tv Inside Politics CNN March 26, 2021 9:00am-10:01am PDT
this is top of the hour, i'm kate bolduan, thank you so much for being here, we are standing by for an update from officials in boulder colorado on monday's mass shooting at the king soopers grocery store, live pictures from where we will be hearing an update, probably giving a rundown of how things will go. it will be starting soon, we will bring it to you when they get under way. ten people were killed in this shooting. the youngest was 20, the oldest was 65. the suspect has been charged, but there is still a lot that we don't know, including the
shooter's motive, why the king soope rs supermarket was targeted in the first place. what we do know, other than the fact these innocent lives were stolen from them. the 21-year-old suspect used an ar-15 pistol, modified with an arm brace and he bought the gun six days before the attack. we saw the suspect in course for the first time just yesterday. he is facing ten counts of first degree murder, and one count of attempted murder as that was added yesterday. prosecutors say more charges could be coming. the defense, though, says they need more time to fully assess the scope of the shooter's mental illness is what they have said in court. this as families are starting to prepare for funerals. you see this video here, the community in boulder gathered once again for another vigil to honor them last night. joining me right now is cnn's shimon prokupecz. what are we expecting to hear
from officials in just a minute? >> reporter: well, hopefully we'll get more information on the motive if they've learned it. because this is a pending case and it's now a criminal case they're pretty limited in what they can say but the da is going to speak, also the chief of police here and some other officials are expected to take the podium here shortly. as you can see behind me. the big question, kate, obviously is motive and have they been able to connect any of the dots during their investigation. you know, this happened on monday. we're now into friday. so presumably they've interviewed a lot of people, recovered a lot of evidence so hopefully they can shed some light. the big question is why was this particular grocery store targeted? this is some 30 minutes from his home. so that is one of the biggest questions. also, some new information that we've received, just this morning, was from the gun shop where this weapon was purchased. and the gun shop, they're releasing a statement, confirming that the weapon was
purchased at their shop. of course we know from police that the weapon was purchased about six days or so before the shooting. and what the gun shop says is that they are shocked by what happened, and that their hearts are broken for the victims, and the families. they also go on to say that they did run a background check on the suspect, and that he basically passed that background check. they did that with the colorado bureau of investigation, and because he passed that background check they were able to sell him the weapon. and so that is what the gun shop is saying. and i think some of the officials are now, as you can see behind me, starting -- >> shimon, i don't know if we're -- it doesn't look like anyone's taking to the podium yet. i can't really tell. >> chief maris herold is going to be our first speaker. >> let's listen in. >> thank you for coming today. i think it's very important that
i give an overview of the last five days' work so the community is walking step by step through this investigation and that we're being as transparent as possible. so with that i want the community to know, in the past five days 26 law enforcement agencies have been working around the clock to determine a timeline of events leading up to monday's mass casual shooting that occurred at the king soopers. but, like the rest of the community, we too want to know why, why that king soopers, why boulder, why monday and unfortunately at this time we still don't have those answers. as of friday afternoon, friday march 26th, there have been 167 individuals, both federal, state and local agencies that have worked over 3,000 hours on this investigation. this is common practice, but i can't tell you enough my
appreciation for the assistance we're getting in this investigation. from the federal, state and local agencies. but let me just give you a timeline of what we've done since monday to recap this week. the coroner's office worked tirelessly to identify ten victims in very quick order. the boulder police detectives worked with the district attorney's office to charge the suspect with ten counts of murder in the first degree, and one count of attempted murder in the first degree. the officer who exchanged gunfire with the suspect has been put on administrative leave per our normal standard operating procedures. the officer, an 11-year boulder police department veteran, was not injured during this incident. the firearm used by the suspect in king soopers on march 22nd is a semiautomatic ruger ar-556 pistol. it was legally purchased in a gun store in arvada, colorado.
the defendant was also in possession of a 9 millimeter handgun, but at this time we do not believe that gun was used in this incident. on wednesday the crime scene personnel finished the king soopers lot parking lot and was able to successfully release many of those vehicles to their rightful owner. yesterday a team of investigators, including myself, did a walk through of the entire crime scene, which was very complex and obviously very challenging to not only myself but the investigative team. i just want to say a few things about the community. we have received such an outpouring of sorrow, grief and just -- it's just been extremely heartening for me to see how the
community supports this police department and the other victims involved in this unbelievable incident. for that i just want the community to know that i'm very grateful. i also want to end on this, because i have never seen this happen in my 30-year career. we have been able to successfully pull a team of victims advocate from across this region to work not only with our police department but all of the victims' family and i think that is so important because this is just the beginning of this journey and this will be at least a year long's journey for these victims' families and the police involved in this case. so i have never seen such a great tool used in such a wonderful way. and for that i'm extremely grateful as well. and i think we're going to answer some questions after district attorney michael dougherty speaks. michael?
>> thank you, chief. good morning, everyone. my name is michael dougherty. i am the district attorney for boulder county. and on monday boulder suffered devastating, horrific and traumatic attack to our community. ten people were killed. and many others were placed in grave danger. our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and this community during the difficult time that we're all going through, and we are committed to ensuring that justice is done for each and every one of the victims and for their loved ones. yesterday the defendant had his first advisement in court. he was advised of his rights by the judge, and he's currently being held without bond and remains in custody. next week the court will announce the next court date and will share that information with the community as soon as the court announces the court schedule. and at some point we'll have a hearing, it's called a proof evident presumption great hearing which in colorado is
required by law when someone's being charged with first degree murder and held without bond. the court is allowed some time for that hearing to take place so that the defense attorneys and the prosecutors have time to go through all the video evidence, all the reports, and all the discovery. again, that next court date will be announced by a state judicial next week. i do want to stress, of course, the defendant has the right -- the constitutional right to a fair trial. it is important that i stress that every time i talk to the media and community for a few reasons. first and foremost, it's the right thing for me to say and the right thing for us to do to ensure that he has a fair trial and at the end of the trial he be held fully responsible for his actions. second, i want to make sure that we use due caution in talking about the case and the facts of the case in order to protect his right to a fair trial, but also to make sure that that trial takes place here in boulder county. if we share too much about the facts, or the investigation, it's possible we'll see a motion by the defense to move this
trial to somewhere else in the state of colorado. i want to make sure that the people of boulder have the opportunity for this trial to be held and for justice to be done here in boulder county. as you will hear me say, every time we hit the press, now that charges have been filed that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he's proven guilty. it will be a lengthy court process. in every murder prosecution the process takes at least a year for us to complete. i anticipate that that will be the same in this case. so i share that with you as i do with the victims' families in every homicide case just so you, as a community, have an understanding of how long this process is going to go for. and we will, as the chief highlighted, keep everyone updated through that entire process, i promise you that. i also emphasize it, because over the past few days we've seen a tremendous outpouring of support for all the victims' families and for the community members devastated by the attack that took place on monday.
it's my hope, and my request that that support for the victims' families and for everyone impacted by this horrific attack continue all throughout the next few months and until justice is done in this case and beyond, they're going to need that kind of help and support for years. so we've seen a tremendous outpouring of support over the last few days. we stand now in front of a patrol car that when we met with you on tuesday, you could see it clearly. now you see today how many flowers are placed here. you go to king soopers, you see the flowers and memorials that have been set up there. that support for the victims, it's my hope and certainly my intent to continue that throughout this entire process. the defendant's currently charged with ten counts of murder in the first degree. he's charged with one count of attempted murder in the first degree. additional charges of attempted murder in the first degree will be filed in the very near
future. i will share with you that officers from the boulder police department and the university of colorado boulder police department -- so both boulder pd and cu boulder pd responded very, very quickly to the report of shots being fired at the king soopers, immediately after responding they charged into the store. their actions saved others, other civilians from being charged. they charged into the store and immediately faced a very significant amount of gunfire from the shooter who at first they were unable to locate and they put their lives at risk, and that will be reflected in additional attempted murder charges that will be filed by the district attorney's office in the next couple weeks. in addition i anticipate other charge will be filed in the weeks ahead and as that information is finalized we'll make that available to the media and to the community. as a result of the actions of law enforcement there was significant danger to civilians who were still in the
supermarket. and significant danger to the community. that danger ended because of the response of law enforcement. the police chief mentioned that there's an officer on administrative leave. as she pointed out, that's standard protocol. anytime we have an officer-involved shooting in boulder county or anywhere in the state of colorado there's a certain protocol we're required to follow. that protocol involves a multiagency team of detectives, investigators and district attorney staff assigned to investigate the officer's use of physical force or deadly physical force against another individual. that protocol has been followed since the evening of the shooting. so by that, i mean that multiagency team responded to this scene on monday night and began their investigation. they've been investigating throughout the week. that multiagency team, in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation, does not include anyone from the boulder police department. its investigators from other agencies. the district attorney's office will continue to oversee and
support that investigation. the investigators met just yesterday that different law enforcement facility. once it's determined whether the officer was justified in firing his weapon or not, that decision and all the accompanying materials will be shared with the public and with the community and be able through the district attorney's office. as in other mass tragedies and mass shootings here in colorado, there's been tremendous interagency assistance and cooperation. i can't stress enough how many federal, state and local partners have come together in response to this devastating attack. standing behind me today, again, and we stand shoulder to shoulder united ensuring justice is done for the victims, their loved ones and the boulder community, are the fbi, the u.s. attorneys' office, the colorado bureau of investigation, atf and various law enforcement agencies
and partners from all around the metro jurisdiction. as the chief highlighted we also have victim advocates from all around the metro jurisdiction responding to help the victims' families in this case, and connect with the many people who are being impacted by the shooters' actions on monday. there's a lot of work that remains to be done. this just happened on monday. but i will share with you that the investigation is progressing rapidly. all the agencies involved and committed to ensuring justice is done have been working incredibly hard day and night as they will throughout the weekend to make sure that all the information that can be learned about the shooter, the victims, the witnesses, king soopers, any connection between all of those, becomes known and is available to the successful prosecution of the offender. but i really do want to highlight everyone, including coroner emma hall and her staff, for how hard they've been working since this tragedy took
place on monday. i will also thank the other district attorneys from around the state of colorado, and around the country who've reached out to offer their support and assistance. we greatly appreciate all the help and assistance that we're receiving here in boulder from all around the state and all around the united states. to the victims' families, and to this community i promise you that we will work tirelessly to make sure the right thing happens in that case. that is my firm and solemn commitment and everyone in this building, everyone connected to this investigation shares that determination and focus. we'd be happy to take a few questions from members of the media now. >> thank you for your question. i do appreciate having the assistance and expertise of the fbi as i've talked about. they have their evidence recovery team at the scene. they do absolutely outstanding
work at the crime scene. it's a very large scene. in answer to your question, the fbi, cbi and all the law enforcement agencies involved are doing a deep dive into the offender's background as well as the background of everybody involved in this incident, victims, witnesses and so forth. we don't have any particular information to share in that regard. we'll continue to look into it and any connection we can find we'll make available to the public once we determine whether it's accurate or not. >> is there any indication that a return back to -- >> i don't have that information at this point. >> do you see a motive, a lot of times in shootings the motive is clear, we never learn a motive. maybe the motive is not clear, talk about -- >> good question. i think the victims' families and the community are desperate to know the motive. we want to know the motive. and that's going to be the focus of all our efforts going
forward, whether or not we're able to determine it remains to be seen. >> can't say that you have a clear motive. >> still very early in the investigation, and that's going to remain a focus for us going forward, yes. >> this was a very complex scene. can you explain more about that, chief, what makes the scene so complex? >> sure, just the vastness of the scene. you're talking about a huge supermarket, obviously a huge parking lot, numerous vehicles. it's just one of the most complex scenes i've ever worked personally and that's why i'm so grateful that the fbi and their crime scene team is here in the state. cbi is here. it would take the boulder police department weeks to get through a crime scene that complex. thanks for your question. >> had the suspect been to the supermarket before, any indication as to why he chose this supermarket, 30 miles away
from where he lived? >> i really do wish i could tell you that. i just don't know. like the da said, that's the focus now of what we're trying to figure out. it's -- it will be something haunting for all of us, until we figure that out. and like someone said, sometimes you just don't figure these things out. but i am hoping that we will. >> chief, has the suspect talked to his attorneys -- outside of the court hearing that took place yesterday? >> any conversations between the defendant and his counsel, of course, will be privileged and protected. we would not have that information available to us. >> any possible further review of gun purchase the eagle's nest armory in arvada by the suspect? >> as the chief indicated in her remarks the suspect is believed to have used an ar-556 pistol that was purchased legally in
arvada, colorado, he was also in possession of a 9 millimeter han handgun, and it's believed that was not used during the incident. the atf and fbi have done a tremendously thorough investigation into the guns that he had on him that day as well as other fire arms that might be connected to him and that investigation is ongoing. >> when he purchased the gun, were there red flags, what is the answer -- >> so i've spoken loud and clear over the years since becoming district attorney about the need for us to reduce gun violence in colorado and throughout the united states. and at this point in time those discussions and real action needs to continue. i'm going to remain very focused on this case. it is my primary focus and today we stand just a few days after this mass shooting and i'm going to keep the victims and their loved ones and the successful prosecution of this case as my focus. >> chief, were any of the
victims -- >> i do not believe so at this point. obviously we're going to be investigating this for weeks and weeks. but at this time i just don't know that. >> how many shots the gunman fired? >> i don't have that information. michael, do you have that information? >> i do have a preliminary idea as to how many shots were fired. we're not ready to confirm the number yet. it's a pain stakingly thorough investigation being conducted by the fbi evidence recovery team. to answer your question, yes, we do know the number but we're not ready to finalize the number and confirm it's accurate. picture a supermarket, all the shelves, they're going through every single shelf, pulling everything off the shelves, looking the walls and that's going to continue throughout the weekend. once that crime scene is released we'll be in a position to announce the number of bullets fired by the shooter in this case. >> the magazine that was used,
original purchase -- >> more information on the fire arms will be released in the future but at this point this is all we're going to say on the firearms, we're still conducting a very thorough investigation with the help of the atf and the fbi on the firearms that he had on him that day and other firearms within his possession. >> thank you for your question. i'm not going to talk about any particular witness. if anybody out there has any information i really encourage you to contact the boulder police department or the fbi tip line with information. and for witnesses who have been cooperative with the investigation, we greatly appreciate that cooperation. it's going to allow us to ensure that justice is done in this case, and it's my hope that all witnesses will cooperate going forward. >> we don't have an idea of
how -- >> it was a grocery store in the middle of the day. so from your own experience we've all been to the supermarket. that's how many people were there. and the defendant, but for the actions of law enforcement and the quick thinking by a lot of the people in the supermarket this would have been much, much worse in terms of the number of victims. in answer to your question it's been reported that there have been security concerns around the defendant. that's not exactly unusual, necessarily. i don't have any specific information but there have been other cases where there might be a particular concern and the individual has moved to another facility. that's all i have on that particular question. >> information about a -- >> all right, we've been listening in to updates from the district attorney in boulder as well as the chief of police. with me now is cnn law enforcement analyst jonathan wakrow, a former secret service agent. just your reaction to what we just heard. >> so kate, what we heard was
there was a lot of insight into the investigation and the process but there's not a lot of information that was actually being given that people really want. and what is it? it's the motive. it's answering the question why. so what we did hear was that there was a significant law enforcement coordination with over 26 agencies responding. the investigation is progressing rapidly but it's also very complex. i think that's an important part here to focus in on just the complexity of this crime scene and you have multiple terrain features of this crime scene, really starting from the vehicle or how the suspect arrived at the supermarket, the parking lot was a major crime scene. it's where that first contact came with the first victim. the shooting occurred outside. the chief had indicated that that crime scene has been processed and cleared and now the focus is obviously inside the store. but again, there's significant complexities and because of that
the fbi evidence response team has been heavily involved with working with other law enforcement entities in actually processing that crime scene. one of the big things that, you know, has been a question with the fbi's involvement is, is there a nexus to terrorism? and right now they have not adjudicated that answer. we do not have a definitive answer whether there's a tie to terrorism in this case. so again, there's been a lot of insights into the case but not a lot of information that was critical that people are asking. >> the chief of police saying we too want to know why. why king soopers, why boulder, why monday. and we still just don't know. but importantly the district attorney also made very clear that additional charges of attempted murder in the first degree will be filed very soon. he right now is charged with ten counts of first degree murder, one count of attempted murder. more charges to come. jonathan, thank you. >> thank you. still ahead for us,
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♪ ♪ now to the sweeping effort to rewrite voting rules across the country. overnight georgia governor, republican governor brian kemp, he signed into law a huge package of new voting restrictions. among other things the law limits ballot drop boxes, bans offering food or drink to voters waiting in lines to vote, and it imposes new id requirements for absentee voting. what's happening now in georgia? make no mistake, it's really just the tip of the iceberg. according to the brennan center for justice that's been tracking these efforts, more than 250 bills to make it harder to vote have been introduced in 43 states since the start of the year. joining me right now for more on this is damon huett, the acting director of the lawyers's committee for -- thank you for
coming in. what's your response to georgia's governor signing this massive bill into law last night? what does it mean for voters in that state? >> well, thanks for having me. look, it's not just a response to the governor or to state legislators who voted for this retro aggressive legislation that would turn back the clock, but for others who have -- with such fervor, pursued these agendas throughout the country, we're not going to let you roll back the clock. this is really, as so many have said, jim crow under a different name, under a different guise, and we should be making it easier for people to vote, especially amidst the continuing pandemic, especially amidst such -- we had a record turnout of millions of people who voted in the 2020 election cycle. why should we be going backwards? we need to go in the other direction and go forwards. this is a blatant attempt to try to rush power, grab power and stop democracy in its tracks. >> i want to ask you about at
least one piece of the now law in georgia. banning and making it criminal to offer snacks or water to people waiting in line to vote. what does that have to do with election security? >> absolutely nothing. what it has to do with is trying to somehow stop and retard civic information. outside of a pandemic atmosphere we know that there are long lines at polls, way too long. that's been documented for many years. >> especially in georgia, in majority minority communities. >> exactly. that's because of a lack of infrastructure, lack of personnel, lack of investment in the democratic infrastructure, which is often intentional. now this is doubling down on the problem, making it worse. not only do we have to stand in line, if you're elderly, infirm,
ill or worried about other health concerns or have a job where you threaten to use pay. not only do you have to stand in line for a long time, now you're on your own. this is what the message is, you're on your own, your community can't help you, your community doesn't matter, and your voice, and your vote, don't matter. that's the message that's being sent. >> what should the legal challenges to this now look like? >> well, look, the challenges are pretty standard as far as what the law is. there's still some continued vitality to the voting rights act although the supreme court -- did provisions several years ago which essentially allow for this type of thing to happen without being checked by the u.s. department of justice, and other organizations prior to them going into effect but there's still continued vitality. we believe that these provisions are not just discriminatory in terms of disparate impact on communities of color, we believe
this is an intentional race discrimination. we intend to prove that. >> bottom line, let's just take georgia, this law stays in place, what's the next election cycle look like? >> what this law in place the next election cycle will be thrown into relative chaos because just as we have people used to and accustomed to expanded ballot access, common sense ways for everyone to be able to vote to their comfort level, and to their safety needs, all of a sudden we're pulling the rug out from under them. we expect rampant misinformation, we expect significant confusion. but we also expect, however, is what we also saw in 2020, that communities of color, that impacted communities, rural communities also impacted will rally and we'll help them rally through the national nonpartisan election coalition and hotline, six hour vote, we will help them rally but it will not be easy.
>> damon, thank you for coming in. >> thank you so much. dominion voting systems, just filed a huge new lawsuit and this is directly related to the conversation i was just having about georgia's voting laws. this time the lawsuit from dominion is against fox news. the company that had -- dominion has been vilified by donald trump and his supporters during the 2020 election and was the target of baseless conspiracy theories about the presidential election. venezuela, china. you come up with it, you make it up, it was thrown at them. now it's suing fox news for $1.6 billion. they say the network engaged in reckless propagation of enormous falsehoods aiming to "profit off of these lies." another voting system company, smart matic has already sued fox for $2.7 billion, and that was back in february. cnn has reached out to fox for comment but so far we have not heard back. coming up, has president
biden really actually seriously made clear his position now on a key question in washington? the question of the filibuster. coming up, what biden said and why this fight over what sounds like boring senate rules, why social security so important. what?! turns out, sarah's right about the general. i told you guys! oh, can it sarah! for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years of quality coverage, go with the general.
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senate rule that dates back to the 19th century that slows legislation down in the senate. it requires 60 votes to end debate, and move along any bill in the chamber. yesterday the president was pressed on his position of whether the filibuster should stay or go because it's a key question with a slim democratic majority in the senate now. listen to this. >> at john lewis's funeral president barack obama said he believed the filibuster was a relic of the jim crow era. do you agree? >> yes. >> if not, why not abolish it if it's a relic of the jim crow era? >> successful electoral policycy is the a of possible, let's figure out how we can get this done and move in the direction of significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule first. it's been abused from the time it came into being by an extreme way in the last 20 years.
let's deal with the abuse first. >> so where is this headed and what really is the president's position? joining me now two men who know the power of the filibuster, former republican senator from arizona jeff flake and former democratic senator from alabama, doug jones. thank you for being here. senator jones, do you know what president biden's position, what he's saying here, do you think he's ready to throw it out? >> yeah, i think, look, he's being very consistent. he has said, first of all, he wants to work with people on both sides of the aisle to get things done but he wants to get things done and he doesn't want the filibuster to be an impediment to actually getting things done. he's going to continue to reach out on every topic, whether it's voting rights, guns or immigration, he's going to continue to reach out. but, if he runs into a brick wall, then something's got to give because as he said over and over, he's a doer, he wants to get things done for the american people. that's why he was elected. >> so he's walking closer, you think, to saying, yeah, throw it
out then? >> well, i think he's certainly walking closer because right now he's getting a stiff arm on so many subjects and he is going to make sure that he gets things done. that's his mandate and i think that he can work with folks. he's not going to be set in stone on any issue. i think he can be flexible on a lot of these issues but at the end of the day he wants to have success in his term as president of the united states. >> senator flake, you pushed back on donald trump when he was calling for republican senate majority to get rid of the rule. what do you think of what president biden is saying about this? >> well, joe biden has always looked at the long term, i mean, if you look at his career, he spent a lot of time in the senate, along with virtually everybody when they're in the minority, want to keep the filibuster. but it's frustrating as i'll get out when you're in the majority. i understand that. i've been in both.
but i hope it stays. it's the one mechanism that still forces the parties to work together, and it will keep us from seesawing back and forth every two years between majorities. so -- but obviously it's frustrating when you're in the majority, particularly with a very slim majority like the democrats have right now. >> but frustrating doesn't necessarily mean you change it, as you're getting at, senator flake. >> right. >> senator jones, i mean, what does the -- what needs to be, i guess, a definition of terms is what is needed, first and foremost, almost, what does the filibuster actually do? do you think it creates complete lockdown and chaos like joe biden put it yesterday, is it a jim crow relic that barack obama described it as and has said or does it force senators to compromise, like others say? >> well, kate, unfortunately it's really all of the above. what we've seen over the last
few years, though, that the filibuster that joe biden discussed yesterday where people literally had to get on the floor and talk and talk and not yield the floor, like strom thurman did against the civil rights act. someone is block it now. you go about senate business. one step would be to look at making the filibuster do exactly what was originally intended. if someone wants to filibuster a bill let them hold the floor for days and days and days because two things happen. one, they get tired. number two, the public gets tired. and, actually, number three, it gives an opportunity to talk and to see if there's areas of agreement where people can find. that has happened time and time again in the history of this country. the filibuster has been used as jeff said to reach the common ground. >> does it still require the question of 60 votes, which is where it begins and ends? >> yes. >> and that's still the question. >> yes. >> do you throw out the 60? >> but many people will vote to
end debate on a bill to simply let a vote happen. that has happened time and time again in our country. and again, during the filibuster often people get together and they find the common ground where they can make the changes and you can get more than 60 votes for the passage of the bill. >> one of the reasons -- one of the things the filibuster has been used for very recently, while it really affects everything, senator flake, is when it comes to voting rights legislation that we've been seeing moving in the congress, right? on all of these efforts across the country, your state of arizona, just last night in georgia, this attack on voting rights, some republicans say, is about voter confidence in the system. why isn't the senate, and i mean senate republicans, doing more to help? give me your take. >> i think they will. just let me say for the record i think a lot of what's going on around the country, almost all of what's going on in terms of the so-called voter integrity is
just a blatant attempt to make it more difficult for people to vote. it's not a good thing for the country and it's not a good look for republicans. i do think there are a good number of senate republicans who will work with democrats to make sure that voting access is guaranteed and that we don't go down this road. hr-1, though, has some extraneous items that i don't even think have the support of all democrats in the senate. so i think that the parties can come together on that issue. i certainly hope that they do. >> senator jones, where do you think this is headed with the -- i mean, you can talk about it in relation to voting rights or just in general with the filibuster, do you think they are on a crash course to -- do you think biden will eventually get to a place where he supports throwing it out? >> perhaps so, but i don't think we're there yet. i think jeff's absolutely right about areas of agreement, common ground on voting rights and those extraneous matters that really do not touch on voting
rights and voting access. i think that's going to be a big test. if they can find some common ground on that and pass a voting rights bill i think that sends a strong message about how we can do things. but eventually you've got there areny issues on gun rights and other things like that that will make it more and more difficult. we're not there yet on the filibuster but we're going to be moving that way. i hope they can find the common ground on one issue that they can then work on others. >> i appreciate both of you coming on. dare i say we made the filibuster interesting today. senator jones, on a serious note, i know your state was the worst hit with this dangerous weather overnight so sending our best. thank you very much. >> thanks so much, kate. >> thanks, senator flake. >> thanks, kate. still ahead the former cdc director offering up what he says is just his opinion but diving into a controversial topic about the origins of the pandemic and now dr. anthony fauci is responding.
the former director of the cdc is speaking out on when and where he thinks the coronavirus pandemic originated. here is dr. robert redfield. when he sat down with sanjay gupta. >> if i was to guess, this virus started transmitting somewhere in september or october in wuhan. >> september, october? >> that's my opinion, i'm allowed to have opinions. i am of the point of view that i think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in wuhan was
from a laboratory, you know, escaped. other people don't believe that. that's fine. science will eventually figure it out. it's not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect the laboratory worker. >> it is also not unusual for that type of research to be occurring in wuhan. the city is a widely known center for viral studies in china, including the wuhan institute of virology which has experimented extensively with bat coronaviruses. >> it's an emotional conversation i feel like we're having here, because you are the former cdc director and you were the director at the time this was all happening. >> for the first time the former cdc director is stating publicly he believes this pandemic started months earlier than we knew and that it originated, not in a wet market, but inside a lab in china. >> these are two significant
things to say, dr. redfield. >> that's not implying intentionality. it's my opinion. i am a -- i do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human and at that moment in time the virus came to the human, became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human to human transmission. normally when a pathogen, it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in human to human transmission. i just don't think this makes biological sense. >> so in the lab do you think that that process of becoming more efficient was happening? is that what you are suggesting? >> let's say i have coronavirus, and i'm working on it. most of us in a lab we're trying to grow a virus we try to help make it grow better and better so we can do experiments and figure out about it. that's the way i put it together. >> sanjay is joining me now. sanjay, this was part of a
really important documentary you've been working on for months. wow, i mean, redfield says this is his opinion but the fact he's comfortable enough to go there publicly, it's going to have an impact. >> yeah. i think it will. and it's an informed opinion, obviously. he was head of the cdc at the time, he has access to data and knowledge that, you know, most people don't have. so when you hear his thoughts on this, it's -- it involves sort of lots of different information that he had access to. the world health organization calls the lab leak theory extremely unlikely. chinese officials have even started proposing this multi-origin theory saying the pandemic originated this several different places. that's unsubstantiated. but a year into this we still don't know exactly how this pandemic -- where it started. >> and dr. anthony fauci is now responding to questions about this. >> yeah. so, you know, he was -- he is part of the documentary film as
well but he was asked specifically about this after he heard for the first time what dr. redfield said. so take a listen. >> i think what he likely was expressing is that there certainly are possibilities as i mentioned just a few moments ago of how a virus adapted itself to an efficient spread among humans. one of them is in the lab, and one of them, which is the more likely, which most public health officials agree with, is that it likely was below the radar screen, spreading in the community in china for several weeks, if not a month or more, which allowed it, when it first got recognized clinically, to be pretty well adapted. >> so there you see, kate, i mean even between dr. fauci and dr. redfield, you know still not clear even to them exactly how to say for certain where this thing originated.
>> where this came from has obviously been a very big question. why does this question -- this answer to this matter so much? >> well, you know, i think first of all obviously this was a devastating pandemic, you know, i mean 500,000 plus people have died in the united states, 2.75 million people around the world. and, you know, people, i think understandably, want to know where did this start, what exactly happened? but i think more pot toint, and this was sort of the focus of the documentary as well, kate, is there are lessons to be learned. i mean, even right now there are lessons to be learned because we're still in the middle of this pandemic. but there's lessons to be learned to try and prevent future outbreaks. you know, does regulation around labs, things like that, how you're actually tracking early -- all these things make a difference. we haven't paid enough attention to it in the past and this will help shine some light on exactly what the lapses were and how they can be avoided in the
future. >> considering how this kind of wades very quickly into some pretty messy geopolitical issues, do you think that there's a chance, like we don't ever get an answer? >> that is possible. you know, it's interesting because dr. redfield said to me, as part of that interview, and by the way, there was 20 hours worth of interviews with all these doctors but he said science will eventually figure it out. i'm not sure. it's not clear. we are waiting for this big 300-page report that's coming from world health organization along with other partners to see what they conclude. they may not have a satisfying conclusion in the end to be able to say one way or the other. it may end up being more just conjecture. >> i was looking down, because we have new information i want to read to you. the u.s. intelligence community says it's standing by its statement on the origin of the coronavirus from almost a year ago, that it is still examining the way they put it is whether
the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in wuhan. a spokesperson with the office of the director of national intelligence said that there's no update on that statement from last april, which also said that the virus was not manmade, or genetically modified. just your reaction to that. >> well, you know, first of all a with regard to that last part, not manmade or genetically modified, i don't really know anyone who's suggesting that that was the case. i think what you're hearing in terms of the school of thought here is that this was an existing coronavirus in nature that was then brought to the lab to be studied and as dr. redfield put it, to make it more -- to make it better he called it but those are called gain of function sort of things. so, again, we may not know the answer to that, but that is sort of the theory that dr. redfield is putting out there. >> sanjay, bravo to you on this
project, and to your whole team. i mean, the whole team, congratulations. and for all of you, don't miss this unprecedented event with dr. gupta, the cnn special report "covid war the pandemic doctors speak out" airing sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. thank you so much for joining me, i'm kate bolduan. brianna keilar picks up our coverage right now. hello, i'm brianna keilar, i want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. we are watching the big lie turn into voter suppression before our very eyes. georgia's republican governor has just signed a sweeping new law making it harder for people in his state to vote. georgia is not the first, though it is the first presidential battleground state to enforce these laws, bills in 45 other states that aim to suppress voting and 250 bills nationwide trying to restrict access to the polls to make it harder to vote. critics of georgia's bill argue the controversial bill written and passed by republican