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tv   CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta  CNN  November 21, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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-- captions by vitac -- you are live in the "cnn newsroom." right now a convicted felon is still on the run more than 24 hours after a gun he brought into the nation's busiest airport went off and sparked an enormous panic. officials say the bag was -- gun was in a bag belonging to kenny wells. he managed to grab his gun and escape in all of the chaos as travelers ran, hid, dropped to the ground, even spilled onto the tarmac believing they were in a nightmare active shooter situation. >> i was in the security line. we heard gunshots, and got down. and then we ran out.
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>> we heard somebody say "active shooter, get out." and that's when everyone start running away really hard. >> people just came flying through and just were, like, run, run, run! and people were just running and we all just ran outside this door right here. >> everyone was dropping their suitcases. folks were running in any possible direction away from what we thought was the center of action. people were sliding under rails and jumping over barricades. >> three adults were injured as people scrambled to evacuate the airport turning it into a temporary ghosttown. a terrifying start to this week of thanksgiving travel. cnn's nadia romero joins me now from the atlanta airport. you've been covering this for about 24 hours now. the developments are just unbelievable to find out that this suspect was a felon and took off. kenny wells, what do we know about this suspect? >> reporter: yeah, jim, it's so hard to believe because we're talking about the busiest
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airport in our country and had long since been the busiest airport in the world up until recently. so to think that a man was able to come through a tsa checkpoint with a gun and was able to run off after discharging that firearm. there are search warrants out for his arrest because he brought that gun into a commercial airport, because he discharged that firearm, because police say that he is a convicted felon so he wasn't supposed to have a gun at all anyway, let alone in an airport trying to get through tsa checkpoint. and also just for all-around reckless conduct. so they're looking for 42-year-old kenny wells. and unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. so there are security cameras all throughout this airport. a spokesperson tells us there is about 3,000 that are being monitored 24/7 not only by the airport's emergency operations
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but also by the tsa. so you would think that they were able to get eyes on him. now, initially, he was able to scramble and run away during that chaos and confusion that ensued and he was able to get out of the way with the gun, we're told. that's why there's this manhunt looking for 42-year-old kenny wells. this is not an isolated incident having a gun in an airport. believe it or not the tsa has been sounding the sirens, the warning for this for many years now because so far in the first ten months of this year they've confiscated 4,650 firearms through tsa checkpoints. now, you can't bring a gun into a checked bag. if it were talking about you and your carry-on bag going in and getting past security checkpoint, because you could potentially have that firearm with you on a plane, and you can imagine the trouble that that could cause. it's a good sign that the tsa is catching these firearms. but it's also terrible in the other side that people are
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either forgetting them or intentionally trying to bring them in. this year so far the first ten months we have now surpassed the full year record before the pandemic in 2019 of more than 4,400 firearms confiscated. it's a big problem, and atlanta, unfortunately, is leading the way with more than 450 or so firearms being confiscated so far this year during a pandemic. this is something that people are talking about, this is on the minds of people as they make their way through. but we have the thanksgiving holiday right around the corner. so people are back at the airport. it feels like it's back to normal. but you still see all of the emergency vehicles that are normally here. you got an extra eye on them today, jim, knowing what happened just yesterday. >> yeah. i mean, just such a scary situation, and everybody's lucky in this just didn't turn out much, much worse. nadia, thanks so much for that report. we appreciate it. meanwhile, fox news says it did not pay for a tucker carlson-produced documentary that involved a film crew being
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embedded with kyle rittenhouse throughout his high-profile trail. a trailer of the documentary was released on carlson's show ahead of a separate interview with rittenhouse that airs tomorrow. >> it's the stuff that keeps you up at night. like, once you finally do get to sleep, your dreams are about what happened and you're waking up in a dark, cold sweat. >> have you had dreams about what happened? >> every single night. it's quite scary actually because the dreams feel so real, and they're not the same at all. they're all different. they're the different scenarios that run through your head, like what could have happened. >> and joining me now, a senior fellow and former politics editor. thank you both so much for being with us. chris, we all know you used to
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work at fox. the idea that tucker carlson secretly had a film crew embedded with rittenhouse making what looks to be a right-wing propaganda documentary, and then, you know, they are all on tv on fox slamming other media outlets for their coverage of the trial. what is your reaction to all of this? i mean, just from the standpoint of we all watch these cases from time to time to think that there was a documentary crew from whatever outlet with a defendant in this kind of case, this is sure to just ignite more controversy. >> well, certainly that will be what fox and tucker carlson hope, that controversy even us talking about it now is what they want, what they need in order to keep people upset, keep people fighting, fighting, fighting. the conflict is part of what sells it. i've been thinking an awful lot about the story of george
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zimmerman who shot trayvon martin and how he was turned into a hero only to find out later not so much because the goal often is to impose a narrative from the outside on events that don't line up with what people want. but they want the avatars anyway. >> right. three house republicans have now offered rittenhouse an internship just to play off of what chris was saying a few moments ago. he's being celebrated by some republicans as a hero. it is just so strange, but let's watch just an example of that. >> it was a great decision. i was surprised it had to go this far. somebody should've ended it earlier. >> it was a good day for freedom, a good day for the process, a good kay for america. >> kyle rittenhouse is not guilty, my friends. be armed, be dangerous, and be moral. >> be armed, be dangerous? >> it's so irresponsible.
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it's so irresponsible to be encouraging this kind of behavior. the reality is setting the legal analysis aside, what happened here is a tragedy on every level it's a tragedy. it's a tragedy for every person involved. it's a tragedy that a 17-year-old thought that it was smart to go and get an illegal weapon and go into a situation that was very chaotic and was encouraged, you know, no one was discouraging him from doing this. and two people are dead, and one person is injured. and now this 17-year-old is being treated like a hero, but he's being used by the right. that's what's going on. and the idea that -- like i said, even if you set aside the legal analysis where lot of legal analysts say because of how terrible the laws are around
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gun rights that he was and around the idea of being able to put yourself in a horrible situation and then claim self-defense, the idea that anyone would celebrate people going into a situation basically looking for trouble, which is exactly as chris raised the trayvon martin situation is exactly what happened. call the police, let the police do their job. do not go out and try to enforce the law on your own because this is what happens and innocent people die. >> yeah. i want to turn to another subject. but, chris, the glorification of violence, just seems to be a glorification of violence, and they're seizing on this rittenhouse case to do that. and that, you know, whether people say there's a legal precedent that's been set in all of that. putting that to the side, the way that the far right has seized on this case to glorify violence, i think it's a worrisome sign. >> rittenhouse will now be used
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by that same echo chamber. he is also a product of it because if you take the hysterical overcatastrophized coverage that a lot of americans on the right were treated to throughout the summer of 2020, it would be maybe reasonable for an impressionable young man to believe that the american republic was about to fall and that anarchy had descended upon the country, and that maybe his moment to be a video game kind of hero will arrive. >> let's talk about the future of the republican party, which i suppose we have been doing, to some extent. but today senator ted cruz declined to say whether he's running for president in 2024. let's watch. >> look-i have no idea what's going to happen in 2024. donald trump is going to have to make a choice first of all whether he's going to run or not, i think if he chose to run,
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he would be very, very formidable. i can tell you that when i ran in 2016, we came incredibly close, i came in second. there's a long history of runner-ups becoming the next nominee, and it was the most fun i've ever had in my life. but there's a lot of time between now and 2024. >> what do you think, kirsten? >> well, i think there is a looming question about whether donald trump is going to run. so if donald trump is going to run, then of course ted cruz is not running. that goes without saying. he's been there, done that, didn't go so well. so, i think that once he sees what's going to happen on that front, i'd be very surprised if ted cruz didn't run for president in 2024. >> yeah, chris, he almost sounds like he's on bended knee, to some extent. [ laughter ] >> do you believe him when he said it was the most fun he ever
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had running in 2016? didn't sound like it was a thrill ride, as donald trump said his wife was ugly and his dad killed kennedy. so i feel bad for ted cruz in a way because he's raised all this money, he has all these backers so he's almost obliged to run. but the dogs don't like the dog food with ted cruz. he has not been popular with republicans so i think he's sort of in a jam. >> and i'll leave that analogy right where you left it there. [ laughter ] kirsten, we saw florida governor ron desantis try and troll democrats by signing an anti-vaccine mandate bill in brandon, florida, where he was greeted with cheers of "let's go brandon," which right wingers think that's a slam on joe biden. the democrats have been turning that around in the last week or so and saying "let's go brandon" after the democrats got all is that stuff passed in the house.
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i wish we were making this up, this is not "the onion." it says they are going to ban big bert, bert, and ernie because they endorsed vaccinations. when i went to cpac, it didn't go well either, and i'm not a "sesame street character, despite what some people might think." >> banning big bird, this is what excites voters that you have to be -- have such purity test that you use it for puppets, um, is just -- it's just taking it to a new level. and, unfortunately, it's a very serious issue. so it can seem funny except for the fact that people die because they listen to this kind of stuff that people believe that getting a vaccine is not good
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for them and are not necessary. our hospitals are filled with people who are dying, dying of covid who could be alive and also taking hospital beds from other people who are sick. so, yeah, it has a very deadly consequence. >> yeah, and, chris, i mean -- but it's just absurd. you've been to these cpacs. i mean, i know there was a certain level of trolling that always existed at cpacs, but this is so bizarre, it's like a different universe compared to the cpac that we used to attend as reporters like five years ago. >> it used to be interesting because you had different kinds of conservatives. it was a good microcosm of the american right with different points of view represented. it's not a very good business model. it doesn't work as well. and now they've shipped it overseas. they've had cpac brazil which apparently was with the
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authoritarian regime down there backing them. so the cpac model is it's right-wing populous nationalist that relies on rage. so it's not a place for ideas anymore. that's by design. so we'll just have to go look someplace else. >> well, it's very oscar the gro grouch of them to ban big bird. [ laughter ] coming up, the chinese tennis star missing since making a sexual assault claim resurfaces in a video call. peng shuai's message to the world about her safety. plus, months after a devastating car accident, legendary golfer tiger woods posts a video to show fans he is making progress. little fleet. big relief. try it. feel it. feel that fleet feeling.
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chinese government official of sexual assault. today the olympic committee announced it had a video conference with peng shuai and said she is safe and well living at her home in beijing but would like to have her privacy respected at this time. that is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much. this comes shortly after chinese state media released video showing her sitting at a place in beijing. cnn has been unable to confirm these videos or when they were even filmed. let's get christine brennan in here. christine, always grateful to have you on. thanks so much for being with us. this case is just so totally bizarre. you talk to people -- people are talking about this just everywhere, i think. but people have been asking for weeks, where is this tennis star, what has happened to her?
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is she under house arrest or something? i guess we just don't know. what do you think? >> that's right, jim. there is still so much we don't know. and you mentioned the international olympic committee conference call today with peng shuai. that's nice. it's nice to actually see confirmation, apparently, that they had this call, which means she was on the call and that's the first kind of timestamp we've been able to have on any of these various chinese attempts, the government's attempts to tell us something that, again, we couldn't prove. but here's the thing. the olympic committee, not the wta, they are the one that has been pushing and basically holding a master class on how to handle -- on leadership, on great leadership on humanitarian leadership. the ioc, there's no mention, of course, of the reason this started, which is a very serious allegation of sexual assault that peng shuai has leveled against a former top chinese
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official. and that is a huge mistake by the international olympic committee for not getting answe answers and for not putting that answer out there. and you wonder why thy put this answer out there instead of the wta. >> that's what they should be doing, driving that message home. and you're right, the world tennis association has been terrific in all of this. the winter olympics are just month as way in beijing. h help people understand how much china has at stake here. i suppose that has to do with how they're handling this. >> so much we hear about the leverage that china has all the leverage, china has 1.3, 1.4 billion people, all of these organizations and companies want to have a foothold in china. well, china also cares very much about being a major player on the world stage. so the international olympic committee failed miserably before the 2008 beijing summer
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olympics to put any priessure o china and its awful human rights abuses. same thing here. the winter games are going to be in ten weeks starting february 4th. the ioc once again seems to be so meek, taking a meek and pathetic path to dealing with china. they have power, it is the olympic games, there is leverage in the ioc. and we have seen the wta show the ioc, basically take them to school on this and say look at what happens when you punch the bully in the mouth, punch them in the face and in this case china has been blinking, obviously, a different metaphor, but that's what the wta did, and it really shows the failure of the international olympic committee not only going into the 2008 summer olympics but now the 2022 winter olympics in beijing. >> you make such a great point, and this is your area of expertise, not mine. why is the ioc behaving in this
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way? you know, should one assume at home that there is something untoward going on here, that there are so many conflict tz of interest that they just won't muster up the courage to go after china on this kind of stuff? are they worried about their fancy hotel rooms and restaurants and what not being -- i mean, you tell me. >> sure. you nailed it. certainly part of it is that. the ioc, the international olympic committee is the oldest of the old boys network. eurocentric, they think they're royalty, sometimes they are royalty, some of them are, kings and queens and princes but they all think that they are royalty. and the fact that they are not talking about the allegation of sexual assault -- by way, peng shuai's not only a great tennis player and number one ranked at one time in doubles, a three-time olympian so she is one of theirs. and the ioc just literally, i don't think they want to have controversy. they say they're working behind the scenes. i've covered them for 35 years.
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i don't believe it. and, as i said, they think they can do business as usual with china. the women's tennis association has shown them that's not the case. and i think when the history books look back at this time they will say the wta, what an incredible master class in humanitarian leadership, the right way to do it, to call china on its abuses and the international olympic committee is sitting there, as they always do, basically doing nothing. >> and even before peng spoke out about sexual assault, we saw how naomi osaka was willing to speak out about what she was going through with mental health issues and how gymnastics star simone biles did the same. do you think we're seeing a tide turning in the sports world where female athletes are willing to come forward and speak about their private lives and what they're dealing with? i mean, this to me seems to be just enormously helpful. peng -- people really need to know more about her story because she has been just so courageous to take on the
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chinese. >> it's absolutely profound courage and extraordinary, and she should be celebrated forever for bringing this to light and the mostly male leadership of the international olympic committee and others should be chastised for not helping her oit. but, yes, the voices of these women, especially this summer, simone biles, naomi osaka, obviously serena williams speaks out on issues all the time. those voices are amplified, and i think of course the reason is social media. they have a platform now. so if the mainstream media over the years didn't do enough covering women's sports and ignored them. these women -- and men too. but in this case we're talking about top female athletes around the world are taking matters into their own hands, saying enough is enough, we're going to put these issues out there. and look at the public reaction. the public reaction is extraordinary. the world is with them. as you said, peng shuai, it seems to be everyone's talking about this everywhere. it shows the power that these
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athletes have, these young women are such great role models for so many, and that's why the international olympic committee has tied itself into pretzels trying to figure out what to do and it's really showing the failure of their leadership. >> you are so right. our christine brennan, thanks so much. >> jim, thank you. tiger woods is back at it nine months after a horrific car crash, the golf legend posted a new video today showing himself taking a practice shot out on the golf course with the caption "making progress." there he is right there. good for him. back in february the 15-time major champion survived a rollover accident in los angeles where he suffered injuries to his leg and foot. woods has not played in a golf tournament since that accident, but in recent months he was seen at his son's golf tournament standing with crutches.
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and a mistrial is asked. why he claims rallies in support of the arbery family on the courthouse steps amount to a public lynching. that story is coming up. and i j. but then i found clearchoice. [ forde ] replacing marcia's teeth with dental implants at clearchoice was going to afford her that permanent solution. [ marcia ] clearchoice dental implants gave me the ability to take on the world. i feel so much better, and i think that that is the key. [upbeat music] what can i du with less asthma? with dupixent, i can du more....beginners' yoga. namaste...
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likened the atmosphere to a public lynching. >> this is not 1915, this is not 1923. there are not thousands of people outside with pitchforks and baseball bats. but i would respectfully submit to the court that this is the 21st century equivalent, this case has been infected by things that have nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of these defendants. third parties, they've been doing it from the gallery of this courtroom. they've been doing it outside. this is what a public lynching looks like in the 21st century, with all due respect. they don't have to have 10,000 people outside. they don't have to have 100,000 people outside. perception is reality. just because they haven't put a podium up outside with a hangman's noose on it doesn't mean that this isn't a trial despite the best efforts of this
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court. this isn't a trial that's been infected by mob violence of a woke left mob. >> joining me now is criminal defense attorney, he was the defense attorney for george zimmerman who was acquitted in the 20912 shooting death of trayvon martin. mark, we just heard defendant william brian's lawyer invoking lynching in a case where the defendant's three white men chased down, ambushed and fatally shot an unarmed young black man who was jogging down the street. his father called his death lynching. these comments sound ridiculous. >> it sounds like a dog whistle put through a bullhorn. the people that he is reaching out to, and now calling this a lynching against his client.
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it's frustrating. look, we as defense attorneys get the rights that we have for our clients through the constitution, the right to remain silent, the right to have witnesses come for you, the right to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. now, i understand his concern, i've been in his shoes when there seems to be outside influences. but to add fuel to that fire by suggesting, without question, racial overtones to what he's suggesting is really damaging not only to the constitutional rights his own client has and the rest of us have to believe in. but there is going to be a verdict, whatever that verdict must be. and now it seems as though that fuel to the fire may add quite a bit to it if we have to deal with convictions, for example, just like we may have to deal with acquittals.
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>> yeah. that attorney kevin goff has made numerous requests for a mistrial. is there a limit to how many times you can ask for one? >> the no, there's really not, jim. i can say one statement as a prosecutor. granted soon they will fall on deaf ears and i think this most recent one did. but we as defense attorneys, if we think there's something of a concern, we have to raise it to the court. and this issue could've been raised to the court but not using terms like black pastors or 21st century lynching or putting up gallows. those terms, i would like to say they are insensitive, but it seems they are intentional, and that's even worse. >> right. like he's trying to provoke the jury. >> it would seem that whatever influence he wants to have to those people out there who he is talking directly to, we must not
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forget that this jury is already questionably racially insensitive. and by that i mean this, the judge has said i've got a concern about the makeup of this jury, 11 whites, one black. we against the defense bar know that's a concern. and now for it to have one of the defense attorneys sort of focusing those issues, focusing those racial overtones, yes, he could very well be talking to a jury and may be, in effect, trying to steal them against this outside influence. again, a good principle horribly delivered. >> and travis mcmichael, the defendant who ultimately shot and killed arbery took the stand last week. let's revisit a key moment from the cross-examination about whether arbery presented as a threat. let's listen to that. >> he never yelled at you guys. >> no. >> never threatened you at all?
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>> no, ma'am. >> didn't brandish any weapons? >> no, ma'am. >> didn't pull out any guns? >> no, ma'am. >> didn't pull out any knife? >> no, ma'am. >> never reached for anything, did he? >> no. >> he just ran? >> yes, he was just running. >> isn't this why it's usually so risky to have the defendant take the stand? why do you think the attorney took this step? >> well, the problem with it, jim, is if you're not going to argue defense, they're arguing that once ahmad turned towards mcmichael and had to defend himself, that had to come from the defendant. so, it almost has to, but certainly he exposed himself to exactly what you just played, which is that cross-examination. i thought it was well done by
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the state. i got to say i think i would have been more aggressive with mcmichaels if i was cross-examining him. but she got across the points she needed to because this jury's got to figure out why there was this shooting and why mcmichael thought that the gun was the appropriate response. >> all right, thank you so much for your time this afternoon, we appreciate it. >> sure. be well. >> you as well. up next, looting at louis vuitton, the wild scene as thieves ransack a store of more than $100,000 worth of merchandise. plus, police discover what they call an epic amount of illegal marijuana. wait till you hear how much it's all worth.
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tying our executives' pay to lowering the carbon emissions intensity of our operations. it's tempting to see how far we've come. but it's only human... to know how far we have to go. wisconsin officials say a starbucks employee may have exposed thousands of customers to hepatitis a after going to work despite testing positive. local health officials are now urging unvaccinated people who frequent the starbucks to receive a hepatitis a vaccine as soon as possible and no later than two weeks after their last visit. so far 800 vaccines have been administered as a result. the hepatitis a vaccine is a routine immunization recommended by the cdc around age one. and a shocking grab-and-run robbery caught on camera in illinois. this is wild. thieves made off with about
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$100,000 worth of merchandise. yes, you heard that right, at a louis vuitton store. officials say once the suspects entered the store, they pulled out garbage bags from their coat and started filling them with merchandise. it looks like it was all over in a matter of seconds. 14 suspects drove away from the scene in three different cars. police are still searching for the people responsible. in oregon, get this, police seized an absolutely unbelievable stash of hash. look at these pictures, marijuana wrapped and stacked like hay bales. police found around 500,000 pounds with a street value of a half billion dollars while recreational marijuana is legal in oregon and has been for six years now, it is illegal to manufacture the plant without a license. police say they found the drugs in multiple warehouses along with migrant workers living in what they describe as sub par conditions. coming up, they were rivals on the campaign trail, but are
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they still rivals now? what vice president kamala harris and transportation secretary pete buttigieg are saying about rumors about a rift between them. that's coming up. with framebridge... make what matters to you last. halloween, '72. jojo's adoption day. asher's art phase. whatever you treasure, make it last. framebridge.
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. they're both rumored future presidential candidates and now transportation secretary pete buttigieg is responding to reports of a rivalry with vice president kamala harris.
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>> she and i are part of a team that is disciplined and doesn't focus on what's obsessing the commentators. we're too busy with a job to do. there's no room to get caught up in the parlor games. and i'm proud to be part of the biden/harris team. >> cnn's arlette saenz joins me now from the white house. arlette, do we have another team of rivals taking shape over here at the biden white house? what do you think? >> reporter: well, even as president biden has said he's going to run in 2024, that has not stopped the speculation about who will succeed him with, many zeroing in on vice president kamala harris and transportation secretary pete buttigieg. now, buttigieg, as you heard there, really tried to tamp down the idea of any type of rivalry. but there are reports from cnn where allies of the vice president have expressed some frustration with how she is being used in the administration and also the way that they see
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the administration buttigieg over some of the instances where harris, they felt, that they needed to come to her defense. now, take a listen to vice president harris kind of knocking down those ideas that there is any tension about her role in the white house. >> we're getting things done, and we're doing it together. >> so you don't feel misused or underused? >> no, i don't. i am very, very excited about the work that we have accomplished. but i am also absolutely, absolutely clear-eyed that there is a lot more to do. >> now, harris also says that she hasn't spoken with president biden about his plans for 2024, but the president has said that he does plan on running in the coming years. but, of course, the speculation about buttigieg and harris, they both have high-profile positions in the administration, and they are people who once thought they could be president, of course, they ran back in 2020. but for now, both sides are
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saying that there is no rivalry between the two, but certainly everyone will be keeping an eye on this heading into 2024. >> ah, yes, we certainly will. arlette saenz, thanks so much. decades of armed conflict has left colombia with the most people who live off the grid. and an organization was started that goes where few others travel and fill in the gaps. meet jennifer cole pas. >> the families that they are working with are living in extreme poverty. these areas are so remote that there is not even roads to get there. the communities use candles, gasoline lamps. [ speaking foreign language ]
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our mission is to provide access to basic services. [ speaking foreign language ] my biggest dream for the people that i'm working with, that they wake up not just to survive, but they can take small steps to fulfill their dreams. >> and go to right now to vote for her for cnn hero of the year or any of your favorite top ten heroes. ♪ cnn heroes brought to you by subaru, love, it's what makes subaru subaru. and by cosentyz. see how patients are finding real results with cosentyx. and help celebrate 15 years of inspiring stories. meals on wheels.
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money, murder, in the osage nation. lisa ling investigates the murders of wealthy native americans during the 1920s in an all-new episode of "this is life." here's a preview. ♪ >> people were being killed left and right. >> it was terrible. they never knew who was going to be next. >> meghan chantel me their grandparents feared for their lives. they even hired bodyguards. >> your family really felt that threat. >> oh, my grandmother used to have flashbacks in her late 80s. >> she would have nightmares. >> some say it was a blessing, some say it was a curse. be sure to tune in "this is
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life" with lisa ling airs at life" with lisa ling airs at 10:00 right here on cnn. -- captions by vitac -- you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim acosta in new york. tonight, still no trace of the man who escaped the nation's busiest airport saturday after a gun he allegedly carried into the terminal went off sparking major chaos. police say 42-year-old kenny wells, a convicted felon, fled the atlanta airport with that gun once it was found during a security screening. but as passengers heard the shot ring out, they began to panic, running for their lives, afraid an active shooter was on the loose. >> i was in the security line. we heard gunshots, and got down, and then we ran out. >> we heard somebody say "active shooter, get out" and that's when everyone start running away really hard. >> people just came flying through and just were, like, run, run, run!


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