A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, October 17, 2021 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.
ANNOUNCER: "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" starts right now.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC "THIS WEEK" CO-ANCHOR (voice-over): Breaking news: reports that at least 17 U.S. missionaries and their families have been kidnapped in Haiti. What we're learning this morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need all hands on deck.
RADDATZ: A supply chain crisis, empty shelves and rising prices. President Biden calling on businesses to break the bottleneck.
(on camera): We came to the Port of Long Beach to see for ourselves how this unprecedented situation is affecting us all.
(voice-over): We follow the supply chain from the port.
(on camera): You have been here for a month?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
RADDATZ: What are you seeing really on a day-to-day basis?
(voice-over): To stores.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't panic-buy, but just make sure that you're prepared.
RADDATZ: The latest this morning.
And an FDA panel recommends Johnson & Johnson boosters for a wide group, those 18 and older. Are they at greater risk? Now questions on mixing and matching vaccines. Dr. Anthony Fauci joins us this morning.
Plus: out of the shadows.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC "THIS WEEK" ANCHOR: Most of the world first heard your name about five years ago, but you stayed silent. Why speak out now?
RADDATZ: The former British spy who released that infamous dossier on Trump and Russia speaks exclusively to George Stephanopoulos.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it's "This Week."
Here now, co-anchor Martha Raddatz.
RADDATZ: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."
As crippling supply chain disruptions continue, many Americans are waking up to higher prices and product shortages, the cost of shipping containers soaring during the global pandemic colliding with a labor shortage, all likely to impact the holiday season.
We traveled to one of the nation's busiest ports, where so many massive cargo ships are waiting to be unloaded. Much more of our firsthand look coming up.
As the country grapples with this bottleneck, some encouraging news in the battle against COVID-19. Nationwide, the daily case average and hospitalizations have dropped, after the lethal summer Delta surge, and nearly 70 percent of adults now fully vaccinated.
And, this week, an FDA panel recommended a booster shot for some Americans who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. But there are lingering questions about mixing and matching vaccines, shots for young children, and upcoming holiday gatherings.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is standing by, but, first, the breaking news this morning, reports that at least 17 American missionaries and their families and children have been abducted by a gang in Haiti.
Our ABC correspondent Victor Oquendo joins us now from outside the Haitian Consulate in New York City with the latest.
Good morning, victor.
VICTOR OQUENDO, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha.
This is all according to an audio message from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries. And it was first reported by "The New York Times," 17 from the United States, including children, kidnapped overnight as they were going home after building an orphanage.
The State Department saying that they are aware, but didn't have much else to add, besides saying that the safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities. The kidnapping is just the latest incident in a country reeling from an alarming surge in gang-related kidnappings, more than 600 so far this year.
That's according to Haiti's Center For Analysis and Research in Human Rights. And that is just one crisis facing Haitians, the country still in turmoil after President Jovenel Moise's assassination in July and that devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake in August that killed more than 2, 200 people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes -- Martha.
RADDATZ: Thanks, Victor.
Now, for the latest on the COVID pandemic, let's bring in Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Fauci, the FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended booster doses for the J&J vaccine, but the advice is for all people over 18 to get the shot, even after just two months.
We know this vaccine was not as effective as others. So should those 15 million people who got the vaccine be concerned, given these recommendations?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: No, not at all, Martha.
I think that they should feel good about it, because what the advisers to the FDA felt is that, given the data that they saw, very likely, this should have been a two-dose vaccine to begin with.
So, the idea of making a recommendation that people who originally received J&J should receive a second dose 18 or older with none of the restrictions about whether or not you’re at a high risk or not at a high risk, is that everyone who received that first dose of J&J who are 18 and older should receive it. So I think that's a very good thing and I think it’s very favorable for those who have received the J&J vaccine. I don't see that as a problem at all.
RADDATZ: But, Dr. Fauci, the panel was also looking at new data that suggests J&J recipients may be better off getting a booster shot from the more effective Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, is that a better solution?
FAUCI: That is true, the data you referred to, that if you boost people who have originally received J&J with either Moderna or Pfizer, the level of antibodies that you induce in them is much higher than if you boost them with the original J&J.
However, you are talking about laboratory data, which very often are reflective of what you would see clinically. But the data of boosting the J&J first dose with the J&J second dose is based on clinical data. So what's going to happen is that the FDA is going to look at all those data, look at the comparison and make a determination of what they will authorize.
Once an authorization is made, then the ACIP, or the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, that advises the CDC will then make a recommendation of what people who have been receiving and have received the J&J should do. So it's going to be a process of authorization first and then a recommendation after considering all the data.
RADDATZ: And what do you think, Dr. Fauci, how would they be better off, for all those people out there who took a J&J?
FAUCI: You know Martha, I think it’s going to be variable depending on who you are. For example, a woman of childbearing age who would have almost no issues at all with a possible adverse event of myocarditis, which you see rarely but you do see it with the mRNA vaccine, that person might want to opt for that approach. If you are a young man who does have that very, very rare risk of getting a myocarditis, you might want to take the J&J route.
So really I think it’s going to be individual so what likely will happen is that both the FDA in their authorization and the CDC will likely give a degree of flexibility based on the individual's situation.
RADDATZ: And the Advisory Committee also recommended a third dose of the Moderna shot for those over 65, just like the Pfizer shot as well. What's the timeline for expanding those categories to different age groups?
FAUCI: Well, that's going to depend -- well, that’s a great question, Martha. That's going to really depend on the data that comes in because what we are dealing with, we are dealing with data rolling in in real-time, not only from the cohorts that the CDC is following but also in real-time we’re getting important data from Israel because, as I have said so often, Israel is about a month or a month half -- a month and a half ahead of us temporarily with their vaccination and with the data that they're seeing about the waning of immunity as well as the advantage of boosting people at different age groups.
So the data we’re starting to see from Israel indicates that even in the somewhat younger group, for example, from 40 to 60, there’s a real benefit in getting the booster shots. So what we'll be doing here in the United States, both through the FDA and the CDC, will be to following these data as they accumulate in real-time and any modifications of the recommendations will based on that data as they come in.
RADDATZ: And as for children, I know you believe that it will be early November before 5 to 11 year olds can get vaccinated.
FAUCI: Well, the timeline, Martha, is that the FDA will be looking at the data from Pfizer, I believe it’s October 26th, they'll make a regulatory determination and then likely the next week, which would probably be the first couple of days in November, then the CDC will do what they do. They'll have their Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices look at the data and make a recommendation. So I think the timeline that we discussed previously is really still on the timetable that we spoke about.
RADDATZ: And Dr. Fauci, lastly, we know the best way to keep safe is to be vaccinated. But what are your guidelines for the upcoming holidays? Will you be giving out Halloween candy? What do we do Thanksgiving, Christmas and the other holidays?
FAUCI: Well, Martha, I believe strongly that -- particularly in the vaccinated people, if you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated, those who are eligible, that is obviously very young children and not yet eligible, that you can enjoy the holidays. You can enjoy Halloween, trick-or-treating, and certainly Thanksgiving with your family and Christmas with your family.
That’s one the reasons why we emphasized why it’s so important to get vaccinated, not only for your own safety, for that of your family, but also for the good of the community, to keep the level of infection down. When you do that, there’s no reason at all why you can’t enjoy the holidays in a family way, the way we’ve traditionally done it all along.
RADDATZ: Okay. Well, that’s very good news. Thanks so much for joining us this morning, Dr. Fauci.
FAUCI: Good to be with you. Thank you for having me.
RADDATZ: And as we mention, the Biden administration faces another crisis amid a growing backlog in the growing supply chain. The president announced new measures with ports and major shippers to ease the strain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is across the board commitment to going into 24/7. This is a big first step speeding up the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: But with consumer demand growing, factories struggling to keep up and the shortage of workers from the ports to truck drivers, there is little relief in sight. We traveled to the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach where 40 percent of all cargo goods enter the U.S. to see for yourselves.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Here off the coast of southern California on the waters of the country's busiest ports, record numbers of container ships sitting idle.
Right now, in the port of Long Beach, there are more than 60 container ships anchored here, waiting to unload. Normally, there wouldn’t be any of them waiting, and those are just the ones you can see. Way out in the Pacific, there are dozens more.
On board these ships -- that couch you ordered, computers, refrigerators, medical supplies and toys, hoping to reach Santa in time for Christmas.
NOEL HACEGABA, PORT OF LONG BEACH DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Martha, I have never seen anything like this. This is actually one of the smaller ships. The larger ships in service, they can carry up to 24,000 container units.
RADDATZ: And what would it mean in terms of goods?
HACEGABA: That can fill three shopping malls.
RADDATZ: Long Beach Ports Deputy Executive Director Noel Hacegaba said it all began with COVID.
Was this something that just wasn’t planned for?
HACEGABA: Well, the pandemic had the effective impacting every segment of the supply chain. When manufacturing was shutdown in Asia, we had little business here. Starting in July, we noticed this surge of tsunami of cargo.
So, we went from doom and gloom to fast and furious and turn on a dime. That caught the supply chain off guards.
RADDATZ: When the economy began showing signs of improvements, consumer demand online shopping already thriving grew as well. The port of Los Angeles is averaging around 900,000 containers per month, projecting 10.8 million this year. A 17 percent increase from 2020, with no signs of in coming ships slowing down.
But even if they are lucky enough to get into the port, they sit and wait in this cargo campground.
You’ve been here for a month?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
RADDATZ: Long time.
It's taking three times longer to clear vessels at the port compares to before the pandemic. And the Long Beach port is already working 24/7.
MATT SCHRAP, HARBOR TRUCKING ASSOCIATION CEO: Start to order now.
RADDATZ: Matt Schrap, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association, says working 24/7 won't solve everything.
SCHRAP: The challenges is space on the one hand and then enough vessels capacity that's available to move those containers back to their point of origin.
RADDATZ: Backlog and empty containers contributing to a shortage around the world, dramatically increasing the cost of shipping.
From China to the U.S., roughly $1,300 to more than 16,000, what took an average of 41 days now takes 75. Adding to strain operations at the ports, there is labor shortages at every step in the supply chain, from the longshoreman to warehouse workers to what could be the most dire, a need for tens of thousands of truck drivers nationwide.
MAYOR ROBERT GARCIA, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA: We had a worker shortage on truck drivers now long before we had record-breaking cargo. That has been a huge issue.
RADDATZ: Mayor Robert Garcia who has been working with the administration hopes the backlog will ease in his city’s port in the next few weeks but others predict it could take months or even far longer.
MICHAEL PODUE, ILWU LOCAL 63 PRESIDENT: The best estimates that I’ve heard, this could be something that will be well into next Christmas, to be honest with you.
RADDATZ: And as all these supply chain issues come to a head, they are hitting retailers and consumers directly.
Inflation for the month of September hit 5.4 percent over the past year, matching a 13-year high. Prices have increased for items like new cars, TVs, gas, food and furniture.
Wendy Ortiz, owner of Caravana Furniture and Long Beach, told me manufactures are continuing to increase prices and delivery times have been unprecedented.
WENDY ORTIZ, CARAVANA FURNITURE OWNER: It used to take about two to three days. Now it's -- sometimes it's taken a month. I even had a client waiting almost a year to get her furniture.
RADDATZ: Sparking fears for holiday shopping.
Heather Rasmussen, owner of Pixie Toys, feels prepared for the season, but said she's already had parents shop for Christmas.
HEATHER RASMUSSEN, PIXIE TOYS OWNER: As a parent, I would say, don't panic buy, but just make sure that you're prepared with everything that you need.
RADDATZ: Let's take a closer look at this with our experts now, Diane Swonk, chief economist and managing director at Grant Thornton, and ABC News business correspondent Deirdre Bolton.
Welcome to you both.
And, Diane, I want to start with you. I understand how all these factors came together in the supply chain, but isn't this something we should have seen coming?
DIANE SWONK, GRANT THORNTON CHIEF ECONOMIST: You know, it's really hard. We never -- there's no road map for opening up a global economy all at once. And it was much easier to turn the lights out on the economy, the global economy, than ramp up factories and turn things back on. We had a demand surge and then we had all these glitches that got exacerbated by the pandemic itself. And people keep forgetting that we're still in a global pandemic. Delta was a game changer and added to all these problems that we're seeing globally in terms of delaying the shipments and idling plants in places that had escape earlier waves.
RADDATZ: It really was an extraordinary scene out there, Deirdre. And I know a lot of the blame is on the pandemic. But when you have that glut of ships, you said it's a lot like what happened with the auto industry.
DEIRDRE BOLTON, ABC NEWS BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is. And it speaks to this fact that it really was a perfect storm because even the auto industry business leaders, they thought we are going into a recession. No one's going to want to buy cars. What happened? Everyone wanted a car. People who lived in cities became nervous about being on public transportation. A lot of people moved out of cities. So the demand for cars went through the roof.
I actually went to car dealerships where normally you were sort of three cars per line. There was one car and really almost a third of the inventory. So it just showed you, once the business leaders decided, OK, we're going to tell these chip makers we don't need the chips, those chips went into other products and it just kicked off this domino effects that we've seen in so many industries.
RADDATZ: And the White House attempted this week to solve all this. And one of the things they want to do is that 24/7. Frankly some of those ports already are working 24/7.
So what can the federal government really do now?
SWONK: You know, there's a really great op-ed by Chad Bown from the Peterson Institute and Neal Irwin in "The New York Times" and it really lays out that any kind of supply chain issues, even if you declare them defense issues to security issues, you can't just nationalize them, you need to coordinate with other countries, with our allies. And it will cost more to do that, but if you really want to ensure it, we really need to think much more wholistically and coordinate. And that's not something we've been so good about in recent years.
RADDATZ: Or that you can do quickly for sure.
SWONK: No, exactly.
RADDATZ: I -- the toy owner at the end of that piece, Deirdre, said, don't panic buy, but make sure you get things. Is this going to start panic buying?
BOLTON: I do think we've seen some panic buying, even what we just illuded to with the cars. It's already happened I mean with tons of other products. But, of course, as we're nearing the holiday season, yes, I do think most experts say, if you see something that you want, just buy it now because there are really no guarantees it will be there, let's say, three or four weeks from now or that it will be available three or four weeks at the same price. I mean you think inflation.
RADDATZ: So holiday shopping could be in trouble?
SWONK: Oh, absolutely.
BOLTON: It certainly could be. And I think what's clear is for most goods we can all assume that we will pay at least 10 percent more from most items.
RADDATZ: And, Diane, we saw the problems at the ports with truckers, and there really is a lack of workers.
RADDATZ: How does this happen?
SWONK: Yes, it's like we went through the looking glass. We have labor shortages with millions of workers still not back in their jobs. But there's many reasons. Everything from childcare, which we know as hurdles to women returning to work, and the fact that schools go back into quarantine. But also many people delayed and deferred their educational attainment. Sadly, many people dropped out of high school and kindergarten through 12, in addition to not being able to finish their degrees. Also, retirement surged. And there's been this huge reset. Over half of all workers are sort of saying, I'm not sure I want to work the way I did and in the same place I did, which has soared in terms of quit rates. So we really are in this alternative universe that is not going to dissipate any time soon.
RADDATZ: And -- and, Deirdre, we've got these labor disputes with places like Kellogg, John Deere. Workers seem to be sensing they're in a pretty strong position.
BOLTON: They are in a pretty strong position, when, what I find is interesting is that organized labor is at the lowest that it's ever been in the United States. But yet public sentiment is very much with these workers.
And you just alluded to some of the companies. I mean, it's really across numerous industries. And I think there is this idea -- there's one interesting stat. There are more than 700 billionaires in the U.S., with a collective net worth of $4.7 trillion. That is more than double what the lower 50 percent net worth of Americans is.
So it just -- this idea of income inequality, I think public opinion is very much shifting towards the worker. It's kind of what Diane says. I mean, economists and the government were amazing at counting the number of jobs. We are a ton less amazing at counting the quality of jobs. And that's what these workers are talking about.
That's what a lot of people are feeling even in professional and businesses services. "Hey, my life changed a lot over the past two years. I don't know if I want to keep working like I was."
RADDATZ: And, Diane, I just want to end with -- with inflation and what we're looking at here. The shortage of goods seems to be driving up prices. Will this hang around for a long time?
SWONK: You know, my concern that, yes, inflation will abate as we resolve some of these supply chain problems, but it's not going to abate enough to be insignificant.
We've got shelter costs accelerating. That's a third of the CPI. And that's going to happen right into 2022.
And it's going to put the Federal Reserve and policymakers in a very difficult position, where inflation remains elevated and noticeable enough and a problem for many workers at the same time that you don't know if it's going to resolve itself in 2023. You don't want to snuff out demand and make things worse for these workers down the road. But it is going to be a very tough call going forward.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks very much to both of you.
The roundtable weighs in next. And later, the first look at George Stephanopoulos' exclusive interview with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, author of that infamous dossier on Trump and Russia. We'll be right back.
RADDATZ: The roundtable is here, ready to go. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: What is your message to people who defy congressional subpoenas on the January 6 committee?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable criminally.
QUESTION: Should they be prosecuted by the Justice Department?
BIDEN: I do, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: President Biden suggesting the Justice Department should prosecute Trump allies who refuse subpoenas from the House's January 6 committee.
Let's talk about that and more on the roundtable with our ABC News team, chief Washington correspondent Jon Karl, also a co-anchor of "This Week," weekend White House correspondent MaryAlice Parks, political director Rick Klein, and ABC correspondent Stephanie Ramos.
Welcome to all of you.
And, Jon, I want to talk to you first.
We have this massive supply chain that we have been talking about this morning going into the holidays, inflation up 5.4 percent over the past year. How much of a political problem is this for President Biden?
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, empty store shelves, people unable to buy Christmas presents, that's not a good thing for the president, to say the least.
But I think the biggest concern here is, does this lead to even more inflation? Martha, one of the numbers I saw, sets of numbers I saw this week that really hit home on this is the cost of shipping a container from China.
If you go back to 2019, pre-pandemic, it was about $1, 300, now $16,000 to bring a container from China. That ripples through the supply chain. It makes things -- it's going to make things more expensive, high inflation.
And, look, the biggest factor here, the single biggest factor is that people are buying more stuff. So, there's an underlying bit of good news here. People have the means and desire to buy more things. The problem is, the supply chain has not caught up.
RADDATZ: And the White House did announced this 24/7. Actually, some of them were already doing that. I saw that there in the ports. But you can't really do that if you don't have enough workers.
Did the White House move quickly enough on this, MaryAlice?
MARYALICE PARKS, ABC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they want to show that they're on it.
They're getting private companies together. But unless they take extreme measures, and unless, all of a sudden, we're talking about the National Guard unloading container ships, we're really talking about the White House putting public pressure on private companies.
And, in that way, getting involved is sort of the catch-22. They had to do it early. They have to show that they're paying attention. But at some point now, they own this because he's been involved. And that's risky, because, like I said, there's not actually that much the White House can do day to day, except continue to put pressure on these private companies.
RADDATZ: And then keep going out and talking about it and saying it's under control.
RADDATZ: And speaking of that, Stephanie, the Treasury secretary said she thinks that prices will go down soon and there's no need to panic.
That's not what I heard out there. That's not what I'm hearing across the country. But we're talking about medical supplies. We're talking beyond the economy. We're talking about military families who can't get their furniture and household goods back from deployments in Asia.
This is really hitting the American public.
STEPHANIE RAMOS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It really is.
And American families, they're the ones that are feeling this. And it's hard, when you're in it, to be in the mind frame of, in the next six months, we will get away from this and things will be better.
They are in it right now and trying to survive, so that when they are going to the grocery stores and seeing these increase prices, where is the comfort? Where are the tools to help them?
But the treasury secretary saying this is transitory, but also saying that this isn’t going away in the next month or so. And I spoke with the deputy secretary a few days ago and I asked him, is there anything the Biden administration could have done to prevent this, to get ahead of this, to prepare this. And he didn’t exactly answer that, but did say that this was expected, that the economy just hasn’t transition with us out of this pandemic, and says it's going to take time.
He says the president, of course, is focused on these issues. He touted the American Rescue Plan, the emergency impact payments, the child tax credit and says it is going to take a while for the supply chain to catch up with demand.
RADDATZ: And meanwhile, there is going to be panic buying.
RAMOS: Absolutely, absolutely.
RADDATZ: -- about that I think.
KARL: When you say don't panic, people tend to panic.
RADDATZ: Don’t panic, but make sure your shelves are stocked.
PARKS: And when you start talking about Christmas --
RADDATZ: Yes. It screams panic.
KARL: And order now.
RADDATZ: And Christmas and your children, and you definitely want to do that.
Rick, we’re still more than a year out. However, from the midterms but the economy is clearly becoming a huge issue and the Republicans are already taking advantage of that and doubling down on that.
KLEIN: Yeah. Think about it. Election about pocketbook issues. If your pocket book feels that much lighter because you can't afford things, and Republicans see now an emerging set of issues like inflation, like rising gas prices, like rising crime rates and, of course, the fact that the pandemic is still ongoing. And they say this is a brew of issues that they can make into something against Democrats, to say, look, they promised that they would bring some stability, but there hasn’t been that kind of stability in your life, across this range of issues, and this inflation thing in particular is problematic on another level because, guess who keeps on talking about inflation as a concern?
As Democrats debate these bills, Senator Joe Manchin from Manchin from West Virginia, one of the big holdouts on this. He’s worried about the idea of pumping even more trillions of dollars into an economy that might already be overheated with excessive demand.
RADDATZ: And he's worried about a lot of things.
And, Jon, of course on Capitol Hill, we have the infrastructure and the spending bill, what's the progress on that? We know Nancy Pelosi has now set a deadline in a month?
KARL: Yeah, Halloween.
KARL: I don't think that deadline is going to be met.
KARL: But Steny Hoyer who runs the floor schedule says there will be votes coming up on both the infrastructure bill and this larger social infrastructure bill. But it's not looking good.
You saw Bernie Sanders who, of course, have been leading the charge for a big social infrastructure bill. The budget chairman, he actually wrote an op-ed in one of the West Virginia papers going right at Manchin, saying that by standing in the way, Joe Manchin is hurting West Virginians, and Joe Manchin responded with a blistering statement.
Martha, I just want to read a sentence from this. I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. No op-ed from a self-declared independent socialist is going to change that.
So, it doesn’t look like Bernie Sanders’ efforts to pressure Joe Manchin haven’t gotten him any closer to voting for this. And remember, they can’t do it without him.
RADDATZ: No, they can't do that.
And, Stephanie, we saw this week at the Connecticut -- in Connecticut on Friday, the president trying to sell his agenda. And he said they might have to cut out, made some implication they night have to cut out community college for all, and Joe Manchin is against a lot of these climate controls.
RAMOS: He absolutely is. And that’s right, we heard President Biden and we’ve heard a lot of this from him on the campaign trail and in office, he’s proposed the two years of free -- tuition-free community college. It was -- it was kind of stunning to hear him doubt that could make it into this final version of the package, or that it would need to be adjusted in some way. But at this point, it's on the chopping block and when you hear Joe Manchin come out against some of these programs, it’s troubling because the administration and Democrats need all the Democratic support that they can get, and Manchin, of course, against the clean electricity program.
RADDATZ: He's in West Virginia.
RAMOS: He’s in West Virginia, and, you know, the White House has said that they are sticking with their plans. This is part of the president's big plan to battle climate change. But we’ll have to see in the next few days if that happens, if they stick with their plan, because, of course, they're trying to get this package over the line.
RADDATZ: And, MaryAlice, many of the workers going on strike around the country. We’ve seen a lot of those suggestions of strikes pushing for benefits that Democrats want in the spending bill. Are they capitalizing on this?
PARKS: Senator Sanders is trying to. His team told me that he sent pizzas to those in the picket lines with John Deere, that the senator was on the phone with one of the strike leaders there with John Deere workers.
But, they -- to your point, they know that those that are on the picket lines are making some of their arguments for them. They’re not only asking for more pay, they’re asking for benefits, things like paid medical leave. Progressives say, great, that’s in the bill.
They’re asking for things like pensions and help with child care. You know, some of those issues that are keeping people out of the labor force right now and Democrats are saying, we're trying to address that in the bill.
But to Jon's point about the deadline, I mean, the Sanders folks kind of laughed at the idea of meeting that -- that October 31st deadline. I talked to a former Manchin staffer who said that that deadline was laughable. They've know for a long time that those kind of provisions are the crux of what has these two sides colliding and they have to come to the -- around, sit around a table together and actually just hash this out. But it seems, right now, they're still just too far apart to do that.
RADDATZ: So, Jon, your prediction, how long does this go? What happens? I know you don't like predict, but --
KARL: Yes, I don't like predictions, especially about the future.
RADDATZ: Yes. Yes.
KARL: But -- but, look, I think that there's a recognition among Democrats that failure on both of these is truly not an option. There's more -- there's actually more at stake than even the fundamentals of what are in these bills. It's really the success of failure of the Biden presidency.
That said, how you actually cobble this together is unclear. You know with House Democrats signaling there will be votes on both of these bills. And it wasn't like a, unless the Senate's, you know, done everything on the -- on the social infrastructure bill. No, there will be votes on these bills.
So it seems to me that they will at least get one of these across the line, not by -- no necessarily by Halloween, but they will get at least one of these across the line.
RADDATZ: So much attention on this in Washington. But, Rick, I was stunned by the CNN poll. Let me read it. Only a quarter of Americans think their lives will be better off if both the infrastructure and social spending bills pass. More than four in 10 said they wouldn't make a difference. And about a third says they'd be worse off.
It really does seem like whatever they're doing on The Hill, the Democrats aren't selling it to the American people.
KLEIN: A massive failure to communicate what's in the bill, in part because they don't actually know what's in the bill. Well, how can you sell this?
But, think about that, they are talking about the largest expansion in social service spending in American history. And only one-fourth of the people think it's actually better for them.
This, to me, has real shades of the healthcare debate from more than a decade ago. I've talked to a number of Democrats who have made the point that they've failed throughout that to communicate what the stakes were. They got bogged down of the process. and by the time they got over the finish line, it was defined politically. And the idea that even if you pass it now, then you can then go out and make the case that this works for people. They're betting so many of their midterm hopes on that and recovery from COVID, things that ultimately may be out of their control because perceptions have gotten away from them. This is a -- this is a big problem that Democrats are worried about, that even if they get it done, they're not going to be able to make much of it.
RADDATZ: And, John, I want to move to January 6th. We saw at the top of the show there. The select committee investigating the attack at the Capitol moved to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with the subpoena. You write about this in your upcoming book next month that we're all looking forward to, but what happens now with these subpoenas?
KARL: Well, the Bannon subpoena and the Bannon fight is about much more than just Steve Bannon because the committee wants to talk to everybody that was around Donald Trump on January 6th. And this is the test case, can they compel Steve Bannon to testify.
Martha, Congress doesn't have its own prosecutors. Congress doesn't have its own jail cells. Congress has very little or -- in fact, really no ability to actually enforce these subpoenas. That's why what you heard from Biden was so significant. He is saying that he wants to see the Justice Department, which is -- which does have the power to enforce this, but has not in the past, come in and prosecute Steve Bannon.
Now, the Justice Department quickly put out a statement, making it clear, this is not the president's call. It's an independent Justice Department that will make the decision on prosecuting. But it sure looks like they will prosecute Bannon. It's a lengthy process. This will be a big court fight. And the question is, can they get all of this done in time to actually matter for their investigation.
RADDATZ: And, MaryAlice, the president also rejected former President Trump's executive privilege claim, instructing the National Archives to comply with the committee's documents. But Trump is almost certainly going to fight this.
PARKS: Right, that's the expectation is that the Trump team does, in fact, sue.
But I think it's important to note that they haven't yet. So we're kind of all bracing for this legal showdown but we'll see what that lawsuit actually looks like.
There's a lot of legal scholar that say the former president doesn't have a great case. This hasn't been tested in the courts yet. Steve Bannon probably has an even weaker case, right? How do you say that you have an executive privilege claim when you didn’t work in the White House for several years before.
But you're exactly right, the White House has been totally on board with helping this committee. They have said that they want everyone to cooperate. In fact, the White House Council said that they wanted the National Archives to give over those documents within 30 days, as in any court orders.
RADDATZ: And, Stephanie, there's also a new charge of the January 6th insurrection. An actual Capitol Police officer.
RADDATZ: Tell us about that. It really does tell you we don't know all of what happened up there. We're still learning these things. They're still making arrests.
RAMOS: Exactly, so many months later. And it really shows you that authorities have not stopped trying to track down the individuals that took part in the January 6th riot, even 10 months or so later.
Now you have this Capitol Police officer who has a -- a whole lot of questions to answer as he faces obstruction charges. He was there that day responding to the scene but then the very next day was trying to help one of the insurrectionists by -- by telling him to take down some of the Facebook messages -- or, through Facebook, telling him to take down some posts showing that that person was there, trying to protect them, and saying, "Hey, I'm looking out for you."
But this is just one of about 600 or so Capitol riot cases. And it's an unusual one because it involves a Capitol Police officer. So he is on paid administrative leave. He has not entered a plea. But it really just goes to show you that, so many months later, authorities are trying to figure out who these individuals are that tried to get into the Capitol and then who was inside and -- and tried to help them.
RADDATZ: And, Rick, very quickly -- we have about 30 seconds left -- there was a rally in Virginia, the gubernatorial race there, and they were actually taking a pledge of allegiance to one of the flags carried right before the insurrection.
KLEIN: Yeah, it's absolutely stunning, and it plays right into Democrats' hands, frankly. Because their argument for the midterms and for the gubernatorial race in a few weeks is "Remember January 6th; remember what President Trump did; remember what those Trump years were like, including the messy end."
And as much as Republicans try to distance themselves from it, this is going on inside their base. And this is a real thing that -- that you're going to continue to see play out, as far as Democrats go.
RADDATZ: And they really will have to continue to say that.
Thanks so very much to all of you this morning. Always great to have you.
FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver is next -- next with his take on shifting abortion politics, plus George Stephanopoulos' Christopher Steel interview, no question off limits, just ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: The Supreme Court has allowed a state law to stand that deputizes citizens, anyone, to proclaim themselves in a position to have a right under law to interfere with those choices that that woman has made.
The United States Department of Justice is prepared to take action and to sue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Vice President Kamala Harris last month. And that near total abortion ban in Texas is now headed back to the Supreme Court, just the latest twist in a blockbuster court term that could determine the future of the constitutional right to an abortion and the outcome of the 2022 midterms.
So which voters could be more energized? FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver analyzes.
NATE SILVER, FOUNDER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: It's probably time to revisit some of our assumptions about the politics of abortion. The conventional wisdom was that, while there are plenty of pro-choice voters and plenty of pro-life voters, conservatives are more likely to view abortion as a decisive issue for their vote.
Back in February, for example, around 47 percent of Trump voters said abortion was a very important issue for them, as compared to 39 percent of Biden voters, according to polling from YouGov.
But we've seen a big change since September 1st, when the Supreme Court allowed a highly restrictive Texas abortion law to remain in effect. In the most recent YouGov polling, about 51 percent of Biden voters describe abortion as very important, as compared to just 36 percent of Trump voters.
So that may be because voters get particularly motivated when you're potentially taking away something they thought they already had. The Texas law, for example, has been interpreted by experts as a signal that the Roe v. Wade decision could be overturned, a decision that remains quite popular, often by 2-1 margins, in the polls.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll, for instance, found that 67 percent of voters generally agree with Roe v. Wade, as compared to 27 percent opposed.
One can perhaps draw a parallel to Obamacare, which motivated Republicans in the 2010 midterms, because it reflected a change to the status quo. But, by the 2018 midterms, when Obamacare was the law of the land, it had become fairly popular, and Republican members of Congress were punished by voters for their efforts to take it away.
So I want to be careful here, both because of the sensitivity of the topic and because abortion is one of many issues that will affect the vote next year, but I surely do buy the Democrats that will be motivated if they see Roe v. Wade as being under threat.
RADDATZ: Our thanks to Nate.
Coming up, our exclusive preview of MI6 spy Christopher Steele's interview, what he told George Stephanopoulos about Trump and Russia, next.
RADDATZ: The first look at George Stephanopoulos' brand-new documentary is next.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Did the heads of the intelligence agencies provide you with the two-page summary of these unsubstantiated allegations?
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I saw the information. I read the information outside of that meeting, it's all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn't happen.
Did anyone really believe that story? I’m also very much of a germophobe, by the way, believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC “THIS WEEK” CO-ANCHOR: He's the world's most famous and infamous spy, the man behind a series of intelligence report containing explosive allegations of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, the so-called Steele dossier. Now, former MI-6 Officer Christopher Steele is speaking out for the first time in a worldwide exclusive interview with our George Stephanopoulos, answering tough questions about his credibility, the dossier's accuracy and the notorious claim the Russians held a salacious tape of Trump.
Here’s a sneak preview.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS, ABC THIS WEEK ANCHOR: Most of the world first heard your name about five years ago, but you stayed silent up until now. Why speak out now?
CHRISTOPHER STEELE, FORMER MI-6 OFFICER: I think there were several reasons. I think the first and most important is that the problems we identified back in 2016 haven’t gone away, and arguably, actually got worse. And I feel it was important to come and set the record straight.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One big claim in the dossier, the FBI, according to inspector general’s report and (INAUDIBLE) enforces it, is not true is the claim that Michael Cohen at a meeting with Russians in Prague. Do you accept that finding that it didn’t happen?
STEELE: No, I don't.
MATTHEW MOSK, ABC NEWS SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Michael Cohen was Trump's personal lawyer and self-described fixer. The Steele dossier had alleged Cohen met secretly with Kremlin officials in Prague.
Those were the allegations the FBI later said were not true, according to the inspector general report.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: I’ve never been to Prague.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never have?
COHEN: I’ve never been to the Czech Republic.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Michael Cohen has completely turned on Donald Trump. He’s accused him for all kinds of things. He’s going to jail. It defies logic that if he did this, he wouldn’t say so now.
STEELE: I don't agree with that.
STEELE: It's a self-incriminating to a very great degree.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Since he’s going to prison, since he’s turned on President Trump, he’s told every single story. Why wouldn't he admit to this?
STEELE: Because I think it's so incriminating and demeaning. And the other reason is he might be scared of the consequences.
MOSK: Michael Cohen said to ABC News: I eagerly await Steele's next dossier which proves the existence of Bigfoot and the Lochness Monster and that Elvis is still alive.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think it hurts your credibility at all that you won’t accept the findings of the FBI in this particular case?
STEELE: I’m prepared to accept that everything on the dossier is 100 percent accurate. I have yet to be convinced that that is one of them.
BARRY MEIER, AUTHOR: Christopher Steele is free to believe whatever he wants. But if Christopher Steele wants her people to believe that he's believable, he needs to show us what evidence he has to support his belief.
MOSK: The inspector general also pulled back the curtain on how Steele gathered this information. It doesn’t name Steele's collector but the report does describe some of his methods. And we later learned, he was not someone well-placed in the Kremlin, but an analyst in Washington.
THOMAS: When the FBI sought this person out and interviewed him, he said, yeah, he basically gathered some of this information but it was almost am ambivalent about how accurate it was.
MOSK: Some of this information, including that allegation about the salacious tape, had apparently been gathered from people who had just heard about it or talked about it in jest.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of your main collectors who spoke to the inspector general said that, especially the kompromat, was word of mouth and hearsay, conversations with friends over beers. It was just talk.
STEELE: If you have a confidential source and that confidential source is blown or is uncovered, that confidential source will often take fright and try and downplay and underestimate what they've said and done. And I think that's probably what happened here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He's afraid?
STELE: I think anybody that's named in this context, particularly if they're Russian, has every reason to be afraid.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you standby the dossier?
STEELE: I standby the work we did, the sources that we had, and professionalism which we applied to it.
CHRISTOPHER BURROWS, CO-FOUNDER, ORBIS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE: Bearing in mind that this is raw intelligence. Raw intelligence in the sense that what we -- what we sent over was -- was the initial findings.
RADDATZ: Raw intelligence is just fact. It's like throwing a lot of stuff against the wall.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: All the talk about this alleged tape, I bet you've heard about it, virtually no evidence came forward in public to corroborate it.
BARRY MEIER, AUTHOR, SPOOKED: THE TRUMP DOSSIER, BLACK CUBE AND THE RACE OF PRIVATE SPIES: It would be quite the tape if it became public. But it's now five years later and we haven't seen a trace of it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And today do you still believe that that tape exists?
STEELE: I think it probably does, but I wouldn't put 100 percent certainty on it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So how do you explain if that tape does exist it hasn't been released?
STEELE: Well, it hasn't needed to be released.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not?
STEELE: Because I think the Russians felt they got pretty good value out of Donald Trump when he was president of the U.S.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Our thanks to George. "Out of the Shadow: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier" begins streaming tomorrow, only on Hulu.
We're back in just 60 seconds.
RADDATZ: That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT" have a good day.