tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN January 3, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
enough votes " to magically han trump victory in that state. the hour-long phone call between president trump and georgia's secretary of state took place yesterday. here's one shocking part of their conversation, and this was audio first obtained by the "washington post" that cnn now obtained as well. >> we have won this election in georgia based on all of this, and there's -- there's nothing wrong with saying that, brad. you know? i mean, having the -- having the correct -- the people of georgia are angry, and these numbers are going to be repeated on monday night along with others that we're going to have by that time, which are much more substantial, but -- and the people of georgia are angry. the people of country are angry and there's nothing wrong with saying that, you know -- that you've recalculated. >> well, mr. president, the challenge that you have, it's the data you have is wrong.
>> now, do you think it's possible that they shredded ballots in fulton county? because that's what the rumor is, and also that dominion took out machines that dominion is really moving fast to get rid of their -- machinery? do you know anything about that? because that's illegal. >> ryan germany. no, dominion has none moved any machinery out of fulton county. >> no, but, have they moved -- have they moved inner parts of the machines and replaced them with other parts? >> no. >> you sure, ryan? >> i'm sure. >> you should want to have an accurate election. and you're a republican. >> we believe we do have an accurate election. >> no, you don't. no. no, you don't. you don't have. not even close. you've got, you're off by hundreds of thousands of votes.
you know what they did, and you're not reporting it. that's -- you know, that's a criminal -- that's a criminal offense. and, you know, you can't let that happen. that's a big risk to you and to ryan, your lawyer. that's a big risk, but they are shredding ballots in my opinion based on what i've heard. and they are removing machinery, and they're moving it as fast as they can. both of which are criminal finds, and you can't let it happen and you are letting it happen. >> trump's effort to overturn the election based on these debunked conspiracies have failed in every legitimate avenue. it failed during audits and recounts and probes in the states and counties. it failed in front of republican judges. it failed in front of trump-appointed judges, it failed in front of the supreme court. now we hear trump leaning on people in his party, like a mob boss, trying to get them to do his bidding to overturn the
election. thankfully on this call, at least, his tactics again, failed. just as we learned about this nixonian recording today the new congress was being sworn in on klim and there many new and established republicans are in the grips of this very seam anti-democracy meltdown, planning to object to the electoral college certification on wednesday. let's get to cnn's kyung lah in georgia and start in georgia. president trump using today's critical senate elections in georgia as a threat on this call, what has the reaction been like there on the ground? >> reporter: actually trying to pay attention to reverend warnock as he's speaking and we just heard from the other democrat. so reverend warnock is one of the democratic challengers for the two runoff seats. jon ossoff is the other candidate for the senate seat.
two democrats who want to flip these two seats. ultimately, which would tip the balance of control in the senate to democrats, and we just heard ossoff say this about what he thinks about the call, that call you just played, ana. he said "that is a direct attack on our democracy and if perdue and loeffler, who are the two incumbent republican senators, had one piece of steel in their spine, one shred of integrity, they would be out here defending georgia voters from that kind of assault. so very strong words from one of the democrats. we are anticipating that reverend warnock may also address this as well, and then following reverend warnock will be kamala harris. vice president-elect kamala harris. democrats here are feeling that after the early vote they may have the upper hand, but the big question, ana, is, what the
impact of all of this news is going to have on republican voters who are going to be taking to the polls, going to the polls in just two days. from what we have seen and had conversations with various republicans, whatever the president wants, they will follow. and we've seen that line also taken from the two senators here, who understand that the president here, a potent force among his base and so far they are stepping in-line with the president. we have yet to hear from senators loeffler or perdue about this call, any comment from their campaigns, ana. >> and i know you are trying. john harwood at the white house, bring you in. shortly before this audio leaked, georgia's secretary of state raffensperger tweeted this -- respectfully president trump, what you are say is not true. the truth will come out. do you think trump is surprised? the tape from this phone call was made public and do you think he's concerned about that?
>> reporter: i don't know if these surprised. he ought to be concerned but this is a president without any obvious conscious or sense of shame. i'm not sure how it's going to affect him. you know, you stated it at the beginning in your intro, ana. this was a conversation in which the president was talking like a mob boss. and we just heard from kyung that jon ossoff, democratic candidate, puttingon loeffler and perdue to speak out. we have the same question for other republicans. if donald trump's a mob boss, the question, are other members of the mob family going to support the president in this nakedly corrupt effort to pressure the georgia secretary of state to overturn the election on the basis of the fact that he was a republican? dressed up with all sorts of fantasy nonsense about shredded ballots and inner workings offish ins being tampered with.
the question, how does the republican react to this? we know what donald trump is. this shows that, shows it more vividly but we've known that already. we expect that about 12 republican senators and somewhat more than 100 house members are expected to support this direct challenge to american democracy. how many others are going to join them? and how many are going to speak out against what the president was trying to do? >> i will read a quick tweet from add an kinzinger, a republican. congress member who has been outspoken against the president in the part and wrote this afternoon following breaking thuz with the audiotapes released -- this is absolutely awe pauling to every member of congress considering objecting to election results. you cannot in light of this do so with a clean conscious. we'll talk with him coming unlater in our show. both of you, thank you. stand by. joining us, cnn political commentator, two political
commentators. hard to top the idea of 12 republican senators and 140 house republicans trying to subvert a free election u, but here we have it pt president of the united states on tape pressuring the georgia secretary of state to recalculate the votes in his favor. let's just listen to a part of it one more time. >> so, look, all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state. so -- so, tell me, brad, what e we going to do? we won the election and it's not fair to tyke it away from us like this, and the going to be very costly in many ways. >> john, you first. what's your reaction to this? >> he's a pathetic thug. he's a mob boss attempting to shake down caught on tape who
elevates conspiracy theories over facts and tries to bully election officials, and what he did, what he was caught doing, was trying to deprive the voters of georgia and the united states of a free and fair election. and i believe our legal friends will say that is illegal under federal and state law. so the voters of georgia have to look to their own consciences when it comes to this kind of shakedown of republican election officials trying to do their job honestly and republicans in congress about to join the autocrat congress, trying to overturn elections on this guy's behalf, need to take a second look as who they're willing to destroy their reputations to whose ambitions they will advance. it's this man. it is this -- man. they are willing to trash the constitution of our democratic norms to support. why? >> margaret, how do you answer that? >> i don't -- ana, this is not actually a circumstances sort of an either/or or, well on the one
side this, on the other side that. this is, the emperor that no clothes. a moment you see the man telling us there are irregularities in the system that created a false outcome of the election caught on tape trying to breed irregularities in the system to rig his own election. there is no, well, on the one hand, on the other hand. there are no two sides to this story. this is the president of the united states undermining democracy, and this is the first time, you know -- thanks to modern technology, we got it on tape. i mean it is there for any one of this support irs and josh hawley and every single member of congress who signed 126, signed that emeka in the supreme court says irregularities in the -- take out constitutionality. no. irregularities in the system are from the president of the united states trickling down trying to
create uncertainty in the minds of americans. and now you have him on tape. >> so how should republicans respond to this? especially those lawmakers considering, you know, going along with this idea of trying to overturn the election results? >> i don't think, ana, this should be a republican or democratic issue. this is -- this is time to pick country over party. this is -- and it is -- if there were ever a moment. right? and one might have thought there's were 100 opportunities before now, but this is the moment where, it is very clear that this president has undermined democracy, and our system. republicans and democrats together should join together and renounce. >> yeah. and they should, and let's hope they do, but let's not hold our breath. here's the thing. in his own words. you can't write this off as the media or democrats. this is him trying to shake down a republican official in the state of georgia, and that's
what's so -- so josh hawley and ted cruz and those 140 or so members of congress, all have to really decide if they want to back this kind of behavior to the hilt that causes them to try to destroy our democratic norms, because they're doing it on his behalf. and guess what? in 17 days i think prosecutors will be interested in this as well. for the time being, this just highlights the constitutional question. do you want to disfigure our democracy for a man with morals like that? >> i'll just add, the numbers in georgia were beginning to not look so great for republicans. i mean, in terms of the early voter turnout, democrats have done exceedingly well. new people who been voted in the general election voted. republicans on election day had to turn out in very, very high numbers. and turn out with a higher percentage in order to make up for the early vote of the democrats. this is really going to hurt, and donald trump i think going to georgia tomorrow doesn't help this case. i think already the wins were
not going in the right direction for republicans in georgia. just in the last ten days. i think this is very, makes it very, very difficult. >> john, think back to what got the president impeached. a phone call to ukraine, finding dirt on my rival. another phone call. find me votes. for any republican who thought this president may have learned his lesson, guess not. >> no. i mean, how naive can you be? it's a pattern, who he is. trying to derail joe biden's candidacy because he was afraid joe biden do beat him and willing to use power of the presidency and foreign policy to try to get another for foreign leader to do is are his dirty work. now on tape, irrefutable evidence doing the same to a republican official in georgia. here's the thing. if republicans stand by him now they need to embrace the suck they have put lies over truth,
because that's what the deal is. if you're going to defend this, you're just saying, my lie is more important than the objective truth. if you do that, just resign. just go home. >> come on, come on. >> no! >> it is brad raffensperger is a republican. >> and a good man. and adam -- >> the republicans here -- >> ben sasse. >> one of the only republicans standing up to this president. you hear him do it to the president's face on this phone call. we see congress supposed the be the branch that holds the white house accountable are just doing the president's bidding. >> has everything to do with the systemic failure that we have in our congress, with hyperpartisanship and hyperpolarization and created a system that's undermined what the founders wanted in checks and balances. the congress stopped being a check on the executive branch. that is, it's a larger story, a larger problem we have to fix, but it has come to a boiling point. it's boiled over in the presidency of donald trump, joe
biden said he had no interest thhaving his department of justice investigate trump amp leaving office. john, pressured now or does it let this go? >> this isn't a question of pressure and it's well beyond politics. this is about the law. this is about abuse of power. what i think biden has said and what he should do is let the process of the law take its own route. don't do what donald trump has done. try to put nor finger on the scale of justice to punish political enemies. but if you broke the law in this or any other instance or anyone else in this administration it's legitimate and imperative if you don't have accountability you encourage it. >> john avlon and margaret hoover, thank you both for joining us. more on this breaking news in a moment. president trump in a new audio recording now obtained by cnn trying to pressure georgia's scientist to magically find him votes. so he could win the state. new projects means new project managers.
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those ten former defense secretaries include not only the two who served under president trump but also dick cheney, donald rumsfeld and condoleezza rice and include my december william cohen who served under president clinton and a republican who served as a u.s. senator from maine. secretary cohen, thanks for coming on. the military has a tradition of staying non-partisan and apolitical. you're talking a very public stand here. why? >> this is highly unusual and maybe the first time in my life that ten living former secretaries of defense felt compelled to speak out because of the suggestion that the military would be used to overturn the election. possibly overturn the election. so it is really our attempt to call out to the american people, we believe all of them are patriotic. they've been led down a path by president trump, which is an unconstitutional path and so we felt it incumbent upon us having served in the defense don't say,
please. all of you in the defense department have taken an oath to serve this country, this constitution. not any given individual. so we expect you to adhere to that oath that you've taken, not to allow yourself to be used for any political purpose, particularly to try and overturn the election. so there's genuine concern on our part, a lot of talk lately about martial law being imposes. something floated within the white house and by lieutenant general flynn as well and so i think the combination of having seen the president misuse the military in lafayette square to take a photo op in front of the church, see what he did with the ninja suited man, firing rubber bullets into protesters and hearing talk using the military to overturn and review the elections, which have been not only reviewed, audited, riyadh itted, certified, analyzed by the supreme court et cetera. for them now at this point to try to say we're going to
overturn it, possibly use the military that would be clearly an unpatriotic thing that would be done, and those supporters of the president and there are many, they have to understand it's unpatriotic, what the president is seeking to do. >> do you worry trump has succeeded in changing the apolitical aura of military service? >> well, he hasn't yet. he's tried to politicize the military. done that on a number of occasions. he had secretary of defense mat is, general mattis, who resigned after having served two years in the trump administration. you have others. you've had four secretaries of defense in four years. that tells you something about what's happening inside the pentagon. also the president has tried to remove people who have served honorably over the years, removed them and put functionaries in to do his bidding, whatever it might be. that is the reason we felt compelled at this point to say, to all of those who serve in the defense department, please. remember your duty.
remember the sworn oath to the constitution. do not do anything that is unlawful. you have an obligation to abide by and to follow through on the legal and lawful orders of the demander in chief, but be wary here. you are not do engage in political affairs and certainly not to use that force to try and overturn the election on the part of the american people. i simply want to say to the people who support president trump, they are patriotic. they believe that he is their rightful leader and have accepted what he has said, but what he is saying to the american people is not true. they're lies. and i feel that we got to heal this country. we've got to try to make this country the country, the america it was meant to be nap we thought it was. that used to be in our own minds. we've got to pull us together and i think what joe biden is trying to do is exactly that. what president trump doing is trying to split us in ways along
ethnic, religious, racial, economic, cultural lines, but to divide us, and divided, frankly, we can't stand against the enemies, and those who domestic, like the militias cited by the fbi as being a threat to the american people. >> and your article, we should note, was written before this phone call between the president and the georgia secretary of state. what's your reaction to this breaking news today? what we are hearing from the sitting president of the united states? >> well, to me, i remember the words "russia." "are you listening? "president zelensky, are you listening?" he's done this, the president using his power in order to get someone else to do something illegal or unethical. here is a classic case of the president reaching out to the secretary of state of georgia, a republican saying, come on.
find me a few, a hundred thousand votes. got to do this. if you don't you're partoning in a crime. what that means is the commander-in-chief who heads up our justice department as such, he is the top law enforcement officer in the country telling the secretary of state of georgia either you find this or you may be in trouble criminality-wise, because you are partoning in a criminal act and ub knyou know that. beware where you're heading on this. basically saying either change some of the votes or you may be charged with co-conspirator and violating the laws of the state of georgia. pretty -- it's pretty sad. it's quite sickening, actually. some say appalling. we're running out of words to really describe what's taking place, but the american people have to understand what's involved here. if we're going to continue to be the beacon of light for the rest
of the world we can't be violating out of own principles. can't say one thing to the world about human rights, an the sanctity of liberty and the sanctity of the right to vote, hom of our forefathers, grandfathers, fathers, have fought to overcome nazism and imperialism, russia, et cetera, the cold war. have made that effort to secure the freedom and the right to vote. the president of the united states wants to overturn and it that say it's only good, only fair and not fraudulent if you vote for me. i think it's a, a clear warning to the american people, i hope. that president trump supporters and their millions, 74 million who voted for him this last time they'll look at this and look inside their hearts. is this the america that you really want to be where the person at the top can say, i can do anythingics i'm not accountable? i can't be charged with any crime? i can't be impeached?
simply absolute power and you have to absolutely support me? i don't think the american people want to live in a country like that and i surely hope not. >> you said this week donald trump is the ringmaster of the republican party and what he expects to do, snap his whip and all the elephants hop up on chairs. what do you make of the republican party right now? >> well, i make exactly that. we've had some very gifted republicans in the senate who are highly educated. whether it's stanford, yale, princeton, harvard, and these highly educated individuals are trying to act like populists. much as the president has, who lives in a gold-plated age, i would say, as far as his lifestyle is concerned, and he tries to pretend that he's for the little guy, or woman. so he panders to the people who are doing poorly in our society while padding pocketbooks of the
wealthy, and some people now pretending to be poppopulists, t educated in society and jumping on the bandwagon saying we can do the same. say we're for the little guy, for the working men and women but we're going to pretend we have republican principles and republican principles, the first one is, rule of law. no one is above it. no one falls below it. ba balanced budgets, engagement with allies, all of these things which represent the true heart of the republican party philosophy is brushed aside. might makes right. yi, all we have to do exercise power that benefits us. the rule of law changes, because we can change the rules. so i think this is -- i mean, we need two vital parties. the republican party that i'm seeing taking place these last several years to be sure is not the party that i joined. it's not the party that had people like howard baker, had
jack danforth, al simpson, dan coats. the list goes on, john mccain. go down the list of people who served in the republican heart who had a big, open tent. now the tent is narrowed and it's time for the tent to collapse and the circus move our town and get back to fundamental principles of believing in law and order, but when we say law and order we have to include the worse justice. law and order without justice is not really law and order. i had a professor who once said to me, you know, if you have freedom without order you have a mess. but if you have order without freedom you is a menace. i think we are heading down the road to having a menace. because we had, preaching order, weren't preaching law. certainly weren't preaching justice. so these are choices we have to make and hoping we'll come to the right conclusion moving forward. joe biden has won this election. we're going to have joe biden for the next four years or his
administration and i hope we can then come back and compete on a fair leveling a we have been and if we can't compete and win on the voting side, then we don't deserve to win. >> former secretary of defense william cohen. thank you. appreciate your time tonight. >> pleasure to be with you. if you're just joining us, president trump in a new audio recording now obtained by cnn trying to pressure georgia secretary of state to magically find his votes so he can win that state. our breaking news continues of a this short break. yelling) he used to have bad breath. now, he uses a capful of therabreath fresh breath oral rinse to keep his breath smelling great, all day long. (combative yelling) therabreath, it's a better mouthwash. at walmart, target and other fine stores.
ordering georgia's secretary of state to reject the will of the voters. and find the votes needed to hand him a win in that state. this extraordinary audio first obtained by the "washington post" and now by cnn further show the president's refusing to accept the results of a free and fair election. >> under the law you're not allowed to give faulty election results. you're not allowed to do that and hats what you've done. this is a faulty election raumt and this should go very fast. it should be tomorrow. you have a big election coming up and because of what you've done to the president, you know, the people of georgia know that this was a scam. and because of what you've done to the president, a lot of people aren't going out to vote. and a lot of republicans are going to vote negative because they hate what you did to the president. okay? they hate it. they're going to vote. if you would be respected, really respected if this thing
could be straightened out before the election. you have a big election coming up on tuesday. >> greg blustein is a political reporter for the "atlantic journal constitution." take a listen to this. >> in that this moment when the president of the united states calls up georgia's election officials and tries to intimidate them to change the result of the elections, to disenfranchise georgia voters, to disenfranchise black voters in georgia, who delivered this state for joe biden and kamala harris. [ horns honking ] that is a direct attack on our
democracy, and if david perdue and kelly loeffler had one piece of steel in their spines, one shred of integrity, they would be out here defending georgia voters from that kind of assault. >> greg, do you think this will significantly affect the georgia runoff election? >> it could. because it could further depress republican turnout for at least the moderate republicans who are appalled by this type of behavior from the president and also encourage more democrats to turn out, because this plays into the argument that both jon ossoff and raphael warnock has said, too loyalty to trump pulte loyalty to trump over the good of georgians. >> have you talked with the secretary of state since the fall call with the president? >> i've talked to his aides. deluged right now. they promised in a tweet earlier this morning and the president made public there was a phone
call yesterday, promised the truth would soon come out and this phone call, the transcript of the phone call and all of these recorders we've been hearing throughout the afternoon shows you exactly what happened during that hour-long conversation. >> right. and the secretary of state there, pushes back. doesn't give the president what he wants to hear. i want you to give viewers a reality check, because, you know, the votes are counted. how many times there in georgia without ever changing results that biden won? >> yeah. three separate tallies of 5 million votes in georgia all showed the same thing. narrow victory by president-elect joe biden. the first democrat to flip the state since 1992. that is outraged president trump but no evidence whatsoever of widespread voter fraud. a tally, a verification of signatures on absentee ballot envelopes in the suburban county of cobb county showed no evidence of any voter fraud there either. so at every turn, the state
elections official, republican state election officials, i should add, have been rebuking the president along with governor brian kemp and geoff duncan saying they can't overturn elections results just because the president is demanding they do so. >> appreciate your time. thank you. congressman adam schiff now slammed president trump over leaked audio and called it criminal. but is it? we'll ask our legal expert next. stay with us. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." it has triple action support for your joints, cartilage and bones. and unlike big glucosamine chondroitin pills, it's all in one tiny pill. try move free ultra now. feel the difference.
who have turned into their parents. i'm having a big lunch and then just a snack for dinner. so we're using a speakerphone in the store. is that a good idea? one of the ways i do that is to get them out of the home. you're looking for a grout brush, this is -- garth, did he ask for your help? -no, no. -no. we all see it. we all see it. he has blue hair. -okay. -blue. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us. -keep it coming. -you don't know him. our breaking news this hour. remarkable new audio of president trump this weekend attempting to pressure the republican secretary of state in georgia to quote/unquote find just enough votes to put him on top of joe biden in the election that has already been decided. in this recording of saturday's phone call first obtained by the "washington post" the president uses conspiracy theories to try and cast doubt on this election
that has been confirmed and validated over and over. >> so, look, all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state. so -- so tell me. brad, what e wr goiare we going? we won the election and it's not fair to take it away from us. it's going to be very costly in many ways. >> this call between the president and the secretary of state brad raffensperger, lasted more than one hour. there's no indication that either raffensperger or his general counsel on that call agreed to the president's demands. in fact, we hear them push back. on the president's end of the line, his chief of staff mark
meadows listening in. and accusing the president of lying about their call in a tweet this morning with us now cnn contributor, a law professor at university of texas. showing a tweet from house intelligence chairman adam schiff who led the trump impeachment trial last year and calls what he heard in this recording potentially criminal. is it? >> you know, ana, a good case that it is. there's a federal statute that the prohibits anyone especially someone in the official capacity like the president from trying to interfere with how states count their votes. multiple georgia statutes that the president probably violated by attempting to intimidate the secretary of state and into changing the tally. there's a larger point here. we hear all of this noise from republicans in congress, from josh hawley, from ted cruz, about the need to uncover all of the sort of problems with the vote. election irregularity, to have a commission on integrity.
ana, the call makes clear the president is not interested in fraud. right? the president just want to win and doesn't care hour. even if it means breaking the law and encouraging others to do so to get there. >> what was your initial reaction when you first heard the audio? >> is it possible to be both horrified and not surprised at this point? you know, the reality is that with this president, i find this completely unsurprising, and yet it's such a symptom of where we are. folks saying this is not a problem. it's appropriate. it's fine. again, i think the larger point is, what are we actually fighting about at this point? fighting about dispute electors? no. are we fighting about verified instances of fraud that call into question results in any of these states let alone enough of them to change the result? no. to the 12 republican senators and over 100 congressional republicans who are simply saying they're going to challenge the electoral slate on wednesday, ana, what this call
drives home is that it's not because they actually believe there was any mischief. the only mischief is they're preferred candidate lost. >> this president will be out of office in just over two weeks. what can you done about this actions if they're considered illegal? >> i mean, it's possible, of course, that a future president could instruct his department of justice to investigate whether there were violations of federal criminal statutes. of course, ana, the states have their own authority to prosecute criminal offenses. possible the georgia attorney general really could look into the contact violating those stc statutes. that's unlikely. the reality, folks will want to move on. the harder and larger question is, how do we actually convince the folks who continue to buy into the theory they're being spun that there was this massive fraud to cheat the president out of his victory? that this actually is not about fraud at all. this is just about a president who likes power, who's trying to
cling on to that power with every single reserve available to him and will stop at no length to do it. our system's not really designed to handle a president like that, when as we're seeing now so many members of his party are willing to go along with it. >> turn to this battle over objections planned by some republicans to the electoral college results, which you mentioned, know, will not change the results. joe biden will end up being the president in 17 days from now. so what are the potential outcomes of this spectacle? >> yeah. so the way that the electoral count act of 1877 works, as long as any one member of the house and any one senator joins in objection to a particular state's slate of electors both chambers have to vote whether or not to accept the objection. we know, ana, no way either chamber let alone both of them will vote to abstain any of
these it. ted cruz and their colleagues are proposing, drag out this process a few hours maybe a couple days. it's not going to change the bottom line. which drives home this really is not about trying to actually alter the result of the 2020 election. this is really political posturing for those who see themselves at potential front-runner for the republican nomination in 2024 and trying to just capitalize on the anger the president has instilled in his supporters over these unsubstantiated claims of a stolen election. >> disgusting. thank you very much. appreciate your expertise. >> thank you. all eyes on what republican lawmakers will do wednesday when they have the responsibility to count the electoral votes and do final certification of the election. tonight there are a growing number of republicans coming out strongly against the plans from their gop colleagues to object to the count. that would certify biden as president. much more on that just ahead. live in the "cnn newsroom." giv.
more breaking news on cnn. it is a busy night. nancy pelosi narrowly re-elected moments ago as speaker of the house for a fourth time. this comes as the 117th congress was just sworn in today. take a listen to speaker pelosi moments ago. >> this sacred ritual of renewal as we gather under the dome of this temple of democracy to begin the 117th congress.
[cheers and applause] thank you, leader mccarthy. congratulations on your election as leader. i look forward to working with you to meet the needs of the american people during this great moment of challenge. as the leader knows, usually on this day the day of our swearing in, there is a bipartisan church service we all attend where we pray together for america. until that is possible again, let us all pray personally, pray that let there be peace on earth and let it begin with us. that is our recurring theme. [ applause ] and our prayers as we all know are very needed now. as we are sworn in today, we accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any
previous generation of leadership has ever faced. we begin this new congress during a time of extraordinary difficulty. each of our communities has been drastically, drastically affected by the pandemic and its economic crisis. 350,000 tragic deaths. we sadly carry them in our hearts. over 20 million infections. millions without jobs. a toll beyond comprehension. to our new members, we will be welcoming them soon to swear them in, welcome and congratulations on your election to the united states house of representatives. >> pelosi's re-election comes amid more breaking news. president trump in a shameless and outrageous phone call
pressuring georgia's secretary of state to find enough votes to tilt the election the news coming in as the new congress is sworn in ahead of what is sure to be a spectacle next week when at least a dozen republican senators and 140 house republicans say they will oppose the certification of joe biden's win. we'll go to capitol hill. manu raji joins us. are we getting any republican reaction to this out of georgia? >> very little so far. some have been critical of the president, have voiced their concerns. but we're not hearing for the most part from the republican leaders. it is very similar to what we've seen through controversy after controversy during the trump years. most of the time the republican leadership doesn't say very much. this is all going to come to a head on wednesday amid the effort by the conservative house members along with some senate republicans to try to overturn the biden victory from november. that is not going to succeed but it will spark a debate. it will spark a vote. it'll put a lot of republicans in a difficult spot.
now, in the aftermath of this report about what the president was saying to the georgia secretary of state, some republicans reacted with alarm one of which is congressman adam kinzinger who has been an outspoken critic of the president's efforts to try to subvert the will of the voters, kinzinger said this is absolutely appalling to every member of congress considering objecting to the election results. you cannot in light of this do so with a clean conscience. now, as i mentioned, this comes as a number of republicans are plotting to try to overturn the elections come wednesday. most house republicans we expect could be up to a majority of house republicans who get behind this effort. we expect a minority of senate republicans that are not going to get a majority in either chamber but the republican leadership particularly in the house is split. one congresswoman liz cheney who is a number 3 republican made clear in a conference call last week to her members this was not the way to go and she sent around a memo this morning, 21 pages, laying out her concerns.
she said such objections set an exceptionally dangerous precedent threatening to steal the states' explicit constitutional responsibility for choosing the president and bestowing it instead on congress. this is directly at odds with the constitution's clear text and our core beliefs as republicans. a key republican on the other side of this i'm told is kevin mccarthy the top house republican who has not said much publicly about this effort but i am told he has given a green light to these conservatives trying to push to overturn the elections and even told the president he is on the president's side. we're seeing these divisions play out privately but come wednesday they'll be public, ana. >> there is so much that can happen between now and then, too. you never know. manu raji thanks for keeping us posted on this. cnn has obtained more audio from the phone call between president trump and the georgia secretary of state. our breaking news continues after a short break. proven ingredients that fuel 5 indicators
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you are live in the cnn newsroom. i'm ana cabrera in new york. we are following stunning breaking news out of the white house this evening. in newly released audio the president of the united states is heard issuing stark and possibly illegal demands to the georgia secretary of state ordering him to find more than 11,000 nonexist ent votes and insisting that he won the state
of georgia after multiple recounts we know he did not. the jaw dropping conversation between president trump and georgia's secretary of state brad raffensberger took place yesterday. just listen to this excerpt and decide for yourself does it sound like a president or a crime boss? >> hello, brad and ryan and everybody. we appreciate the time and the call. so we've spent a lot of time on this, and if we could just go over some of the numbers i think it's pretty clear that we won. we won very substantially, georgia. you even see it by rally size frankly. we'd be getting 25,000, 30,000 people a rally and the competition would get less than a hundred people. it never made sense. we have a number of things. anywhere from 250 to 300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls.