tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 26, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
president joe biden moving aggressively today to get the covid-19 pandemic under control, announcing the federal government will buy 200 million more doses of vaccine. he says that will be enough to fully vaccinate 300 million americans by the end of the summer or early fall. also today, senators sworn in to act as jurors in donald trump's historic second impeachment trial. 45 v prosecutors filing federal criminal charges against at least 150 people in connection with the capitol riot.
more than 400 are still under investigation. and that is where we are right now. joining me now, cnn's white house correspondent, john harwood, senior political analyst john avalon, and political commentator, amanda carpenter. good evening again. 18, yes. john harwood, president joe biden making a major announcement about another 200 million vaccine doses. he's trying to get every adult vaccinated trying to push through a covid relief package. but how hard is it to move forward when the former president still has a grip on everyone's attention? >> don, i don't agree that donald trump still has a grip on everyone's attention. he has a grip on a portion of the -- >> i should say republicans. >> -- news media. and he's got a grip on the republican party. but joe biden and democrats have a grip on the government in washington right now.
joe biden, as we saw today, rolled out some progress on vaccine distributions. he's invoking the defense production act, starting a pandemic testing board. he's racing ahead with democrats through the reconciliation process to push through a very large covid relief package. they're confident they can do that. we'll see if they can actually get the votes. but if they can, that's going to produce a significant amount of change in a short time. they're going to follow that with another big bill on infrastructure, perhaps health care. also done with democrats only, presumably, through reconciliation process. and so there's a prospect of very large change coming from a congress that's not used to delivering a lot of changes. it's used to delivering a lot of gridlock. to me that's the more important thing happening in washington right now than this trial, which we, of course -- it has to take place.
history demands that it take place because of the gravity of the crime committed against the united states. we do know the outcome, and it's a matter of getting republicans on record and we got a very strong hint today of what they're going to show when they have to go on the record. nevertheless, they need to do that and the trial will be over in a couple weeks. biden will be going on trying to deliver listen his agenda. >> i listen to what john harwood just said. i wonder if the conventional wisdom or thinking may have been wrong all along that, you know, that joe biden, president joe biden didn't need this impeachment thing going on because it would extract him from his agenda. maybe it's a cover he needs to get some of this stuff passed, no? >> look, i think both things can and need to be done. you can't stall an agenda in the middle of a pandemic that's been raging out of control solely to make sure that the ex-president actually faces justice and accountability in the eyes of
history through impeachment. but i agree with you that, first of all, that it doesn't mean his agenda gets derailed. and i disagree that this is a done deal, that we can just assume that no progress will be made and there's not a chance of more republicans crossing now. 17 is a high bar. that said, more information is going to come to light. they're going to be forced to confront information that is truly damning an. confront that go evidence and saying it doesn't matter if a president incites an insurrection after an election, that's a tough pill to swallow. a lot of them will do it because his power with the base is strong. but other folks, especially ones not running for office, might look into their conscience and vote differently. >> republicans have been saying the gop have been saying they're the party of law and order. but a violent mob attacks our capitol, attacks police officers, caught on tape.
it happened live on television. and republicans like marco rubio say impeachment is like pouring gasoline on a fire? are they essentially waving the white flag to domestic terrorists? >> i mean, i don't even know if it's that. they're just closing their eyes and looking away. i was shocked to hear nikki haley's comments this morning where she just said, you know, leave trump alone. >> give the guy a break. >> give the guy a break. and she was asked about it and she goes, yeah, january 6th wasn't great, like it was a bad netflix choice. that was really disappointing. and so the worst thing that could happen to our country is for people just to move on and brush this under the rug because it will get worse. that said, i do want the democrats to sharpen their arguments when it comes to the senate trial. if there's any hopes of getting more republican votes. because the biggest thing happening in republican trumpy
politics right now is the debate over being censored and free speech. and you can see the ground shifting where this -- rand paul and others want to make this a free speech issue. everybody said we should fight for ow country. everybody said weren't take the fight to the capitol. so the democrats need to really focus on the president's actions that led up to this, not just the things he said on tv, not just the things at the rally, but the deliberate and sustained ways that he tried to overturn an election that led to the violence on the capitol. and so i just would really like to see more focus on that. >> so john avalon, amanda carpenter just stole the answer to your question, but i'll ask you anyway. this is what we heard from senator lindsey graham on fox news tonight. here it is. >> if there's an effort by the democrats to call a single witness in the united states senate, they had no record in the house, there will be a delay
of this trial, pandora's box being opened. this thing will go on for weeks and months. i'm hoping we have a trial based on a stipulation of fact, not witnesses, and we get this behind us. >> john, weren't we just sitting here not so long ago and graham kb graham was saying i'm done with trump, i'm over this? what? >> and then he got a final ride on marine one and it changed his mind. you could roll the tape with -- >> uh-oh. well, there we go. amanda, you answered the question. >> i think lindsey graham's words were count me out. he was done with it until he wasn't. and so they want to drag this this out by threatening witnesses. but they don't want to confront the question of what led to the violence. they're doing everything to avoid that question. they have 45 republicans saying we don't even want to have a trial. you have to find a way to focus them on the president's actions
that led to the violence. that's it. they refuse to see it. >> all right. so john avalon took his marbles and went home, so i'll let everybody go. everyone will get a half day right now, early day off. thank you. see you soon. now i want to bring in former nixon white house counsel john dean. good evening to you. so many questions about trump's actions the day of the insurrection. why didn't we hear from him for hours? did he try to stop the violence? who did he speak to? what did he say? how will impeachment managers get these answers? >> well, i don't know they will get the answers. that's one of the real questions of this trial. you just heard lindsey graham talking about what would happen if they called witnesses. he was speaking like he was the president's defense lawyer. he used the term "we" will object, like he's supposed to be the court and the jury and not trying the case.
so i think amanda is correct. they do not want witnesses, they do not want to learn what trump did that led up to the insurrection. and that's what they're going to try to block. so stipulated facts won't sizzle and that's what they want. >> here's the thing. i don't know if democrats are going to do it or not. but all you have to do, john, is speak to one or two of the police officers who were involved in the insurrection who were fighting for their lives whose lives were on the line. they'll tell you when they heard the president on the radio, when they heard his speech as they were coming into work, they knew it was going to be problematic that day because, guess what, they're trained in that sort of thing. they knew what the president was doing. they don't understand why republicans in washington and around the country don't understand why -- they don't understand why they believe the president didn't incite this.
it is obvious to anyone who is watching, listening, who has been trained in law enforcement. they know the president's words meant a lot and it helped to incite this violence. >> no question, don. in fact -- >> why don't they call some of those guys or ladies? >> they should. they actually should. but as i say, the senate appears like the republican strategy is to block all witnesses. there is a video circulating online. anderson had some clips of it earlier tonight from an online legal blog. and it's damning stuff. they went through parler and pulled out all the videos, and those show how the crowd itself -- >> we showed those last night. i know which one you're talking about. they put them together how they were reacting to the president's words. yeah, it's pretty obvious. by the way, we haven't independently verified that,
it's from "the washington post." as we understand, the folks doing the impeachment are looking at it. do you think that that would be strong evidence? >> i think it's certainly a good starting place. but don, certainly i know as somebody who worked at the white house as white house counsel, that the president was very informed about this group, what was going on, and before it was going on. the reason he didn't react is he liked what was going on. he clearly wanted it to continue. he didn't want it disrupted or turn these people off. he told them how much he loved them when he finally was forced to do a hostage video to try to tone it down a little bit. so, you know, the senate knows this. and the question is, can the house managers get some evidence heretofore has not been made public that's going to make it impossible for some of these moderate republicans to stay on the fence. maybe they'll get closer to 17.
17 is a big number. i think they can hold all the democrats, but getting 17 is going to be tough. >> john dean, always a pleasure. thank you, sir. a new investigation reveals gop congresswoman marjorie taylor greene repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent democratic politicians before being elected to congress. greene has also related to posted far-right conspiracy theories on social media and support for qanonment joining me to discuss, senior editor andrew krasinski. thank you so much. we appreciate you joining us. what did you find on her facebook? >> yeah. so what we found on her facebook is that, as you mentioned in the intro, in comments that she made before she ran for congress in 2018 and 2019, she repeatedly indicated in the form of
facebook likes, comments in facebook videos, support for executing democratic members of congress, including house speaker nancy pelosi, former president barack obama, former secretary of state hillary clinton, john kerry, fbi agents who she claimed were part of the deep state against president trump, and some of these claims were pretty violent. there was somebody in a comment who said when do we get to hang them, and she was talking about barack obama and hillary clinton. and greene replied the stage is being set. there was another comment where greene had this petition that she wanted to impeach nancy pelosi, and somebody responded, literally said a bullet to the head would be quicker. yeah, i mean, it's really, really sick stuff. and she responds by liking that comment. and sort of the backdrop to a lot of this is that she was leading this petition that she
said would impeach nancy pelosi for treason. and in one speech in 2019, which we're going to play a clip of here, she actually suggests that nancy pelosi, again, could be executed. >> wow. >> by our law, representatives and senators can be kicked out and no longer serve in our government. it's a crime punishable by death is what treason is. nancy pelosi is guilty of treason. >> andrew, have you heard -- has she addressed any of these posts? >> so we reached out to her earlier today for comment. a couple hours before he posted the story, we attempted to get out ahead of the on twitter. she put out this statement where she didn't really deny liking the post or making the comments on facebook. but she said sort of that -- she
didn't deny it, but she said over the years i've had many people manage my pages, many posts have been liked and many have been shared. some did not represent my views, especially the ones cnn is about to spread across the internet. so she didn't actually directly deny liking or making the comments, but she made sort of this claim that maybe somebody else did it. >> she seems to be deflecting there and blaming others for inciting violence. thank you so much, andrew. i appreciate your time. the acting capitol police chief apologizing behind closed doors. that on the day that president joe biden says this about racism in this country. >> those eight minutes and 46 seconds that took george floyd's life opened the eyes of millions of americans and millions of people all over the world. it was the knee on the neck of justice, and it wouldn't be forgotten.
at least 150 people are now facing charges connected to the january 6th siege on the capitol. a top prosecutor says investigators are building towards charges of sedition, a crime that carries a penalty of up to 20 years behind bars. and tonight we're learning more about just how unprepared law enforcement was for the angry mob that attacked capitol. cnn's senior justice correspondent evan perez joins us this evening. thank you so much for joining. so information is coming out about a closed-door meeting on the hill today where the acting capitol police chief apologized to lawmakers. what are we learning here? >> yeah, don. this is stunning. even though -- look, it's been plainly obvious to you, to me, to anyone that the capitol police were woefully unprepared despite all of the public signs that this was going to happen.
and so we heard from yogananda pitman, acting u.s. capitol police chief. we'll just show you some of her words. she said, quote, we knew that the militia groups and the white supremacist organizations would be attending. we also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. we knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that congress was the target. don, we've seen some of the reporting since january 6th from the fbi, from other organizations, that were producing this intelligence that was being shared with the u.s. capitol police, and yet what we see in those pictures repeatedly are these officers who were not prepared, they didn't have any of the gear, any of the riot gear, and they needed the help of the metropolitan police from d.c. to come in and help them, you know, after the capitol had been breached. >> at least 150 people are facing charges, evan, in the riot. but investigators are signaling there that there could be a lot more, like up to 300 or so?
350? >> right now there are about 400 subjects they already have open investigations on, don. >> wow. >> and 150 people we know already are facing charges. one of the things we heard from michael sherwin, act u.s. attorney here in d.c., he said, look, if you were inside or even if you were outside of the capitol, if you committed a crime, they are going to charge you. so it doesn't matter where weather you went n if you were on the premises and they can prove you committed a crime, they are going to charge you. so they're not worried about overwhelming the court system. they're going to try to bring these people -- they mentioned there were 200,000 digital media tips that have been brought in. one of the most interesting things to me is that people's family members, their friends are turning them in. these are average americans who are outraged by what happened on january 6th, and they're doing the right thing. >> we said the son of one of
them who turned his own dad in. investigators are asking the public for tips still? >> right. the big right here is to try to find the people, the persons, the group that were behind the two pipe bombs. one was found at the rnc building, the other outside the dnc building. you see some of the pictures they've been sharing. so far it appears that that has not yielded any solid leads. they've increased the reward to $75,000. don, here's the thing. they've been doing all of the regular things that they do, which is to look for cell phone data to try to look at surveillance video. none of that has yielded anything, and it's scary because there's somebody out there who planted these bombs, they were real bombs, and they're still out there. and the concerns that the investigators have is this was a plot to essentially draw police away from the capitol while the insurrection was happening.
so there was something here, a greater planning. and again, that's what they're trying to get to the bottom of. they believe that there are multiple groups that were working together perhaps that day to try to breach the capitol and carry this attack out. >> evan perez. >> yes, sir? >> thank you very much. always a pleasure. good to see you. see you soon. good information. republicans in washington battling over control of the direction of their party. wait till you see what's happening with the gop in states like texas and arizona. is mealtime a struggle? introducing ore-ida potato pay. where ore-ida golden crinkles are your crispy currency to pay for bites of this... ...with this. when kids won't eat dinner, potato pay them to. ore-ida. win at mealtime.
trump and they're angry at members of the gop who supported impeaching him. more on this growing rift in the party from cnn's kyung lah. >> reporter: this is the storming of a capitol you may not have seen. rioters breached the oregon state capitol and assaulted police less than a month before this. the insurrection in washington, d.c. >> usa! >> reporter: as former president donald trump faces a second impeachment trial, charged for his role in inciting the deadly d.c. riot -- >> it was a sham impeachment, just like the first one. >> reporter: the oregon republican party defiantly defends trump. >> patriots are not going away. the president's not going away. >> reporter: the state party passed a resolution condemning ten house republicans who voted to impeach trump, calling it a
betrayal. then dived into this conspiratorial lie about the insurrection, that there is grieg evidence that the violence at the capitol was a false flag operation designed to discredit president trump. >> this is a time for choosing. but it's a time for choosing what you really believe and want to stand for and not for just giving lip service to being a republican. >> reporter: that's not helping to win over more republicans, says oregon republican state representative david brock smith. >> extremism on either side only benefits a small minority, and it's not the majority of the constituents that we represent. >> reporter: choosing to side with the far-right fringe or not, that's the battle at the state party level. in texas, the gop continues to use the slogan "we are the storm," the same slogan used by followers of the qanon conspiracy. the texas republicans deny that connection. in hawaii, a top gop official resigned from his post after he
tweeted sympathy for qanon followers from the state party account. he later called it an error in judgment. >> it'll be the trump republican party. >> reporter: in arizona, it's open warfare among republicans. these women believe the baseless claims pedalled by trump. >> this election was stolen. trump won, i think, by a landslide. i'll be with him wherever he goes. how however he goes. >> reporter: the party shows no sign of moving away from trump. they re-elected their chairwoman, despite democrats flipping the state. >> unification at what cost? selling out america? i can't do that. >> reporter: there will be a price, warned establishment republicans. >> it really is driving normal, regular, rational people from the republican party and we can't afford to lose many more.
>> reporter: and that's more than just a fear that the former senator is talking about. there are real numbers behind this. the arizona secretary of state's office tells cnn that 9,944 registered republicans, that's almost 10,000 of them, have officially switched their party registration since the u.s. capitol riots. establishment republicans here in arizona say that's not just a warning, that is a blaring siren that something is very wrong. don? >> kyung lah, thank you so much. i want to bring in cnn's political commentator, ana navarro. you heard her report there. how far does the gop go? how long do they stay on this path before as jeff flake puts it, normal, regular, rational people move away from the republican party? >> i don't have the answer to that, but i can tell you that
the longer they hold on to donald trump, the longer they are in fear of donald trump. the longer they are complicit with donald trump. the longer they're going to let donald trump get away with abuses of power and crime that he committed while president, the longer this will last. there are regular people who watch state media who listen to their congresspeople, who trust their congresspeople, who absolutely believe these things. and so it becomes very difficult to argue with somebody that there is not a deep state being run by a bunch of celebrities and people who are molesting children. it sounds so insane, that it's almost difficult to argue against it. but, look, don, it's going to go on. this level of fringe is going to go on as long as republicans
continue giving donald trump a pass and being in fear of him. he is controlling them right now. >> you know, nearly 10,000 republicans have requested to change their party registration from republican to independent, democrat, or libertarian. that's according to the arizona secretary of state's office. major companies saying they won't donate to people who enabled the insurrection by overturning the results. do any of the republicans care about these things? >> i think the elected republicans care about staying elected. i think that's why people like rob portman are choosing not to run because they don't have the stomach for it. look, you know, it takes some reckoning. it takes some eninthrow specs a asking yourself what did i do the last four years that i enabled this man to be able to
incite a mob to raid the capitol and commit domestic terrorism? i think a lot of people in elected office don't want to look at themselves in the mirror and accept their complicity, accept their culpability, accept their responsibility. and until there is accountability and unless there is accountability and responsibility taken for what republicans in elected office have done to embolden these actions that donald trump took that culminated on january 6th, they can't move on, right? they can't move on. it takes a level of humility and self- because i pretended not to read the tweet, because i pretended not to hear him say there are good people on both sides, because i didn't want to blame
him for inspiring a white supremacist to hunt down latinos in el paso, but i gave him a pass for so long, it led to what happened on january 6th. and so they don't want to do that. they don't want to blame themselves for what their part has been in this. so they continue pretending that this is normal. that's why -- that's why they voted the way they voted today, with the exception of the five republicans on process. because, don, they don't want their names to go down on the wrong side of history. and history is going to judge republicans who have enabled him incredibly harshly. it's going to be in a few years, their children are going to ask, what did you do about the day that a rabid mob raided the capitol that led to the death of
people? what do you do? and they're going to have to look down in shame. and i just don't think they can accept that. >> ana navarro, thank you so much. i appreciate your time and your words. a cd study adding to the evidence schools can be safely reopened. one of the authors of that study tells me how. that's next.
president joe biden ordering the federal government to buy an additional 200 million doses of covid-19 vaccine, saying that should be enough to vaccinate 300 million americans by the end of summer or early fall. more good news today. the cdc reporting that children can safely go back to school as long as covid precautions are in place. i want to bring in now margaret honain, covid task force. thank you so much for joining us. we really i appreciate, doctor. so what is the main takeaway of your study for parents and school administers who've been trying to figure out what's best for kids, teachers, and their families? >> well, thank you very much. the main takeaway message here is we've been watching the data very closely, and the data is really accumulating to show us that we can safely reopen schools as long as we have the right prevention measures in place. we need universal face masks, we need at least six-foot distance
between students and students and teachers, and we need to be cohorting students so we can minimize the number of contacts they have. >> are there specific activities or classes that are less safe and schools should stay away from? >> so an important message here is we can safely open schools if we prioritize the education settings. so there are activities that increase risk, and one example we released today was about a wrestling tournament where you can't safely wear face masks, where there's close contact between participants, and it's happening indoors. so all those things are going to increase risk of transmission. >> are there certain conditions in the community where you would not recommend reopening? >> so it's really important that communities and schools work together to reduce the level of transmission in a community. so it's going to be safest to open schools when we have community transmission lower. we know that we can do good
prevention in schools now, but we're going to have cases whenever there's a high level of transmission in the community, even if those cases are being acquired in the community. so we need to work together, have policies in the community that can reduce transmission. you know, closing places that are nonessential or putting restrictions just to reduce that transmission. >> listen, we are maybe two months shy of a year that we've been dealing with the quarantine part of it. we've been dealing with the covid situation since january of last year. how did you determine that this, what you're doing now, is safe? tell me how your study was done. >> right. so, you know, last summer we were investigating a lot of outbreaks and high-density work sites and congregate living facilities and we were all really concerned that there could be rapid transmission in schools that would accelerate into the community. so we feel much more confident
now as we have had data from a number of different states and a number of different areas where they've put very careful mitigation in place, high face mask use, distance between students, sometimes using a hybrid model so that there's fewer contacts with each student. and we've seen that we can really minimize transmission in schools. so that's really the key message here, that those educational settings can be safe, but we may need school policies that postpone activities that are not safe like indoor high-contact sports where we can't wear face masks. >> can we apply these lessons across the board, doctor? >> so i think it's really important for communities and schools to work together to have a plan that makes opening schools as safe as possible. but everything will have to be tailored to individuals, and it's important to make sure that
there is, you know, parental involvement and choice. so it's making the decisions that are best for everyone's child. >> some districts -- teachers are in school teacher. in other districts, some have been reluctant to return. i'm not sure if you heard of chicago. they said they're not going back. they're having a bit after an uproar there. should teachers be at the front of the line to be vaccinated nationwide? >> so teachers are part of our essential workforce that will be prioritized. so when it's the time for that group, that's going to be an important step to further safeguard our schools. so we're definitely supportive of teachers having the opportunity to be vaccinated when it's prioritized in their state. >> doctor, thank you so much. i appreciate your type. great information. >> thank you so much. i appreciate the opportunity to talk about this and to emphasize
we see a bright future, still hungry for the ingenuity of those ready for the next challenge. today, we are translating decades of experience into strategies for the road ahead. we are morgan stanley. the cdc supports sending kids back to school as long as covid precautions were in case. how do parents feel about that?
let's ask a dad, associate professor of biology at dartmouth. how do you feel about that? >> my kids have been back at school since september. they went to back school starting yesterday. so, kids should be in school. but you need to do it correctly. the school needs to put in place effective safeguards to stop transmission between kids and teachers at school. that's the masks, the ventilation, the filtration, all those things that are needed to keep kids safe. >> they've been back since september? i saw you posting that all the staff, faculty and students were tested last week and there were no positive cases and that's since september? >> so, this was -- we took a little bit of a break, coming back after the holidays, to get through what might have built up through people gathering and things like that. >> got it. >> today was the first day to come back.
our plan was we tested every single child, every single staff member and faculty member and based on those numbers, we determined what was going to happen going forward. and it was -- i mean, in a community of really quite high prevalence of new infections per day, one of the highest in the state of massachusetts not a single positive case in the entire school. >> wow. so, the cdc is watching for covid variants right now that seem to be more transmissible. >> yeah. >> what does this mean for our everyday lives? should we change our behavior when we're going out in public, like to the grois store? >> not yet. we need to focus on the variant that's ticking out. we're in trouble with the one we've got. we've turned a bit of a corner but the one we have here is the one we need to focus our attention on right now. we do need to be mindful that we are in a race at the moment between vaccination and the new
variant, especially the one that originated in the united kingdom. so, you know, the important thing to think of, though, is the measures that we took to keep ourselves safe with the current variant, the same measures we need to put in place to keep ourselves safe from the new variant. we just need to do them a little bit better. a better-fitting mask. wearing it more often. being mindful of going inside, and in closed spaces with people. be a little more mindful than what we were. it's not time to worry in the future we need to focus on right now. >> so, you know, we need to -- i'm not -- you know, i'm concerned when i'm going out, right? but if the masks give me some degree of comfort. you heard what dr. fauci says. he suggested wearing two masks. we've done that before. it's more effective than stop ing the spread. other experts say we should be wearing k95 masks in public. your thoughts on that, please? >> masks are important. the fit is more important than the mask itself.
and when you wear a mask, even a kn95, and you don't have it hugging over the nose or around the cheek, air will shoot out through the path of least resistance. wearing two masks is not necessarily about the filtration of two masks. it's about one mask really hugging the other mask on to your face to make more of your breath go through the mask and on your inhalation the breath go through the mask. that's where two masks comes in. it gets a tighter seal on your face. >> look, it's been so cold here, i'm happily wearing two masks. keeps me warm. thank you, aaron barometerich. glad your kids are all safe and you are as well. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me on tonight. >> thank you for watching, everyone. be safe out there. stay warm. our coverage continues.
good evening. once again a social media company is showing it's more willing to discipline the former president than senate republicans are. youtube today telling the technology news site cnet quote in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, the donald j. trump channel will remain suspended and senate republicans some of whom had to run and hide from violent mobs three weeks ago, they had a chance to go on record for order. instead today all but five demonstrated the opposite by running from their constitutional duty and hiding behind technicalities by playing