a big lie? >> i can't tell if just, you
know, we're in -- you know, immersed in this stuff every day and watching it every day. and, you know, reading about it and following it and i can't tell if, you know, maybe -- maybe -- i mean, is it that bad? i mean, is it? i don't -- i don't know. people ask me on the street all the time saying are you depressed? like what do you think? and i don't know. like, is this -- i have seen societies fall apart. i've been to, you know, bosnia. i have seen this stuff up close. i am not saying that's going to happen here but i don't know. is it? >> i will see you one and raise you one. i lived in one of those soebtds societies in beirut. i lived there during a civil war and you know what i saw? i saw politician after politician think they could hack way at the government, promote conspiracy theories, and it would all -- it would all hold together until they took over. then -- then, they would do maybe the right thing. and you know what happened after
you do that for three decades? they actually hacked it apart. it fell apart. that's where beirut is today. and once it's broken, it's gone. that can happen here. there is nothing granite about this government. it it's just people and norms and when those people start abandoning those norms that support those laws and those institutions, it can go. you can't just tell those lies over and over again till you get in power. and then, think the system's going to work for you. you know, these republicans. you have people like ted cruz. you have people like, you know, josh hawley. these are people who are ready to burn down the country, as long as they could be president of the ashes. that's what they're doing. as long as they can be president of the rubble, they're fine. >> and you know what? i mean, those people. when -- when society starts turning on itself, it turns on them, as well. like, they think that they are, you know, they went to harvard or wherever they went.
i mean, the -- the wheel spins pretty quickly when things start to spin out of control. um, tom friedman, i appreciate you -- you joining us. thank you. coming up next. new reporting on what could be the final white house push to get a deal on legislation. talk about what tom was talking about, could affect the lives of millions of people and make or break the biden presidency. we'll be right back. ents, get sa comprehensive exam and full set of x-rays with no obligation. and if you don't have insurance, it's free. plus, get 20% off your treatment plan. enjoy flexible payment options and savings when it matters most. we're here to make your smile shine bright so you can start the new year feelin' alright. call 1-800-aspendental 7 days a week or book today at aspendental.com
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. president biden returned to his roots in scranton, pennsylvania, this evening to make the case for his economic package as negotiations hit a critical point. >> somewhere along the way, we stopped investing in ourselves. america is still the largest economy in the world. we still have the most productive workers in the world, the most innovative mind. we risk losing our edge as a nation. >> president biden is hoping democrats on capitol hill will soon approve his economic agenda and bipartisan infrastructure plan. in the meantime, the social spending package is shrinking. for more, let's go to cnn's phil mattingly at the white house. as the president tries to sell the agenda can you explain
what's in it. >> however much is in, and those have been the dynamics over the last several weeks. because of joe manchin, and kyrsten sinema, the package has been scaled back from $3.5 trillion, to $2 trillion to a shade under, to the child tax credit, they wanted to extend four years, now looking like one. medicaid expansions. medicare expansions all being scaled back. the length of the subsidies for the affordable care act scaled back as well. certainly programs likely to be dropped, free tuition for community college won't be in the package. the corner stone of the climate portion of the legislation, a clean energy standard has fallen out due to manchin's oppositions. they are trying to include as many of those components as possible. programs for shorter durations and less money, trying to put as many programs in place and hopes to build on them in years to come, underscoring in the near term they can provide the most help to the most people.
>> senator sinema, what's the latest on what she wants and what the white house is willing to let go. >> the best description was from a democratic hill source that referred to it as enigma. democrats don't have a great sense of where she stands on many things. senator sinema has been very clear, and her team she is negotiating directly with the white house. one of the things that's come out of the gonegotiations is th critical pay fors, the revenue streams that would result in his sweeping proposal having no net cost, she's opposed to several of them, including an increase in the corporate tax rate. that has left the white house to scramble over the course of the last 24 hours. the reality is this, if tax increases are off the table to any scale, the white house has significant problems. they're trying to address those problems right now. that's not the only issue. prescription drugs as well. a couple of others. the reality is there's still work to do. they believe they can get a framework agreement as soon as the end of this week. >> just a reminder, thursday
night, 8 eastern, a town hall with president biden will be the moderator. thursday, 8:00 eastern time. more news ahead, we'll be right back. s out it's mostly water. so, we switched back to tide. one wash, stains are gone. [daughter] slurping don't pay for water. pay for clean. it's got to be tide. wealth is your first big investment. worth is a partner to help share the load. wealth is saving a little extra. worth is knowing it's never too late to start - or too early.
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experience amazing at your lexus dealer. joining us for tomorrow night's town hall with president biden, i'll be moderator, the news kocontinues, i want to han it other to chris for prime time. >> it's a great moment to have the conversation with people and the president. great to have you there. i'll be watching, not just because i have to come on after it. i'll be watching. it is chris cuomo, welcome to "primetime, we may have a couple more answers in the gabby petito case. one comes from an exclusive interview with the laundrie family attorney in a moment. the other comes from the fbi about what was found today and whom may have been found today. >> investigators found what appears to be human remains along with personal items, such as a backpack and notebook belonging to brian
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