tv CNN Tonight with Don Lemon CNN January 4, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PST
those votes would be counted for me or not. but i fought to make sure every vote got counted. and that we never had to question, whether voters would be heard from again. what he is attempting to do is the exact opposite. he only likes the voters he likes to be heard. he is doing his best to dismantle the system. he is arguing against a system that we fixed through fair fight, and through the democratic party. that no matter where you lived in the state of georgia, if you filed an absentee ballot and you needed to fix a mistake, you were notified. if you were black or latino or asian-american, your ballot was twice as likely to be rejected. if you were young, it was five times more likely. this election, that wasn't the problem. and so, there is absolutely no comparison, except that both of us used the word vote. i am fighting against voter suppression, to make sure voter access is always available. and he is fighting to make himself the victor, by disenfranchising and disallowing voters that he doesn't care for.
there is nothing common, in what we're doing. and it's deeply -- it's a deep disservice to georgians, to think that his allegations, his fraudulent allegations, should have any countinance. >> you think you have a chance winning either of these special elections? >> absolutely. in 2008, 2.1 million voters cast their ballots. as of today, more than 3 million have already voted, early. and of that number, 112,000 are people, who didn't vote in november, but believe it was so important that they showed up. 40% of those voters are black voters. and 22% of those voters are under the age of 25. those are communities that wouldn't normally show up, but they understand how critical this election is, and we think they are excellent harbingers of what can happen tomorrow, if every voter shows up. >> stacey abrams, well argued and thank you.
we'll be watching. thank you, all, for watching. thank you very much for watching. "cnn tonight." the big show, with the big man, d lemon, right now. >> i'm all hopped up on energy drink that i stole from your office, when you were on the air. >> what? >> you left it on your desk. so, i went in to take you a present. and -- >> wasn't my office. >> yeah, it was your office. yeah. >> you sure it was energy drink? sometimes, i just put things in those. >> let me see. do you recognize this? >> ah. >> yeah, thank you, sir. >> does it smell like tequila? >> christopher-o, how are you? >> don lemon. how do you say -- >> don't get in trouble. stop it. we cannot get in trouble, on the first night back. >> we got to joke about the absurd because it allows us to focus on the realities that matter. >> it's true. but i got to tell you. i usually don't do this but i had to because there's so much going on. after that ridiculous phone call
last night, and you did it right. i am going to take my engagement band on, and i am going to put it on here. and i'm going to sit there and say, ay, ay, it's criminal, what you're doing, everybody's going to hate you. everyone hates you. you should -- you got to look into it. they're changing the -- the machines, on the inside. they're -- they're -- they're burning ballots. they're -- they're destroying ballots. don't you know? no, mr. president, none of that is -- >> your problem is the data. that was -- that was a gutsy thing, that secretary of state to say, to the president of the united states. >> it was very gutsy but it's the truth and you know what? i -- he is a man of faith, and i learned about it tonight, as i was watching cnn. that he is a man of faith, and he is relying on his faith. and that's why he could just sit there, and just, very stoically, say i'm sorry, mr. president, you're wrong. i didn't find out about this
tape until late in the evening, yesterday, as i was on my way to the grocery store. you know, us southerners, have to get those meals in for new year's. you got to -- you got to get the black e-eyed peas, the cornbrea. i was on my way to the supermarket, and i just couldn't stop listening to the tape, over and over. unbelievable! >> it's one of the rare examples, where the clips don't do it justice, because you see, in the entire hour, he is just going from desperation to desperation. he never offers one legitimate piece of proof for this secretary of state to act on. >> not one. >> and he just gets more and more threatening. and by the way, he had some real hitters in the room with him on that call. i don't know what his lawyer was thinking. i saw the statement from her firm. i don't know why she didn't leave the room. >> well, here is the thing. no one listens to the real evidence, right, i mean, at least on that side. and it's not just the president.
he is -- he's sitting there, trying to coerce, co-opt, cajole, how many cs can i do, right? that's a lot going on. just the cs. and there are other ones. to -- try -- to the secretary of state, to bring him over to his side. in the meantime, acting like a mob boss. a legit con man. someone, who is delusional, who seems manic. i just have to be honest, its ws the craziest thing i ever heard, and if you ever heard desperation in anyone's voice, it was that. but it's not just him. it is a self-feeding loop. it's the people, in that room, who are feeding him bs, who are going along with it. someone needs to be like the secretary of state and say, mr. president, i'm sorry, you are wrong. the information you have is wrong. the data you have is wrong. this has already been investigated. so, for you trump people who are out there, supporters, on the fence, if you are going to watch this on social media.
the president said nothing on that call last night, none of it was true, except for the fact where he said this is trump media, and there you go. it's a self-fulfilling loop. a self-fulfilling prophecy that's happening in georgia. that's another story. a feedback loop, that just keeps going around with just disinformation, disinformation, disinformation. >> i think you -- and i think you nail what we have to focus on, also. look. trump, i believe, will be remembered as the worst. we've never seen anybody abuse the office, the way he has. not in our lifetime. but the people, those who remain, the kevin mccarthys, the people in the house, the people in the senate. >> embarrassing. >> who are enabling this, who are complicit in it. you know, the man he called lyin' ted. the man he called little marco. you know, mr. bible boy. you know, he's got a bible quote for every moment, he just never speaks truth to power or acts on any of it, in the interest of his own state or of this country. they remain, and they all know
what they're doing is bogus. they know what they're doing on the 6th is bogus. think about it. they say they have to do this, don, because the irregularities demand it. but the irregularities on that tape don't? >> it's not true. but, chris, this is the thing that gets me that is so ridiculous. you said one of them. his -- his -- his loss is not legitimate, but their win is legitimate? on the same ballot. it makes no sense. but the other thing is, is that we have -- we must do this because we have millions and millions of voters, who believe this election was illegitimate, and it was stolen. why do they believe that? because you have been telling them that. of course, they're going to believe it. if you would stop telling them that and start telling them the truth, then, maybe, they would believe the truth, that the election was not stolen and that it was a clean election. according to everyone who has investigated, most of them republicans. so, stop saying that we must respect trump supporters who believe bullshit because it is
bullshit that you have been feeding them. the president and you have been feeding them the bs. and now that they believe it, all of a sudden, you -- again, another self-fulfilling prophecy and feedback loop. i can't believe that my constituents believe this. so, i must go out -- and yet, i've told them this is -- it's all bs and it's all made up. and guess what? as i said, when -- when trump was in office for -- you know, in the middle of his -- karma is a you know what because there will be -- come a time when democrats have control. and if they start doing the same thing that you have been doing for the last couple of years, you are going to be pissed off. and guess what? it has happened. sorry, go on. >> the democrats should g, also. but i hope the 6th, you know, and i want to make sure people understand this. i hope it goes bad. and not because i want any more drama. god knows, we don't need it. but, i want you to see the
namesment i want y names. i want you to see the faces. and i want you to remember who stands up when they know it's wrong, and says that what they're doing is right. they will be lying to you, and you must remember them. they're only doing this because they think they have a shot, at the top. >> never gonna get it. never gonna get it. josh hawley? come on. ted cruz? lying ted? come on. never will he allow anyone oxygen in that party to become president, besides him. mark my words. >> i'll mark them. i'm being told enough. >> thank you. >> you got to get it right. christophero. don lemone. >> i love you. >> i love you more. happy new year to ya. >> happy new year. >> this is "cnn tonight." i am don lemon. listen. i got to say. okay. so, stop saying -- this is -- think about this. when trump won.
you got to stop using this excuse, people, it makes no sense. okay? when trump won, you have to respect the trump vote, you have to listen. there were so many trump-voter panels, and people going to trump country. and now that trump lost, you have to respect the trump voter, you have to listen to them. when do you listen to the non-trump voter? when do you listen to the majority of the people in this country, non-trump voters? so, stop saying we must listen and we must respect. you lost. you lost. people listened to you for the last four years, and guess what? they didn't buy the whatever it is that you were selling. okay? so, stop it. why must people listen to the loser? this is no time to stand on the sidelines, people. you stand up for democracy, and you do it now. or you live with that failure, forever. no do-over. there is no do-over.
there's no next time. and our breaking news. the current president, doubling down on his election delusion, tonight. >> no way, we lost georgia. there's no way. that was a rigged election. but, we're still fighting it and you will see what's going to happen. we'll talk about it, and i just want to thank you. this is some crowd. you know, biden was here today, also. they had 14 people and three cars. no. there was no way. and i just want to thank you. you know, i've had two elections. i won both of them. it's amazing. >> one adviser is telling cnn his actions are those of a dictator, who wants to burn the presidency to the ground, on his way out. quote. an arsonist will always light the match. well, the match is lit. who is going to put it out? we know who the enablers are.
who -- we know who -- who are the defenders, is the question? are you -- are you listening to the president? can you listen to him call, on tape, trying to steal votes in georgia? sounding like a gangster, not a gangsta, a gangster. translation, find me enough votes to win. >> 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. >> that, on the eve of another election, one that will decide the balance of power in the senate. >> we have won this election, in georgia, based on all of this. and there's -- there's nothing wrong with -- with saying that, brad. you know, i mean, having --
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, even. and the people of georgia are angry. the people of the country are angry. and there's nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you've recalculated. >> recalculated. that's a new one. i'm going to have to use that. there's nothing wrong with saying, hey, boss, i need -- there's nothing wrong with saying, if you recalculate, you should give me more. that's my new thing. recalculate it. you guys can have it. i took it from the president. so the secretary of state, brad raffensperger, refusing to recalculate. standing up to the president, telling him his data is wrong, and going onto say this, today. >> the last two months, we've been fighting a room of whack-a-mole. we have debunked every one of those theories that have been
out there, but president trump continues to believe them. we debunked the one about state farm arena. we continue to debunk this. we believe truth matters. >> the truth does matter. but not to the president. i know, people hate this language but it's the truth. he wants a coup. i said it. a coup. repeat it, over and over, on state tv and conservative media. that's what he wants, a coup. with himself at the top, where he thinks he belongs. that's what he thinks. state election official, gabe sherling -- sterling, excuse me, today delivering a blistering takedown of the president's election lies. pretty much, all of them. >> the reason i'm having to stand here, today, is because there are people in positions of authority and respect, who have said their votes didn't count and it's not true. the president's legal team had the entire tape. they watched the entire tape. and then, from our point of view, intentionally misled the state senate, voters, and the people of the united states about this. they say that there is 2,423 people, who voted without being
registered. let's just be clear about this. you can't do it. then, there is the claim that 66,248 people, below the age of 18, voted. the actual number is zero. 4,926 voter past the registration deadline. again, it's zero. there is no shredding of ballots going on. that's not real. it's not happening. a potential hacking of dominion equipment during a senate hearing last week. that did not happen, either. secretary raffensperger does not have a brother named ron raffensperger. that is, also, not real. the president tweeted that out as well. we have seen nothing, in our investigations, that show there is nearly enough ballots to change the outcome. this is all, easily, provably, false. yet, the president persists. >> because none of it, not a word, is true. not a word. i guess, if you are going to lie, go big. gabe sterling and brad
raffensperger. both, republicans. though, that really should not matter. standing up for the truth. this is a line in the sand. and far too many republicans, far too many, are on the wrong side. this attempted coup, just make sure i pronounce it for when they repeat it on state tv and others, this attempted coup is the real fraud, here. a fraud, perpetrated on the american people. and now, is the time for republican senators to make a choice. but too many of them are making the wrong choice. top-house republican, kevin mccarthy, quietly supporting the attack on the electoral college. quietly. you know what? your actions and your cowardice speak loud and clear. and how about vice president mike pence? what's he say for himself? >> i promise you, come this wednesday, we'll have our day in congress.
>> the ultimate sycophant. it's time for choosing, mike pence. what will you do? will you choose the constitution? or will you trample on it, in service of an unworthy man? we're all watching. it's not enough for them to try to steal the election, in georgia. now, the president wants his vice president to steal it, in congress. >> and i hope mike pence comes through for us, i have to tell ya. i hope that our great vice president, our great vice president, comes through for us. he's a great guy. of course, if he doesn't come through, i won't like him quite as much. >> sure, some republicans are speaking out. some of them. saying that this is wrong. but, is it too little, too late? former speaker of the house, paul ryan, putting out a statement. a statement.
a strongly-worded statement, objecting to the attack on the electoral college, after however many trump tweets that he claimed not to have seen. remember when asked, i haven't seen that tweet. always, never seeing it. after sitting silently on the board of state tv, i.e., fox news, while they spread the president's false narratives. and then, there is congressman thomas massey, maybe being a little more honest than he intended. putting out a statement, admitting that, without the electoral college, this is what everybody knows, but republicans won't say it out loud but he did. without the electoral college, republicans couldn't win elections. and let's remember, the president's not the only one leaning on georgia's election officials to do his bidding. i want you to listen to what reverend raphael warnock who is running against kelly loeffler says, today. >> but, don't just focus on the
man on the phone, behind the orange curtain. because he's a part of an ongoing issue because, just a few weeks ago, there was another politician in south carolina who called the secretary of state in georgia. and he said, essentially, the same thing. they both said the same thing. can't you find 11,000 votes? isn't that interesting? >> hmm. you know who he's talking about. top-trump enabler, lindsey graham. and raffensperger's team backs him up on that. one adviser telling "politico," and i quote here. lindsey graham asked us to throw out legally cast ballots. so, yeah, after that call, we decided, maybe, we should do this.
and if what we are hearing from the president sounds familiar, it should. his oh-so-serious concern about election integrity, now that he's lost. is the new concern about ukraine. remember, when the president was so concerned about corruption in ukraine that he held up military aid, just hours after his infamous, so-called perfect call with ukraine's president? here we go, again. another, perfect call and you heard it. another attempt to lean on a public official to get what he wants. and the return of minion number one, rudy giuliani. these are the people in his ear. rudy giuliani. with one bogus conspiracy theory, after another. remember when senator susan collins tried to defend her
decision to vote to acquit the president in his impeachment trial? i'll remind you. >> i believe that the president has learned from this case. >> what do you believe the president has learned? >> the president has been impeached. that's a pretty big lesson. i believe that he will be much more cautious, in the future. >> come on. really? he sure did learn his lesson, didn't he? and the lesson he learned is that he can do anything he wants. that he can trample all over our democracy, and get away with it because people are just -- i'm just deeply concerned. how do you feel now, susan collins? hmm? what lesson did he learn? that is exactly what he was impeached for.
remember when fiona hill testified john bolton refused to get involved in the drug deal, that was their quote, drug deal the president's men were cooking up? >> you tell eisenberg, ambassador bolton told me, that i am not part of this whatever drug deal that mulvaney and sondland are cooking up. >> rudy giuliani and president trump. rudy giuliani and president trump are cooking up this whole deal, again, this time. remember, fiona hill, blasting the fictional narrative that ukraine interfered in our election. >> some of you on this committee appear to believe that russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country. and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, ukraine did. this is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the russian-security services, themselves. the unfortunate truth is that russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions, in 2016. this is the public conclusion of
intelligence agencies confirmed in bipartisan congressional reports. it is beyond dispute. >> this is another, fictional narrative. that means it did not happen. it is the same playbook, different game, though. so, another trip down memory lane. remember, when diplomat george kent testified about giuliani's campaign of lies against former ambassador marie yovanovitch? >> what i can say is that rudy giuliani's smear campaign was ubiquitous in the spring of 2019, on fox news and on the internet and twitter sphere. >> sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it? a smear campaign. ubiquitous on fox news and twitter. rudy giuliani, in the middle of the scheme by the president. a guy who, very much, knows what is happening. a very capable guy. that's what he said. remember when the president said he wanted a favor from ukraine?
like i said, this is exactly the kind of thing he was impeached for. >> so, what are we going to do here, folks? i only need 11,000 votes. fellas, i need 11,000 votes. give me a break. >> i mean, you have to listen to the whole thing. wow. >> the president knew, all along, what was at stake. he knew joe biden was his toughest competitor. so, he tried to take him out then. ah-ha. we told ya that. that's what the -- didn't believe it. so, he knew it. and guess what? he lost. so, maybe he did know something. and the president was right. biden was his toughest competitor. biden won. so, trump's trying to take him out, now. but, there will be a new president, and this is what he says, tonight. joe biden, tweeting. in america, politicians can't
assert, take, or seize power. it has to be given by the american people. we can't ever give that up. the will of the people must always prevail. and it will. just watch. keep calm and carry on. it's going to be a little crazy, for the next couple days. maybe, next few weeks. fasten your seatbelts. but, make sure you wear 'em. like i said, the current president is doubling down on his election delusions. but, will his scheme continue? even after georgia officials dropped a truth bomb on him? pa. i mean, who doesn't love obsessing over network security? all our techs are pros. they know exactly which parking lots have the strongest signal. i just don't have the bandwidth for more business. seriously, i don't have the bandwidth. glitchy video calls with regional offices? yeah, that's my thing.
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polls open in georgia, just a few hours. the results of two key, runoff elections will determine which party controls the u.s. senate. that, as supporters continue to attempt to steal the election. let's bring in white house correspondent, kaitlan collins. john kasich, former governor of ohio. and john dean, former white house counsel for president nixon. also, the author of "authoritarian nightmare trump and his followers." good evening, to one and all. happy new year, to one and all. kaitlan, you first. dark days. a delusional president, as he speaks there in georgia. probably, wrapping up. we are learning much, much more
about the attempted coup and where the president's plot goes next. what do you know? >> well, don, it was the first thing the president brought up, as he was on stage here, tonight. saying he did not lose that election. though, of course, we know that the president did. he's basically been insisting what we have been seeing him say, privately or publicly, as well here tonight on stage. and, of course, this is supposed to be about kelly loeffler and david perdue and their race tomorrow. but the president has just as much, don, made it about his election loss. and he is even going after some of the republican lawmakers he brought with him. including, utah senator, mike lee, who has not said that he will object to those results on wednesday. and the president brought that up repeatedly tonight, saying he was a little bit mad at him. and then, just again, referencing a few minutes ago. so, clearly, you can see, don, the president is trying to take this pressure campaign against republicans who have not come out on his side yet. he did invite kelly loeffler to
the stage. she says she will. and of course, that comes as the president is here campaigning on her behalf. >> all right. john kasich. let's talk about some of the things i talked about in the open to the show. some republicans are speaking out. some. not as many as are supporting the attempted coup. what do their actions say to you, mr. kasich? >> well, don, the problem is this is really undermining democracy in our country. i mean, it has to -- you know, to have a good, solid democracy, you have to have consent of the people. here, we have 30% of the people thinking the election was stolen. and you have to have faith in our basic institutions, which include the elections. so, don, we can look at this in the short-term, but this is another blow to the most important democratic institutions that our founders created. and it's undermining so much in our country. and it's -- i'm just so sad that -- i'll tell you another thing, don. it's all about selfishness, me,
too. over half the house republicans and 13 of them in the senate, it's all about themselves. it's not about the country. and you start to worry that people are so willing to just take care of themselves, and it doesn't matter what happens to the country. and it's just a -- this is not some simple, light kind of dismissal that will occur on wednesday. it is another severe blow to the -- to the things that we believe in, in terms of a -- of our great country, america, and -- and a democracy. this undermines so much, and it's terrible. >> yeah. >> and i'm worried about it. >> yeah. and everyone should be worried about it and people are believing that the -- this election was fraudulent, that it was stolen. or that -- that there was massive, voter fraud because that is what they are being told by the very people who are trying to undermine our democracy. number one, president of the united states. so, if you tell people that and
they have your trust, they trust you. of course, they are going to believe you, even when it is false information. john dean, you are calling president trump's georgia call a shakedown. president trump was impeached one year ago. is this an impeachable offense? should they do that? or is it just not enough time left? what do you think? >> well, don, it clearly is an impeachable offense. and as the governor knows, anything -- i certainly think this would hit all the historical precedents and what have you. it's not going to happen because, one, there is no time. secondly, the senate would not go along with anything. what the remedy could be, if there was impeachment, would be to disqualify him for future office. that would be the sanction, at this point. i think, what they -- congress should be doing is looking at a censure, where they convene next -- when the new congress convenes. particularly, if georgia delivers the senate to the
democra democrats, and they have a -- congressional control in the democrats' hands. i think they ought to put together a joint committee to investigate all these abuses of office, and think about a resolution of censure. only one president has ever been really clearly censured. that was andrew jackson. he hated it. his supporters later took it -- expunged it from the record, though history never did. and it can -- it can put shame, where a president who doesn't want to accept it, gets it officially. regardless of his own feelings. >> listen. i have to apologize to all of you because our time is short because i went a little bit long in the top. but, you know, you've been here before. we'll have you again. so, thank you, all. i will see you soon. i appreciate it. happy new year to you. a trump adviser admitting trump's call was a mistake, but was it legal? okay. this is -- you have to watch this next segment because my next guest has won dozens of cases against the trump campaign, when it comes to this election.
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so, president trump facing potential, legal jeopardy, after pursuing georgia's secretary of state to find thousands of -- pressuring, i should say, to find thousands of votes to reserve his -- to reverse, excuse me, his loss in the state. the president implying brad raffensperger could face legal consequences, if they didn't come up with the votes. >> it's more illegal for you, than it is for them because 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 -- and, you know, you can't
let that happen. that's -- that's a big risk, to you and to ryan. your lawyer. it's going to be very costly, in many ways. >> what does all of this mean? so, what does it mean? sit down and listen to this next segment. democratic voting rights attorney and founder of democracy docket, mark elias, is here. thank you so much. i'm happy that you're here. >> thank you for having me. >> so, you have won a bunch of cases. you know this, back and forth, like the back of your hand. you say this -- this call is outright criminal. what do you think president trump said that's the most damning? what's criminal? >> well, i think two things. i think, number one, you know, he is clearly trying to pressure a state official to falsely change the results of the election. and that is so, deeply, deeply troubling and legally problematic that it's almost, if you didn't hear it on tape, you wouldn't believe it was true. >> uh-huh. i mean, just outright, on tape,
right? the -- who was it that said -- someone said, today, that they couldn't believe that they would ever hear the president of the united states committing a crime on tape. the president and his team have failed, disastrously, in the courts. you have them at 61 losses, and just one win. and tonight, trump is complaining about the supreme court. listen to this. >> and i'm not happy with the supreme court. they are not stepping up to the plate. they're not stepping up. how about that? we don't have -- look at the supreme court. president of the united states. i want to file suit. i want to do -- and they say, sir, you can't -- you really can't do that. why? so, they have legal reasons. complex, legal reasons. it's wrong. if you're the president of the united states and you get defrauded out of an election, you should be able to file a suit. but we can't do that. >> what is he talking about?
it sounds like he doesn't understand why the supreme court rejected his bid to overturn the election. what is he talking about? >> i have no idea. one of the tells with donald trump is that when he is lying, normally, you -- you -- it's kind of like in his normal kadenka cadence. when he is lying exceptionally, he goes into his sir business. i promise you, there is no justice on the supreme court who said, sir, you can't file the case. okay. his cases, that he filed, were in state courts, federal courts, elected judges, appointed judges. judges he appointed, himself. and in all 61 of those cases, they were dismissed. sometimes, they were dismissed because they were procedurally improper. other times, they were dismissed because the judges said there was no evidence supporting his claim. so, i have no idea what delusion he is living under, right now. but, it is -- it is simply not true that the courts have denied him and his legal team an opportunity to have their case heard. remember when rudy giuliani went to court in pennsylvania and that was going to be the big case? >> right.
>> well, you know, we all saw what happened there. >> do -- when you are listening to this -- before i let you go, when you were listening to this in real time, when you were first hearing it, is your head popping? like, what are you thinking? i was just stunned. what are you thinking, what did you think when you heard this tape? >> honestly, what i thought is it doesn't surprise me that this is what donald trump is doing. but it's really, profoundly sad that over 100 republican members of congress and 11-plus united states senators are going along with this charade and this -- this political nonsense. and joe biden's going to be elect -- is going to be sworn in on january 20th. but the damage that ted cruz and -- and -- and his support -- his colleagues in the senate are doing and the republicans are doing in the house. we will be living with for years and years to come. >> mark, it's a pleasure having you. thank you, sir. happy new year to you. >> happy new year. >> stay sane. >> everyone, go vote in georgia
tomorrow. >> yes. amen. amen. i'm glad you reminded folks of that. i will see you soon. a warning from all -- all ten, all of them, ten living, former defense secretaries. their concerns about the transition of power. we are going to break it down with a former secretary of defense, and that is william cohen, and he is next. to help you prepare for the future, without sacrificing what's most important to you today. because with fidelity, you can feel confident that the only direction you're moving is forward.
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the president caught on tape trying to steal votes. an effort, enabled by a dozen gop senators and over a hundred republican house members. that, as all ten living, former defense secretaries pen an open letter warning, and i quote here, efforts to involve the u.s. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful, and unconstitutional territory. joining me now, one of the signers of that letter, william cohen. thank you so much for joining.
so, you heard the president's call. he's desperate. threatening. pleading for help from georgia's secretary of state to steal the election. what did you think? and how far do you think he'll go with this? >> well, we're seeing the persistence of his corruption. this is not something new. this is how he has operated during most of his lifetime. if you listen to his niece and read her book, if you listen to his own sister, this is consistent with what donald trump has done and continues to do. in that sense, it's not surprising, as stunning as it may be that he can be so blatant, i think, in criminality. i know, people are saying, well, did he have the requisite criminal intent to violate the law? well, i think he did. i'm just giving my supposition. but, if he didn't, what does that say about him? if he didn't have the requisite intent, and he is just doing it because he believes it, that, in itself, tells you he's not qualified to be in office. there is something fundamentally wrong. and you go back through the law.
you say, well, what's a criminal defense or insanity, couldn't tell right from wrong. well, that may be the case. or you have an irresistible impulse and couldn't resist it and, therefore, committed the act. but, we are now looking at a man, president of the united states, engaging in overt act of criminal misconduct. and it shouldn't be surprising. he's done it before. but we have to remember, this, also, is a man who -- think about this -- when the national guard was called out in el paso. >> uh-huh. uh-huh. >> because they needed the guard to help move mobile morgues. he was jumping at his golf course to go play golf. that's an image i can never remove from my mind. and i hope all his supporters, and those who are not his supporters, think about that. the commander in chief leaving people to move mobile morgues, while he is out playing golf. and that tells you what he thinks about other people, other than himself. so, george schultz, a great,
george shultz is a great runner is vanity. he said without truth, there can be no trust. and if you don't have trust, there can be no society. so you have to have truth in the home. you have to have truth in the classroom, truth in the locker room, truth in the boardroom, and truth in the military. when that happens, good things take place when you have trust and truth in those cases. good things happen. and when there is no trust and no truth, bad things happen and everything else is simply details. so we are now looking at a situation where the president and his supporters have so saturated the airwaves with lies, misinformation, disinformation, rumors, speculation, that people are having trouble understanding what is true and what is false. and that particular era where we have been in it now for four
years, but now this bodes not well for the united states, because we're standing on the abyss of the destruction of our democracy. so we have to come back to the key principles. we have to have truth in every facet of our lives. when you don't, you will not have the trust of the people. >> i know you said people having trouble. i guess they are. i don't understand it. i don't understand how people can believe so many lies and be conned and conned and conned and conned continually. at some point, you would think that rational adults would have to wake up and say okay, look, this man is lying. none of this is true. i don't know when that happens, but it seems like it should have happened by now. but listen, that's a whole another show, as they say. you join with defense secretaries from five different administrations on this letter that i mentioned as i was introducing you.
it is not a small thing to have mattis, esper, rumsfeld, and chen cheney, cheney, all of you come together. how did this come about and what brought all you have together on this? >> well, first, let's come back to dick cheney. he's a responsible conservative. he's a true conservative in the best sense of the word. and his daughter now is playing out on capitol hill as well. they're speaking the truth from a conservative point of view. donald trump is not a conservative. he's not an ideologue. he's an opportunist. when you have dick cheney, you have don rumsfeld and then you bob gates and you go to jim mattis and mark esper and others. but all of us came to the same conclusion that we are in danger, that we have a commander in chief who is not trying to use the military in order to achieve a political objective.
and so this is before he gave that interview that we have been listening to all day. we didn't know about that tape recording, but that tape recording only confirms what we have been seeing for the past four years, whether it was president zelensky, whether it's locking up his political opponents. this is something we had to think about. we talk about the rule of law, and people have to understand, if there is no rule of law, if people are allowed to abuse it and misuse it, then all of russ in danger. no one is safe. so you can pardon all of your friends, whether it's flynn, or stone, whether it's any of the others he is pardoning, then you try and lock up the people that are his political opponents. michael cohen went to jail for doing what? for doing what the president wanted him to do. >> yeah. >> he's been telling in his book all of the stories, what happened when donald trump in his private life carried over to his public life, and we've been injured as a result of it.
. >> i've got to run. we're out of time. secretary, it's always a pleasure to have you on. happy new year to the lovely missus. and i hope she's watching. >> to you as well. >> thank you. the president's call is shocking. there's no other way to put it. you can try to make excuses for it, but you know you're just making excuses. you know it is shocking. it's not the first time he's been caught on tape. next, we'll explain how we learned everything we needed to know from the very first tape that came out.
i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state. >> okay, in september, we heard the president on another tape previously unreleased when he told bob woodward he purposely downplayed the coronavirus threat. and now over 350,000 people are dead. >> i think, bob, to be honest with you, i wanted to always play it down. i still like playing it down. >> yes. >> because i don't want to create a panic. >> and who could forget the tape of all tapes. one that came to light just days before the 2016 election. the tape when then-reality tv star donald trump brags about sexual assault. >> i'm automatically attracted to people. i just start kissing them.
when you're a star, they let you do it. they let you do anything. you can grab them by the [ bleep ], you can do anything. >> that was the most revealing tape of all, and here's why. it was so appalling, so egregious, so unpresidential. it seemed like it would end his campaign. republicans spoke out against him. but then the hack of hillary clinton's campaign emails dropped, and before you know it, trump had bent the decency of republicans to his will, where it remains to this day. tonight trump isn't conceding. speaking at a rally in georgia, making all sorts of baseless claims and putting pressure on his party to support him. stay with us.