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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  June 16, 2022 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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the january 6th committee presents new evidence as it tries to connect the capitol insurrection to trump's pressure campaign against his vice president. witnesses testifying trump knew the plan was illegal, but he went ahead with it anyway.
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there is so much to discuss with our senior political analyst, but first we want to get you to manu raju with the latest. >> mike pence has betrayed america! >> reporter: the pressure campaign was relentless. donald trump for months trying to get mike pence to do something no vice president has ever done, reject the will of the electorate and install him as president for a second term. right up to this heated phone call on the morning of january 6th, just before pence was presiding over a joint session of congress to certify joe biden's victory. >> he called him a wimp. >> it was a different tone that i heard him take with the vice president before. >> do you remember what she said? her father called him. >> the p word. >> trump revised his january 6th street in a rally of his supporters to take aim at the
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vice president. >> mike pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country. >> the rioters echoing the president's remarks. >> i'm telling you, if pence came, we're going to drag [ bleep ] through the streets. >> trump still attacked pence on twitter, just as the mob was 40 feet away from the vice president. >> the vice president's life was in danger. >> trump had been told repeatedly that pence had no authority to take such an unconstitutional action. >> was with it your impression that the vice president had directly conveyed his position on these issues to the president, not just to the world through a dear colleague letter but to president trump? >> many times. >> and he had been consistent in conveying his possession to the president. >> very consistent. >> the committee focussing on the role of trump attorney john eastman who pushed the theory that the vice president could
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overturn the election. >> all we're demanding of mike pence is that this afternoon at 1:00 he let the legislators look into it. >> white house officials were alarmed and pushed back on eastman. >> they thought he was crazy. >> i said, are you out of your iffing mind? >> even shawn hannity sending these text messages to mark meadows saying on january 5th, i'm very worried about the next 48 hours. but as he was pedaling the theory, eastman knew it was bogus, writing in october 2020 that nowhere does it suggest that the president of the senate gets to make the determination on his own. pence's former counsel recalling tense deliberations in the white house, including this demand from eastman on january 5th. >> what most surprised me about that meeting was that when mr. eastman came in, he said i'm
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here to request that you reject the electors. he came in and expressly requested that. >> and as trump and pence were privately sparring about the vice president's role, the white house issued a statement saying he and the vice president were in total agreement that pence had the power to act. >> we are shocked and disappointed because whoever had written and put that statement out, it was categorically untrue. >> the message came from trump. >> he dictated -- he dictated most of it. >> as for eastman, he had this request for trump. >> e-mail stated, quote, i have decided that i should be on the pardon list. that is still in the works. >> now, don, even as this committee is moving ahead, it's facing pressure from the justice department to turn over witness transcripts to help with its own investigation, but earlier today, the chairman of the committee told a group of us
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that he would not provide the justice department with that information that has caused some concerns with the justice department that it would belay their own probe from going forward. nevertheless, thompson said eventually they would cooperate. a big question to the committee is will they refer donald trump or anybody for further investigation, potential prosecution. that is still something that they have not made a final decision on. telling me earlier that they would wait for their final report to come out before they ultimately decided to weigh in on that topic. even though earlier this week, don, he indicated that was not an area he wanted to pursue. >> thank you very much. let's go to the folks to talk about this. i introduced them before ma knew. i want to start with you. we are learning incredible details about trump's campaign. countless people all around trump knew that it was a massive lie. so why was it able to go so far,
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do you think? >> listen, i think there are a couple of themes here. one of which is this enduring belief in the guard rails, right? american democracy is stronger than any one president, any one party and that ultimately democracy would be strong enough to withstand anything that donald trump wanted to do, his enablers wanted to do or his supporters wanted to do. the other thing here is you are donald trump in the aftermath of the election on the eve of january 6th, you are a man that has been able to get away with breaking lots of rules and suffering no consequences, right? you think about his first impeachment hearing. he at this point must realize that he is going to have people to rally around him, to believe him, to defend him no matter what. and so in the end, you have a man who goes to great lengths, pressuring mike pence with all sorts of lies who has spend
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years with this idea that american elections aren't to be trusted. he believes and it's always rightly so that he could do anything and get away with it. and it could be that come 2024 he could be elected president again and not necessarily face any punishment or this grave threat to american democracy that he incited on january 6th. >> elliot, even john eastman, the man behind this false theory that pence could overturn the election was well aware he was peddling complete b.s. watch this. >> we had an extended discussion, an hour and a half to two hours on january 5th, and when i pressed him on the point, i said, john, if the vice president did what you were asking him to do, we would lose 9-0 in the supreme court,
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wouldn't we? and he initially started, well, i think maybe you would only lose 7-2. and after some further discussion acknowledged well, yeah, you're right. we would lose 9-0. >> jacobs says eastman told trump directly his plan would violate the electoral count act. so it was all blatant -- it was a blatant intentional lie. >> and there was a reason, don, why he then pleads the fifth amendment, because he thinks he might have committed a crime 146 times. there is a reason why he asks specifically for a presidential pardon at some point because he thinks he might have committed a crime. and what he was doing, being full well aware of the fact that he was asking -- pushing for the government to take actions that he knew were unlawful, he was violating the law. there is any number of fraud statues and conspireing to defraud the united states that he might have committed and a
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federal judge said that he, perhaps working in concert with the president of the united states, might have violated the law at least two different times. and, so, you know, it is quite shameful here. and, you know, one thing that struck me today was to one of his e-mails, one of the thing that says about the president of the united states, you know him. once he gets something in his head, it's hard for him to change course. they knew that they were breaking the law. and the president clearly knew that all -- what they were pushing was wrong. but, you know, it is hard for him to change course. so what we saw here, don, was possibly evidence of a crime. >> to alice, the president laid out how he knew when pence didn't have the courage to do what he needed to be done. this is what we heard from the rioters at the time. >> nothing but a traitor and he deserves to bush with the rest of them. >> it escalated after what happened to pence.
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pence didn't do what we wanted. >> pence voted against trump. >> okay. and that's when all this start snd. >> yep. that's when we marched on the capitol. we have been shot at with rubber bullets, tear gassed. >> we just heard that mike pence is not going to eject any fraudulent electoral votes! that's right. you have heard it here first. mike pence has betrayed the united states of america. mike pence has betrayed this president, and he has betrayed the people of the united states, and we will never, ever forget! >> it's frightening. i mean, honestly. alice, i see you shaking your head. you're right. that's the right response. that trump tweet was like pouring gasoline on the fire. do you agree with that?
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>> absolutely. he just made a horrible situation even worse. while that was going on, we heard testimony today that mike pence was in the safety of the capitol 40 feet away from these protesters who had said that they were more than willing to take his life. he was in there with his family and his staff. i can't get past the optics of mike pence waiting to do his constitutional duty to certify the election results. he is there also in the bunker with his bible. and across town we have trump in the oval with his outrage. that is just so frustrating to think this happened. this is yet another example of donald trump, regardless of the advice he was given, what he knows to -- what anyone knows to be true, he goes with what he wants to be fact, and he shops around his advisers for who will confirm his belief in what we
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wants to do. and just when we heard the other day rudy giuliani, and you thought there couldn't be more of a clown in this situation, enter john eastman who goes to continue to provide inaccurate information to the president, giving him advice that as we heard greg jacobs say today there was no justifiable legal theory for what eastman was telling trump. yet, he went ahead and did it any way. this is despicable what happened. and the more we hear what happened, it just defies reality. i'm glad to see the doj is keeping an eye on this and is asking for witness testimony. i hope that people that are responsible are held accountable. but also be interested to see what happens in the court of law. but if this does change any minds in the court of public opinion. >> you know, alice, you know, you occasionally get into skirmishes of people on the panel. you were a trump supporter.
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you are a republican. and i asked you about this. do you ever get concerned about speaking your mind and saying these things about rudy giuliani and the president and what they did regarding january 6th? >> no. i -- i get a lot of people on social media that like to use their social media bravery and hide behind their anonymity. i'm not worried about speaking my mind. i would much rather say what i know to be true and what i know to be fact than to blindly follow a false narrative about election fraud and a stolen election, which most people that are rational and of sound mind and body realize that there is no factual basis to election fraud and no reason to fight this riot at the capitol. >> after hearing what those folks are saying about the former vice president and about others, what they wanted to do t, i had to ask you that.
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i would not ask you that question otherwise if we didn't have an insurrection and so much violence going on. thank you for your candor on that. let's play more. here's what else the committee said about the danger to mike pence. >> vice president pence and his team ultimately were led to a secure location where they stayed for the next four and a half hours, barely missing rioters a few feet away. >> approximately 40 feet. that's all there was. 40 feet between vice president and the mob. >> mr. attorney, did the committee make the case that trump's actions led to a direct threat to the vp's life? >> certainly. you know, perhaps not in a criminal chargeable way, don, but they have been making the case repeatedly that the president -- so for instance, at the very first hearing, they played the moment at which the tweet is read at 2:26 p.m., i believe. and then a guy is on the
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megaphone shouting, hang mike pence. so they're drawing a link between the two as one of the causes of the violence and the harm of the day. something that's getting buried today from the conservative judge that testified today, making the case that this isn't just about january 6th but the underlying causes that led to the kinds of things that were in your question, don, this violence and this sort of unrest hasn't gone away. >> right. >> and sort of what got us here could continue to plague the 2024 elections, if not dealt with in a very, very serious way. and that was -- he said it explicitly today. he said it in an op ed in february. thank god it was a trusted voice, a trusted messenger. it is an important one. this isn't just about one day of violence. >> i think you could even make the argument that trump may be more powerful now than where he is then. of the vast majority of
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republicans believe in donald trump's big lies, which were sort of built on smaller lies, which we saw laid out to masterfully today in that hearing. he seems poised to run for re-election, to announce at some point he's going to run for re-election. you see in states across the country being are being installed who believe in the big lie and who could have the power to overturn the will of voters in a state like nevada, georgia, arizona, pennsylvania. you have got a governor who is running who is saying he believes in the big lie, and he would have the power to appoint a secretary of state who could do donald trump's bidding. so you talk about that clear and present danger that was talked about. it is very, very abundantly clear that in some ways 2020 was sort of a dry run, a prelude of what we could see in 2024. >> i want to ask you and don.
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i asked a question and it was poorly phrased. i think that mike pence deserves credit for upholding democracy. i don't think he is a hero, right? so he has gotten a lot of praise from the committee today, the fact that he ultimately upheld the constitution. will that help or hurt him politically? because he may be weighing a run for president as well. >> you know, listen, there is a share of the republican party. we have alice on our panel tonight. there is a share of the republican party that certainly agrees with mike pence, who might vote for him in a primary. but i think the vast majority of republicans are still very much in line with trump. you see all of that emotion, right, that is on display. and january 6th, that is not necessarily just contained to those folks. there is a very raw and real emotional attachment that many republicans have for this president. >> i want to give alice -- she invoked your name.
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what do you say to that, about mike pence running? >> i expect him to do so. he will have a lot of support and will certainly get a lot more based on what we're learning in these hearings. >> you think? i mean, because -- who was on earlier who said he's going to -- oh, it was scott jennings. he said donald trump will get up on the stage with everyone and say, you know, would you have done what mike pence did on that day? he betrayed our country. >> most rational republicans realized that mike pence did what he was constitutionally obligated to do. and that is the right thing to do. most people realize that that was the role of the vice president. >> but honest question, though. is that where your party is today? is that where you think they will be in 2024? >> there is a large swath of the republican party that looks at donald trump as the head of the republican party. many of them are not watching
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the tiktok of these hearings. many of them are looking at issues like inflation and crime and gas prices as to what they're going to be voting for in 2024. they're not really paying that close attention. and to be quite honest, don, there is a lot of people, no matter what comes out of this hearing, it will not change their mind about donald trump and his false belief there was election fraud. many people are watching it and learning a lot of things that find it quite disturbing what happened on election night and the advice the president was given by a team of advisers. and instead he took the advice of rudy giuliani and john eastman. >> everyone is not in the affirmative. are you still shocked? >> i understand what the constitution stands for and that the constitution was carried
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out. >> i'm just here to tell you what you can go to jail for. >> i'll get a pardon, dan. >> thank you all. i appreciate it. a plot to overthrow the government. a violent mob overthrowing the capitol. if nothing changes, is there a real chance it could happen again?
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meta portal: make working from home work for you. he was told it was illegal, but trump kept pushing pence to overturn the election anyway. that's what the january 6th hearing is laying out today. susan glass is here.
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we're glad to have her. thanks so much. okay. so trump and everyone around him knew their plan to have pence overturn the election. they knew it was illegal. but he pushed it anyway, even as the mob descended on the capitol. is this the state of our democracy now, lies and violence? >> well, that's a cheery opening question there, don. i don't have a crystal ball. in terms of the judge who testified today who was looking forwards at 2022 and 2024 and seeing trump unequivocally as a clear and present danger. that was a phrase he used. >> yeah. i want to play that. by the way, he's a retired federal judge, very conservative. i found him very compelling today. we'll play it. here it is. >> almost two years after that fateful day in january 2021,
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that still donald trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to american democracy. >> so he is very well respected, right? he was almost nominated to the supreme court. what's interesting to see because i was out running errands, i thought he was -- even when he was slow to respond and he thought about what he was saying, he wanted to make sure he said the right things for the record, so he was a really good witness. trump and many republicans are still spouting election lies, susan. do you think this could happen
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again? >> well, not only could it happen again, but, you know, when something like this -- when the unthinkable happens, the story is again once you shatter a norm, you have moved to a whole different place. so not only, you know, is a challenge to the election possible, but this is the first time in american history that a president has refused to accept defeat and has interfered essentially with the peaceful transfer of power. it is the first time. now it is the first time, it is much easier to envision a second. they are institutionizing changes in republican parties across the country. you have a whole number of election deniers running for secretaries of state in places that are responsible for how the elections are going to be counted and certified and carried out in the future. i think there is a whole new cohort of republicans that think
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that if the election doesn't go your way and you control the state legislature, why not change the results? that's what's chilling to me about reading the text messages literally before the election. they were already contemplating overturning the results. >> i wonder what you thought of this moment, if you thought it was effective. this is what greg jacob brought up about the 2000 election. here it is. >> the history was absolutely decisive. and, again, part of my discussion with mr. eastman was, if you were right, don't you think al gore would have liked to have known in 2000 that he had authority to declare himself president of the united states. do you think the democrat lawyers just didn't think of this very obvious quirk that he could use to do that? and of course he acknowledged al gore did not and should not have had the authority at this time. text, structure, history, what we had was some ambiguous text
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that common sense would tell you the answer cannot possibly be that the vice president has that authority. as the committee already played the vice president's marks there is nothing more un-american. the vice president did not have such an authority. >> what did you think of that, susan? >> well, the florida dispute election in 2000, we're talking about 500 votes that separated the two candidates, that was a close election. you know, in that context, the 2020 election wasn't even close. electoralically it wasn't close. over 300 votes for biden. even in the closest state, we're talking about thousands and thousands of votes separating biden and trump. so it wasn't even close, first of all. second of all, the big difference between 2000 and 2020
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is that both al gore and george w. bush accepted the results and urged the country to come together around the outcome. and that is a huge difference. you have a candidate in trump who has gone to war against any outcome that did not have him as a winner. that is someone who fundamentally doesn't believe in the american system. to your point, why did pence's lawyer bring that up today? what's so revealing, i found it fascinating, we highlight this in our book that's going to come out in the foul, is that he says, john eastman, what about al gore? you say al gore should become the president. john eastman basically gives him a contorted answer and says, no, i didn't mean al gore should become president. >> or kamala harris. >> no way, absolutely. his theory is the most -- it is literally absurd, don. i'm not a lawyer, but in purely
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technical terms, this was ridiculous. and donald trump didn't care. the point was not what the legal theory said. it was simply that he had one. >> thank you. i appreciate it. so she called for the release of the kraken. now the committee wants to speak with the wife of supreme court justice clarence thomas about her role in the effort to overturn the 2020 results.
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the january 6th committee sending an official request to ginnie thomas asked her to speak with them in her role about the overturning of the 2020 election. it appears justice thomas is open to the idea. tom foreman has the latest now. tom, what is the committee hoping to learn. >> hey, don. a source familiar with the testimony confirmed to cnn the january 6th committee has e-mailed between ginnie thomas and john eastman who took the fifth 100 times. he is the conservative lawyer who argued that vice president mike pence could just throw out
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the electorates chosen by voters and let republican lawmakers in key position award those votes instead to trump. we don't know a lot about the content of these e-mails, but "the washington post" sources say the notes show that thomas' efforts to overturn the election were more extensive than previously known. now, that's saying something because the committee has 29 text messages between ginnie thomas and white house chief of staff mark meadows after his boss lost. for example, she lost help this great president stand firm. the majority knows biden and the left is attempting the greatest heist of our history. in regards to trump's legal team challenging the results she said, release the kraken from the left. daying after the attack on the capitol failed to stop the confirmation of biden's win she wrote, we are living through
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what feels like the end of america. amazing times. the end of liberty. ginnie thomas also reached out to lawmakers in arizona. "the washington post" says at least 29. urging them to reject what the voters wanted and choose a clean slate of electors saying they need to fight back against fraud. she said this responsibility is yours and yours alone. she has not responded to cnn's recent calls for a comment, but she told the washington free beacon, a conservative website, i played no role in those who were planning and leading the january 6th events. i was disappointed and frustrated that there was violence. and for those who question justice thomas' ability to fairly consider cases at the center of his wife's crew said, she insists clarence doesn't discuss his work with me and i don't involve him in mine.
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announced it would increase rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, the largest since 1994. making this move in hopes of cooling down inflation, causing americans to pay more for essentials like food and gas. let's bring in now business journalist mark stewart. good to see you. the president says that a recession is not inevitable. what's going on here? the market is indicating that a recession is on the way. >> well, the honest answer is that no one really knows. i wake up every morning with e-mails from economists with all of the big banks. everyone has a different take. as far as what happened today, think about you and your own life. if you have to make a decision, you try to sleep on it before you make a decision. well, last night wall street slept on it, the prospect of higher interest rates, highest costs for things like cars and homes, things that we all need, it freaked people out and that's
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why the market side dipped today. >> i was out running errands and i was like, whoa. it is down something like 070 points today. claims his stimulus plan is to blame for inflation. he said that is bizarre. what is the truth here? >> this is something that economists and politicians are going to study for a long time to come. this was an unprecedented event. and there was no choice but to pump money into the economy. the question is, was it too much and for too long of a period of time? i think there is a general consensus among economists that things perhaps went a little too far. that's why this is such a big struggle for the federal reserve to try and curb all of this. >> so it is not that bizarre to think it helped to increase inflation. >> it may not have been intended but in these unprecedented times, absolutely. >> what about now? because people are concerned about borrowing for cars, homes, what have you?
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does that help first-time buyers? >> everything that involves credit will cost more. your homes, credit cards, car loans. the goal of raising interest rates makes it harder to buy things, makes things more expensive. so perhaps home prices could go down, create a little more equity than we have seen in the past, a little more of a reasonable price tag. in addition, the number of people seeking homes will likely become smaller. so that, too, will lower prices because there may not be as much demand. >> thank you, mark. i appreciate it. >> of course. >> we'll be right back. cooold cuts cooold cuts
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expected to spark a new know melt. that's what caused historic flooding that washed away homes this week. >> the water plant here was built to work when the river runs at 15 feet or below. this week it hit 16 and a half, a 500-year event. a record high. that plant forced to close briefly. >> this is pretty surreal, seeing all the bridges go down across the state. just glad this one is here. >> this is one up river that did not survive, before and after. >> how abnormal was this rush of
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water? well, this time last year, the yellowstone river was running at 6,000 cubic feet a second. this week it hit 87,000 peaked around here wednesday afternoon. >> started moving cattle about noon in the back there and moving them towards the front up here where it is higher ground. the last ones had to swim out. it was that deep. they were -- all you could see was their heads. >> further up, a nyellowstone transcr. the southern park of yellowstone park might open as soon as monday. satellite image shows what little is left of the only road in. this flooding was fueled by heavy rain and high temperatures melting snow. tonight similar conditions return. >> overnight was perfect,
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zooming you in to yellowstone. temperatures were below freezing on top of that snow. so stopping the melting on the tracks. freezing the snow back up. but then by tomorrow, more temperatures well above freezing. more melting. by saturday the possibility of some rain. there is a lot more snow on top of those mountains. >> our exclusive video shows what this river has already brought. cnn billings, montana. nick, thanks so much. we'll be right back. ♪ luna rossa ocean. the fragrance by prada. hybrid work is here. it's there. it's everywhere. but for someone to be able to work from here, there has to be someone here making sure everything is safe. secure. consistent so logn from here. or here. assured that someone is here ready to fix anything.
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anytime. anywhere. even here. that's because nobody... and i mean nobody... makes hybrid work, work better. ♪ making friends again, billy? i like to keep my enemies close. guys, excuse me. i didn't quite get that. i'm hard of hearing. ♪ oh hey, don't forget about the tense music too. would you say tense? i'd say suspenseful. aren't they the same thing? can we move on guys, please? alexa, turn on the subtitles. and dim the lights. ok, dimming the lights. [♪]
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(vo) when it comes to safety, who has more iihs top safety pick plus awards— the highest level of safety you can earn? subaru. when it comes to longevity, who has the highest percentage of its vehicles still on the road after ten years? subaru. and when it comes to brand loyalty, who does jd power rank number one in the automotive industry for three consecutive years? subaru. it's easy to love a car you can trust. it's easy to love a subaru. days after russia's invasion of
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ukraine. cnn hero, erin jackson, traveled to poland to help refugees across the border. after finding accommodations for those of their pets, he recently took over an animal shelter in the city of pause none. and welcome 17 dogs, along with a pair of women who helped them survive the fighting. >> and when the dogs were already en route to us, they told us that two refugees had joined the convoy. and asked if we could help them. when valerie and her mother first got there, you can tell they were nervous and scared. i could not help but notice that all the dogs really loved the to refugee ladies that had accompanied them. and then i learned that these dogs had been in a bomb shelter, with a valerie and her mother's
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for the last few days before coming to us. 40 days without any access to food, hardly any access to water. valerie was good with the dogs, we gave her in her mom a job. which we are excited about. and a target through the 40 days of her life, and she held the dogs through the worst 40 days of their life. >> to learn more about the journey with the dogs, go to, and while you're there you can nominate someone you think that should be a cnn hero. thanks for watching everyone, our coverage continues! good evening, it was billed as an examination of the pressure put on then, mike pence, and in today's testimony before the january six committee hearings, it was certainly that. but in a sense, it was also a revelation of just how thoroughly those were pushing to over turn the election knew that what they were doing was constitutionally dubious, an


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