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tv   CNN Newsroom With Pamela Brown  CNN  November 20, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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panic at atlanta airport after a weapon is accidentally fired inside of the terminal packed with holiday travelers. >> there is people all over the outside of the airport. people are just waiting to try to log on and figure out what the heck is going on. >> also tonight, local covid spike sending european country news lockdown. >> the fourth wave has hit our country with full force. >> the cdc quickly approving boosters for all adults as the urgency to get a third shot
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increases. meantime kyle rittenhouse victim anthony huber's father speaks out. >> we're still in shock. we still can't believe it. we're going to fight until this there is just. >> and stormy weather threatening to cause chaos for millions of thanksgiving travelers. i'm pamela brown in washington, you're in the "cnn newsroom" on this saturday, nice to hava long with us. and at any moment we're expecting a news conference on this afternoon's terrifying incident at the busiest airport in the u.s. as travelers mined up in atlanta, the sound of a gunshot sparked panic. >> get over here. >> chaos as crowds scrambled at the atlanta hartsfield-jackson
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international airport and sp spilled to the outside of the terminal. people were injured in the evacuation. a weapon went off by accident but there was no way of knowing that at the time. we're at airport and walk yus through what happened, nadia, what do we know. >> reporter: misinformation spread quickly and turned the scene in the airport into chaos and confusion for thousands of passengers. initially the reports came out that there was an active shooter in one of the terminals. and when you could imagine how people were responding to that, running and evacuating from the airport, going into termin aales an leaving luggage and belongings behind and hunkering down believing there was an active shooter and that rumor spread much quicker than the truth. the atlanta came out and said this was not an active shooter but an accidental discharge but that did not get to the
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thousands of passengers inside quick enough before so many of them became frustrated and confused and very fearful for their lives on the safety of everyone around them. we do know it was snn accidental discharge. a spokesperson from the atlanta airport tells us that someone, a passenger was going through the tsa check point area and it was spotted. his bag was flagged for having a firearm inside. and then the tsa agent went to look inside of that bag and the passenger lunged inside, grabbing the firearm and then zeptsly discharging that firearm. and when that happened, everything seemed to happen all at once. people began screaming and running and hiding and the passenger fled and leaving the airport in the middle of the chaos. so the investigation continues into who exactly that man was. what his intentions were with that gun. but the domino effect still continued there after. there was a temporary ground stop, all of the flights coming
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in and out were stopped here at the airport. people were not allowed to trach the trains or escalators, they were in a holding pattern while they waited for more information. well airport employees didn't want to scare anyone so they gave limited details saying there was an emergency and they weren't allowed to leave. people went to social media where they found plenty of misinformation and believed there was an active shooter until the truth about what happened actually came out and spread to combat the active shooter rumor that was spreading so quickly. now right now the airport is back to normal. c you could hear the planes around me. that is a good sign here at busiest airport in the country. because it was pretty silent there for a while this afternoon. with plenty of cars that had backed up trying to pick up passengers, drop people off and as so much information was going around about what happened. now we're seeing the sense of normalcy coming back. but pamela, this is far from over. the atf, the fbi, the tsa, as long as -- as well as atlanta
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airport officials are all investigating exactly what happened and there is a big problem at airports all across the country. people bringing in guns, loaded or unloaded to the tsa checkpoints causing major problems. pamela. >> nadia romero, thank you. and i want to bring in juliette cayenne, a former assistant secretary of homeland security. juliette, nice to see you. so we keep getting new layers to add to our reporting, including the passenger lunging at the weapon after it was discovered by x-ray. does that surprise you that the gun remained within reach after detection? >> no. i mean he lunged at it and didn't get it and our understanding from the tsa statement which came after operations were started at the atlanta airport was that in it went off as it was in possession of the tsa. so let's just -- this is where things that -- numbers that will shock you.
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450 firearms have been confiscated at the last year at atlanta airport alone. people bring or try to bring or forget that they have in their bag a gun. you are not allowed to have a gun unless your law enforcement on an airline. it has to be checked. it has to be in a special box. it has to be disclosed to the airline that there are guns. so none of this is lawful behavior. and i think the only sort of -- not only but the main part of the investigation where is this person. the tsa announcement said that he or she left the airport. they're going to find this person within moments, i would guess. because they have the bag. but that is the big question right now, was the intent to do something ill or was this a panic moment after the gun goes off and the guy goes running out of the airport. >> right. how does that happen. do you view that as a security failure that then the man just runs out? >> runs out. that seems surprising to me given how crowded airports are this weekend. we're all back and moving again. it is the holiday weekend.
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people are traveling for the first time in about 18 months for a lot of folks. so that does surprise me. there going to be a lot of videos. but the gun goes off and everybody thinks it is an active shooter so people may not be paying attention to the -- to the person running off. so this may have happened in moments. i have no doubt that they're going to figure out who this person is and figure out intent. so we should not assume anything right now. this is trying to hold off a lot of rumors about what is going on. it was in the an active shooter case. and people like me would look at what happened, i'm weary of saying this, but in many ways these systems anticipate breaches, that is why we build security systems, layered security systems, that is what happened today. and so the atlanta airport quickly shuts down everything because they don't know what might be in store which was a totally appropriate behavior and then it takes about two hours to get the processes back up and
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running. so that in that two-hour period it could seem like chaos, it is a managed chaos and now get the airlines and people moving again. >> as we await this press conference, as you know, juliette, sometimes initially you don't get all of the right information. but our understanding is that the passenger lunged for the gun and was able to grab the firearm and accidentally discharged it. so -- >> that is right. >> okay. >> so, no, that is -- the weapon is from the tsa statement is seen by the tsa agent at, at that moment the tsa takes it. for a tsa agent, this is -- this is happening once a day. so this is not viewed as something that is shocking or having 450 of these every year. so that is when the passenger lungs at it. and so we're going to have to figure out a protocol where the passengers do not have access to
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the gun on the other side. right. in most instances from the gun was detected, everything would have shut down. so that is where the review is going to be. >> juliette cayenne, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> and we're awaiting that press conference. adding to the chaos in atlanta today, and around the country, all of the people trying to get from point a. to point b. according to the tsa, friday broke pandemic air travel records. more than 2.2 million people going through security screenings and that was just the first day of the thanksgiving travel period. and those are just the planes. add the trains and the automobiles and we're setting up for a chaotic travel scenario. especially with the storm set to wallop much of the eastern u.s. of course that has to happen right now. meteorologist jean norman has the latest. rain and wind and even snow, right, jean. >> that's right, pamela. we have all three and the main thing to think about, there are two storms. one is doming on monday and the other one is coming on wednesday. so if you have travel plans around those days, that is what you want to focus on.
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the first system is just getting itself organized in the middle of the country. a little bit of light showers from chicago back out toward denver. not much in the way of heavy snow n. florida we've had 30 minute delays in orlando today. now that first system gets itself going tomorrow and notice the airports colored in orange. those could have moderate details. we're talking about minneapolis back toward cincinnati and even in atlanta, if we get rain at hartsfield and you know things could slow down. and then late in the day there may be minor delays in the northeast. that is storm number one. but watch what happened on monday. it intensifies and we have a big mess here from boston back down to d.c. rain, heavy wind, 40 to 60-mile-per-hour gusts, that could slow planes down. a little bit of light snow from buffalo back down to the south toward pittsburgh. then things quiet down for a bit. we get a bit of a break on
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tuesday and then storm number two takes hold. notice some snow for denver by wednesday. but also strong winds from chicago back down to st. louis as storm number two comes in and we'll see some rain again from the great lakes to the gulf coast. so regardless of whether your flying or driving or taking the train, i hope you get there safely and check in with us for updates. >> gene, thank you so much. and remember you could sign up to get email alerts from cnn meteorologist and reporters in the field any time at cnn.com/weather reports. coming up this hour, how a man who admitted to sexually abusing four teenager girls managed to avoid a jail sentence. the lawyer for one of his vikes joins us. and then this. >> when we do speak out, especially about satanic things, there are all of these people who come and will try to disrupt. >> the colorful big lie
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during the screening process, a prohibited item was detectived inside of his property which was subsequently flagged for a secondary search. during that secondary search, the passenger lunged into his property, grabbing a firearm that was located inside which ultimately discharged. the passenger then fled the security checkpoint through an adjacent exit lane with his firearm. we're fortunate that when the firearm went off nobody was seriously injured. short time later atlanta police had secured the scene and given us an all clear at which point we resumed normal operations at the airport and within a few hours have h cleared out all of the passengers waiting outside of our security checkpoints. thank you. >> good evening. my name is major reginold
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norman. commander of the police department. today around 1:30 we responded to an accidental discharge at one of the main check points here at hartsfield-jackson international airport. once we responded, we were able to conduct an investigation as to what happened at that check point. we determined that someone who was going through the checkpoint submitted their luggage through tsa and there was an accidental discharge of that firearm. no one was injured. we were able to address that particular incident as well as people self-evacuating from the airport. so my team they focused on crowd control and traffic control and partnering with our partners here at tsa as well as fire here
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at the airport to deal with this situation. based on the investigation, we have identified the suspect as kim wells, a 42 years old, we have taken out warrants for carry concealed weapon at a commercial airport, possession of a firearm, by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm and reckless conduct. we are actively pursuing this individual as we speak. and of course once we conducted our investigation here at the airport, we was able to give the all clear and return back to normal operations. thank you. >> good afternoon, my name is michael win free, winfrey, i'm the deputy chief of operations here at hartsfield airport.
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atlanta fire assisted with the evacuation today during the incident. there were reports of three injures but none reported with the self-evacuation. we provided services to those in need and helped to return the airport back to normal business continuity and that is all. thank you. >> so again as i said, we'll open it up for questions right now. want to make sure that you get that. there were three reports injures associated with this. chief win free could talk about that as well. but i know there is social media reports out there saying there were some other issues, we have three right now, there was one person who was transported if i'm not mistaken. if that is correct. good. now everybody wants to talk about the suspect so i'll bring major norman up here and he'll be able to address any questions that you may have. what do you have? >> you mentioned he had warrants out. you could elaborate on the previous or past criminal history you might have found for this individual?
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>> i'm sorry, i cannot -- >> you can't elaborate? >> no. >> did he say -- >> one of the charges he was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. so he is a convicted felon. >> can you elaborate on the accidental shooting? did he at any point, point the firearm at the agent or did the gun drop, you could explain what happened? >> the passenger reached inside of his property and in doing so accidentally discharged the firearm. >> and was this on the counter where people were pulled aside and set their luggage aside? >> yes. >> so through that plexiglass divider? >> yes. >> can you tell us where he's traveling to? >> i do not know. >> but it was in the domestic
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baggage claim area. >> he was at the main security check point but i don't know where he was traveling to. >> you also have a picture. >> we'll have a picture and we'll be able to send that out from the atlanta police department. >> so when he went out, did he know he got in a car or do you have any idea? >> again, the investigation is ongoing. so the details will be released as the major said. there is a warrant out for his arrest right now and that is the information that we'll share with you. we'll also provide a picture and a description because there was of course a warrant out for his arrest. >> just one more on injuries. you could talk about a person was sent to the hospital. just to be clear, all of these were people who were injured during this entire process, whether they fell or -- >> we don't want to give specific information but we do know there was one person who trip add way from this incident. whether or not it was connected, we're not quite sure. but this was not at atrium at
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the main security checkpoint where it took place. we'll have more information as it becomes available. if you would like a picture of the suspect, reach out to apd and they'll provide it as well. >> is he still in possession of the gun. >> again, the investigation is ongoing. we'll let you know. come on now, guys. thank you. >> let's bring back in cnn national security analyst and former assistant secretary of homeland security juliette cayenne. we just heard from officials talking about the incident today at the atlanta airport. where earlier in the afternoon we know that a gun was accidentally discharged. they say that the passenger had put the case through the x-ray machine. it picked thaup gun and then once that was detected for secondary screening the passenger lunged and was able to accidentally discharge the gun. an update is that they've been
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able to identify the person and there is now a warrant out for his arrest. what did you make of the chrjs that they announced? >> so this is someone who is clearly known to law enforcement. he has a previous felony conviction. whether he is allowed or why he is in possession of a gun, we do not know. and what was interesting about this is whether there is a security breakdown, there clearly is. i don't want an accidental zis charge. he lunged past the plastic barrier, when the luggage comes out of the x-ray. so that is when it is identified, from the chronology that they've provided, that is when the gun is identified. at that moment, they then are going to grab the bag and see what is going on, why is it a gun, why is it a gun, you shouldn't have a gun. that is when he either realizes he's caught or has a gun in his bag and lunged after it and runs off with it. he has the gun. this seems to me, i'm not sure
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how that happens and that is going to have to be reviewed. i also have to just say, i don't -- i never understand having been around and with law enforcement a long time where they are not disclosing at press conference who the person is because the person is on the run. you're going to want the community to help you. and they're going to disclose it to the media when asked. thing loozic that are just antiquated rules, at this stage you want to get this person. they have a gun and they've gotten caught and are responsible for a big inconvenience and something that injured three people. so there will be an investigation into what happened at that moment. but it shouldn't have happened. in other words, that is a security breach of some kind on the tsa as the tsa officer was getting the bag. >> right. the suspect should not have been able to run off with that gun. let's talk about these charges, there are four charges. charged with carrying a
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concealed weapon in a commercial airport, possession of a firearm by a felon, discharging a firearm and reckless conduct. one thing that stood out to me from this press conference is one of the officials said that the passengers self-evacuated. it seems there wasn't good communication. there wasn't right away overhead instruction to evacuate the airport. that seems like something that should have happened, right? >> yes. it is clear that the communication strategy, i'll say the atlanta airport was out quickly that this is not an active shooter. as images were appearing on twitter at least. but there should have been constant communication in particular, we had reporting throughout the afternoon whether i was on earlier that people were just sort of waiting, i remember also in the pandemic, so people are waiting with masks and nervous and fearful. the decision to then open up the airport, which was absolutely the right decision, no reason to
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close down those gates, also needed to be disclosed quickly so people knew they could get back up and starting with atlanta, it is a huge hub. people have missed connections. you have airplanes in the air. and that is something that will have to be addressed. why were so many passengers and people around the security area sort of unaware of what, in fact, was happening at this stage. i will say, just as i said earlier, a gun at a security checkpoint in atlanta is happening more than once a day at this stage. 450 people or firearms have been captured in the last year alone. so people are doing stupid thing and not abiding by the federal law, the tsa rules are clear that you have to check it, you're allowed to travel with guns or have guns on other end but just not in the airport or on your lap in the airplane. thank goodness. so i think there is an automatic violation right there, criminal
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law and then he clearly has a felony past that may have -- that probably prohibited him from maybe having a gun and that was why he lunged after it. we don't know right now. but this is what has to be determined at this stage. >> what do you think is a solution is given what you've laid out? i mean how many guns are confiscated day in and day out in this airport? >> yeah, so, you know, people -- i've been on and off. i have strong feelings about certain guns that i don't think the public needs to have. but the public and this country has handguns. people carry them. they want to go from point a to point b with a gun. and so we always here about gun rights advocates talking about responsible gun ownership. if that is the case, this is something in which a lot of people could agree on, which is this -- i don't know what it is.
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either it is laziness or it is not knowing what is in your bag, or it is just thinking that you could do this because you don't want to be without your gun. that is not responsible behavior. so when the same way that a gun rights advocates want to support continuing gun ownership and constantly talk about responsible gun ownership, this is something that one airport alone is facing this more than once a day. people who own guns are trying to get them on to planes. this is something that we could all agree on. harsher penalties and greater surveillance and get the message out that this is -- i have to say, penalties is no more flying, no-fly lists to get people smarter who want their guns on the other of their flight. >> right. absolutely. juliette cayenne, thank you for your analysis. perspective on this situation that unfolded earlier today at the atlanta airport. and we'll be right back.
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it is almost turkey time and this year we could be thankful for how far we have come compared to 2020. remember this, check out some of the headlines from last thanksgiving. health officials an experts are recommending people stay home for the holiday. covid cases spreading fast and everywhere. well, today, good news here, nearly 100%, 100% of people 65 and older have gotten at least one covid vaccine shot. around 80% of people 12 and older have done the same. and now the cdc and fda are an dorsing a third shot, a booster for all adults. and this comes at a significant
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time. we are seeing the spike in cases in europe and experts see signs of a winter uptick here in the u.s. one key metric is hospitalizations. according to data from israel, cited by dr. fauci this week, the unvaccinated are clearly the most vulnerable. we've known it, the numbers show it. 53.8 per every 100,000 people face severe covid consequences, much more than those who were vaccinated and far more than those fully vaccinated and also got a booster. all of this reinforces what we also has v known, that vaccines work. at look at the numbers. now 33 million people have gotten a third pfizer or moderna dose. so some 114 million are currently eligible according to the cdc. and the republican governor of west virginia makes this case to both the unvaccinated and
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vaccinated. >> this is not over. it is not over. if we want to live this same groundhog day forever more, our ticket to doing that is not get vaccinated. and absolutely with all in me, i can't fathom how someone may made the choice to get vaccinated and then it messing around with the idea of not getting their booster shot. are we going to say, we're just going to live with it and we're going to lose 20 to 100 people from now on. every other day. every other day that is how many people we're going to lose. are you happy with that? well i'm sure not. i mean for crying out loud, we could do something about it. >> cnn medical analyst dr. jonathan reiner joins me now. high, dr. reiner, thank you for your time tonight. so the cdc and fda have now signed off on boosters for every 18 and over but you think the message should be stronger. how so?
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>> hi, pam. once again, they muddle the message. so what cdc said yesterday is that now anyone over the age of 18 who received their second dose of mrna vaccine more than six months ago or j&j vaccine may get a booster. what they didn't say was that everyone over the age of 18 who got an mrna more than six months ago should get a booster. and what we know from very solid data from this country and from other places like israel, is that the efficacy of these vaccines seriously wanes after six months. so the message from the cdc should be that everyone who received a booster, who received a shot more than six months ago, should go out and get boosted. not may. if you come to see me in the office and ask me what to do, i don't say well you can do that.
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i give you my recommendation and the recommendation for all americans should be to get boosted. only 18% of the people who have received shots in this country have received a booster. it is not nearly enough. >> right. and from what i hear from you, the data shows sort of the sense of urgency, there should be for people to get boosted after the six months. to be clear though, it takes a couple of weeks for immunity to kick in so it is not like you could go and get a shot on monday and expect to be covered on tuesday. so what zp z that mean for traveling? should we double mask? what do you suggest. >> i think you need to assess your own vulnerability. if you are not boosted, you are not fully vaccinated. and if you're not fully vaccinated, you need a really good mask. and so i would say everyone who is traveling, i think it is just solid recommendation for every traveller to travel with a kn-95
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mask. if you try to travel with a band -- a bandana around your face, the arms won't let you on and it won't offer you much protection so everyone should travel with a good mask. secondly on an airline, i would skip the small glass of soda. leave your mask on during the flight. and open the air vent above you to improve air flow around you. and keep some hand sanitizer, you know. >> all right, dr. jonathan reiner, thank you for that advice. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. and you are in the cnn newsroom. up next, taking on on a trip down the rabbit hole. >> when we do speak out, especially about satanic things there are always people who come and will try to disrupt. >> the colorful big lie supporters running for positions that could help shape the outcome of future elections. we'll be right back.
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on ballots across the country, next year big lie promotors are running to take control of their state election systems. and i take a closer look at some of them tonight in tonight's "for the record." >> first up, carry lake, a former phoenix television anchor. >> i'm carrie lake. >> turned rising star of the right. >> former president trump breaking his silence on the race in governor in arizona throughing his support behind carrie lake. >> and big lie fan girl, . >> you could say -- >> just so you know, not a huge fan of cnn. >> none of this makes sense to me. >> and then we have kristin karamo. who trump is backing to be michigan's next secretary of state. >> yes, i have president trump's endorsement which is massive. >> as she amplifies his lies
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about election fraud. >> it is not right. there are hundreds of thousands of votes that are allowed to be considered as lawful votes and we know they're illegal. >> and when she's not yelling from the big lie bull horn, she's questioning science. >> guess what, i'm crazy. i'm an anti-vaxxer. >> gender and sexual assault. >> there is no such thing as a person with two mommies and two daddies. that is incorrect. >> and condemning premarital sex. >> we normalize people fornicating and people living together with their boyfriend and girlfriends and all of this stuff, we opened a door to us to get to point where we have people wanting to have pedia feelia. >> they have not responding to our request for an interview or for about a comment about the views she's expressed. meantime, four term state representative mark finchham want to be arizona's chief election officer. >> by removing the fraud, donald
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trump won. >> the arizona republic reported he was there on january 6 for the stop the steal rally and allegations he was part of the mob that stormed the capitol. finchham denies it. and then there is nevada. >> i need your help to take back the house and support president trump's agenda to keep america great. >> who lost a court battle to over turn his five point congressional loss to the democratic incumbent in 2020. now he's running for nevada secretary of state to, and this is a quote from his campaign website, overhaul the fraudulent election system in nevada. and finally, we come to rachel ham who is running for secretary of state in california. >> california, it's time for something different. >> they're afrid of the rachel of the world. >> i have built my life and career on telling hard truths. that is why i'm running for secretary of state. >> she's already got the backing
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of plenty of trump town residents and including steve bannon, roger stone, michael flynn, and, of course, the my pillow guy. >> we know there was fraud this election was stolen, donald trump is our president. >> rachel ham, author, self-proclaimed influencer, mother of four, and outspoken truth teller on satanic cults. >> and he twisted off the neck of the bird and let the blood spill out on to my property to claim my property and to exert the power of satan over my home. >> you know property prices are crazy when even satan is having a tough time getting a foot on the property ladder. >> when we do speak out, especially about satanic things, there is always of these people who come and will try to disresult. always. that is a sign of satanic activity. i promise you that. i've got some experience with it. >> and sure it is easy to laugh this off as someone with an overly active imagination.
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but ham is teaming up with other conspiracy theory spreading republicans and running for positions in office that directly influence the outcome of elections. >> it is going to be dominos and a series of things that happen and i don't think it is going to be won in a day. it is a process and that is hard, i get it because i love justice. but i think that the arizona stuff is going to really be the first domino. >> apparently for the trump supporting republicans running for office, the only way an election is fair and free is if their candidate wins. >> cnn has reached out to everyone just featured for a comment and asked them for proof of their claims that donald trump won the election. rachel ham declined to comment and we're still waiting to hear back from the others. as we know, the election was not stolen. well a person who witnessed today's chaos at the atlanta airport joining us next as police put out a warrant for the
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. police in atlanta say they're actively looking for the man who reportedly lunged for his gun inside his carry on luggage and accidentry fired a shot at atlanta hartsfield-jackson international. the gunshot as thanksgiving travelers lined up at the main security check ppt in atlanta sparking panic in the entire airport. you get a sense of it from this video we're showing right now. and joining us with more is erin
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wilson who witnessed that chaos. tell us what you experienced, erin. >> i'd just come past security and was maybe to the checkpoint to the right, and all of a sudden you could hear a rush of people and hear people, move, move, move, run. and so i turn around just to see what was going on because i figure it was just somebody trying to get to their gate quickly, but it was this hoard of people running through the airport at full speed. so i started running along with them, and i heard this little peep of active shooter, and nobody really knew what was going on, but that's what everyone was talking about. i looked back once more and there was airport security back there with guns drawn. so i definitely kept going. >> yeah. as you definitely should have. do you feel like the situation was handled well by law enforcement?
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>> sure. i mean, they got people out of the terminal relatively quickly. they just -- they were having people at the emergency exits. i ended up on a jet bridge of a flight that had been boarded and just kind of held there for a little bit and was out on the tarmac for a little while. they didn't really communicate what was going on, and i knew everybody was getting way more freaked out because of that. but obviously they had way more things to worry about than communicating with the people on the tarmac. >> right. and when you walked back in what was it like in the airport? >> a desert. it was so quiet. nobody was there. everybody was walking really slowly and just kind of taking everything in. stuff was knocked over. people had left their bags and purses and personal belongings just strewn about. it was surreal. >> yeah, surreal is a good word for hat. erin nelson, thanks for sharing your experience. sorry you had to go through that. >> me, too.
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well, nasa is on the verge of launching a historic new space mission. in just a few weeks the news james webb space telescope will be rocketed into space eventually traveling 1 million miles from earth. the web telescope will help answer some of humanity's most compelling questions about life in our university and the possibility of life on other planets. here's a preview. >> when we started the study was considered pretty fringy. we didn't even know if there were any planets beyond our solar system. and we spent a lot of time building up credibility, making a distinction between ourselves and the folks who report seeing little green men in spaceships and being abducted. i mean, people would be writing books about the setting
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pioneers, and it would be what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this sort of questions. it was really hard. >> do you think there is life out there? >> you know, nathaniel, whatever i think about life beyond earth doesn't matter a bit. for a millennia we asked priests and philosophers we thought were wise on what we should believe. now we can change that into the verb to explore. everything else is religion. and we're not doing religion here. we're doing science. >> the film's director joins me now. this is a truly remarkable mission. tell us more about why you wanted to document it in this film. >> well, this is the largest science mission that nasa has ever undertaken. so being able to document that as a filmmaker is pretty thrilling. and also to realize that this is 10,000 people have worked on this project. it's taken almost 20 years.
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it's like the building of a cathedral or something like that. so as a filmmaker to be able to watch that coming together was utterly thrilling. as you saw just right there on the clip, the characters, the people involved in this project are just inspiring, wonderful. you know, it's easy to be cynical today with all the problems that we have, and they're very significant in the world. but it is wonderful to also remember that humanity does beautiful things. and this project is one of them. so documenting it has been one of the thrills of my career. >> i love what she said that, you know, it doesn't matter what i think, if there's life outside of earth. what matters is, you know, the science, what the facts show. >> that's right. >> and it really makes you think, like, this could potentially -- you don't know what it might discover, right? tell us more about that. >> that's the excitement of a project like this. and that's why it was so fun to document it, too, which is this is -- this is science as it
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happens. this telescope has been a long time in the making, and it's launching december 18th. we're about to see things and discover things that we can only imagine today. so being able to see, for instance, the very first stars in the universe, the very first galaxies in the universe, we've never seen these things. these are things that will be revealed by this telescope. being able to look at exo planets and find out if there are signs of water on those planets. as far as we know water is necessary for life. is there water out there? these are things we're going to be able to discover. so really being able to answer -- beginning to answer some of the greatest questions that have haunted us since the beginning of time. where do we come from? how did the universe begin? are we alone? these are questions that we're actually technically capable of being able to answer at this time. >> i find this so fascinating. nath
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nathaniel khan, thank you. be sure to tune in. the all new cnn film the hunt for planet b premieres tonight on cnn. finally a woman with covid defying doctors by waking up with covid on the exact day her family was going to take her off life support. the 69-year-old went into a coma after more than two months on a ventilator. well, her family was told she would not make it, so they planned her funeral. they donated her belongings, and they began to grieve. but then on the day she was scheduled to die they got a call from the doctor. >> he goes, well, i need you to come up to the hospital right away. i'm like, what, is something wrong? he goes, well, your mother just woke up. i literally dropped the phone. i was like, what? because we were supposed to be terminating life support that day. >> chills. absolutely incredible. her son tells us his mother is slowly improving and that she
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will be vaccinated as soon as she recovers. what a story that is. well, i'm pamela brown. i will see you again tomorrow night starting at 6:00 eastern. outspoken nba star enes kanter will join me. a special prime time with bill maher starts now. hey, everybody, i'm chris cuomo. welcome to a special edition of "prime time." bill maher is our guest for the full hour. the world's different, right, since we last got together in 2019. maher is a voice that does what we need. he challenges conventional wisdom, regardless of who is in power. it's about 40 years since he began performing at comedy clubs, quickly becoming a late night tv fixture through the

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