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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brianna Keilar  CNN  March 16, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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under biden. i mean, you wouldn't be surprised, obviously, if it happens. would you be more surprised if it didn't happen? >> i wouldn't be surprised if it didn't happen because one thing the north koreans know is that the -- that we're all watching. they know that there are satellites out there trained on north korea, because it's one of the only ways that we can see what's happening, and i would say that if there is some activity happening, perhaps they're also aware that they can create that threat, create that sense of tension and try to influence discussions, but i want to note that so far we haven't seen a weapons test, and that the threat is much better than a weapons test. i hope they leave it at that. that leaves some room for diplomacy and so -- and that leaves room for some possible engagement down the line with north korea. i think the -- i think kim jong un is waiting to see what president biden's policy will be, and i think he's going to -- he's going to be impatient, and so we're waiting to see will he be patient enough to see what
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that policy is before he loses his patience and goes down the path to provocation. >> yeah, it is the beginning of a new saga with north korea and america. jean, thank you so much, jean lee. thanks for being with us. >> thanks so much. right now, president biden is on his way to pennsylvania. the city of chester in delaware county is his latest step on the help is here tour to promote his giant covid relief package to americans, and he just spoke during his departure, so let's listen to that. >> southern border? >> not at the moment. >> have you decided when you're able to share thoughts with other countries? allies or neighbors first? who will be the first country to get u.s. vaccine? >> i've been talking with several countries already. i'll let you know that very shortly. >> all right, i have with me now, cnn white house correspondent arlette saenz
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who's in denver following the vice president who's also part of this big rollout for the american rescue plan. arlette, tell us what is going to happen today. >> reporter: well, brianna, president biden and vice president harris will be fanning out across the country to try to further sell their covid relief package to the american people. you will see the president over in pennsylvania and then vice president harris is expected to land here in denver, colorado, in just a short while. as they are really trying to promote the benefits of this package that americans will be receiving. you heard the president yesterday at the white house stress how this relief bill will get shots and -- shots into americans' arms and checks into americans' pockets, and that is something that they are hoping to reiterate over the course of the next few weeks as they are promoting this plan. now, yesterday, vice president harris kind of kicked off this road tour by heading out west to nevada where she visited a
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vaccination site and some other areas there to thank volunteers and also those vaccinators who are getting these shots into americans' arms. and she talked about how they are viewing this not just as a sales pitch but really a public education campaign. take a listen. >> it's not selling it. it's literally letting people know their rights, right? it's kind of like you -- you buy a product, you've already been sold on the product but you need some directions on the box usually, so this is about, know that you're entitled to this. file your taxes so that you can speed up the benefits that you're going to receive. talk to your friends and neighbors about getting vaccinations. >> reporter: so, that is something that we will expect her to be reinforcing again today when she lands here in colorado. she will be visiting a vaccination site and then be here at maria empanada. this is a restaurant that is owned by an immigrant where
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harris will be holding a round table on small businesses. the president himself, when he is in pennsylvania, will also be focusing on small businesses and the ways that they can benefit from this covid relief package. now, one other thing to note that while harris is here at this restaurant, she will be joined by senator michael bennett who is up for re-election in 2022 and many of these states that both the president and vice president are hitting this week are states that could have competitive senate races in those midterms. brianna? >> yeah, no coincidence for sure. arlette saenz in denver for us, thank you. a second study in less than a week suggests the uk coronavirus variant is more deadly. this is research that shows the risk of death is about 55% higher than earlier strains, and the cdc says it's only a matter of weeks, end of this month or early next, before this is the dominant strain here in the u.s. it's a big reason why the cdc director is pleading with americans to keep up social distancing and wear their masks,
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especially during spring break as more americans head to the beach as they're traveling through airports and as many states are easing restrictions. but vaccinations are a bright spot here. the nation is averaging 2.4 million shots a day. with more than 11% of the country fully inoculated against coronavirus through the vaccine, and this just in. cdc data now showing that 22% of the nation has had at least one shot. mississippi today is joining alaska in making all adults eligible for a covid vaccination and for more pandemic headlines across the country, let's turn now to our cnn correspondents. >> reporter: i'm randi kaye in palm beach county, florida. here, the south florida fairgrounds has been turned into a mass vaccination site. they are hoping to vaccinate about 500 people here today. they're expecting a big crowd because the governor has lowered the vaccination eligibility age to 60 and above. this is one of more than a
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thousand vaccination sites around the state. already the state of florida has fully vaccinated more than 2.3 million people. the governor looking to even ramp those numbers up. >> reporter: i'm jacqueline howard in atlanta. moderna's covid-19 vaccine trial in children is officially under way. the phase 2/3 trial is being conducted here in the u.s. and canada, and the study will enroll about 6,750 children ages 6 months to 11 years old. the biotech company says the first children already have been vaccinated in the study. >> reporter: i'm stephanie elam at the waffle in hollywood. here in los angeles county, restaurants are now allowed to have patrons inside with capacity up to 25%. that's the same limit for museums as well as for movie theaters. as for gyms and dance studios and yoga studios, their limits for indoor capacity is at 10%,
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but this as we're seeing the test positivity rate of the last seven days for california and also for los angeles county is below 2%, so a sense of returning to normal a bit here in what was the hardest-hit county in the country. >> reporter: i'm coy wire in atlanta. six officials have been dismissed ahead of the men's ncaa tournament due to covid-19 protocols. according to the ncaa, one of the referees tested positive. the others ruled out due to close contact. the ncaa is putting everyone involved in march madness through rigorous covid testing and protocols upon arrival in indiana. there are four replacement teams on standby in the event that any school has to pull its team due to health issues before 6:00 p.m. eastern tonight. the 68-team tournament tips off with four games on thursday. as the biden administration makes progress on relief funds and vaccine distribution, it is struggling to deal with a growing crisis at the u.s.-mexico border.
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more than 9,400 children arrived without parents in february. this is a threefold increase since this time last year. and there are currently more than 4,000 unaccompanied minors still in u.s. custody. cnn's rosa flores is in mission, texas, and rosa, i know you were able to speak to some of the families that are trying to enter the u.s. what did they tell you? >> reporter: you know, brianna, they told me, some of them did, that processing for them started under a bridge. now, we've asked border patrol and customs and border protection for ride alongs so that we could see for ourselves what that actually looked like but those requests have been denied. but we do have a location now where we're able to see part of this operation. i want you to look behind me, because my camera is facing south, which you see there is the united states looking into mexico, and there's a bridge here to my left. under that bridge is where some of this processing is starting
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here in the rio grande valley. this gives you an idea of how much of a bottle neck the rio grande valley and border patrol have in their hands right now that processing begins under a bridge. if you look closely, you'll be able to see that there's some floodlights. under that bridge, under those floodlights, and we do have pictures that were tweeted out by the border patrol chief, that if we have those pictures, you'd be able to see what it looks like under that bridge. again, this is as close as we can get to that area, but i did talk to a woman who told me what it was like for processing to start under that bridge. take a listen. >> they start processing you there, yes? how long were you under the bridge? she says that they arrived at about 5:00 p.m. one day and that they spent the night under the
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bridge. how'd you sleep under the bridge? on the floor? >> reporter: now, that's what the bottle neck looks like here on the southern border right now, people getting processed under a bridge. they have to wait there, according to this woman, she waited there overnight to then get transported to a processing facility. now, we've seen the buses on that berm. we've seen those buses come in and out of this area. again, that's exactly what this woman described. right now, there are several suvs there that we can see, but we've seen, brianna, multiple border patrol vehicles coming in and out of that area. again, this is as close as we can get, but this just gives you an idea, visually, of what this bottle neck looks like here along the u.s.-mexico border. brianna? >> rosa, thank you for giving us a look at that, rosa flores in
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mission, texas. next, a feud on capitol hill between congresswoman marjorie taylor greene and the delegate from guam after she suggested the u.s. territory was a foreign country. he's going to join me live to explain why he responded with members of the guam national guard. plus georgia-based companies like coca-cola are taking the side of voting rights advocates there as republicans push bills making it harder to cast a ballot. and backlash after the vatican says same-sex marriage is a sin. i'll speak to musician and lgbt activist shelley wright.
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day. fbi investigators say he was motivated in part by paranoia and his belief in conspiracy theories. cnn's ryan young has the latest. ryan? >> reporter: brianna, we have new information from the fbi. they just released a report about that nashville bombing, the one that happened on christmas day. they believe anthony warner acted alone. they don't believe terrorism was involved in this at all. what they do believe, though, is that he had deep-seated beliefs in conspiracy theories and there was also some stressors in his life. now, that bombing had a great effect in the downtown area, talk about almost 40 buildings that were damaged and at least 8 people were injured. of course, the bomber committed suicide when he set that bomb off, but the belief by the fbi at this point is that he acted alone and they don't believe there will be any charges or any further investigation in this case. brianna? >> ryan, thank you. next, business leaders in georgia under pressure to speak out against gop efforts to curb voter access there. plus, senate minority leader
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mitch mcconnell tries to down play president biden's achievements on the vaccine rollout. we'll roll the tape. if you're 55 and up, t-mobile has plans built just for you. get 2 unlimited lines for only $70. and now get netflix on us with your plan. and this rate is fixed, you'll pay exactly $70 total. this month and every month. plus, switch today and get a free smartphone for each line. the best value and award-winning customer service. only at t-mobile.
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get self protection for $10 a month. in her brief time in congress, georgia republican marjorie taylor greene has been no stranger to controversy, and yet even now, she finds herself embroiled in a new one, and it involves her wanting knowledge of u.s. geography and history
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after saying this last month at cpac. >> i'm a regular person, and i wanted to take my regular person, normal, everyday american values, which is, we love our country, we believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for america, not for, what, china, russia, the middle east, guam. whatever. >> there is just one problem, of course. guam is not a foreign country. it is a u.s. territory, and it has been since 1898. people born there are u.s. citizens, some of them fight in the u.s. military as citizens, and it's not a foreign nation as greene would have her supporters believe. to make that point on monday, guam's lone delegate in congress visited greene's congressional office and he did so with a few dozen members of guam's national guard to deliver a box of cookies he promised to the congresswoman after her comments surfaced. she was not there to accept, but
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an aide came out and thanked the service members. >> thank you guys so much for all that you do. we really appreciate it. thank you guys for keeping us safe. the congresswoman should be back hopefully in the next 30 minutes or so and i know that she would love to meet all of you and say hi and tell you how much she appreciates the hard work that you guys do. >> joining me now is the democratic delegate of guam, michael san nicolas. thank you, congressman, for being with us today to talk about this. look, i understand that you wanted to make a point here and that of course it is very important to your constituents that guam is recognized. they are americans, and that is certainly not in doubt or should not be in doubt. i know a number of your supporters, i'm sure, have told you they like what you did but i wonder if you think about any of the negative ramifications that there could be here for the military, taking the national guard as part of this group with you to congresswoman taylor greene's office. >> yeah, we don't see that at
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all, actually. we were taking our guardsmen on a tour of the capitol. we actually visited multiple member offices. we delivered -- we tried to deliver cookies to congresswoman greene. we delivered a local dish from guam, chicken, to our speaker's office, to our majority leader's office, to a majority whip's office, so we were very honored to be able to take our guardsmen on a tour. it is maybe the third one i've done and they're honored to meet members of congress and we were hopeful to meet congresswoman greene but we were able to meet majority whip clyburn and that was a real special moment for them. >> in this case, you know, i understand you went to clyburn's office, but this is congresswoman taylor greene, who said something stupid about guam, and this obviously highlights negatively those comments. i know that you're getting a lot of criticism from conservatives, from her supporters, but you are also getting a lot of criticism from civilian military experts who would in no way defend the congresswoman's comments and
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they are critical of you, an elected official, using military service members as they see it as political props. what do you say to that criticism? >> that criticism is unfounded. we were not at all using military service members for political props. i was taking my guardsmen on a tour of the capitol and we stopped by several members' offices and delivered some goodies. cookies should never be considered a political prop and neither should our military but goodwill is absolutely something we wish to extend from guam to everybody and my guardsmen wish to extend the same and were very honored to be able to facilitate that. >> i'm sure you're aware of during the convention, there were uniformed guard members who appeared on video as part of the american samoa representatives, and that was actually something that members of the military or at least their supervisor, got in trouble for. they were disciplined for that. that is a possibility in situations like this. why would you put them in that position of potentially being
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investigated? >> i don't think we put them in that position at all. as i mentioned before, we've taken them on multiple tours. i was visited by other high-ranking guardsmen in my office and you know, we really shouldn't be looking fsh -- >> here's my question. was a video shot of it with dramatic music? was this done in a way that would have cast negative light on you? that's really the question here, because this does put them in -- this does put them in a tough spot. i hear you're saying it doesn't, but it does. >> actually, my general back on guam was even expressing very supportive language of the actions we've taken. guam is a very goodwill community. we were going around delivering goodies and going around to say hello and i think that that's a very appropriate thing to do, especially when certain members of congress may not be very familiar with guam and we're going to continue that outreach. that's a very positive thing to do and i'm very, very grateful that the country is getting to know guam as we speak. what is something that we should be more concerned about, though, is the fact that we're blowing
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situations like this out of proportion when we are completely ignorant to the fact that this is the 500th anniversary of colonialism on guam. 1521 was when guam became a colony and we continue to be an unincorporated territory in the united states and we have guardsmen, we have service men. they are unable to vote for their members of congress to vote on the floor and they're unable to vote for electoral college representation to elect a commander in chief. those are the things we should be talking about. how are we putting americans in harm's way when they're not even able to elect the people who are making those decisions? i think that's something we should be talking about, not cookies and going and saying hello. let's talk about these men putting their lives on the line, these women putting their lives on the line and i'm a gold star family member. we lost the eldest of my san nicolas clan in afghanistan so we don't have any disrespect or dishonor toward the military. on the contrary, we want to say hello and we want the country to know about guam from congress, the president all the way down to the american people and i am
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very grateful for president biden being the first president to include states, tribes, and territories in his inaugural address, and i think that's a step in the right direction. i'm very much looking forward to the leadership of this administration. >> and i thank your family, certainly, for its sacrifice. i think that is something that americans would share in, and they see that. all those issues you talked about, i think those are incredible issues that should be discussed, but why bring the military into it? why put them in this position? i mean, just -- have you heard -- there are experts who do not -- they're not being political. they're saying, look, the military is in a unique position in this country in that it has tremendous esteem compared to other countries that derives from the fact that they are seen as apolitical. and when you use them in a political stunt, a video like this where there is dramatic music, they say that long-term, there are negative effects, that this gets put into the basket of
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using the military in a political way, whether it's the trump administration sending them to the border, which is something, you know, the dnc, your party's platform said that it was going to stop the politicization of the military. do you take any of that -- i mean, do you take any of that criticism and think perhaps about what this moment is beyond raising awareness about guam? >> i'm going to leave the military determination of the event to the military. i don't think anybody should be going out and calling themselves an expert and speaking on behalf of the military. i think experts would know the military is going to discern this based on their -- >> they aren't. i just want to be clear. they aren't speaking on behalf of the military. >> right. so let's let -- >> speaking on behalf of civilian military relations. >> i would encourage people to look at our other videos. i have other videos of dramatic music of my guardsmen in the rotunda, the heart of the capitol, with us facilitating a
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promotion ceremony for our guardsmen so i think the ones who are politicizing this and trying to turn this into a greater thing than it is is not our office and absolutely not my guardsmen and not the people of guam. we're just going around spreading goodwill and delivering cookies and snacks. but you know, i think that there are bigger things that we need to be talking about when it comes to guam. when it comes to service members. when it comes to the sacrifices they're making for this country and how those sacrifices are underrepresented. but as far as us bringing the military into anything, i was giving my guardsmen a tour. we were going around saying hello and spreading goodwill and actually that statement is very much shared with our guard leadership back home, and if there's going to be anything that the military's going to look at, we would absolutely welcome it because there was absolutely no ill intent and no politicization whatsoever. >> delegate, i want to thank you so much for coming on to talk with us about so many important issues today. congressman san nicolas, thank you. >> thank you very much. voting rights groups are
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seeking to stop a wave of gop efforts to restrict the ability to vote. they appear to have won something of a victory in georgia. georgia's chamber of commerce has said it opposes two very restrictive voting bills, moving through georgia's house and senate, and now coca-cola and home depot have told "the washington post" they are aligned with the chamber's comments. both companies, along with aflac and delta telling cnn they are committed to voter rights. the measures moving through georgia's state legislature would repeal no excuse absentee voting, it would limit early voting hours, restrict drop boxes for mail-in ballots and curtail early voting on sundays. proponents say this makes voting safer. critics say it is intended to keep people of color from the polls. cnn's senior political correspondent and anchor of "inside politics sunday" abby phillip is here with me now. what is your reaction to big business entering this picture, abby? >> reporter: well, first of all,
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i mean, i think you're seeing right there the push and pull that corporate america is facing right now. they are being asked to make good on all of their, you know, kind of pro, you know, diversity ads and campaigns, and say something about a really important issue in georgia. they are being pushed by the same activists who powered, i think, democratic victories in that state in november to say something, but they're still hesitant and they're hesitant because this is still georgia. it's still very much a red state. it's still a conservative state, and i think many of these companies are concerned that they might go out too far, opposing this bill outright, and risking the fury of conservative voters who are very animated on this issue on the other side as well. >> and voting rights advocate stacey abrams, who is the founder of fair fight, who helped lead the push to get voters of color to the polls in georgia and we saw the presidential and senate
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elections for democrats, she said this over the weekend to cnn. >> it is a redux of jim crow in a suit and tie. the only connection that we can find is that more people of color voted and it changed the outcome of elections in a direction that republicans do not like. >> what is the real effect of these bills in the georgia senate and house for -- what's the real effect of it on the ability of people to vote? and how likely are these to actually become law? >> well, if you take a look at what you just laid out, these are restrictions that help limit the avenues that people can vote, the ways that they can vote, and when they can vote and who can vote. so, there's nothing about the legislation that expands the universe of people who can access voting, but i also think that look at the explanations from lawmakers in georgia about why they're doing it. some of them argue that it's
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about making it easier for state officials to process ballots or about rooting out fraud. none of these changes would do that. i mean, frankly, if you wanted to make it easier for state officials to process ballots, you would invest in the technology that would allow them to do that. that technology exists and can be funded and invested and they're not doing that. they're saying you can only vote early on certain days. you can't vote early on the sundays before the election. those are things that are designed to target voters who are less likely to vote on election day, which for presidential elections, is on a weekday when many people are working and they have jobs and they can't go to the polls and that is designed to target voters of color, people who are poorer, who don't have the resources, who don't have transportation, it's a pretty transparent when you really look at the details of it. >> yeah, it certainly is. abby, thank you so much. it's so important that we talk about this. and we will see you, of course,
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on sunday. >> see you soon. breaking news. a u.s. intelligence report has determined that russia attempted to interfere in the 2020 election with a goal of denigrating joe biden and of helping donald trump. we'll have details next. did you know you can go to libertymutual.com to customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? really? i didn't-- aah! ok. i'm on vibrate. aaah! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ we've got drones that can delive fridges that tell us when we're out of eggs,
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we do have some breaking news. a u.s. intelligence report has determined that russia attempted to interfere in the 2020 election with a goal of denigrating joe biden and helping donald trump. cnn's alex marquardt is following this. what else does this intel report say, alex? >> reporter: well, it's very detailed, brianna. it is a look now four months after the election at what countries tried to do what to influence and interfere in the 2020 election. on the technical side of things, there's no evidence, according to the u.s. intelligence community, that any of these countries tried to, say, hack in and interfere with the actual votes. but the report goes into pretty significant detail as to what these countries, and it's
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primarily russia, iran, and china, what they tried to do to influence the american electorate, what they tried to do to sow divisions and guide the election in a way that their countries wanted and really, i think the most significant details that we're getting out of this report pertain to russia. they carried out perhaps the most significant influence operation on the 2020 election at the personal direction of the president, vladimir putin. that is according to the u.s. intelligence community, which goes on to say that the goal of these influence operations were aimed at denigrating president biden's candidacy and the democratic party, supporting former president trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the united states. so, here is the u.s. intelligence community saying that they have assessed that president putin and senior russian officials were aware of and possibly directed russia's influence operations. now, they carried out these
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influence operations via russian intelligence which used proxies in their words, and one big thing that really jumps out here is they name one of those proxies. his name is andre. he's a ukrainian lawmaker who many of our viewers have probably heard of. he met with rudy giuliani, who at the time was president trump's personal lawyer, and in this report, they say that these russian proxies met with and provided materials to trump administration linked u.s. persons to advocate for formal investigations. that would be formal investigations into biden. the narrative that the russian were trying to push here is that the biden family, now president biden and his family, were corrupt. you remember, of course, the burisma episode. and this was a line that, you know, that president trump was pushing during his campaign. so, very significant allegations against the russians and what they did to try to influence the election. it also talks about what they
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call a multipronged influence effort by the iranians that was probably done at the direction of the supreme leader, and then interestingly, on china, they say that the chinese considered but actually did not roll out any sort of influence operations, deciding, frankly, that it simply wasn't worth it. now, after making all these assessments and laying all this out, they actually don't talk about the success of these influence operations, what impact they had on american voters, but brianna, the u.s. intelligence community now saying in no uncertain terms that president putin personally was at the head of this influence operation on the 2020 election. >> and that's really the point here. i want to bring abby philip back into this conversation. this is something that was suspected, but the intel community here, as alex is laying out, is making this very explicit. putin personally was trying to hurt biden and help trump, abby. >> yeah. and i think it really -- it
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underscores the degree to which russia is still at it, and they never really stopped, and in fact, they took advantage of the fact that president trump tried to, you know, undermine the intelligence community's conclusion that they interfered with the 2016 election to continue to do the same thing in 2020. what i also find interesting about this report is that they talk about the efforts to undermine public confidence in the electoral process, and this is something that continued even after the november election and it was carried out domestically by president trump. he was engaged in the same kinds of activities that our foreign adversaries are engaged in and trying to chip away at people's confidence that the electoral process works, and that is something that should set off some alarm bells here. this -- the big lie, as we've
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been discussing for months and months, is not without consequences. it has consequences at home, and it has consequences abroad, and i think this report underscores both of those things. >> alex and abby, i want to thank you so much for that. elton john joins many other stars in blasting the vatican for saying same-sex marriages are a sin. i'll be speaking to country music star chely wright who says the pope is hurting more than just the lgbtq community.
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elton john is calling out the vatican and pope francis for what he says is their blatant
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hypocrisy. he is furious over the vatican's refusal to bless same-sex marriages as the vatican calls such unions sinful. elton john tweeting, how can the vatican refuse to bless gay marriages yet happily make a profit from investing millions in "rocket man" a film which sbraet celebrates my finding happiness with my marriage to david. chasten buttigieg also taking the vatican to task, tweeting that love is love and the pope isn't your county clerk. my next guest, musician chely wright, tweeted this. this statement by the vatican causes spiritual harm to millions and i would like to make the following point. it's important to note that in addition to harming lgbtq folks, this is harmful to those who love them and those who are on their often complicated journeys to loving them. chely wright is also the author of the book "like me: confessions of a heartland country singer." i want to thank you so much for joining us to
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as the vatican says same-sex reunions are off limits, and the most interesting part of what you said, it also hurts people on this complicated journey of accepting them. tell me about that. >> hi, brianna. it's great to be with you. it's easy really to frame this as the damage that is being done to people like me and people in the lgbtq community. as i've learned in the past 11 years of being out, you know, it's not just us. it's our aunts, our uncles, our grandparents. it is a complicated journey for those who love us to reconcile their faith practice and what they believe is divine from their houses of worship to reconcile that with, you know, their gay nephew or trans niece. so, this just further complicates an already -- you know, it's 2021.
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this is dispiriting and, you know, outrageous and, you know, the catholic church needs to get its house in order. >> pope francis who in many ways is very popular, he approved this statement from the vatican. what message does that send? >> yeah, in some ways the otherwising of gay people like me or lgbtq people in our community, it seems like we've made progress. by the way, i want to say that the pope can be wrong about some things and right about others. and this is a case in which i, obviously, believe he's wrong, but it kind of takes it out of the sphere of, you know, the pope is kind of mum on them or the pope kind of approves or kind of welcomes same-sex people into the congregation. this takes it out of that and it makes it explicit that, you
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know, otherwising and marginalizing people like me, it's not just dangerous for people on a spiritual path or in houses of worship. this is damaging to students in schools, with whom i've been lucky to do a lot of work. this is damaging to employees in workplaces around the globe. again, this reconciliation of, when people are trying to understand and love and really hear from their loved ones their authentic -- you know, about who they are authentically and who they love. it makes it really difficult for the journey. when you refine it down to a young lgbtq person in my home state of kansas or here in manhattan or fresno or anywhere around the globe, this is really dangerous and damaging language that affects someone's life. i know it affected mine. i nearly didn't survive the spiritual harm that was done to me by, you know, christian
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teachings. by the way, i still do have a faith practice. it's an important part of my life. but it's -- you know, i'm 50 years old. it's taken me a long time to understand that i am as exactly as god made me to be. >> and that was one of the reasons that i really wanted to talk to you about this, because you were one of the first country music artists to come out. and you've also been very open about your christian faith. you said it nearly destroyed you reconciling your faith and sexuality. >> yeah, brianna, i grew up in a small town in kansas. it was 1970. no one was talking about lgbtq communities. i was baptized in my hometown church by a lovely man who was my first spiritual adviser. the language he used in our church is people like me belong in a collection of words of --
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drunkard, adulter, and i prayed it about it every single day of my life. dear god, i promise to be a good person, please make me not gay. this is why when i came out in 2010 i wrote in my book, thank you for mentioning it, "like me" because i wanted to tell the nuanced story of -- i'm a midwestern girl who moved to nashville and got a record deal and i got lucky and had a couple of hit records, but another very real piece of me is i knew i was gay from age 9. when i say i almost didn't survive that struggle, i write about it in my book. i almost ended my life. it was the morning after i didn't end my life in early 2006 that i knew, okay, i'm either not going to make it or i'm going to tell this story. i'm going to tell the entire story of who i am. and kind of use that public
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capital with country music foonz say, you know me, you love me, you came to my shows, you like my songs on the radio. let me offer this. let me offer to you this part of who i am. and, you know, that's that -- you know, when you have a chance to kind of move people's hearts and minds, that's how we do it, with story telling. and i'm just -- i'm so -- this keeps me up at night. knowing there are young people who are now struggling because the pope and the vatican have explicitly said that we are welcome in their church, but they will not bless a union between a woman and a woman or a man and a man. my wife and i have been married for ten years. we have identical twin boys who are almost 8 years old. i don't understand how anyone can see my marriage as less than someone else's. >> chely wright, you said you almost didn't make it and now you're helping others make it. i want to thank you for coming
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on to talk about this. >> thanks, brianna. we do have more on our breaking news. cnn has learned after weeks of mysterious silence, north korea may be planning its first weapons test in the biden era. a u.s. intelligence report has determined russia tried to interfere in the election trying to help donald trump. stand by for that. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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you are watching cnn on this tuesday afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. we start with president biden. he is taking his message of help and recovery on thro

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