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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  January 28, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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starts right now. welcome to "the lead." i'm jack tapper. we're in a bizarre and disturbing moment in american history. where lawmakers who have opposed former president trump are not only expressing concern for their safety because of threats from far-right groups and radicalized members of maga, ones who staged the dead ly attack on the capitol three weeks and a day ago. these lawmakers are also scared in some cases of their own colleagues. dozens ofasking to use congressional allowances to beef up their own individual and office security and today house speaker nancy pelosi said for some members of congress, the perceived threat is coming from inside the house. >> we will probably need a supplemental for more security for members when the enemy is within the house of representatives. a threat that members are concerned about in addition to what is happening outside.
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>> speaker pelosi saying she's referring to members of congress who want to bring guns on to the house floor and who have threatened violence against their colleagues. cnn reported this week that republican congresswoman marjorie taylor greene of georgia liked a social media comment in 2019 about shooting, shooting, speaker pelosi. this afternoon, a prime example of the fears many are feeling, police arrested a west virginia man near the u.s. capitol yesterday armed with a handgun and 20 rounds of ammo. list also say the man, dennis westover, had "stop the steal" paperwork with him, "stop the steal" a reference to the big lie that joe biden didn't actually win the election. he also had a list of senators and representatives along with their contact information, police say. social media posts indicate that westover attended the rally in washington on january 6th. it is unclear if he was part of the attack on the capitol. in light of that attack that killed five people, injuring
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more than 100 law enforcement officers and, frankly, tore at the fabric of the united states, these concerns from lawmakers and law enforcement cannot be dismissed and the insanity and mo m mondacity that led to the attack is tearing the republican party apart, blame and consequences for former president donald trump and other lawmakers who pushed that big lie. as the gop grapples with president trump's continued influence, house minority leader kevin mccarthy, one of the many republican officials who pushed the big lie, he met with trump in florida. cnn's jeff zeleny reports it's an attempt to make nice with trump after mccarthy briefly criticized the president for not doing more to stop the attack once it had started. >> reporter: the american flag is proudly waving today at former president trump's mar-a-lago resort. but the shining sun belies the storm brewing inside the republican party. kevin mccarthy, the house gop
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leader, made a pilgrimage to florida hoping to get back into the former president's good graces after angering trump following the deadly attack on the capitol. >> the president bears responsibility for wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters. >> reporter: mccarthy has been backpedaling ever since. making clear he still sees trump as the leader of the republican party. a view not shared by senate majority leader mitch mcconnell who hasn't spoken to trump in more than a month. with his looming impeachment trial, trump remains front and center in the republican party. even as it faces an identity crisis. in a private call with house republicans this week, mccarthy admonished his members to stop the infighting, cnn has learned, bluntly saying to cut that crap out with no more attacks on one another but he's done little to actually stop it with florida congressman matt gaetz, a loyal trump ally, traveling to wyoming to try to take down liz cheney
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who voted for trump's impeachment. >> if you want to prove that you have the power to defeat liz cheney in this upcoming election, wyoming will bring washington to its knees. >> reporter: the gop turmoil is playing out as a series of sideshows. none louder than georgia congresswoman marjorie taylor greene who deleted her social media posts after cnn reported she harassed victims of the parkland school shooting and endorsed violence against democratic lawmakers. >> you don't have anything to say for yourself? can't defend your stance? >> reporter: the congresswoman who's promoted qanon conspiracy theories was given a seat on the house education and labor committee. illinois congressman adam kinzinger, one of ten republicans to support trump's impeach cment says the party ist a dangerous cross roads. >> she's not a republican. i personally don't think she should have any committees. >> reporter: a fear of fringe republican elements has created an opening for democrats which speaker nancy pelosi seized on today.
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>> assigning her to the education committee when she has mocked the killing of little children at sandy hook elementary school, when she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school at the marjory stoneman douglas high school, what could they be thinking? >> now, while many republicans were eager to turn the page from the trump presidency, house republican leader kevin mccarthy is not one of them. again, he was down for a meeting over lunchtime at mar-a-lago from the former president. we're getting a readout. see a picture of them in mar-a-lago. the former president releases a statement saying in part this, they discussed many topics number one of which was taking back the house in 2022. ft. trump's popularity has never been stronger than it is today. his endorsement means more than, perhaps, any endorsement at any time. jake, a bit of a fact check there, his popularity is not as
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strong as it's ever been. it's an open question how popular he is among republican primary voters. that's still very strong. as this goes forward, no question at least in kevin mccarthy's mind the trump party is the republican party. >> joining us to discuss, peter meijer, he was among the ten house republicans who voted to impeach president trump this month. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. you're facing some backlash after your vote to impeach. you now have a republican challenger for your seat. that, of course, he won't be up for re-election until 2022. but still, he's out there. he claims that vote that you cast destroyed trust with your constituents. what's your response? >> i think the betrayal of trust was what happened leading up to january 6th with the president's oath of office. i was watching the segment you had earlier on. that was the iffers i learn fir of the individual arrested near the capitol with a list of lawmakers. it's just staggering how many
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folks continue to either try to paper over what happened, try to move on, just say, you know, it's been a couple of weeks, let's forget about it. i'm just at a loss for words, jake. >> let's talk about the security issues because i know that is something you publicly expressed. how serious do you think the threat is, and do you agree with some of your democratic colleagues that maybe even some of your republican colleagues are people that are potentially dangerous? >> i don't share those views on my republican colleagues and the fears around that. i think if there was any complicity in the events of january 6th we shouldn't jump the gun, we shouldn't jump to conclusions. we need to wait for that investigation to play out. but we're taking security risks seriously. i think as my colleague adam kinzinger who said, you know, it's not necessarily the death threats that are made to you that you worry about, it's the ones who aren't, it's the people who are planning and not saying what they're planning to do. >> on the day of the attack i talked to two of your colleagues
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who had served abroad in the military. kinzinger whom you mentioned and congressman gallagher. i know you're a veteran as well, having served in iraq then also in a different capacity in afghanistan. tell me what it's like being in a capitol building surrounded by fencing that honestly, i don't say this lightly, does resemble to me very much a war zone, not the battle part of the war zone, but like a green zone type area. >> i mean, it just shows the absolute lack of trust that we've come to as a nation. you know, the capitol used to be a place where folks could walk, you know, in front of the steps especially if the congress wasn't in session. it was supposed to be inviting. it was supposed to be the people's house. to have it be walled off because we can't trust that, frankly, the people won't try to overrun it, the tension has gotten that high, it's dispiriting, dep depressing and a sad reflection on where we are as a country today. frankly, we need to rebuild that trust. we need to work to say there are ways of addressing disputes
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within the political system, within our legal system because for too long, you know, we've had politicians who are shutting down any notion of legitimacy of the courts of elections. and that's why you see people take to the streets. that's why you see folks taking up arms. i mean, that is absolutely utterly unacceptable and on every leader to rebuild that trust, rebuild that confidence and get us back to a place where we can resolve disputes peacefully. >> yet, look what's going on right now, just today in the republican caucus, house minority leader kevin mccarthy, one of the people who pushed the big lie who voted to disenfranchise millions of voters after the terrorist attack based on that lie, he's down in florida kissing donald trump's ring and then up in wyoming, your colleague, matt gaetz, is out there holding a rally against liz cheney, congresswoman cheney, who is the number-three republican who joined you in voting for impeachment. it seems like a lot of the energy in the house republican caucus is, frankly, with the
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seditionists, with the crazy. >> if liz cheney is the person who suffers the most from the events on january 6th, politically, there will be a very sad, sad day for my party. i have been impressed by her leadership in just the fact that this was a vote of conscience. this was not a vote that was being whipped. and i give leader mccarthy a lot of credit for that, that this was a vote that was up to the individual member, but to see the number of folks aligning against her solely due to pressure from a base that they frankly misled, there are people making the argument, we have to vote to overturn this election because our supporters don't believe it was lichegitimate. they don't belief it was legitimate because you were lying to them, playing to those fears. >> right. there have been social media posts uncovered by cnn and others from another republican colleague of yours, congresswoman marjorie taylor greene from georgia. she indicated support for shooting speaker pelosi, she pushed conspiracies about the parkland shooting not being real, about sandy hook not being real. she was just appointed to the
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house education committee. education. i find it kind of incredible that your party's talking about sanctioning liz cheney, but marjorie greene seems to be, you know, being -- no punishment for her for saying these heinous things. how do you think the republican party should be handling congresswoman greene right now? >> think ultimately every member is going to be responsible for their own actions and their own words. we can't be party of conspiracy theories. we can't be a period of winking and nodding at some of the worst impulses we've seen in the darkest corners of the internet. that's not how you're going to have a party that's trusted to govern, not how to win over moderate and independent voters and say trust us to make decisions about the future this cou country. that, again, is just a dark path for the republican party to go down. and it's one that i'm committed not to going down. and if that means that i'm off on an island with a few lonely colleagues, so be it. i think it's important to stand up f stand by our oath to the
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constitution and to say there are better ways for us to govern that don't divolve into threats of political violence, illusions to just insane theories. that is not a strong party. that is a party that is nearing its end. >> republican congressman peter meijer of the great state of michigan. thank you so much. hope to have you back to talk about issues having to do with foreign policy and the military and much, much more. thanks for being with us, jake. >> thank you, jake. the south africa variant of the coronavirus, the one dr. fauci said troubled him, is here in the united states. we're going to tell you where and the mystery of around how it popped up. and some of the worst economic numbers since the end of world war ii. . the status of president biden's $2 trillion plan to pull us out of this tailspin. stay was. let's get checked for ourselves. let's get checked for those around us. let's get checked for a full range of conditions.
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the highly contagious coronavirus variant first identified in south africa has now been found in the united states. health officials in south carolina announced this afternoon two adults with no travel history and no connection to each other, each of them tested positive for the variant, just hours after dr. anthony fauci said this is variant that troubles him as cnn's nick watt reports. >> reporter: the more contagious variant first found in south africa is here. two cases just confirmed in different parts of south carolina. >> there is no known travel history. and there's no known connection between the two cases. >> reporter: these first documented infections actually happened weeks ago. and all this means the mutation is spreading on american soil. and lab tests of this variant versus the vaccine -- >> it is diminished by multifold in its ability to cover. it's still within the range of what you would predict to be protective, but i take no great
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comfort in that. >> reporter: still, fewer than 50 million vaccine doses distributed. only about half of them actually in arms. the administration touts triggering the defense production act. >> the president did invoke the defense production act. >> reporter: but apparently not a single new deal to boost supply has been signed under the act. >> i would like for us to be doing 2 million vaccines a day. vaccinations a day. >> we should be pushing our political leaders to do even better. >> reporter: the various variants now circulating here also impact tests. says the fda. >> there may be a difference going forward. >> reporter: testing never quite reached the numbers needed and now it's falling. right now, average new case counts are falling. all across the country. but still averaging over 160,000 new cases every day. and those faster-spreading variants -- >> are now going to overlay on top of that very high baseline, so what we can expect to see in
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the course of the next i think 6 to 14 weeks is something we haven't come close to experiencing yet. >> reporter: now, just on our air, the superintendent of schools here in los angeles said maybe later this spring schools can open but, jake, right now, the infection rate is double what it needs to be even more just elementary schools to open. county officials are optimistic. they say if everyone carries on playing by the rules, we can get that number down, but then what will the unions say and what will this virus and its variants do? jake? >> nick waut, thank you so much. joining us in studio cnn's chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. a rare treat to have you here in studio, sanjay. thank you so much. health officials say the two people who tested positive for the new south african variant that worries fauci and others have no known travel history, no connection to each other. that seems really troubling. >> yeah, i mean, you know,
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there's so far the contact tracing hasn't revealed anybody else that's actually had contact with these people or people that may have actually spread it to them, but almost assuredly, without the travel connection, history, it's out there. to give you context, i was looking into thiss, the uk variant, first time it was discovered will be one month tomorrow. first case. now it's in 30 states here in the country. even now if you go back and say, okay, before december 29th when it was first found they're now finding new cases even earlier than that. so it's here. these variants are here. that's not really a surprise given how contagious and how much travel there still is. >> so we know that the uk variant was more easily transmissible. it was more -- it wasn't worse for you necessarily, but it was easier to catch. what do we know about the south african variant? >> it seems to have that sort of thing. not necessarily more lethal. but more transmissible. this -- the concern that dr.oth there's three mutations with
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this particular variant all around the spike protein. people hear about the spike protein, what they're drcreatin the antibodies to. starting to get lots and lots of mutations around that, you start to say, is this going to say the vaccine immunity? so far it doesn't look like it has. this is important because you're going to look at these numbers, look at these variants and say what is happening here? i think one thing we're starting to see is this idea that just by being more transmissible, over time, it could be more lethal. because you just spread it more and more to vulnerable populations. >> officials from the fda say these covid variants are beginning to impact testing and asking manufacturers to ensure their tests can detect the virus as it continues to mutate. could there be even more variants circulating that we don't even know about? >> i think there are. i was talking to somebody who's a geneticist sort of looking at these sequences last night. and one of the things they point out is obviously these viruses mutate all the time. the vast majority of the mutations are inconsequential,
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really not going to mean anything but we already have lots of different mutations accumulating. not enough to say, hey, this is a distinct variant, necessarily or not. i think there's going to be three issues that come up. one is will these mutate enough where the existing pcr tests are missing it? possibly. the pcr tests look for these broad areas so you'd have to have huge mutations for it not to catch it anymore. the second thing, i think this is probably the most -- thing we really got to pay attention to, convalescent plasma from people who have had the infection an now recovered. the convalescent plasma seems to have less of an effect on the south african variant. vaccine has effect, but the convalescent plasma doesn't. what does that mean? it means people could get reinfected with the south african variant, i had covid, i'm fine, good to go, but now you have the south african variant, it could potentially cause reinfections. we don't know that for sure. that's something scientists are paying attention to. >> just to be clear, i didn't have covid. >> you were playing a role
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there. i didn't want anybody to misunderstand. tell us about the novavaxx vaccine. they just released a report of their efficacy of their vaccine. >> close to 90% efficacy in phase 3 trials. these are extraordinary numbers. we're used to 90%-plus. 90% efficacy in this trial and the time the trial was done, it was done in locations where a lot of these variants were circulating. so you're getting two pieces of data here. you're getting overall efficacy, but because of the time period that this trial was done, you're also getting updated information, if you will, on the fact it also seems effective against these variants. so that's good. i mean, we're going to have vaccines that come out, over and over again, we're seeing despite the fact that these variants are rising, the vaccine is inducing enough immunity to still sort of protect us from those. >> all right. dr. sanjay gupta, always good to see you. good to see you in person. >> yeah. >> talk to you again tomorrow i'm sure. >> okay. coming up, need covid relief to help pay your bills, put food
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in our "politics lead" today, a really depressing economic statistic. in 2020 the u.s. economy shrank the most since 1946. and this is all the fallout from the covid pandemic. president biden is currently pushing a $1.9 trillion covid relief proposal but as cnn's phil mattingly reports, that proposal is being challenged by legislators on both the right and the left. >> first thing i got to do is get this covid package passed. >> reporter: president joe
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biden's goal of a bipartisan coronavirus relief package may be slipping away. >> we're not going to do this in a piecemeal way or break apart a big package. >> reporter: the white house and their allies on capitol hill ready to press forward. >> republicans can still vote for a package, even if it goes through with reconciliation. there's no blood oath anybody signs. they're able to sign -- to support it regardless. >> reporter: top white house officials including the president, himself, continue to have discussions with republicans in search of a path forward. >> he wants this to be a bipartisan package. he's listening to democrats and republicans. we all are. to ensure that that's what it looks like at the end of the day. >> reporter: but biden has also made clear splitting key elements out to reach a deal is not on the table. >> time is of the essence. and i must tell you i'm reluctant to cherry pick and take out one or two items here and then have to go through it again because these all are kind of -- they go sort of hand in glove. >> reporter: and democrats on
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capitol hill are increasingly convinced a deal with any republicans on biden's $1.9 trillion proposal simply not possible, sources say. >> the smartest thing we can do is act big. a >> reporter: and they are ready to push ahead on a partisan basis. >> we would hope that we would have bipartisan cooperation, but we're not taking any tools off the table should they not. >> reporter: all as the depth of the economic destruction wrought by covid comes to light. the u.s. economy contracted 3.5% in 2020, the first annual decline since the 2008 financial crisis. and the worst drop since 1946. >> middle of this covid crisis. >> reporter: the damage from the pandemic also driving biden's newest executive action on obamacare. the man who made bfd famous. >> this is a big [ bleep ] deal. >> reporter: now re-opening the law, the deal was so big, as he presses to undo his
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predecessor's efforts to kill the law. >> basically the best way to describe it, undo the damage trump has done. >> reporter: jake, the white house announced on thursday it's their policy not to allow any business to imply it has the endorsement from president biden. that would obviously be a shift from his predecessor. the reason it's coming up right now is on inauguration day a boca raton law firm for which biden's brother, frank biden, serves as an adviser, had an advertisement in a local newspaper touting his ties to his brother. the white house did not specifically comment on that ad but making sure they don't endorse such behavior implying any presidential endorsement of a deal, jake. >> biden told me his brothers and sons would not engage in anything that appears to be a conflict of interest. that's been violated to a degree. the vaccine rollout taking a new turn. a 22-year-old accused of giving a shot to his buddies. one of several wild and potentially illegal developments that we found. that's next.
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in our "national lead" devastating news from new york state where governor andrew cuomo is currently facing new questions after a new report by
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the state attorney general accusing his department of health of severely underreporting the number of covid deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%. in march 2020 the cuomo administration blocked nursing homes from rejecting any residents solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnose for covid. more than 6,000 residents were then admitted even after having tested positive which very well could have increased the spread of the virus. cuomo eventually reversed the order but he has insisted it was in line with federal recommendations. at the time the cuomo administration has since been accused of trying to keep the high nursing home death toll numbers under wraps. the state only counting residents who died at nursing homes. not residents who were moved to hospitals where they died. that would keep the reported death count lower. the report from the attorney general la tisha james, a fellow democrat, says -- "admission of patients into nursing homes may have put residents in increased
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to harm in some facilities and obscured the data to assess that risk." brynn gingras joins us. >> this is something that dogged the governor and health department for a better part of a year now and essentially the department of health publicly posted numbers on nursing home deaths today. if you look at that, it counts about 8,700 people. this a.g. report suggests thousands more residents whose deaths are already recorded shown should be reflected in the nursing home statistics. this is a big difference and matters as you can imagine for those families who for nearly a year now feel like their loved ones weren't properly accounted for by the state and this is also, of course, important for state lawmakers, democrats as well who for months have been demanding from the state an accurate count of how many nursing home residents died from covid-19. now, in addition to what you already mentioned about the march order by the cuomo administration, a controversial state health department report released last summer said the march memo wasn't to blame for
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an increase in deaths. but this a.g. report questions all of that saying the guidance issued in march put residents at risk. "nursing home implementation of some guidance may have led to an increased risk of fatalities in some facilities and may have obscured data reported by nursing homes." now, the state health department just commented on this report to cnn in part saying, "the word, undercount, implies there are more total fatalities than have been reported. this is factually wrong. in fact, the oag report, itself, repudiated the suggestion that there was any undercount of the total death number. the oag's report is only referring to the count of people who were in nursing homes but transferred to hospitals and later died." in addition to all of that, the a.g.'s office received reports and found some nursing homes, jake, weren't following infection control protocols like, get this, not separating covid-positive patients from other residents, not having enough ppe on hand, ppe, and
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demanding sick employees still come to work or possibly get fired or not properly screening staff members. of course, all of this contributing to the spread of the virus among the most vulnerable. here's the rub. last year, jake, the state legislature and the governor created some immunity for nursing homes, protecting them from potential liability. so what the consequences will be for these homes and the state, really, it's unclear at this point. >> all right. brynn gingrasi. thank you so much, appreciate it. "our national lead" today, the rush to vaccinate as many americans as possible for covid led to shady behind the scenes deals, from washington state, where wealthy hospital donors were reportedly invited by a be bellevue to cut in line to philadelphia, pennsylvania, where a student admits he took vaccine doses home to give them to his friends. cnn's sara murray takes a closer look at how any of this was even possible. >> reporter: in the sprint to vaccinate hundreds of millions of americans as quickly as possible, alleged bad acts are already beginning to appear. >> really the health department here who's giving us a shot and
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they're trusting us with their vaccines. >> reporter: philadelphia now cutting ties with the group, philly fighting covid. >> in retrospect, we should have been more careful with this organization. >> reporter: its 22-year-old founder admitting he pocketed vaccine doses for his friends when they were supposed to be earmarked for vaccination sites to serve health care workers. >> the doses were about to expire. we called everybody we knew, every single person. >> reporter: andre also admitting he isn't qualified to administer vaccines. >> but andre, you're not qualified, right? >> no. that is my mistake to carry for the rest of my life, but it is not the mistake of the organization. >> reporter: the group drawing scrutiny from philadelphia's district attorney who called their reported activities concerning. and asked the public for any information on crimes related to this matter. in washington state a hospital blasted out an email to its major donors advertising available vaccine appointments. >> if, in fact, they were giving preference to some vip list, that's not the way to do it. that is not acceptable for us.
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>> reporter: now overlake medical center is apologizing saying, "we recognize we made a mistake by including a subset of our donors and by not adopting a broader outreach strategy to fill these appointments." in georgia the public health department says the medical center of elberton was booted from the state's vaccination program after providing shots to local school district staffers even though they weren't yet eligible for vaccines. >> i share your hope that we can vaccinate these deserving georgians soon. the truth is, we do not yet have enough vaccine. >> reporter: and in florida a fire rescue captain allegedly stole vaccine to try to inoculate his mother. pressuring a paramedic who ended up forging the paperwork for the missing doses. >> it's absolutely disappointing. >> reporter: joshua collin recently named the county's paramedic of the year. now under arrest. along with anthony, the fire captain he covered for. >> you can run but you can't hide. >> reporter: now, cnn has not been able to get in touch with
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domiano. colon's attorney in a statement says he regrets it, failing to alert the chain of command to the theft of the vaccine. we reached out to andrei in philadelphia and have not heard back from him. jake, it, of course, bears noting most of the folks out there trying to administer these vaccines are doing the best jobs they can. they're honest brokers in this. of course, a few bad acts are emerging. >> that's right, in a crisis you see the best of humanity and you just brought us some of the worst. sara murray, thanks so much. appreciate it. the effort to punish a top republican who voted to impeach president trump now drawing a member of the trump family back into the spotlight. that's next. ♪ [ engines revving ] ♪ it's amazing to see them in the wild like th-- shhh. [ engine revs ]
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i think you can too. call now! in our "politics lead," one week since leaving washington, d.c., members of the trump family are in the spotlight again today. in the last hour donald trump jr. called into a rally in wyoming with matt gaetz urging maga supporters to vote republican congresswoman liz cheney out for congress for voting to impeach his father. >> the people of wyoming are clearly not thrilled with liz cheney, i'd find someone who can replace her and actually do that job well. >> as i said, congresswoman cheney voted in favor of impeaching donald trump. that was her offense. let's discuss. ron and abby, abby, i mean, did the trump era end?
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>> apparently not. i think, you know, don junior seems to be up to his usually shenanigans focused postally on political considerations that are squarely focused on his father, rather than the republican party at large. i mean, this is exactly the kind of thing that, obviously, the minority leader in the house, kevin mccarthy, is trying to avoid. this sort of republicans eating their own narrative. but that is exactly what is happening here. and the only person who benefits from this is donald trump who is no longer in office, even though mccarthy says that he's going to help elect republicans in the house and the senate. i think republicans have a real reason to be skeptical of that, especially after what happened in georgia. when the president seemed to put his own political fortunes ahead of his party. >> and, ron, just yesterday, cnn reported that house minority leader mccarthy told his fellow republicans in a call to, quote, cut the crap when it came to attacking each other.
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one day after that congressman matt gaetz goes to wyoming which is kind of far from his home district in florida and he and don junior rally against the number-three republican in the house. i mean, did mccarthy's threats mean anything to the trump wing of the party? >> no. i mean, look, and the trump wing of the party, you know, remains the party. i mean, this is exactly what republicans have let themselves in for. as we discussed before. by allowing trump's unfounded claims, his lies about the election, to take root because they basically guarantee his influence in the party remains enormous. you can't look at him and say, well, he led us to defeat. no, he wasn't defeated. it was stolen. that argument. by allowing and abetting that argument, they have put themselves in a position where his tattoo on the party getting deeper and deeper. it is worth noting while republicans are still overwhelmingly bending the knee to trump as we saw in the senate as well, there was new polling out today from the public religion research institute that
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roughly three-fifths of americans overall says he's encouraging white supremacist groups and bears a lot of responsibility for the attack on the capitol. i mean, they are deepening their association with him, even after an unprecedented riot that raises deep questions about the extent of his reach through the electorate going forward. >> meanwhile, as they go after liz cheney, they're standing by congresswoman marjorie taylor greene, the republican from georgia who's a conspiracy theorist and bigot. speaker pelosi attacked mccarthy today for putting marjorie taylor greene on the education committee, even after video had surfaced of greene attacking a parkland survivor, after news that she had spread conspiracy theories about parkland, about sandy hook. now, the congresswoman just responded. congresswoman greene just res responded to efforts to punish her saying in a statement, "democrats want to take me out because i represent the people and they absolutely hate it." abby, what do you think? >> well, this is part of the
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same, you know, it's the other side of the coin of the matt gaetz situation where you're seeing the so-called trump wing of the party really running the show here. marjorie taylor greene not only is not being reprimanded for her well-known conspiratorial comments and beliefs, but she has also been welcomed into the republican party by trump, himself, being invited to the white house multiple times when trump was president. even after all of these views had been well known. her sympathies for qanon and so on and so forth. this is just further evidence that, you know, kevin mccarthy as a minority leader has absolutely no intention of moving these sort of fringe views outside of their party. placing her on a committee and saying he's going to give her a slap on the wrist is about, you know, as weak of a reprimand as you can get. it's not even a reprimand. it's just him skirting the issue altogether. this is thing i think could be very destructive to the republican party. just given how really out of
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the -- beyond the pale some of these views are on sandy hook, on marjorie taylor greene, high school, all of these view are reprehensible. >> marjory stoneman douglas. >> sorry. >> no problem. she's a bigot, too, an anti-muslim bigot. it's reprehensible. appreciate it. coming up next. free to go, those who beheaded journalist daniel pearl have been released from prison. what officials are ♪ caring for each other, ♪ protecting each other. ♪ and as the covid vaccine rolls out, we'll be ready to administer it. ♪
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troubling news in our "portland le "world lead", the men accused of beheading daniel pearl should be released from prison. he was working as the south asia bureau chief of "the wall street journal" in 2002 when hifs kidnapped in southern pakistan and brutally murdered. a video of his beheading caused international outrage and fears of the growing and now-ever present threat of radical islamic terrorism. cnn's alex marquardt joins us to discuss. what was the court's reasoning for releasing these killers? >> remarkably, jake, they haven't really said. we're waiting to see the court documents. se they upheld the ruling from a lower court, provincial court, last year overturned the sentences of these four men including the alleged rin ringleader, ahmed omar sheikh, convicted and sentenced to death row. his sentence last year reduced to seven years, essentially time
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spent. last year, this was the wording of the court then, these men suffered irreparable harm and extreme prejudice. they were not released. they still have not been released even though the supreme court has ordered them to be released. they're still being held under pakistan's national security authorities, jake. >> these men, terrorists, are obviously very dangerous. what is the biden administration doing about this? >> well, very strong words from the white house today. the white house saying that the u.s. is outraged about it. white house press secretary jen psaki as well as the secretary of state tony blinken saying tht this is an affront to victims of terror everywhere. they have called on pakistan to review all of their legal options including having the u.s. prosecute sheikh for the murder of daniel pearl. we got a statement just a short time ago from the secretary of state tony blinken which says that, "we are also prepared to prosecute sheikh in the united states for his horrific crimes against an american citizen. we are committed to securing
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justice for daniel pearl's family and holding terrorists accountable." jake? >> all right, alex marquardt, thanks so much. stay on this story, please, because the pearl family deserves justice at the very, very least. before we go, we want to remember one of the 431,000 people who have died of covid in the u.s. corky lee was a legendary photographer known for documenting the life of asian-americans. he was born and raised in queens, new york. he was a founding member of the local chapter of the asian-american journalists association. the organize says that old photos of the trans-continental railroad inspired lee to become a photographer. he noticed that there were no asians in the photos even though, obviously, thousands of chinese migrants were vital to its construction. in addition to photography corky lee was a political activist. he helped petition new york city to create bilingual voting ballots. he spent two weeks in the icu with covid before he died
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yesterday. corky lee was 73 years old. to the lee family, our deepest condolences and may his memory be a blessing. you can follow me on facebook, instagram and twitter. @jaketapper. you can tweet the show @theleadcnn. our coverage on cnn continues right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're following breaking news. the acting u.s. capitol police chief now calling for permanent fencing around the u.s. capitol and backup forces deployed right nearby amid the growing security threats here in washington, d.c. that comes as we learn new details about a west virginia man who was arrested near the capitol armed with a gun and 20 rounds of ammunition. court documentsa