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tv   CNN Newsroom With Pamela Brown  CNN  January 8, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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we're not normal, we're nowhere near normal. >> the u.s. racing to keep up with near record hospitalizations and the omicron surge including child hospitalizations. with the pressure now on schools on whether to switch to virtual learning. >> i want a deal done this weekend. our kids need to be back in school. one year on, the house select committee investigating the january 6 insurrection now looking to hear from former vice president mike pence. >> this is one more public service that needs to be performed by the former vice president. and a legendary life remembered. >> they call me mr. tibbs. >> actor and activist sidney
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poitier gone at the age of 94. >> a blazing star in the firmament of artistic excellence. >> his legacy in hollywood and beyond. i'm phil mattingly in washington in for pamly brown tonight, and you are in the "cnn newsroom." we begin this hour with a sobering reality on the covid pandemic. that viral blizzard u.s. was warned about, it's here very clearly. the swift spread of the highly contagious omicron variant has pushed hospitalizations close to the records set almost a year ago. and the number of american children hospitalized with covid has soared to the highest level of the entire pandemic. helping to drive that number, children under a who at this point are still too young to be vaccinated. many hospitals are facing a staffing crisis because covid is infecting their personnel. some states have deployed national guard troops, seen here
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on your screen in protective gear, to help fill the void. new york is now the latest state to mandate booster shots for health care workers. a former member of president biden's covid-19 advisory board says the nation needs better long-term planning. >> unfortunately if you vaccinate today, the people who are unvaccinated who account for about 75% of the hospitalizations, it's not really going to make a big difference over the next month because they need a second shot and then 14 days after the second shot. public health measures that we've mentioned -- better air quality, masking, not going into crowded indoor spaces, those are really important measures in order to get past omicron. you need to plan today for three months from now so we're not caught in the same problem. >> with child hospitalizations hitting record numbers across the country, many states are wrestling with the benefits and
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risks of in-person learning. it's an impassioned debate involving parents and teachers, politicians and lawyers. cnn's nadia romero is they're break it down. you're in atlanta where students returned to class on monday after a week of virtual learning. i know there's palpable anxiety across the country with parents. what's the mood there? >> reporter: yeah, phil, they're returning back to in-person learning on monday, as you mentioned, here at the atlanta public school district. we're still seeing rises cases across the state of georgia. so the governor says, hey, no need for contact tracing, it's just too difficult right now. so that's not mandatory anymore. and if you're a georgia school teacher and you have covid-19, you're infected with the virus, you can still teach as long as you're asymptomatic and you wear a mask. but the governor is leaving all of that up to the school district to decide how they want to handle it. so here at the atlanta public schools, they're back to mandatory testing for their teachers and voluntary testing for students if they have parental consent. let's head over to chicago
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because it is still unclear how they hell m-- how they will mov forward. they spent last wednesday through friday without having any school at all for some 340,000 chicago school district students across the city. the chicago teachers union came out today with a press conference and said, listen, we'll go back to virtual teaching starting on wednesday, the kids will stay home, but we'll go back to our classrooms, and that should give us time to undergo testing and vaccinations, and then we'll try to go back to in-person learning. but the mayor, lori lightfoot, said no, no, no, it's in-person learning only. that's the only thing that she would support. she even released a statement, quickly, and said, "ctu leadership," chicago teachers union leadership, "you're not listening. the best, safest place for kids to be is in schools. students need to be back in person as soon as possible. that's what parents want, that's what the science supports. we will not relent." and it's not just here in atlanta or in chicago, but if we
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go to the bay area, on friday teachers there held a sickout where they called in sick to protest what they claimed was a lack of resources being provided to them by their school districts. listen to one of the teachers who organized that sickout speak about what he says is necessary for them to feel safe to come back to the classroom. >> we're not going to march ourselves into a known deathtrap. we're not going to continue to spread covid to our students or bring covid home to our families. if the only language the people in power understand is us withholding our labor because that's ultimately when they depend on, that's the language we'll speak. >> reporter: and that is the tool they've been using to demand more testing, more masks, and for school districts in the bay area to really take a look at how they can better equip themselves during these critical staffing shortages. phil, we can go to new york city, as well, where there's a battle with some teachers unions and some 30 new york lawmakers.
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they want remote learning, but the city's mayor there and new york city just like the mayor in chicago, he only supports in-person learning. phil, this battle will continue. >> there's no question about that. and it's tough to sometimes remember kids are in the middle of this battle. thanks for the great reporting, as always. i'll talk to a chicago parent who wants her daughter back in school in or 8:00 p.m. hour tonight. right now i want to bring in dr. jonathan reiner, proffers of medicine and surgery at george washington university. president biden said yesterday that covid is not here to stay, but a growing number of medical expert including some of the president's advisers disagree and basically says the public needs to accept living with covid. look, there's gray area here, it's not a black and white -- necessarily answer. which side do you fall on in terms of what the pandemic is going to look like in the weeks and months ahead for average americans? >> well, for the next several weeks, it's going to look bad in
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many american cities. new york, 40 hospitals in new york just canceled elective procedures. the d.c. hospital association where i work has asked the d.c. government for permission for hospitals to enact crisis standards of care. and that's coming to every city in the united states. it's going come in a wave from north to south in this country. and it's going to last hopefully not much more than a few weeks, but it's going to be a tough january into the first part of february, and then hopefully it will clear quickly. but the country should understand that the virus is not going to go away. the pandemic is going to go away. and going forward, we're going to have to start to think about having low level of covid, the same way we have low levels of influenza -- well, we have high levels of influenza every year, but we're going to have to face, you know, this notion that this
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is going to be a background in our society, we're going to have to learn how to live with it. we'll have probably yearly updates on vaccines. we'll have different ways to test for it, better therapeutics. so we are going to live with this virus indefinitely, but the pandemic itself, the health emergency that we're in now is going to eventually go away. hopefully in the next several weeks. >> and it seems, doctor, that there's dissidence here in the idea that there's a clear pivot in messaging toward living with the pandemic -- not the pandemic -- living with covid, kind of to what you're talking about, as more of an influenza, and a more macro sense new york stock exchange a micro -- more macro sense. the messaging here from federal government has led to a lot of public confusionme. i think there's no better case than the cdc changing its isolation guidance. as a doctor, how frustrating has that been watching the mentioning play snout. >> super frustrating.
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so across the street from my hospital which is located in foggy bottom section of d.c. is a bar, a nice bar. and i walk out of this hospital which is packed with folks trying to recover from covid, and there are people in the bar across the street drinking as if nothing is going on. and you see that all over major american cities. i understand -- we've heard the mayor of new york basically, you know, today try and say, look, new york is open for business, we want people to come back, we want them to fill the restaurants, hotels. new york hospitals are packed. so there is this dissidence. and what i want to hear is american leaders, local and national, tell the public the truth. and here's the truth -- the truth is this is going to be a very difficult several weeks, and we need you to do your part. and if i were the president, i would -- i would suggest to the country that, you know something, if you can work from
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home for the next several weeks, you should work from home. we're not going to enact mandates for you to stay home, but in a public health emergency like this, maybe stay at home, work from home if you can. we're not asking the opipublic do anything difficult. if you go into parts of florida, it's like the pandemic has never existed. >> yeah. there's just a very different -- depending where are you in the country, in terms of what this moment represents. now we have a couple viewer questions for you before you go. you're always one of the best at kind of explaining the realities of the moment. one says, my immediate family is vaccinated with the exception of my 4-year-old son. should we limit outings? i'm afraid of catching covid, haven't had it yet. >> yeah. i think it's best for children not to get covid. now the overwhelming truth is that most little kids will do fine should they contract the virus. but a small percentage of children will get really, really
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sick. and there is long covid that will affect children, as well. so if you had your choice, you would want your children be to get infected, and if the only member of your house is a 4-year-old, yeah, you should limit what i call your viral footprint. you know, don't go to the store every day. you know, go maybe once a week to the store to do your shopping. you know, avoid eating out. i'm not eating in a restaurant until this quiets down. don't go into a bar. wear a n95 mask, n94 mask wherever you go and put a good mask on your child when your child has to go out. >> one final question from a viewer, this is what i hear people talking about the pivot in the middle of covid, this is about long-haul covid, particularly as it pertains to the omicron variant. "do people who survive omicron also get long haul? what do we know about long haul in omicron patients?" >> since omicron has only really
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been a variant circulating for several weeks, we don't really have a good handle on long-haul symptoms, symptoms that last for weeks or -- or many months. but there's every reason to believe that people who do recover from omicron will be ad risk of having long-haul symptoms. we know that this variant appears to be more mild, but this is covid. if you are unvaccinated, it's not clear to me, as clear to me, that this is a mill infection. you can still -- a mild infection. you can still die from omicron. many people will die from omicron. and i expect that we will see long-covid symptoms in people who have been infected with this particular variant. >> no question about it. dr. jonathan reiner, as always, my friend, thank you so much. >> my pleasure, phil. all right. still ahead tonight, i'll talk to a chicago mom whose daughter is one of 300,000 students currently missing school as the district and the teachers union fight. why she wants her daughter in
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class. plus, the january 6 committee wants to hear from former vice president mike pence, but would he testify? i'll ask his former spokeswoman coming up. first, at any moment the supreme court could decide if the biden administration can force large businesses and health care workers to get the covid vaccine. law professor kim whaley will help us understand what's at stake. s. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. hustle sure, but for what matters. when you do, it leads to amazing. welcome to the next level. the all-new lexus nx. ♪
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once upon a time, at the magical everly estate, landscaper larry and his trusty crew... were delayed when the new kid totaled his truck. timber... fortunately, they were covered by progressive, so it was a happy ending... for almost everyone. we're still waiting for the supreme court's ruling on president biden's vaccine mandates. now the conservative leaning court appears poised to reject them for large businesses but could still be open to a mandate for health care workers. i want to bring in kim whaley, a law professor at the university of baltimore and the author of "how to read the constitution and why." kim, we're expecting this ruling this weekend, could be at any moment. how unusual is this kind of timeline we're looking at now?
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>> well, it's unusual except in light of what the court has been doing in the last year or so which is what we call the shadow docket. that is not even having oral argument and briefing. so it's good news that the court is slowing down its midnight rulings without fully hearing it out with the parties. but this is very unusual to have the court take something on an expedited basis. normally you have to file a petition for cert and wait until the next term, the fall, as we're sitting to await huge decisions in june like around abortion. so this conservative court has been very, very active, phil, in ways that historically the supreme court has not in stepping into, frankly, what some would say are the roles of the other branches of government. >> yeah. it's been a shift and a noticeable one. when it comes to what the supreme court will be weighing in on specifically, there are two mandates here. there's the osha rule for large
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employers, but there's another one from cms targeting workers at health care facilities that receive federal funding. can you explain why these two mandates are being treated differently here? >> well, it comes down to legislative power. the congress was given under article one of the constitution the power to make laws. over 100 years congress has created statutes that basically hand off that power to what we call federal agencies. so we've got two handoffs of what i call -- tell my students is a legislative baton. we've got osha's handoff in the occupational safety and health impact and the social security act that handed off power to hhs to regulate people or entities that receive medicare and medicaid dollars. so in both instances, congress gives agencies power to make laws, we call them regulations. and biden exercised that power as president as the head of agencies under these two
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separate statutes. so it's those handoffs of power from congress that normally makes laws to agencies that the supreme court is now reviewing, where the agencies not only properly exercise that power but whether i think subtly down the road we're going to have this court revisit whether congress can hand off that power ever. that's been upheld since fdr basically. and that's a big deal because more laws are made, phil, at the federal level by agencies through regulations than by congress. and we know this congress these days is so dysfunctional and broken, it's probably a good thing that there are other parts of the government that are regulating things because otherwise it would be a bit of a free for all economically and otherwise. >> yeah. it would be a seismic shift, though, if there was a shift that it seems like this court is heading that direction. you have a great piece in "the atlantic" tied to these points, too. one last question, chief justice john roberts was difficult to read, hinted that maybe he could support the osha mandate, maybe not, for large employers, but that would still leave the liberal judges -- even if he go
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that route one vote short. any chance of swaying a justice when it comes to the osha mandate? >> you know, very hard to tell. the arguments were all over the place. i should say, if you look at the scope of the mandate and osha, it's broad enough in my view to cover the vaccine. what justice roberts was uncomfortable with was, you know, osha exercising this kind of power, period, because it's a vaccine. so we might feel more comfortable with, you know, hhs doing it for medicare, medicaid, for hospitals, things like that, but he's basically saying, listen, vaccines and workplace safety, i'm not so sure. progressives were saying, listen, workplace safety, people are regulated in terms of their air, you know, if you can wear hard hats, ladders, all those things. so i don't know. it sounds like they might tinker with the osha mandate, uphold the medicare/medicaid mandate. because there's not in my mind the law is pretty established that congress can do this so
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far. it's anyone's guess what these -- really i think relatively radical justices now on the supreme court are going to do when it comes to the scope of the constitution itself. and i say that very carefully, but unfortunately i think that's where we are with constitutional law. we just don't know where we're heading now. >> yeah. that's a great question. we're all going to be on high alert pretty much from here until we hear something. kim whaley, thanks as always. >> thank you. all right. the january 6 mob chanted about hanging him, now the january 6 committee wants to talk to him, ask mike pence about the pressure campaign that fueled that mob. new reporting on where that request stands. plus, i'll ask the former press secretary if she thinks he would talk coming up next. and along the ride, you'll have many questions. challenges. and a few surprises. ♪ but wherever you are on your journey. your dell technologies advisor is here for you -
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the january 6 committee investigating the attack on the capitol could soon ask former vice president mike pence to appear voluntarily. the panel's chairman, bennie thompson, telling npr, quote, i think you could expect that before the month's out. cnn has more now on the latest. this seemed pretty definitive. how significant in your eyes is this development? >> this is a really significant development, phil. the chairman told us that the committee wants to hear directly from mike pence, and here's why -- pence, as you mentioned, certified the 2020 presidential election despite a really intense pressure campaign from trump and his allies to not do so. that pressure campaign, who was involved, how deep it goes, is a very significant investigative thread for the committee. in addition, pence was at the capitol on january 6th and
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witnessed the violence that took place that day. and he was in the white house privy to a lot of important conversations leading up to january 6 that's important to the committee's investigation. listen to what democratic rep adam schiff, who is a member on this panel, had to say about pence and the importance of his testimony. >> he would have i think very undoubtedly relevant testimony for us about that pressure campaign. no one would be in a better position to speak to it than he would. all of the efforts to get him to, violate his constitutional duty to count the votes and instead reject votes without basis. and so we hope that he'll be willing to do so. >> so the chairman of the committee tells us that the committee will be meeting later this week to discuss the next steps with getting pence to voluntarily come and speak with them. it's important to note that this is a voluntary request. this is not a legally binding
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subpoena which is what the committee has done with some of the other witnesses they want to hear from. we're expecting the voluntary ask to pence to happen soon. that is still something that the committee is working out. in the meantime, sources tell us that multiple pence aides have been cooperating with the committee and providing really significant insight into the committee's investigation, phil. >> yeah. something to keep a close eye on. you've broken a ton of news on this story. i know you will. thank you so much. all right. for more i want to bring in former white house director of strategic communications under president trump, alissa farrah gri griffin, and she served as spokesperson. one of the interesting things, and annie hit on this, people in the vice president's orbit have spoken to the committee voluntarily. one of the things i've been trying to figure out is will the vice president talk to them voluntarily, and i don't necessarily is a great read on it. i'm glad you're here to tell us exactly what's going to happen. what's your sense? do you think that your former
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boss, vice president mike pence, would do this voluntarily with the committee? >> so it's great to be with you. and i will preface this by saying this is my analysis based on i've not talked with the former vice president about this issue. but knowing him and having worked for him for several years, i anticipate that he'll cooperate with the committee in some capacity. however, this is an important distinction. this is a voluntary request. his former -- his former chief of staff, mark short, agreed to cooperate with the committee when he was subpoenaed. if there's something you should know about pence world it is that they are by the book kind of institutionalists by nature. i think if he were to receive a subpoena he would absolutely comply. he believes in the oversight rule that congress has on the executive branch. i'm a little less -- little more skeptical that he wouldn't in a volunteer capacity. we went through the anniversary of january 6, and it's very clear where most of the republican party and the republican base is on this
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issue. were he to go in in a voluntary capacity, i think it could be perceived as he was trying to help the committee. whereas i think he wants to, you know, do what he's obligated to under the constitution, contribute to the oversight role. but i think they're more likely to get information from him with the subpoena. >> yeah, and i think you make a great point on the by the book. they would also i assume apply to executive privilege issues which i think the former vice president would be cognizant of. one thing i wanted to ask, you've spoken to the committee, what can you tell us about that conversation with them? >> yeah. i spoke voluntarily with the republicans on the committee. and i've volunteered if it would be helpful to speak to the full committee. but again, i have left the white house long before january 6. i will say this, it's a -- they are taking a very deliberative approach in how they do this. they are taking the time to do the hard work of fact finding and piecing together what happened in those weeks leading up to january 6th, who was involved, what conversations
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were had, so that when they bring in kind of the big-ticket individuals or subpoena those individuals, they already know most of the information. it's really just a matter of filling in gaps. one more thing i would note on pence, i would powur cold water on the notion that bringing him before the committee would be this big smoking gun moment. as i mendsed, mark short's already sat down with the committee. virtually every conversation i could imagine he would have had with the former president as well as those around him, mark short would have been present for. that's just how pence world operates. so i don't anticipate there's much new information they would get from pence. that said, it's a very worthy initiative to try to have him speak to the committee, as well. >> talking about the past here, a little bit on the future if you don't mind. license to what stephanie grisham said staffers are planning to do. >> next we a group of former trump staff are going to come
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together, administration officials are going to come together, and we're going to talk about how we can formally do some things to try and stop him and also, you know, the extremism, that kind of violence and rhetoric that has been talked about and continues to divide our country. >> is being a part of that group or what they're intending to do something that would be of interest to you? >> so i'm going to have a conversation kind of in a listening capacity to see what that group has in the works. but my opinion is this -- the battlefield is the voters. if you want to defeat trumpism, you have to win hearts and minds, you have to have conversations within the existing infrastructure of the republican party. so honestly, my focus is going to be helping good, smart, incumbent republicans who are facing trumpist primaries getting involved in those races. i've seen there have been a lot of efforts, some more successful than others, but the battlefield is the voters, it's changing
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hearts and minds and showing there's an alternative to him. there's no secret sauce to donald trump. a generic republican could do a lot of what he was able to do in office. so we'll see where the group goes. i think there's a lot of smart efforts under way, and smart republicans by the way coming out to support incumbents who are facing primary challenges from trump. so larry hogan hitting the campaign trail to support incumbents. vice president pence, by the way, has committed to backing incumbents through the rga. so this is already shaking out in the midterms, and there's going to be a lot more of this ahead. >> that brings me to the last question i wanted to ask you. on january 6th, the anniversary of it, you tweeted, quote, on 1/6 trump abdicated then a violent mob -- he proved himself worthy of the office he once held." basically if republicans can't say that and can't acknowledge that, there's bigger problems here. it's what i wanted to ask -- i've got friends and family
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members who don't view january 6 -- even though they were texting me on january 6 when i was in the capitol asking if i was okay, they don't view it as this big moment or big problem. there's a disconnect there inside the party. how do you planexplain that discheck? >> i think there's been -- disconnect? >> i think there's been an effort to spend the last year downplaying it. and this equating it is on sort of the social justice protest we saw last year which is very different from. but i think there's been a steady drum beat that this wasn't as bad and then going even further to try to make the insurrectionists some sort of victims. and that started to resonate with folks. and to give credit to some of the republicans who are lime, listen, my gas prices are up, inflation's affecting the bills that i'm paying, i guess why they're focused on those issues more. what i would always say to somebody is our democracy came to the brink and thank god, by the way, for vice president mike pence. a lesser man or woman may have
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given into the former president and lord knows where we would be today if that were the case. it was a highly significant moment. i think there's an education gap. i think there's a lot that needs to be done to kind of explain to the public why it was so significant. but you know, you're going against a very loud platform that is donald trump. >> yeah. just feels like that explanation has been tuned out to a large degree the last year or so. as always, thanks so much for your time. >> thank you, phil. we'll be right back. (vo) subaru and our retailers volunteer and support charities all year long. and...through the subaru share the love event, we are proud to have donated over two hundred and twenty five million dollars to charity. you can get a car from any company, but none will make a difference like subaru.
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in a strange twist this week, senator ted cruz is apologizing profusely, not for saying something wrong but for telling the truth, something he has said repeatedly. during a senate hearing on wednesday, the texas republican called the january 6 insurrection a, quote, violent terrorist attack, and right-wing reaction was swift and harsh. so the next day, on the one-year anniversary of the capitol riot, cruz went on air with fox's tucker carlson to pretty much beg for forgiveness. >> the way i phrased things yesterday, it was sloppy, and it was, frankly, dumb. and -- >> i don't buy that. whoa, whoa, whoa -- i don't buy that. i've known you since before you went to the senate -- >> i wasn't saying that the thousands of peaceful protesters supporting donald trump are somehow terrorists. i wasn't saying the millions of -- of patriots across the country supporting president trump are terrorists, and that's what a lot of people have misunderstood that comment. i was focused --
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>> wait. hold on. what you said doesn't make sense. >> i was talking about people who commit violence against cops, and you and i both agree if you commit violence against cops, you should go to jail. >> that whole interview was something else. our daniel dale is following the story for us. and daniel, cruz blames sloppy wording for his comment, but this is not even close to the first time cruz has described the insurrection as a terrorist act. is that right? >> you're right. not eaven close. i did research after the sloppy claim. this was the 18th time, at least the 18th time that senator cruz had described the capitol riot as a terrorist attack or broadly described rioters as terrorists. so again, 17 previous occasions on which he used the language that he claimed was sloppy when he used it at least the 18th time. he used this language in basically every possible forum. he did it in an official written statement the day after the assault on the capitol. he did it in another written
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statement more than a month after the assault on the capitol. he did it in a third official written statement more than four months after the assault. he also did it in a whole bunch of interviews. listen to some comments he made to local texas television station the day after the riot -- >> well, what happened yesterday in washington was horrific. it was a terrorist attack on the united states capitol. it was despicable. it's a dark day in our nation's history when terrorists can assault the citadel democracy. i do think it's really cynical for them to be trying to take advantage of what was a tragic event that occurred yesterday in washington. the terrorist attack on the capitol, it was despicable. >> senator cruz also used this terrorist attack language in a senate committee meeting in june. now i spoke to -- i interacted with senator cruz's office. they told me that the premise of my story was, quote, false.
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they said of course senator cruz has in the past called people who attack police officers terrorists. but as you heard here, that's not what he was doing in all these instances. he was far more broadly using that language to describe capitol rioters, whether or not they assaulted officers. senator cruz's spokesperson also told me the real mistake he made was in not distinguishing between peaceful protesters and those people who committed physical violence. so okay, fair enough. but i think it's clear to you, to me, to people who watch carlson's show, senator cruz was very much trying to create the impression that this was like a onetime inadvertent error, onetime mistake, and that is very clearly not the truth. >> yeah. when the clip went viral with conservatives, i watched it and didn't think anything of it. it just seemed like something he'd said in the past. turns out, according to daniel dale, it was. thank you so much for your reporting. >> thank you. all right. coming up next, a violent crackdown and talks with russia's vladimir putin on how to quote/unquote restore order. the latest on the deadly
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it started out as a massive protest over rising fuel prices. it quickly expanded to a wider display of discontent with the government. the demonstrations in kazakhstan took a violent turn as protesters clashed with police and the military. soon after the country saw a nationwide internet blackout, the government resign, and a state of emergency as russian-backed troops moved in. cnn's senior international correspondent matthew chance joins me from moscow. we're told russian president vladimir putin, the kazakh
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president, talked about how to, quote, restore order in kazakhstan. what more do you know about that conversation? >> reporter: well, it's an redac from the kremlin said. it said basically the two leader discussed the efforts that have been undertaken so far to stabilize request of the kazakhstan authorities. we believe near the airport but also key installations as well to bring semblance of control back to the streets thereafter a week of incredibly violent clashes, protests that we witnessed on the streets particularly in the main city. difficult to get information because the internet is patchy, we're still not allowed inside. but spoke to a contact a couple hours ago and she told me there's relative order in the
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streets now. they weren't deserted but there won't those protests. there were sporadic gunshots she said being heard on occasion near check points setup by the security forces. but that relative stability has come at a very high price because there have been dozens of people who have been killed according to officials. they're not just protesters but also the security forces killed by, you know, rampaging mobs during the worst of the protests. also nearly 4,000 people have been detained by the security forces. we don't know what's become of them and what will -- how they will be processed and what will happen to them. in addition to that you have that invitation that was put out sort of last week to the russians and to other allies of kazakhstan to send in troops to back up their security forces. now as i said there about 4,000
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troops at key ins tuilations. >> a fascinating story and dangerous story on so many levels. numerous u.s. officials told me start paying attention to this. matthew chance from moskow, as always great reporting. thank you. a trailblazer, an actor and an oscar winner. sydney poitier was all of these and so much more. next how what he did off camera made such a difference in peoples lives. our money right. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ move to a sofi personal loan. earn $10 just for viewing your rate —
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and get your money right. ♪
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legend is a word that gets tossed around pretty freely in hollywood, really in all walks of life but tonight fans are remembering a man who truly earned that distinction. sydney poitier was born in miami in 1927, grew up in the bahamas until the theater called his name. one of his early films and he won best actor. among his stand out roles was walter. >> sometimes i think they're going to drive me crazy.
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see i'm 35 years old and i ain't got nothing, i ain't going to be nothing, mama. just look at me. >> i'm looking at you, and you're a good-looking boy. you've got a job, a wife -- >> i drive a man around in his limousine and say yes, sir and no, sir. that ain't nothing. if i could make you understand. >> understand what, baby? >> well, sometimes it's like i can see my future just stretched out in front of me, my whole future, a big, blank, empty space full of nothing. but it don't have to be. >> just remarkably talented. cnn's natasha chen is in los angeles as fans remember and celebrate his life. and natasha, sydney poitier was in so many memorable films including ones where he actually worked behind the camera. >> reporter: yeah, phil, he was an actor and director and writer
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and activist. and when you mention that academy award he won, just a year before that he participated in the march on washington. if you can imagine in that era as someone who perhaps had success that was very hard to come by, it would be much easier perhaps to protect that career and just sit at home, but that's not what he did. he talked about making choices, smart choices about the roles he played on-screen. but the choice to be politically active in the public sphere was not necessarily a safe one. we talked to the naacp hollywood bureau about poitier's legacy. we asked about the senior vice president's favorite moment in his films. you'll hear from him on that. but first hear from poitier himself receiving an image award in 2001 talking about how much the naacp offered such needed encouragement through the years. >> that same encouragement resounded through the years and
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was always on hand to inspire us all to stand firm, hold our ground and refuse to be moved whenever the question of survival was at stake. >> when sydney poitier gets slapped by a white man on camera and within a millisecond he turns and slaps that white man back, as a young man growing up black in america that was like someone turned the light on in a dark room. it was synonymous to james brown releasing say it loud i'm black and i'm proud. it was a moment when black americans say, okay, we're ready to turn the page now. things may not be exactly how we want them, but it's going to be different than how it was on the last page. >> now he says the question is whom will they pass that baton


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