tv CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta CNN April 10, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
. and you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington. and by the time he left washington republicans had lost the presidency, the house and the senate, and on his way out the door he incited an insurrection that left five people dead. you'd think that's the type of leader any political party would want to run away from.
instead the gop is flocking to former president donald trump's haven in south florida this week. tonight the former president is headlining a closed door donor retreat at mar-a-lago expected to raise millions of dollars for the republican party. and at the same time just a few miles away at his dural golf club allies are holding another trump fest, this one organized by women for america first, the very group that planned the rally that proceeded the capitol riot. republican congressman matt gaetz actually spoke at that summit last night. yes, currently under investigation for potentially violating sex trafficking and prostitution laws, that matt gaetz spoke at a womens summit and thought this would be a smart thing to say. >> i take the words of margaret thatcher to heart. if you want something said, get a man. if you want something done, hire a woman. >> so what do supporters there think? welcome to the upside down.
>> so do you think the trump supporters that did that that day are sort of -- >> we don't know that they were trump supporters. >> now, obviously some of the people that went in the capitol were, but you can also see the doors were open. and so, yeah, they were trespassing, but they didn't destroy anything. they didn't beat anybody up. >> now, that's not just wrong, that's 100 feet down the rabbit hole and how dangerous and how sad it is we're so divided we can't even agree on the definition of violence. that's clearly violence.
i can see it right now with my own eyes. despite people dying in that attack on the capitol. but also consider where most of them get their information. >> they didn't have guns but a lot of them had extremely dangerous ideas merchandise they talked about the constitution and something called their rights. some of them made openly seditious claims. they insisted for example the last election was not entirely fair. >> there at the women for america first summer. you got an earful to say the least. what can you tell us? >> reporter: the big lie the election was stolen is very much alive and well here at the trump resort. the organizers and attendees at this pro trump conference happening here this weekend are essentially trying to rewrite the history of january 6th. i spoke to some of them. have a listen. >> and i do believe that the
election was stolen, and i do believe that it was a peaceful rally that day. and that just because people who were in the capitol were wearing trump shirts and trump hats doesn't necessarily make them trump supporters. anybody can get those shirts. >> reporter: but a lot of them have been shown to be trump supporters through indictments. >> i don't know that to be true. >> reporter: i think some people who watch this who are not trump supporters would say here's a trump supporter in denial about january 6th. >> you don't have to say that to me because i've had friends and family say that to me. they think i'm crazy, i'm a conspiracy theorists because of the election was stolen. >> reporter: speaking of your family calling you conspiracy theorist marjory taylorgreen is going to be speaking here this weekend. she's known as the qanon congresswoman. >> i don't know what's so terrible about qanon.
can you tell me? >> it's a baseless conspiracy theory. >> well, what is so terrible about conspiracy theories anyway. can you tell me? i mean there were conspiracy theories behind jfk's assassination. i'm old enough to remember all the conspiracy theories that swirled around his assassination. it's always painted in such a negative way. >> reporter: but these conspiracy theories are causing into the foundation of american democracy or helping to inspire a violent insurrection. >> no, i don't believe that's the case. in what way? can you explain? >> reporter: the lie the election was stolen. >> well, see, that's where we part ways. i don't believe that it's a lie. >> reporter: and jim, obviously what you hear there from gnat woman a lot of it is false but not necessarily fringe in the republican party at this point. we've seen polling over the past
week that shows many republicans, a majority of republicans believe some version of lies about the election and about january 6. and you heard that woman there ask what is wrong with conspiracy theories, what is the problem with qanon? and our colleague i want to show you this quote by our colleague on cnn.com today from a congressman, a rare republican congressman speaking out against all this. he said when we say qanon you have the sort of extreme forms but also this softer gradual undermining of any shared collective sense of truth. and that is precisely the point here. not everybody believes in all the lunatic elements of qanon but many, many republicans like those we've spoken to here this weekend believes in that big lie that continues to be perpetuated by the former president of the united states. >> the lies, the conspiracy theories, the denialism runs deep there at that summit. what better way to show support
for former president donald trump than to host a gop retreat in his own backyard. later this evening hundreds of republican donors would gather for an invitation-only event at mar-a-lago. a clear message that while some in the gop may be ready to move on from the trump era, many are holding on tightly with all of their might. and cnn's michael warren joins us from palm beach, florida. michael, what do we know about tonight's event? >> reporter: just about 300 yards behind me about 350 republican donors are about to go about ten minutes up the road to mar-a-lago where former president trump will be giving the sort of keynote address to donors. we have the excerpts of what he's expected to say. he's expected to give his commitment to the republican party. this is an rnc event. this is about the entire republican party, questions about whether former president trump would be committed. he's trying to say, yes, i will
be committed. we do have a cup of excerpts i want to read. we are gathered tonight to talk about the future of the republican party, trump is expected to say, and what we must do to set our candidates on a course to victory. i stand before you this evening filled with confidence that in 2022 we're going to take back the house and we're going to re-claim the senate and then in 2024 a republican candidate is going to win the white house. he's going to talk, jim, about joe biden, the man who beat him in the presidential race last november, talking about the failure of his agenda in his administration. he's also going to hit on what are these issues that has really been bubbling up among conservatives and republicans in the cultural sphere, these questions about what corporations are doing in response to say georgia's voting law? he's going to hit on c corporations like coca-cola, nordstrom and delta and decry the woke capitalism that is hurting things like major league
baseball which moved the all-star game out of atlanta. that's what we expect to hear and a lot more from donald trump tonight, jim. >> and they'll have to move the diet coke out of view of the cameras and folks their in attendance. we appreciate it. one prominent republican certainly done treading lightly around donald trump in his new book "on the house." former house speaker john boehner accuses the former president of inciting the january 6th attack on the capitol saying trump did it, quote, for nothing more than selfish reasons perpetuated by the bullshit that he lost the election. and you can be a total moron just by having an "r" next to your name. my next guest is also featured in the former speaker's book in a very colorful way that is vintage john boehner so to speak and that's harry reid.
joins me now. i want to talk about john boehner's book in just a moment. but i have to ask you after seeing or listening to those segments we just went through what do you make of the republican party today versus the party you dealt with when you were in office? >> well, i look back with some nostalgia to john heinz, the republicans we work with democrats, we work together at that time. we don't see that now. it's tribal and i think the republican party needs to find itself. >> and you and john boehner now cochair policy institute in las vegas, but it wasn't always so friendly between the two of you. we know this. it's been reported on and john boehner writes about it in his book about getting angry after you referred to the house as a dictatorship of the speakership. and this is john boehner here saying if you think i were a
dictator you'd think i'd let these members get away with screwing me over all the time. hell no, and reid knew exactly what he was doing. i went over got in reid's face and said do you even list toon all the "s" that comes out of your moth, you can go "f" yourself. do we romanticize what it was like in the pre-trump era sph. >> the deal was this. john boehner and i got a lot done but we didn't mince words. he was right i did everything i could to cause him trouble because i knew he was having a lot of trouble. the more trouble he was having in his caucus the better it was for us, and he knew what it was doing. and i wasn't at all surprised that he came to me and gave me one of his other -- he's someone
we got along well for a couple of reasons. number one we had a deal. he would not come to my office. all our meetings were in his office, he could smoke to his heart's content. and we had a staff member on hand john summers, in my office david croen. we got a lot of things done. but i have a lot of respect for john boehner, he as far as i'm concerned was a great patriot. >> and earlier in the show we talked about the conspiracy theories surrounding the capitol riot and how some republicans are trying to rewrite that history. i can't imagine what you would have thought that day if you had been there. what was going through your mind as you saw the capitol being attacked that day? and what do you make of some of the revisionism that's going on now about it? >> that was very troubling to
me. my first stint in washington i was a capitol policeman. i worked that shift from 3:00 to 11:00, every six days a week. and for me to see what was going on in the capitol, troubling. because not only did i work as a capitol policeman during the time i was a leader i had a lot of people trying to hurt me. so the capitol police actually lived with me 24 hours a day for many, many months. so i am very, very concerned about the safety of the capitol, and i think it's something we need to take a look at long and hard. i think that this happened once, could happen again and we have to be prepared next time not to let it happen. >> and do you think all that fencing should stay up around the capitol? a lot of people want to take it down. and then we had that incident last week where another officer died. >> i think we shouldn't be doing this piecemeal. i think there should be an
overall plan. i think there should be a study made, find out what needs to be done. of course we'd like to have no fencing. i indicated earlier we had -- there was no security problems. now of course over the years it's developed. so there's some of the highest security around the world is in the united states capitol and rightfully so. but we have to make sure we keep the capitol so it is possible for people to come and visit. >> and senator, everyone wondered will the riot be the moment republicans abandon trump, and not only did that not happen, many are headed down to florida tonight to hear him speak. were you at all surprised that some of the people you served with, old guard types like lindsey graham, mitch mcconnell, this wasn't the moment they said enough was enough? we know mitch mcconnell spoke out against the former president during the impeachment, but much of the party is still really
lock step behind him and embracing him at this donor summit this weekend. >> as we heard earlier in your program, there were members of congress still going on spouting the election was stolen. that is the most -- lie you could imagine. as pat moynihan said you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. you're trying to develop facts that don't exist. >> i'm going to ask you this. you were saying earlier you like to make mischief for john boehner. would you like to see the republican party continue to embrace donald trump and in the withey are right now? would that be good for the democrats were they to continue to do that? >> yes. >> can you expand on that? >> well, what is going on with the republican party now is not the republican party that was defined over the many years as a
party of conservative thought, fiscal integrity. now some of the biggest steps we've ever had in this country has been under republican leadership. so i think the republican party needs to understand where they are, and i think being where they are is only good for democrats. i think that donald trump still has a following, no question about that. it won't last forever. he is a man who is dangerous. he's a demagogue, and he's shown his inability to govern. >> and back in 2013 -- let's go and talk about the filibuster because this is obviously an important subject everyone has been talking about in repeat days. you took the dramatic step of eliminating the filibuster for most nominations by presidents. at the time the argument was you had to fix a broken system but seeing how republicans then turned around and used this to their advantage under trump
where they got three justices on the supreme court, do you have any regrets about that? >> none whatsoever. remember we were able as a result of that able to pass the affordable care act, we passed on christmas eve. we hadn't met in the senate in 100 years on christmas eve. we passed the affordable care act, to allow people not to worry about disabilities, we were able to get so much done that made obama's presidency meaningful. they would not even approve the secretary of defense, they filibustered this secured defense. they wouldn't allow the second most important court in the country the d.c. circuit be filled with five or six vacancies. we couldn't get as i indicated cabinet officers filled, subcabinet. the republicans couldn't attack the leader head on and as a
result of my changing the rules we were able to get all that done. his first congress was the most productive congress in the history of the country even going back to roosevelt's first term when he had a good congress. but ours was better. >> i want to ask you this. i think something sort of thought provoking came out of the biden administration this past week and didn't get a lot of attention because there's so much going on in the news. he's now created a commission to look at adding seats to the supreme court, other ideas that some progressives are pushing for. they want to see the court's conservative majority be balanced. where do you stand on that? do you think it's a good idea to add seats to the supreme court? >> i think we should be very, very careful in doing so. i have no problem with the commission. but i think that the commission is going to come back and disappoint a lot of people because i think they're going to come back and say we should just
kind of leave it alone. i think it would be inappropriate at this time after the long history we have in the country to have term limits for judges. i think we better be very, very careful in saying that we need to expand the supreme court. i think we better be very, very careful. >> okay. former senate majority leader harry reid, i think some people might be surprised to hear you say that because you were definitely a fighter when you were in the senate and liked to take it to the other side. but it sounds like you're urging caution moving forward in that regard. >> let me say one thing. the filibuster is on its way out. it's not a question if. it's a question when. you cannot have a democracy that makes 60% of the vote. and so it's only a question of time until a filibuster goes away. >> all right, senator reid, we'll see if that happens. thanks so much. we appreciate that. and come back and join us any time. we appreciate it.
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gas ranges and grills. and if you're looking for... michigan right now is in crisis mode, leading the nation in coronavirus infections with a positivity rate of 18%. it's gotten so bad that hospitals may be forced now to delay or reskchedule nonemergeny procedures in order to treat the surge in covid patients. the director of the vaccine education center at the children's hospital of philadelphia. doctor, great to speak with you again. the governor of michigan as you know is begging the white house for more vaccines to help slow the spread. it sound like it's becoming a critical situation there. is that going to be enough? >> yeah, you know, it's frustrating. obviously this variant, the
so-called u.k. variant is more contagious and i think there's just fatigue from this pandemic out there so a lot of people don't wear masks, don't social distance so we've basically taken a step back in michigan. it's really frustrating because we're almost there. we have 20% of people now full aimmunized, about 25% of people who have been naturally infected which will provide immunity. and if we can get to about 85% population immunity we can slow the spread of this virus. by giving basically 3 million plus doses we have to hang in there for the next two months and we're not doing that. i think what's going on in michigan is a combination of pandemic fatigue and the variants that are contagious. >> 80,000 new cases nationwide that's prompting concern among medical experts like dr. fauci. how worried are you we're now
entering a fourth surge? >> i don't think that's going to happen. i think there are things working against this virus. one is the fact we are getting more and more vaccine out. two, the weather does work against this virus. even last summer if you look even though the virus came in and rt staed killing people last march we saw a peak up to 2,500 deaths a day in april and then it started to come down even though we had a fully susceptible population who didn't have a vaccine. although obviously it still can spread over the summer. plus you have a lot of population immunity from natural infection. i'm going to predict there's not a fourth surge realizing you should never make a prediction about this virus you're pretty much never right so i don't think we're going to see it. >> and cnn has learned nearly 40% of u.s. marines that were surveyed have declined the covid-19 vaccine. what do you make of that? what risk are they putting themselves and their fellow service members into and what
could be behind that? is it potentially the source of news they're receiving, that sort of thing? >> two things that stand in the way of getting on top of this pandemic and the one that worries me less is the variants. the one that worries me are people choosing not to get the vaccine. 41% of men say they don't want to get a vaccine, 14% of black or african-americans in that community say they don't want to get a vaccine. 30% of christian or evangelicals they don't want to get a vaccine. if i dut my foot on a nail and choose not to get a tetanus vaccine and then get tetanus, that's my choice. it shouldn't be your right frankly frankly choose to potentially catch and -- you're going to see
what percentage of this population doesn't want to get vaccinated and if it is a significant percent and that therefer doesn't allow us to control this virus we're going to have to decide. >> we need to get more and more information out to folks so they can become less hesitant about it. we appreciate it. >> and coming up next, week two of the testimony in the derek chauvin trial wrapped up with accounts from medical experts about what led to george floyd's death. what they said next. you're live in the cnn newsroom.
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a dramatic second week then derek chauvin murder trial wrapping up with critical testimony from the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on george floyd. a closer look at some of this week's key moments. >> reporter: the second week of the derek chauvin murder trial concluded with a key witness, andrew baker. >> you conducted the autopsy on mr. george floyd. >> i did. >> reporter: acknowledged that heart disease and drugs played a role in george floyd's death but the manner of death remains a homicide. >> it's what i put on the death certificate last june. the law enforcement said dual restraint and neck compression. >> baker's statements capped off a week of testimony repeatedly woking holes in chauvin's defense which argues floyd died from a combination of underlying health conditions along with the ingestion of methamphetamine and
fentanyl. >> that's the moment life goes out of his body. >> reporter: dr. martin tobin, a world renowned pull monologist broke down in detail four critical factors he said caused floyd to stop breathing like floyd's position on the asphalt which restricted his lungs. >> you mentioned several reasons for mr. floyd's low oxygen. you mentioned, one, handcuffs in the street. >> correct. >> you mentioned knee on the neck. yep. >> prone position. >> yep. >> and then the knee on the back, arm and side. were those the form? >> these were the form. >> reporter: defense nelson argued he -- >> is it fair to say you would expect the peak fentanyl respiratory depression within about five minutes? >> obviously it would depend on how much of it was ingested, but
if there was any amount of it ingested yes, the peak would be five minutes. >> reporter: tobin ultimately concluded drugs didn't kill floyd, testifying he had not taken a proper breath for almost ten minutes, at which point the carbon dioxide in floyd's body had reached lethal levels. the jury also heard from chauvin's former boss, minneapolis police chief medaria arradondo. he later said what happened to floyd was, quote, murder. the chief talked about chauvin's use of torse. >> is it your belief then this particular form of restraint if that's what we'll call it in fact violates departmental policy? >> i absolutely agree that violates our policy. >> reporter: the defense pushed back arguing that chauvin's knee placement which they say was actually on floyd's back was a proper police prone hold.
>> does this appear to be a neck restraint? >> no, sir. >> does this appear to be a prone hold that an officer may apply with his knee? >> yes. >> reporter: but the testimonial theme from law enforcement and use of force experts was clear. witnesses clearly told the jury that derek chauvin used, quote, excessive and deadly force on george floyd when restraining him with his knee for more than 9 minutes. >> and that was cnn's adrian brodus. as former congressman matt gaetz resists calls to resign i'll talk to a former senator who witnessed first-hand how the gop rallied around roy moore when he was facing allegations of sexual misconduct. but first here's a preview of the powerful now cnn series "the people versus the klan." >> there you've got a black man
hanging from a tree. >> michael donald was an innocent good samaritan. >> no doubt the klan is behind this. >> that was my baby and nothing they do can bring him back . >> we must continue to fight. >> the stakes could not be higher. >> this was an incredible story of courage. >> a powerful new cnn original series, "the people versus the klan" tomorrow at 9:00 on cnn. s.
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florida congressman matt gaetz finally fighting back last night against allegations of sex trafficking and other crimes while attending a womens summit at former president donald trump's golf resort down in florida. take a listen. >> i may be a canceled man, i may even be a wanted man by the deep state. but i hear the millions of americans who feel forgotten. >> i want to bring in cnn political commentator and former alabama senator doug jones. senator, whenever you're complaining about the deep state you're usually in deep something else. but anyone who thinks the gop will automatically abandon matt gaetz need only look back to your race in 2017 when you defeated republican roy moore. moore you'll remember faced accusations he had pursued sexual relations with teenage girls while in his 30s. despite those accusations moore continued to receive support from president trump at the time. i was there.
i reported on all of that. based on that experience do you see republicans getting to a point where they abandon gaetz if he has donald trump in his corner? >> you know, i think they will at some point. i mean this is beyond the pale. you know matt gaetz says he may be a wanted man. well, he likely will be at some point because i think he's in a world of hurt. and i believe at some point -- and we're not there yet. it takes a lot to break through the tribalism of today's politics, but i believe the tribalism is breaking. it's going to crack. what gaetz is accused of doing if the facts bear that out is beyond the pale. and i think you saw in the moore case people abandon them, they kind of came back. donald trump went to him because he was so afraid of losing the seat. tribalism is still strong, but at the end of the day i think this is going to be something that the republican party in the house and across the country just cannot ignore. >> hard to break from donald trump but maybe a little bit
easier when it comes to matt gaetz. switching gears tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. cnn is premiering the first two episodes of a pretty amazing original series "the people versus the klan." let's take a look at this. >> bill may donnell and her attorney michael figures enlists the voice of the reverend jesse jackson, future presidential candidate to come to mobile and tell their story and put it on a national stage. >> ms. bueller, i had no fear she wanted to see those who killed her son come to justice. and i was impressed with her resilience to fight back. >> one of the most feared names around here in alabama. you said the preacher was coming to town, the white folk got upset let me tell you. so it brought national attention
to our issues. >> incredible stuff. and our issue that many people are watching in all of this, senator, i mean this is just something. people don't know, senator, that you famously prosecuted the kkk members who bombed the 16th street baptist church in birmingham, alabama, killing four young black girls in 1963. how big a legal challenge did boulea may face taking on the kkk in 1981? >> it was a significant challenge. even in 1981 one would think we'd gone so far in terms of race relations, but we were not. not just in the south, i want to make that clear. it was still around the country. there were still issues and the challenge she faced was really two fold. i mean the law was on her side. the facts were on her side. what was not on her side was the
enthusiasm law enforcement. it took a couple of special prosecutors and investigators to really get to the bottom of it because in those days most every crime where you saw a young man of color who ended up dead, it was thought to be a drug crime. it was just automatically assumed. so she had to overcome that with a criminal case. and then in the civil case and the criminal case with a jury because people were still reluctant to convict folks and then much less to give money to her for the murder. and that was an incredibly significant matter. the civil case in that whole story, jim, was as important as the criminal case because it was the civil case and that $7 million judgment that just wrecked the klan, bankrupted them, destroyed the klan for a time being. >> and you've been following the derek chauvin trial for us. do you see any similarities between george floyd's case and michael donnell's cases? >> well, i think the real
similarity you go all the way back to the '63 bombing case and the other crimes of that era. what i see in thisisiss that peop that feel empowered, that they feel like they can do anything. in this case it was a police officer. you know we love to give our police officers the benefit of the doubt. we should in so many instances, but sometimes there are officers that seem to abuse that like derek chauvin and can do whatever he feels appropriate. and in connecting those dots, in the early '60s, it was people that were giving these dog whistle politics to the klan in one case, maybe police officers in this case that it's okay, you do your job and nothing will come of you. that i think is the biggest connection. and what we're seeing in the chauvin case now is a break down of that blue wall where so many police officers are pushing back and saying no, no, not this time, not on our watch. we believe this is wrong and should be held accountable. that is an incredibly significant development in the chauvin case. >> and we'll see if justice is
done. all right, former senator doug jones, thanks so much for joining usch we appreciate it. and a reminder to our viewers, a new cnn original series "the people vs. the klan" premieres tomorrow night right here at 9:00 on cnn. and build a straightforward plan to generate income, even when you're not working. a plan that gives you the chance to grow your savings and create cash flow that lasts. along the way, we'll give you ways to be tax efficient. and you can start, stop or adjust your plan at any time without the unnecessary fees. talk to us today, so we can help you go from saving...to living. jones, thanks so much for
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in the stabbing deaths of three young children in suburban los angeles has been apprehended. this 30-year-old woman was taken into custody. all three children who died appear to be under the age of 5 years old. a law enforcement source telling cnn the deaths of the three children do not appear to be a random attack. and residents on the caribbean island of st. vincent woke up to ash falling from the sky and a smell of sulfur. volcano has been shooting ash into the air. residents are being ordered out of the red zone near the volcano. it's probably a good idea. some cruise ships are sending ships to the area to help with any evacuations. every day people are changing world. since 2007, cnn heroes has
celebrated hundreds of these amazing individuals. they are all around us. you can help shine a light on their efforts by nominating them as a cnn hero. anderson cooper has more. >> reporter: it's been a time of challenges and change but also a time for hope. this year cnn heroes celebrates our 15th year of honoring every day people doing extraordinary things. from front line workers fighting against the coronavirus pandemic to those battling for racial equity and social justice. from spontaneous acts of courage to those who have dedicated their lives to making a difference. ♪ ♪ >> we need to see the world differently. >> anyone can have an impact, no matter their age. >> every day heroes are all around us. do you know a hero? tell us about them.
cases and emergency room visits are up. we are seeing these increases in younger adults, most of whom have not yet been vaccinated. >> we still have a high confidence that these vaccines are effective but we are still urging people to be cautious. >> matt gaetz adding two new york attorneys to husband defhusband-his defense team, looking into a wider probe of the congressman and his associates. >> they lie about me because i tell the truth about them and i'm not going to stop.