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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 18, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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. you ever heard this line? god gave noah the rainbow sign. in more water. the fire next time. it is a slave hymn and it became the title of a book that rocked people's minds in the '60s, a collection of essays. it was written by somebody who was a colleague of kings, who was mesmerized by king and frustrated as well. it is a perfect statement of where we are today. why am i saying it to you? because one of us has taken time to look into it and see where we are and see ourselves in the same mission. "cnn tonight" with its big star dilemma, he is that man. no more water, fire next time. >> fire next time. >> either you learn to love and reject hate or things can only get worse. >> so i have been -- do you see that? that's from james baldwin. this is, i think, one of my first copies from the 1990s. i thought it was my first one,
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but i have been informed it has notes like on almost every page, right. it is all -- but there's one that is floating around that is all torn and whatever that i think i had before this. but this inspired me to do something. this has been 30 years in the making, so maybe 35, chris. so during the george floyd thing, as you know, i was sitting here and leading a lot of the coverage and people were asking me what do i do, what do i do, what do i do. and i didn't know what to do, and one night i just sat down and i started scribbling things and i contacted someone, and, so, we came up with this, which has been really rushed. it has been really short. it has been less than six months to put this out. so this is an ode to james baldwin and the fire next time and it is called "this is the fire." for me this is not about celling books because you know i have a
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full-time job. i do two hours here, i do a bunch of other things, but this is -- i really think that this book will help heal america in the way that conversation that you just had with secretary cohen about white people having conversations around the dinner table and wherever they are. so all of those people who contacted me and even beyond on social media, everywhere, even people who may disagree with me, who may not like me, you are going to get something from this book because this book is about grace. since we are here on dr. king, you know, one of the most graceful people that we know in our history, and i really think it is going to heal. again, this is not about selling books for me. this is something that came from my heart and just poured out with late nights of jotting things down and writing things and working with a collaborator. it is short, like this, and it
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starts like this, although it is not derivative. it is really inspired by james baldwin. it starts off with a letter to my great-nephew. i start by saying, i dedicated -- because you know over the past couple of years i have gone through a lot, we have covered all of this. i just want to read something to you, okay, because this is how i start. i start with -- i said, it is to the memory of those who paved the way with gratitude to those who march in their footsteps. james baldwin, my sister lisa and all of the not-so-obvious heroes who daily take a stand for truth, like the not-so-obvious heroes who were at the capitol helping to save the lives of democracy and people like the police officers that were there. i start with a letter to my great-nephew. his name is tushard. this was may 25th. i said, i heard a dininying man
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his mama and i wept to the world that will soon belong to you. that's how i start this book. >> remind people, "fire next time" was very resonant in the '60s. it was two essays that had come out earlier. baldwin, we all know who he was. >> yes. >> and he was a correspondent of the time as well as an influencer of the time. first one was an essay to his nephew, which obviously don is adapting, and the next one was really important about where we are right now. >> where we are right now. >> which was an essay about baldwin realizing his place as an african-american growing up in harlem and also looked at the lens of religion, which i think is one of the hard, sticky bits that we have to start talking about here that is really taboo. you don't question people's faith in this country, especially when they're christian. and it is time if we want to get to a better place to realize
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that just putting it in the bi bio of your twitter account does not make you a follower of jesus christ. >> amen. the chapter you are talking about, which is really apropos because it is where it came from, it says, down at the cross, letter from a region in my mind. a region in my mind. how do we deal with this? that's what i kept thinking, how can i help people, how can i help people. let's be honest, unless you do harry potter, i'm going to be honest, you don't really -- what you get from a book is not really that financially amazing, right. i mean it can be helpful, but this is really for me something that i just honestly want people, i just want to help. i think this book is going to help. when i sat back and read it and when the publisher sat back and read it and the editors, they were like, we got to get this out like immediately because this is all that is happening in the world. >> why is it going to help? >> because people are going to
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have conversations that are even stronger than the conversation you had with secretary cohen, that's even stronger than the conversation that you and i have every night, that's even more fulfilling than a conversation that i had with -- you know that officer michael fanone? every day i talk to him. he is like this -- i think he wouldn't mind me sharing. he said one of the good things that happened out of this horrible thing is that i get to have conversations with you, and in those conversations we get to know each other and our awareness of each other and america and the world expands because we are open to it. nothing in common. you know, he has kids. he's a straight, white guy, has kids, whatever, law enforcement, and here i am, this guy on cnn who no kids, engaged, you know -- >> why do you talk every day? >> because it helps. because it helps both of us understand this particular
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moment where we are. if you want to call it kismet, whatever you want to call it, here we are. what do we do? if we are truly going to continue this grand experiment that we call america, then we are going to have to do it together, and we're going to have to have some grace with it. we're going to have to understand each other. we're going to have to -- this is why i think it is going to help. because i think maybe him and those people who went into the capitol and a lot of people out there have been taught a history about america that's not necessarily true. yes, we are a great country. we are the greatest democracy on earth, but there's a lot of our history that has been white washed, that people have not been taught in school or given the wrong history. so now they are angry because they are -- because the truth is coming out in many ways and they don't believe it. >> so that's how -- >> and there are lessons in this book about the history, the true
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history of this country and things that we were taught that are not necessarily true, that there are more people who contributed to the origins of this country and building this country than just white men. >> here is my pitch for the book. the hard part of this, right, because we're not new to this. >> yes. >> you have lived it and i have been what today is called an ally, right, who should be just a conscious human being who is not a black person. here is the sticky bit. people don't want to hear what makes them feel guilty, which makes them feel wrong, which makes them feel uncomfortable, such that what don just said is demonstrably true. okay. there is a whitewashing of history. we have seen it in school and we know why it exists. here is the problem. do you want to hear that if you are struggling and white and you don't want the blame, you are tired of hearing it, you worry
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about yourself, and then somebody like donald trump, who has a lot of power and prestige of a position that we gave him puts out on the same day that we celebrate dr. king's legacy this stuff from a 1776 society, whatever that is supposed to mean, that says, you know, a lot of people believe that this country was founded on slavery and therefore a lie, that there was something disingenuous about equality from its very impinge. but, no, no, no, slavery was the rule in this world, not the exception. therefore, america cannot be blamed for starting in a basis of slavery but wanting equality. it was only what was natural at the time. >> yeah. >> even for christians. >> yeah. >> and that feels better. yes, i like that, that's good, that's better. not this i should feel bad stuff, this is better. how do we deal with it? >> that's not what it is about. how do we deal with that? read it and that's how you figure out how to deal with it. >> this is a book club, it
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should be in a book club. >> which one? >> who has a big book club? who has one? >> oprah? >> oprah winfrey, that's what i was thinking of. this is a perfect book club book because you get collections of people who are only similarly situated by their curiosity of what they can learn together. what is better than this book, lemon? >> we are talking about important stuff in it and being told to move on. please, this is what we're dealing with in this country. that's why this is dr. martin luther king jr. day. this is the insurrection on the capitol, this is the news, what we're talking about now. you're right, but i do have to go because i have to get to what we have planned here. but, everybody, read it, "this is the fire." i promise you that it will be helpful and i thank you for doing what you just did. thank you so much. >> i thank you for doing what you are doing. i love you, don lemon. >> i love you as well. >> this is one reason why. >> "this is the fire," this is a conversation i have with my friends about racism. thank you for indulging me. thank you for tuning in, everyone. i appreciate it.
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this is a special dr. martin luther king jr. edition of "cnn tonight". i'm don lemon. tonight we are just a day and a half away from the moment joe biden raises his right hand, and he is going to take the oath of office, becoming the 46th president of the united states. a short time away. the capitol is under lockdown right now as more and more national guard troops flood the city. this is the moment that we're in. we are learning tonight the current president has recorded a farewell video bragging about his accomplishments, though he hasn't been seen in public since last week. this is not going to be like any inauguration any of us has ever seen, you can bet on that, but it is exactly what we have come to expect from a disgraced president, a president who lost the election and is the first in american history to have been impeached twice. the final days of his administration completely on brand, classless, braceless, unpresidential, all about ego. here we are tonight in the
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divided states of america. we've seen where the president's hostile rhetoric and incompetence has taken our country, to violent insurrection in our national -- in our capitol, i should say, threatening our democracy. it is threatening our democracy to the brink of a horrifying 400,000 americans dying, dead of coronavirus. that's the america joe biden will inherit in just hours. donald trump's divisive, damaging presidency coming to an end on the day we remember the life and work of dr. martin luther king jr., less that two days from the moment kamala harris makes history as the first black/south asian woman to become vice president of the united states. the biden/hairs admirris admini was elected to represent people.
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that as more and more of the republicans who supported this president, who stood by him through every racist attack even as he tried to disenfranchise millions of americans, many of them voters of color. those republicans like mike pence putting out empty tweets quoting dr. king's words. can you believe it? amazing. like mitch mcconnell who supported a president whose actions go against everything dr. king stood for, like lindsey graham who allegedly called georgia election officials to get them to throw out legal votes including large numbers from black voters! ted cruz, who even after the riot on capitol still voted against certifying the electoral college vote. ivanka trump who called the rioters american patriots and then deleted the tweet.
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one republican after another, apparently hoping you will forget their support for a president who used race to pit americans against each other. since you seem to want to understand dr. motorartin luthe king jr., let me give you another quote from him. maybe you will learn something. in his letter from a birmingham jail dr. king wrote in frustration about the white people that didn't get it, the people who stood in the way of process, and i quote here. shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. you might want to read it. you might want to stop and pay special attention to this part, another quote. so the question is, not whether we will be extremists but what kind of extremists.
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will we be extremists for hate or love, for the preservation of justice or for the extension of justice. we know which kind of extremist dr. king was and we know which kind of extremist donald trump is. donald trump created an environment where white supremacists and conspiracy theorists overran the capitol of the united states of america. he used race to divide us from the very beginning, from the racist birther lie that the former president barack obama was not born in this country to both sides in charlottesville to dancing around the question of whether he disavowed the former leader of the ku klux klan. >> and if he want born in this country, which is a real possibility. i'm not saying it happened. i'm saying it is a real possibility, then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics. >> you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. you had people in that group -- excuse me. excuse me.
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i saw the same pictures as you did. >> just so you understand, i don't know anything did david duke, okay. i don't know anything about what you are even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. >> all of that is the opposite of what dr. king stood for, what he died for more than 50 years ago. the former first lady, michelle obama, with some wise words today, and i quote here. she says, leadership based on lies and mistrust and demonizing those who don't agree with you or look like you, that kind of leadership will always end badly whether in destruction, lawlessness or death. but leadership based in honesty, she says, true compassion toward others, leadership driven by dr. king's inescapable network of mutuality, this is true patriotism. she is right. that's true patriotism. that is love of our country.
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remember how the obamas welcomed the trumps to the white house four years ago? look at that. class, grace. remember how they had to -- they had so much respect for our country that they did their duty, even to the birther in chief and his first lady birther in chief. but in spite of that, the obamas showed a grace this president completely is incapable of. remember this scene in the oval office? >> i believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face. i want to emphasize to you, mr. president-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed, because if you succeed
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then the country succeeds. >> imagine if the obamas had acted the way this president acts. can you imagine that? and if anyone had the right to, they certainly did after his racist lies about their family. but barack obama said this, it was in his final press conference as president. >> i believe in this country. i believe in the american people. i believe that people are more good than bad. i believe tragic things happen. i think there's evil in the world, but i think that at the end of the day if we work hard and if we're true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time. >> boy. the contrast there.
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i mean the contrast there in just four years, four years later is stunning. what he says, his demeanor, even the way he is dressed, even the way he addresses the media and the american people. stunning contrast. the current president is fleeing washington in disgrace hours before joe biden takes the oath of office, snubbing the new president. melania trump refusing to invite dr. jill biden for a walk-through of the family living quarters, leaving them to be greeted by the white house chief usher. luckily for them though, they're already pretty familiar with the white house. yet melania trump in her farewell video says this. >> be passionate in everything you do but always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified. when i came to the white house i
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reflected on the responsibility i have always felt as a mother to encourage, give strength and teach values of kindness. >> kindness. kindness. kindness. enemy of the people. what a nasty question. racist. hmm. don't treat 'em nicely. very fine people on both sides. grab 'em by the you know what. kindness? okay. this from a first lady who can't be bothered to show the next first lady around a house that doesn't even belong to her. that's entitlement because this is the people's house.
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also, the first lady who talks about values and integrity. never forget, that's why i said the first lady birther in chief, she was a birther, too. >> in one way it will be very easy if president obama just show it and because it is not only -- >> but he has. >> it is not only donald who wants to see it. it is american people who voted for him and who didn't vote for him. they want to see that. >> but all the trumps care about is getting out of town with the president's ego intact, moving trucks already add mar-a-lago. the president of the united states turning his back on the incoming president, turning his back on the people of this country after four years of disgrace and dishonor. but america is turning the page in less than a day and a half. americans who can't attend the inauguration, represented by
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more than 190,000 flags and 56 pillars of light on a deserted national mall. joen joe biden will make the most important speech of his life on wednesday. speaking to a deeply divided america, his vice president kamala harris saying this today. >> when we look at where we are as a country today, when we look at recent events, we know that the fight that dr. king was engaged this is still a fight in america. what if i sleep hot? or cold? no problem, with temperature balancing you can sleep better together. can it help keep me asleep? absolutely, it intelligently senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both effortlessly comfortable. will it help me keep up with mom? you got this. so you can really promise better sleep? not promise. ... prove. don't miss our weekend special, save up to $1000 on new sleep number 360 smart beds. plus, 0% interest for 36 months & free premium delivery when you add a base. ends monday.
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so tomorrow president trump's last full day in office. that's when it is. he is expected to issue a flurry of pardons and commutations, about 100 in all. trump has been out of sight in the last week but taped a message likely to be released tomorrow. i want to bring in white house correspondent kaitlan collins and mr. jeff zell any. kaitlan, i will start with you. president trump is about to leave washington with a twice-impeached president, one-term president who incited an insurrection. he is holed up in the white house and he has recorded a video message. what do you know? >> it is kind of unbelievable this is how the last few days of donald trump's presidency looked like, where he is completely walled off from the media. he is staying inside the white house. he has not interacted with us in almost a week now. he has recorded this video, as jeff noted earlier. he recorded it in the residence
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of the white house, basically listing what he believes are his accomplishments of his time in office, and, of course, that will be parallel with what people are looking at, the controversies of his time in office including the most recent one, given the way he responded and the fall-out from that attack on the u.s. capitol. but the president is not enjoying the last few days in office. we are told he has actually been in a pretty foul mood according to several people who spoke with him and it is notable given this is someone who relished the pomp and circumstance of being president and now it is about to go away for him. he is about to be an ex president and instead of being in front of the media like you typically would see a president who is on his way out the door, he is instead staying inside the residence and staying behind closed doors for the most part. >> jeff, president-elect biden on wednesday will be speaking to a deeply divided nation that's grappling with a deadly pandemic. what are you learning about his inaugural address? >> don, we are learning that the inaugural address is still being written, and this is classic joe biden. he is involved in the speech-writing process with a
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team of others until the very end. this time, of course, so much to say, but i'm told it will be steeped in history, as many of his speeches are, and it is going to, of course, be talking about what he has talked about since the moment he got into this presidential campaign back in 2019, talking about restoring the soul of the nation. i think if it was ever a clearer message of what that means, it is now. so he is, i'm told, going to directly, you know, confront and address what happened in the very building, the very place where he is standing on the west front of the capitol. that is where all of the rioters tried to break in. that is where people were climbing on the rafters. so he is going to acknowledge that, but i'm told he is not -- he did not change his speech significantly because of that, but it certainly is going to be infused in it. but he has had a variety of people helping him out with this. john meacham, of course, the historian and a presidential collar and author, has been weighing in as have some others. but it is going to be about unity, also about competence,
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that we are here to restore your faith in your government. >> all right. kaitlan, jeff, thank you very much. i appreciate that. he has the lowest approval rating of his presidency, but he wants to throw himself a celebration on his way out of the white house. does trump really get what is going on here? anthony scaramucci and malik henderson will weigh in next. that is impossible to go. the audible plus catalog is awesome. it's like having a streaming service, but just for audio content. there's so many options. there's podcasts. i'll listen to the meditations. i love audible originals. mythology, anthropology, a lot of the -ologies. they pretty much have whatever you like. it's just endless. to start your free 30-day trial, just text join 15 to 500500.
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well, president trump will not attend joe biden's inauguration on wednesday, sources saying even in these final hours of his presidency he is still insisting that he won the election, that it was stolen from him. let's discuss now. cnn's senior political reporter
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nia-malika henderson is here and anthony scaramucci, the former white house communications director. good evening to both of you. the president is wanting a crowd to see him off from andrews air force base. you got an invitation, are you going to see him off? >> no, are you going to be my guest? i mean if you will be my guest, i will cancel all of my plans. i was going to have my fingernails pulled out tomorrow morning instead of going to that, but if you will be my guest i will go with you. how does that sound? >> i might take you up on that, but go on. i'm not kidding, but go on. >> no, look, the point is they had to send out a massive e-mail, don, for me to get that e-mail. you know, i haven't given money to the republican party in three-and-a-half years, so he's probably having a hard time, like all things, they'll staff it, they will fill it with staff. i guess it will soothe his ego, but i don't think so. i think the real issue for the president is who is going to
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indict him first, is it going to be a state, a federal indictment, is it going to be the city of new york that indicts him? when is that indictment coming? is that right after vice president biden, soon to be president biden's speech, is it the day after? i think somebody will make a very big name for themselves and declare an indictment here in the next couple of days. >> but you know him. that's the reason i started with you first because you got the invitation, but you know him. does he get it? does he understand that he is leaving in shame and making the country clean up his mess? >> well, i think he has a reality distortion field around him. i mean people that really know him know that underneath all of that he's not fooling himself. you know, he used to say that on the campaign plane, that he knows what he is doing, he knows where the exaggerations are and the lies are. so, you know, he is not fooling himself. he is probably saying all of those things that your sources are telling you that he is saying, meaning that i won the election and it was stolen, but
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he doesn't really believe that. there's no way he believes that. >> yeah. >> so, yeah, i think there's a lot of shame there and i think there's a lot of desperation because he's got a whole slew of things that are about to hit him, don. >> nia, i got a question for you but there's a lot quote in here. i want to get your reaction on the white house releasing the 1776 report on martin luther king jr. day. it says, many americans labor under the illusion that slavery was somehow uniquely american evil. it is essential to insist at the outset that the institution be seen in a march -- in a much broader perspective. it is very hard for people brought up in the comforts of modern america to imagine the cruelties and enormities that were endemic in earlier times, but the unfortunate fact is that the institution of slavery has been more the rule than the exception throughout human history. are they making excuses for slavery? are they whitewashing history,
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nia, which chris and i talked about in the beginning of the show? >> this is obviously a reaction to the brilliant 1619 project nikole hannah-jones won pulitzer prize for. the argument that package makes is that slavery was essential to the founding of america. it was, of course, essential in the years previous to america's founding, in the 200 or so years after that founding. so you can't understand any american history without understanding slavery and the role that black people played in subsequent years after slavery, in pushing america towards a multi racial democracy. that's what i encourage people to read. i didn't read this 45-page, you know, silly report by this silly commission, but i do encourage people to read that 1619 project, nikole hannah-jones, a brilliant historian. there are brilliant historians of slavery, people like heather
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williams, people like nellie painting, those are the people you should read, not this garbage report put out by a reactionary white house that is afraid really of the truth getting out and laid out so brilliantly by the writers in "the new york times" in the 1619 project. >> every time they try to do something, they just embarrass themselves further. >> yeah. >> and prove to people, to everyone they are exactly what we have been saying, what people think they are. if it walks like a racist, talks like a racist, then it is a racist. so, anthony, president trump incited an insurrectionist mob that included white supremacists, including anti-semites carrying out his wishes to try to overturn the election. that will be a part of this president's legacy forever. >> yeah, listen, it is a great sadness. i mean, you know, it was literally my birthday that day. i was watching it with great sadness. one wonders though about the president. is he going to put a section of
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his trump presidential library related to that? i mean that's how disturbed he is as a human being. so it was a horrific event. hopefully those people will be prosecuted and hopefully president trump himself will be convicted in the senate. let me tell you something quickly, don. if they don't convict him, then when would you convict somebody as president in terms of lawlessness and lawless behavior? that's the real issue right now. i hope they convict him there and he has these other vectors hitting him state, sdny, city, et cetera. >> nia, i want to play video, shocking video released by "the new yorker" and a warning to our viewers. it does have some procfanity. >> there's a -- that is out there. we are -- trump --
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>> is this -- >> there's got to be something in here we can -- use against did scum bags. >> we're not going to fall, man! >> i don't know. this is good stuff. >> hey, quit acting the -- >> these are incredible. >> whatever. >> maybe cruz would want us to do this. >> absolutely. >> so i think we're good. >> god, it is so -- it is awful, the ignorance. it is so embarrassing for anyone who has supported this president, an even for -- and especially for those who continue to make excuses for him and vote to say that the election was fraudulent. they should be embarrassed. at the end of that clip, you here the snurinsurrectionists s the names of hawley and cruz.
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you hear one say, i think cruz would want us to do this. how problematic is it for these enablers? >> it is deeply problematic but it shows what was going on that day. they were taking their orders from cruz and hawley and donald trump, who said, "let's walk to the capitol." he, of course, didn't walk there with them, but that's exactly what they were doing. there is no doubt about it. they were following up on the big lie he told them over and over again, the idea they could go there and take their country back by force and overthrow this democracy. listen, what is striking about the video is the sort of ordinariness of those people. we like to categorize them as fringe people, but, in fact, these are people's neighbors and teachers and school psychologists and in some ways cops were in that audience too and former military folks. so that is what i think is so frightening for a lot of people. >> nia. >> to see that, that it is reflective of folks who are in our neighborhoods, who are brain washed by this presidency, and
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in some ways have been radicalized by this president, and we'll see in the years to come how much of those original words by this president has mattered with those people and really continues to fuel white nationalism and white supremacist terrorist acts. >> anthony, i see you shaking your head. but i have to get this from nia. i'm not sure we will talk before the inauguration. what has it been like as a woman of color journalist, watching the last four or five years? >> listen, i like you, don, and i think like a lot of african-american journalists. we saw it coming. i remember being on panel talking about white grievance politics, talking about the ways in which donald trump was using racial division and racist language, and i might have been the only one saying that. everyone else wanted to talk about the economy being the reason why people were flocking to donald trump's presidency. right now i'm deeply afraid.
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i am in washington. i came into "cnn tonight" obviously ahead a military check point. i had to show my id before i got into this building, and that is all trump's doing. so it is incredibly frightening. you know, if you read history, this is what happens, right, when there is sort of progress by african-americans and people who aren't white, there is a backlash that's happened throughout history. that's exactly i think what we're seeing now, and so i'm deeply frightened for the years ahead for this country, for people who are going to be caught up in this backlash because white people are afraid of where this country is going. it is finally becoming a multi racial democracy, and it has only been that way for maybe a decade or so, and it is because of the work of people throughout decades like martin luther king jr., like shirley chisolm, like ella baker. we have often been on the same
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side of this, don, the only voices saying, listen, racism is real coming for this president, but not enough people listened to us initially. >> thank you both. i appreciate it. >> thanks, don. >> anthony did, finally. just saying anthony did finally. i didn't mean it that way, anthony. you know what i mean. >> i got it. i got it. my offer to take you expires at midnight, so you got to call quickly. >> thank you both. i appreciate it. good to see you. >> thanks. nia just mentioned, 25,000 national guard troops on the ground in d.c. the fbi is even vetting them, and new reporting tells us they've got good reasons to. that's next.
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so we are getting some breaking news in. "the washington post" is reporting this, that an fbi intelligence report warns that far right extremists have discussed posing at national guard members, try to infiltrate joe biden's inauguration.
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the document obtained by "the post" saying that both lone wolves and qanon supporters indicated they plan to come to the capitol for the swearing-in ceremony. let's discuss. chris swecker is here, a former fbi assistant drebtor for the criminal investigative division. good evening to you. every time we get this reporting and every time we hear, it seems to get worse. it is disturbing. "the post" is reporting that the fbi said that people are downloading and sharing maps of d.c. how are authorities supposed to stop an infiltration like this? >> don, you won't find anybody that admires the military more than i do, but i will say over the years we have had reports, i have seen many of them over the years, in the '90s, the 2000s, i'm sure there are more than what you just talked about out there, about extremists finding their way into the military. it has happened and it is happening and it will happen.
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so i think it is prudent to -- for the fbi to do those background checks. what you don't want is someone giving away the game plan, for example, giving away vulnerabilities in even committing some type of act from the inside. i will say, don, most of them that have been in the military are drummed out fairly quickly. timothy mcveigh, erik rudolph, et cetera. i can go down a long list of ex-military who were drummed out and later became extremist or heightened their extremism and took action. >> the ones you figured out, right? because they're, again -- >> right. >> 25,000 national guard members will be in the d.c. area for the inauguration. they're being repeatedly, repeatedly vetted by the fbi to avoid insider threats. that's a lot of people to vet, right? so what do authorities look for? what are they looking out for?
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>> yeah, i'm not privy to the depth of the check they're going to do, but i would suspect, of course, they're going to do an indices check, an fbi indices check which isn't just criminal records. it's any mention in an fbi file, whether they've been a subject of a case or an associate or mentioned, interviewed, that sort of thing. the usual criminal checks. the military does a criminal check, but i don't think they update it very often, so this is a massive effort. i can't imagine how many analytical resources, how many analysts are going to get diverted from other things to do this when there's already, you know, a lot of intelligence out there they have to sift through. so it's too bad we have to do it, but it's got to be done. >> chris, listen, there is an army reservist clearance among those charged. several people involved in far-right groups have been charged in this riot. and then you've got, you know, pro publica and other people doing reports on what's happening online and the
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disinformation. let's talk about that right after this break. like you, my hands are everything to me. but i was diagnosed with dupuytren's contracture. and it got to the point where things i took for granted got tougher to do. thought surgery was my only option. turns out i was wrong. so when a hand specialist told me about nonsurgical treatments, it was a total game changer. like you, my hands have a lot more to do. learn more at today.
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as quickly as they can. my concern is there is enough screening on the front end. if you're coming in as an e-1 listed rank member, do they really do a thorough check? i think they mainly do a criminal check. i don't think they go knock on doors and do a lot of deep background check. it's been known for quite sometime that far-right wing extremists mostly have gotten into the military. as i mentioned earlier, they get rid of them as quick lly as thi quarter earnings conference call when they identify them. >> as i mentioned before, chris, we'll have you back to talk about it. a lot of these people are radicalized online and they're trying to crackdown on that. we'll see how far they get with it and we'll see what happens in the days to come. chris, i really appreciate it. good to see you. thank you so much. >> thanks. >> joe biden has a big agenda just for day one. next, biden's first hours and trump's last in the white house.
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