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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  November 29, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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the house january 6th committee expected to vote this week for criminal contempt of congress charges against jeffrey clark a former top justice department official for refusing to provide critical information to the committee while under subpoena. tonight, president biden calling on americans to remain calm over the new coronavirus variant omicron saying while the variant is a cause for concern, it is not a reason for people to panic. republican congresswoman lauren boebert doubling down on islamic
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phobia comments over omar. ryan nobles is live on capitol hill for us this evening. ryan, good evening to you. my question is, the january 6th select committee announcing they will vote on another criminal contempt of congress referral for jeffrey clark. what can you tell us about that? >> yeah, don, this is a significant move by the january 6th select committee. this is the second time they have moved or planned to move on a criminal contempt referral for someone they issued a subpoena for and jeffrey clark they view as a key cog in this investigation that they have underway. clark was at the department of justice in the days after the november election leading up to the january 6th insurrection. hes the trump ally within the department of justice encouraging superiors to use the agency as a way to investigate these false claims of election fraud across the country. now, his efforts were rebuffed
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by then acting attorney general jeffrey rosen but still, they believe that clark could be a key link between the white house, these groups that were working outside of the white house, the trump campaign, these other groups stopped steal, other organizations that could perhaps build this case of a coordinated effort to try to drum up all of this angst across the country related to the election that then served as the precursor to what p happened on january 6th. clark did show up to be interviewed by the january 6th select committee but once in the room he doesn't answer questions. he couldn't because of executive privilege and attorney client privilege, a lot of legal experts believe those claims probably don't have a lot of merit. the committee is taking the step and will move quickly with a business meeting. it could be voted on the house floor as soon as thursday and will be in the hands of the department of justice. >> i want to ask you moving this forward more because we're
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waiting to hear ryan from the national archives and have to turnover the records from the white house. tomorrow the appeals court will hear the former president's case so what do you expect there? >> yes, so this is a key step in the collection of information that the january 6th come miltty -- committee is looking to do. we're looking for hundreds, maybe thousands pieces of documents from the trump white house in and around january 6th and this is an appeal of a lower court ruling in which the court said the national archives can hand that over but trump and his legal team immediately appealed the decision. this will be a three-judge panel that will hear this case. two of the judges are obama appointees, the other one is a biden appointee. not a good draw in terms of the former president and his hopes and one of these judges actually already ruled in a case related to executive privilege in mcgahn and wrote a harsh opinion as it
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relates to executive privilege and what the trump white house believed it had at that time and that was written when trump was still the president. he's of course no longer the president and the biden white house said they have no problem handing over these documents. so if trump were to lose this appeal, he still could go much further and end up in the supreme court but the fact this is happening so quickly shows the courts are willing to help the committee out and move the legal process forward because as we know, one of the legal strategies for trump and associates is to draw this process out as long as possible, maybe even into the mid materm elections where if republicans win, they will shut the committee down. >> ryan nobles, appreciate that. joining me now cnn white house correspondent john harwood and john dean. good to see you both, gentlemen. let's start with john dean this evening. what do you think the select committee is going -- why are they going after jeffrey clark? we know officials who worked with him at the doj like jeffrey rosen have already been talking to the committee.
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so what are they after here, john? >> well, they do know a good bit about what he did and apparently why he did it. he expressed himself in a letter very clearly as to how he wanted the states to impose their own will on electors. it was an outrageous plan that he tried to get his superiors or colleagues really at the department of justice to sign on to. i think what because he dealt directly with the white house the committee would like to fill that gap and know exactly what he was doing and with whom at the white house and get that into the picture. we don't have that information now and he's probably the only person that can really supply it. >> john harwood, members of the select committee are telling cnn they'll likely make a decision this week on what to do about mark meadows. what are you hearing about this? he played a key role leading up to the january 6th but his situation is more complicated,
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correct? >> it's definitely more complicated, don. first of all, he was extremely close to president trump and after all, the committee has as a core purpose to figure out what the former president had to do directly with what happened on january 6th. mark meadows was in the thick of it, has a lot of information they would like to have. on the other hand, unlike somebody like steve bannon who is not on the government payroll, he was the white house chief of staff. he was in the oval office. that gives him a more plausible claim to executive privilege than somebody like steve bannon can claim. that doesn't mean he would ultimately win in a court fight but he has a stronger claim and i think at some level there may be a further complicating factor, which is that mark meadows served with many of the members who are on this select committee, he was a fringe member of congress, republican leaders couldn't stand him professionally because of the trouble he caused them in trying to drag the republican house
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further to the right but he had personal relationships with some members of congress including democrats so i don't know how large a factor that is but that's an additional thing that i think moves in the background but the committee says they're looking to make a decision this week and i think at the end of the day, they've had extended discussions with mark meadows if he ultimately refuses to cooperate, i don't think they'll have a choice but to file contempt but will be slow to take that step. >> all right. i want to read something from -- this is part of the statement from chairman bennie thompson and the vice chair liz cheney they wrote after meadows failed to compile. indeed mr. meadows failed to answer the most basic questions including whether he was using a private cell phone to communicate on january 6th and where his text messages from that day are. the language here is deliberate. what's the committee trying to accomplish by putting it out
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there like that? >> is that john dean or john harwood? >> john dean. sorry about that. two johns here. john dean. >> i think what they're saying is they believe that there is information that he has in his -- as we all do today, carry a lot of data with us and that would be valuable to the committee. whether that would fall within executive privilege is a good question. a lot of personal uses made of those phones. a lot of the activities that the january 6th committee is looking at should not fall within what is normally an executive privilege area. when you're up to no good in misconduct, that is something that's protected by executive privilege established in the ni kn nixon era when the court said there is executive privilege. i think that's what they're going for, don, and again, i think it's a delay tactic by the republicans and this is just
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going to go on for a long time before we get answers. >> let me follow up on that because you brought it up. you know a lot about executive privilege. i mean, if the appeals court, if the appeals court rules against trump tomorrow, does that undermine all of the former president and his allies who were claiming they are covered by executive privilege, john dean? >> no, it would not. it would -- in fact, it would be surprising if the court expanded executive privilege to cover former presidents. there has been a very very narrow privilege for ex presidents. harry truman once invoked it and said i won't appear in front of congress during the mccarthy era and testify because of executive privilege. nixon got a very narrow exception in a case that went to the supreme court but this is, as i say, being used by trump as if he were still president but as the lower court reminded him,
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he's not king and nor is he president. >> so the other ones who are claiming it for themselves -- no, does not apply to them, correct? >> no, does not. >> does not apply. >> it's the incumbent president's privilege. >> john harwood, we're learning federal prosecutors indicted rioters, including someone accused of assaulting d.c. police officer michael fanone. what are you learning about this case? >> well, i think this is significant in the sense that they are honing in on the violence against police officers and it's related to, i think, the broader purpose of what the congressional committee is attempting to discover, which is what precipitated this violence? the justice department has not
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by any public indication initiated a direct investigation of donald trump for his interference. democratic members of congress are restless and would like to see donald trump subject to a serious investigation, possibly prosecuted but they -- the justice department is getting closer to the source of the violence and if they can somehow as they determine the connections among these rioters who plotted violence as they approached the capitol and talked about it after they left washington, if they could somehow tie that to the white house, then some of those democratic members of congress might get what they're looking for, which is a stronger nexus with the president and more action by the justice department. >> all right gentlemen, thank you. thank you to john. you guys can figure out which one i'm talking about. [ laughter ] >> appreciate it. hope you had a good thanksgiving. see you both soon. >> i want to turn to the growing keep and kconcerns about the ne coronavirus variant spreading
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around the worldment u. u.s. health officials say it's a matter of time before it's here. athena jones has more. >> reporter: the president calling for calm. >> this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic. >> reporter: as omicron first detected in south africa spreads around the world. >> this is a new wrench that's been thrown into the fight against covid. >> it's certainly not good news. >> reporter: blazie raising newt questions. >> we don't know everything we need to know about this new variant yet. >> we don't know yet what the level of severity will be. >> reporter: omicron has 50 new mutations, some with the delta variant that drove a deadly summer surge in the united states. the variant is the most dominant strain in south africa, less than two weeks after it was first detected. the strain confirmed on five continents in more than a dozen countries including canada. the u.s. joining the european
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union and other countries in restricting travel from certain southern african nations. a move health experts say may slow down the variant spread but won't stop it. >> when you have a virus that has already gone to multiple countries inevitably, it will be here. >> reporter: u.s. federal health officials are bracing for omicron to be detected here with the cdc sequencing coronavirus genomes and, working closely with state health officials. but it won't be clear for a few weeks how transmissible omicron is, whether it causes more severe illness and whether it can evade the immune protection offered by vaccines. >> the reality is we only have known about this virus for just over a week so we don't really have the kind of data to answer those questions definitively. >> reporter: scientists and pharmaceutical companies are working to get the answers. >> i don't think the result will be the vaccines don't protect. i think the results could be, which we don't know yet but the
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vaccines protect less. >> reporter: vaccine makers like pfizer and moderna stressing they are ready to respond quickly if changes to the vaccines are needed. >> we think within, you know, weeks that maybe two to three months we would be able to have a omicron specific vaccine booster available for testing and then for administration. >> reporter: until more is known about the new variant, health officials say the best way to protect yourself is for the still unvaccinated to get vaccinated. and for those eligible for booster shots, to get them. >> we expect that most likely the current vaccines will be sufficient to provide protection and especially the boosters will give that additional layer of protection. >> reporter: athena jones, cnn, new york. here is a question a lot of folks are asking. do we need vaccines specifically designed to target the omicron variant and how fast can we get the shots in arms? expert advice, next.
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more of an explanation. there are a lot of unanswered questions. we'll try to answer more as possible. the cdc strengthening recommendation for booster shots saying all adults 18 and older should go get their third shot. this is more than 50 nations including the u.s. restrict travel over the omicron variant. let's discuss. the director of global health at the counsel on foreign relations and author of plagues and the paradox of progress. tom, we're so glad you're here to help answer these questions. this -- good evening to you. global anxiety over the omcomic variant, it might, we don't know, it might undermine the vaccines. how concerned should we be about that? >> i agree with the president. we should be concerned but not
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panicked. what we know from data from south africa is there is some indication that cases involving this new variant may have spread rapidly and we know that for mutations and areas of concern with regard to the virus of the spike protein, the binding receipt toror areas and it is m transmissible, more severe and may undermine the effectiveness of our vaccines. we just don't know the degree to which yet or for certain if it does. what this does suggest, though, is that what we must be doing is redoubling what we should be doing heading into a winter surge of the already very contagious delta variant and focussing on those kinds of efforts we can control at this time. >> let's talk about this travel ban if you will to southern
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africa announced over the weekend. travel restrictions, if you want to call it that that went into effect today includes exceptions for u.s. citizens. does that make any sense because the virus doesn't care, right, which country you're from and what your nationality is. does that make any sense? >> it at best makes modest sense. you know, travel bans in general have not been hugely effective in this pandemic unless you're an island nation that isn't seeing a lot of travel from aif he canned a-- affected areas an got the bans put in place early, very few nations have benefitted. at best it's delays. the arrival of cases a week or two. in this case, it's unlikely even to do that. >> you think it's here already sm. >> yeah, this variant is probably already here. this variant is already in 13 countries in europe, it's in canada, it's in israel, it's in
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hong kong, it's in several countries in africa was mentioned before on five continents. i wouldn't be surprised if in the next week we find cases of it here. >> yeah. is there some concern, are you concerned that new -- that countries now, you know, with this new variant, that they won't report possibly because of the fear of a global backlash or even a ban that might affect their economy? >> i am concerned. already today on social media one of the scientists involved in identifying the sequences was may re making pleas for the restarting of flights because they can't get the materials they need for further tests because of fbans n flights from south africa. that's a terrible sign. one of the things we need to do with the evidence around the virus is to start to do genetic or genome surveillance we need
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to do domestically to see if we have cases and lift the travel bans sooner or later. whatever effect they have will be quite modest. we shouldn't punish these countries further. >> this is a question that a family member of mine had also a member of my team here in the studio had, as well about boosters. moderna says it's working the vaccines specifically for omicron or upping the dose for the third shot. should people get a booster today or are they possibly going to have to get another one for omicron if it is -- if they later develop one? >> so they should definitely get, if eligible for a booster, they should definitely get a booster today. as we talked about and as you rightly said, there is a lot we don't know about this omicron variant and a lot we do know
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about the delta very ariant. we're in for a rough ride this winter. the u.s. is at 59% of the u.s. population being vaccinated. 83% of the deaths we've seen since june 1st are in unvaccinated populations. the smartest thing we can do to get ahead of the winter surge of the delta variant and whatever might come from omicron variant is becoming fully vaccinated. it's highly, highly unlikely whatever this new variant new information we learned about this new variant will be that it completely undermines vaccine effectiveness of these vaccines. it may take a hit, still worth getting. >> the answer to both is get it and yes, you may have to take another one if it gets to that, correct? >> that's right. we'll find out if we do, if we do typically the mnra vaccines can make that modification relatively quickly. the bigger challenge will be manufacturing and getting
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convincing people to take it. >> thank you, tom. appreciate it. >> my great pleasure. nice to see you. >> you, as well. lauren boebert defiant after a phone call with omar and doubling down on her comments toward omar.
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anti muslim comments at omar. omar said she ended up hanging up. omar posting this statement on social media. >> make no mistake, i will continue to fearlessly put america first, never sympathizing with terrorists. unfortunately, ilhan can't say the same thing. and our country is worse off for it. >> look, you got to know about it. i hate running it because it gives her more attention and that's what she wants. important story since it's about anti muslim hate, islam phobia. let's discuss now. charlie and alice stewart. good evening to both of you. charlie, you served in the house of representatives for seven terms. what do you think when you hear
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boebert spew that hatred? >> it's clear she's now defidef. she doesn't feel any sense of remorse or contrition and don, when i was on the ethics committee for eight years, two years as chairman, when i dealt with members who are about to be sanctioned for misbehavior or misconduct or bringing this upon the house, they usually felt some sense of remorse or regret and never contrite. and it just seems now that people like boebert and taylor greene and gosar found a way to monetize this and will run with it. it really tragic that the standards bar has been so lowered that, you know, this kind of conduct now doesn't really shake things up as much as i thought they would. it used to be that that kind of conduct was -- could be a career ending event and insure serious
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reputational damage. it been monetized and they see opportunity. >> you were shaking your hand because you called on boebert to condemn them. why not and wouldn't a real leader stand up? a what are your thoughts on this? >> whether privately or notlicl it clear her comments are not reflective of republicans whether many congress or across the country and charlie is exactly right. we tragically unfortunately have new members of congress that feel as though their positions in congress gives them the authority to say and do whatever they want as opposed to serving and constituents need and here is the tragic part is what congresswoman boebert said was awful and disgusting and she should first of all never have said it in the first place. she should publicly apologize not just to what she's done to the muslim community be u to her
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colleague, congresswoman ill lan o -- ilhan omar and make sure she's going to do this again. here is the tragic thing. we have members of congress who are as charlie said becoming national figures out of this using this to increase their prominence as well as increase fundraising. look, if this is what they want to do in the new found quote celebrity, they need to step away from washington and make the talk show circuit and that way they can say whatever they want to say completely inencomered by congress. let them spout their mouth off and say whatever they want because they're certainly not doing soconstituents and what she said is not reflective of republicans. this goes across the aisle on both sides. we don't need outlandish statements whether anti muslim, anti israel or anti semimitt
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tiash antis-semitic. the road to disparaging comments needs to come to a dead end. >> i want to read, this is part of representative ilhan omar's response today. she said this is not about one hateful statement or politician, it's about a party with main stream bigotry and hatred. listen, i heard your comments before you said people are capitalizing or monetizing. is she right? are those main stream in the gop? it certainly seems so. >> well, what changed so much since i left congress in 2018 so we're betting able to marginalize elements within the republican conference. you saw what happened to steve king in 2019 where kevin mccarthy did the right thing. he punished steve king for making the comments on a repeated basis and steve king lost and that's what is missing here. it's that kind of leadership that milley will step up and set
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the standards. somebody has to lower the broom. this is not fun. when i was on the ethics committee, i didn't like being head of internal affairs of the police department for congress. that is no fun. nobody signs up for that when they run for congress. it has to occur and until the leadership says enough and really deals with these internally and forces these members, taylor greene never should have been thrown off the committee but the full congress. republican leadership should have done it on their own. this is only going to escalate now and republicans will probably take the house back and turn around and as soon as one democrat steps out of line arguably right or wrong, they're going to lower the boom and this is just going to spin out of control when ethics is used as a political weapon there will be no winners but the institution will suffer greatly and i think the gop really needs to do more to raise the standards bar back up and donald trump in many respects is responsible for lowering that bar.
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>> and the problem with that also to his point is that while we have this fringe element and the three people just recently that have faced some kind of condemnation for comments, they are the loudest voices but they are by no means the most representative of the party and unfortunately, there are some rational republicans and responsible conservatives here in washington that are trying to get the people's work done and unfortunately they're being sidetracked by these fringe elements that are really taking all lot of air out of the room. >> that has to be the last word. i don't disagree. there are people trying to get it done but when they don't speak out, alice, it makes it seem they are representative of the entire party and when the leadership, as you have said doesn't speak out, it makes it seem that way as well. thank you both. i hope you both have a good thanksgiving. good to see you. talk to you soon. >> thank you. tensions flaring at school board meetings over masks and
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diversity and inclusion. now angry parents in one minnesota town are going after a woman who was the chair of the school board and targeting her transgender child. th fidelity i, we'll look at what you've saved, what you'll need, and help you build a flexible plan for cash flow designed to last. so you can go from saving... to living. ♪ ♪ cases of anxiety in young adults are rising as experts warn of the effects on well-being caused by the pandemic. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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over the last few months, we have seen school board meetings turn into ugly shouting matches over mask mandates and hot
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bu button issues. the ugliness reached a new level. angry parents outing a school board member's transgender child. >> i took him in the car. >> reporter: they and their kids live in their dream house in hastings, minnesota. >> another pancake? okay. >> reporter: for a few more weeks, anyway. >> order up. look at the steam on that one. when i left the navy, when i left active duty, i had a job opportunity here and i flew out. kelsey said well, i hope the interview went well because we're moving here. this town is great. this town is perfect. this is what i want. >> reporter: how do you feel about hastings now? >> i can't unsee the things that have been sent to me. i think with time i will find forgiveness. >> reporter: kelsey is one of
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the school board income bents defeated this year over mask rules. >> masks should be a parents' decision. >> reporter: and diversity and inclusion programs. >> this community was very split. >> reporter: she voted for masking and supported diversity and inclusion programs, choices that energized parents in a facebook group opposed to pandemic restrictions. the group was formed in july under the name conservative parents of hastings. a few weeks later, the name was changed to concerned parents of hastings. it a small town. she knows a lot of the parents in this group. >> i'm fine with it. that's politics. >> reporter: one day, a parent wrote a long post complaining about kelsey and masking. in the replays, things got ugly. >> someone responded to that post by saying kelsey needs to be in jail because her youngest daughter is a boy.
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>> reporter: a parent outed kit because of kit's mom's politics. >> this is my most precious secret. the thing i protected most and the thing i was most afraid of ever being used in a political way. i dropped to the floor and i cried. >> reporter: other parents soon piled on. one attacked them calling them woke parents. another wrote my heartbreaks for any child who has parents that push this [ bleep ] on them. one moderator of the group hid some of the ugly posts. but another moderator posted more. it kept going. >> it's just a kid trying to impress their woke parents and i'm like my god. i voted for bush every time he was on the ballot. my wokeness, if you want to say my understanding of what it is to be transgender makes me woke, it's because kit woke me up.
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kit taught me not the other way around. >> reporter: kit is 8 years old using the pronouns they, them. they asked we know show their face on camera. >> i like your socks never match. you got style, kid. >> reporter: for kit's 4th birthday, kit asked for one thing. they really, really wanted the kit american girl doll. i was standing right there in the kitchen and kit walks up to me and goes mom, can you call me kit? and i said sure, still my little boy. and kit goes, no, your little girl. and i was like, absolutely sweetie. you got it. i ran into the other room with a panic attack and called daddy in japan and said what the heck just happened? >> reporter: it was a journey
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for these parents. >> i remember a convaersation with a family member that said have you considered doing more manly things with kit and less nurturing things? at that moment, it was kind of a well wait a minute, what am i trying to do here and what is really wrong with this? >> reporter: they decided the right course was love your kid. they let kit be kit. >> we lost our friends when kit first came out and we lost family. >> reporter: the family kept all of this a secret from most people. for a simple reason. safety. >> you out a kid before they're ready, you're subjecting them to that sort of behavior that's going to increase their risk of suicide. this is not about my parenting practices. this sablis about the lives of . >> reporter: after kit was outed online, she realized family might not be safe and wrote a letter to the local newspaper
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and appealed to decency. >> i basically said there is a line. don't cross the line. here are the great things and here is how we come together as a community. >> reporter: on facebook some parents responded with glee. re we made the paper one parent wrote. >> they are proud of what they did. >> reporter: cnn reached out to parents in the group and the moderators. no one responded. but concerned parents of hastings blocked us. she knows these parents. she sees them in the grocery store. they know each other and yet, when it came to a political debate, they chose to out her child. how do you see that happening? where does it come from? what's going on? >> there is behavior like that modelled by a lot of politicians in the iunited states in the pat several years. normal people looking at these small issues at the school board and local elections say well, there is not a consequence for these people and i'm a small fry so there isn't going to be a consequence for me. >> reporter: this family is not
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sticking around this neighborhood to find out what comes next. they're moving. >> that's where we're at right now that there are people that we know that are not safe for our kids in our neighborhood and that we can't trust our kids alone at the bus stop waiting for the bus. not because of the kids necessarily but because of the par parents. >> that is great reporting by evan who is here right now. evan, there is an update on all of this, what this family has been dealing with here. we'll talk about that next. evan is going to join us. so she'll get some help from fidelity, and she'll feel so good about her plan, she can focus on living it. that's the planning effect, from fidelity.
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angry parents outing the transgender child of a former school board chair who voted in favor of masks in school and other controversial issues. but, again, great reporting on that. it is really sad. we saw the family. what is next for them? >> toin addition to getting a n house, kelsey says she's going to keep fighting for these issues herself. she's not on the school board anymore, but she says she's not going to let these bullies win. >> we have been watching all these arguments and this
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violencement you can call it madness at these school board meetings over crt to mask mandates and on and on. what else are these -- what are these detates in particular? why does it bring out these kinds of reactions in people? >> kelsey says we need to put a flag in this year. we need to remember what this was like because this is something new, she says, that what's happening now is parents are being told that people who run the schools, teachers in the schools are suspect. they're somehow evil or driven by a strange agenda. this is not an old way of thinking about, but this is a new way of thinking about schools and it really works. what happens is they get afraid and they either drop out or they lose and they don't want to run again. kelsey says this is not just about the schools or about one school board.
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she says this is about our democracy, that this kind of fear all down the neighborhood could have an impact on the rest of the country moving forward. >> and both parents were conservatives? >> they were originally. >> thank you, sir. good to see you sgl. and thanks for watching, everyone. our coverage continues. designed to last.flexibw so you can go from saving... to living. >> man: what's my safelite story? my my livelihood. so when my windshield cracked... the experts at safelite autoglass came right to me... with service i could trust. right, girl? >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ don't settle for products that give you a sort-of white smile.
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good evening. we begin with the latest and a concern people did not have going into the long holiday weekend, but they certainly do tonight. the newest coronavirus variant omicron.


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