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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  June 20, 2022 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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it is the top of the hour. the january 6th committee opens its fourth public hearing in just a few hours at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. the committee saying tomorrow's hearings will focus on former president trump pressuring state officials to overturn election results and pushing to advance phony slates of electors. a lot to discuss with doug jones, charlie dent, a former republican congressman, and political analyst, the national
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politics reporter at "the washington post." also the co-author of the book "his name is george floyd." so happy to have all of you on. why don't i start with you. good evening to everyone. to the trump pressure campaign. last week the committee focussed on the intense pressure on pence and how much danger that put him in. this week it is the pressure on state officials to overturn the election. remember this call that trump made to georgia secretary of state? here it is. >> so, look, all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state. >> so what do you think it is going to mean to hear publically from these election officials? >> well, this is part of a
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methodical approach by this committee to lay out what happened after the election. it included not only former president trump when they went into court but after they were thrown out of court for all these failed legal efforts, they put pressure on these state lawmakers, including inviting some to the white house to overturn the will of the voters. and to hear from these state officials including brad raffensperger in georgia, lower official at the state level, this is something that voters may not be as familiar with, exactly how the president tried to strong arm some of these republican officials to get them to overturn the will of the voters, and that's something the committee will be laying out in a very delayed way tomorrow. >> doug jones, i want you to listen to this. this is from rusty bauers. he said trump asked him directly
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to replace the electors in the state. watch. >> i talked to him a couple of times, and they were -- they had asked me to take some steps that i just wouldn't do. i told him, i voted for him. i campaigned for him. but i told him i wasn't going to do anything illegal. >> so, you know, when the committee says trump was directly involved in the scheme to submit fake electors, is this what they're talking about? >> i lost audio. >> it sure sounds like it, don. there is no question that he is encouraging any number of votes in various states to try to replace those electors. it is consistent with the bizarre theories we hear from jon eastman and the crazy stuff we have heard from jeffrey clark at the justice department. what the committee is doing is absolutely correct. this is a methodical way to show exactly donald trump's involved.
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they have laid out all of these crazy theories, and now they have to show why they came up with these crazy theories. because he was getting nowhere in these states because these states stood strong and did their job, all of the constitution. >> listen, charlie is having some audio issues, so doug, i will ask you this question. we're also going to hear from a georgia election voter and we plans to testify how these led to death threats. she says this. they said we snuck ballots into the state farm arena in a suitcase. that is a lie. they said we lied about a water main break to kick observers out. that is a lie. and they said we passed around flash drives to try to hack voting machines. that's a lie, too. all those lies, though, led to death threats for her and her mother. she's afraid to go to the grocery store. is this what's coming from 422
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and beyond, doug? >> i'm afraid it is, don. i'm afraid it's already here. this has already been going on for some time. there have been those -- you can't imagine what the kids that were answering my phones in my u.s. senate office had to endure during the brett kavanaugh hearings, during the trump impeachment or exactly the election in 2020 that my office received such incredible threats that one we reported to the capitol police and the man is in prison right now. this is standard fair at this point. we see it with members of congress. we are seeing it with members of the judiciary, and it is mainly on one side with the right. but it is really a little bit far, you know, on both sides at this point. we have to tone this down a good bit. >> i want to put up. this is a poll. charlie is back with us. there is a new abc news poll on how the public is responding to these public hearings.
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i will note the sample size is very small. not very small, but small. 545 people is considered small and it was collected over two days. just a third of americans say that they are following these hearings closely, while 30% say they are following not so closely. 36% say not closely at all. if that is the case, charlie, problematic? >> well, i can't say i'm surprised by those numbers. americans are distracted. they have heard a lot about january 6th for 18 months now. but that doesn't mean that what's happening with these hearings is not important. it's very important. and what we're going to find out tomorrow, we're going to hear evidence from three prominent state elected officials who are -- two of them who are elected officials who are going to provide real evidence about an attempt to steal an election. and the tremendous pressure that they were under by the president of the united states. i mean, the arizona speaker, you were playing him earlier.
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dusty bowers. i mean, his -- what he said is just, to me, a slate of fake electors who were appointed under whose authority? whose authority? and these people were somehow going to be able to go down to the national archives and congress and simply certify this? this is completely insane, illegal and unconstitutional. this is important despite the fact that many americans are paying attention to other things right now. but we have to do this with the historical record. the doj should be paying attention. >> to the doj should be paying attention, do you think they are in a serious way? >> well, the attorney general said that he's watching these hearings. the doj asked for some of these transcripts. what the committee is doing is a methodical approach to not only showing what president trump did after the election where he started off going to the courts but showing over time how he took extrajudicial measures, how at first he put this pressure on various state lawmakers and then
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he continued to push all these fake and false theories. and then he inspired a number of people to take actions into their own hands and storm the capitol. so they're trying to build a case and trying to present that case in a way that the doj and the folks that are looking at this and have the power to do something legally will be able to consume and get the public behind. so it is clear that the doj is looking at this. it is clear that they are watching and following along and seeing how the public is responding to this and also seeing how this legal case is being made and they're interested in the documentation, the more than one thousand witnesses, the transcripts and the fact that a number of republicans who are close to the former president and the former vice president have been part of this process as well. so it is something that the doj is watching very closely, it seems. >> another question for you. the former vice president mike pence delivering a speech today attacking joe biden and only briefly mentioning the attack at the capitol. listen to this.
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>> you know, we all have been through a lot over the last several years. the global pandemic, social unrest, the divisive election, a tragic day in our nation's capitol and an administration seemingly every day driving our economy into the abyss of a socialist welfare state. >> now, look, he didn't mention, you know, his role in the pandemic or any of that other stuff. and all of the social unrest. but it sounds like someone looking at running in 2024. but, i mean, do you think the january 6th hearings, what do you think that means for a potential run for him? >> that's been surprising to see how the democrats on the committee have almost praised mike pence as a hero. they have said this is the kind of person the country needs, that he stood up and faced president trump. i think some of that may be
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politicking in a way. they want to be able to drive that wedge between the former president and the former vice president. they want to show that some republicans showed they were going to break from trump. that's a break they want to show. they have liz cheney on the committee, the former attorney general, members of president trump's family breaking with him. that's one of the things they want to accomplish with this committee is to show that even though president trump has a grip on the party, they do not want the american party to think he's the only voice that matters on the republican side. as these other voices come up thinking about 2024, this committee and these hearings are one thing people are watching to see whether or not that grip on the hold of the party the former president has might be broken as a result of these hearings. >> it is interesting, doug, that representative adam schiff says that a pence subpoena is certainly a possibility. should that happen? >> well, i don't think they need it. i think that there is some --
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they don't need mike pence there. and i get tired of having them hold mike pence up as a hero. for goodness sakes, don, mike pence followed his oath. okay? the fact that other people didn't follow their oath, i mean, how far where we have gone we're putting somebody as a hero that simply followed their oath. that's what he was supposed to do. he did his job, and that's fine. if you look at the things mike pence said before and after, he was an enabler of donald trump, just like mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy. whether we get a prosecution of donald trump or not, we had to hold all of these people accountable, and you can do it at the ballot box. there are election deniers running across this country. and that's where we can hold them accountable. charlie is absolutely right. not just for the historical record. but it is important that democrats and others get this message out there about how fragile our democracy is and how
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we almost lost it thanks to an individual who was clinging to power so much that he was willing to break the law. whether or not he is ultimately charged with a crime or not, i think people are making their judgments about that. and i think we have to make sure that over the next six months, between now and november, we continue to talk about that. we can deal with inflation and this socialism abyss, that's just absurd. joe biden is not running any kind of socialist thing. he is trying to save this economy and working hard, and there is no plan for mike pence or any republican out there except for rick scott who wants to raise taxes on the poorest in this country. >> charlie, you represented adam kinzinger, one of the two republicans on the january 6th select committee. he got a death threat sent to his home. this is what he told abc news about that. >> this threat that came in, it was mailed to my house. we got it a couple days ago. and it threatens to execute me
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as well as my wife and five-month-old child. never seen or had anything like that. there is violence in the future, i'm going to tell you. until we get a grip on telling people the truth, we can't expect any differently. 2024 is going to be a mess. wake up, america. wake up, republicans, because this is not going to be good for you if you think it is. >> do you agree with this warning, the violence is going to get worse? >> i fear that he is correct. in fact, it's not only there violence in the future, there has been violence in our past. i was in congress when gabby gifford was shot and we saw a deranged asas tin attempt to go after justice brett kavanaugh. republican and democrat have received very serious death threats, many of whom, there are several of them, i should say, have security around them to deal with this. that was very unusual when i was in only four years ago that members would have that kind of security other than the top
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leaders. so i fear that adam kinzinger is right, there is the potential for more political violence. we have seen it in the past, and i fear we will see more of it. you just saw the eric r. video rhino hunter wanting to go after people like me who are not conservative enough, are not trump enough, so let's go hunt them. i mean, as if that -- it almost speaks to the fact that he's unaware that there has been a lot of violence in this country, mass shootings, several in recent weeks. there is a tone deafness to this and it's dangerous, frankly. >> thank you, gentlemen. >> thank you. are the january 6th hearings aimed at an audience of one? and i'm talking about merrick garland. and what will the doj do about what they're hearing? >> i'm telling you, people are concerned that the department of justice may have too many
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carryovers from the last administration and not moving in order to do what's needed to protect this democracy.
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cvs. healthier happens together. so the attorney general of the united states say he and his deputies are following the hearings closely, but it is unclear what action he will take when the house investigation wraps up. and there appears to be a disagreement within the committee and referring any possible criminal activity to the doj. one former justice department official. his name is jock goldsmith wrote this in today's new york times. and i quote, the evidence gathered by the january 6th committee and in some of the
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federal cases against those involved in the federal attack posed for attorney general merrick garland one of the most consequential questions that any attorney general has faced. should the united states indict former president donald trump. so let's bring in harry lit man now. hi, harry. >> hi, son. >> so here's what goldschmidt says. he is says it is about the nature and fate of our democracy, which is what i said at the top of the 10:00 hour. you think that garland has to prosecute trump, right? >> has to? i think it is the best call now. for the reasons that goldschmidt is talking about, by the way. i think there won't be a special counsel. i think the evidence is there and we should come to serious considerations. he's a patriot in all the best senses. but you have an irresistible
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object. a terrible lesson for the rule of law and accountability if you don't. i don't envy merrick garland. >> so what is, you know, from one administration to the other, right, a republican administration will say, well, if you guys do this, wait until we get in power. what if this sets across retaliations across presidential a administrations? should that be taken into consideration especially considering that most people feel our democracy is just hanging by a thread right now? >> i think it should. and for that very reason. there are people who say, look, you have got the evidence on him. why do you treat the president any differently? but we do have a precedent here, which is nixon and ford. himself try basically vindicates it. he's unrepented. he continues to inflame the voters. he continues to have the same
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toxic effect on our politics, and that's one of the reasons we should be going ahead. but there is no avoiding that whole set of concerns that goldschmidt summarizes as what is in the national interest. probably no avoiding even having biden weigh in on the decision. doesn't make sense to just pretend this is a work a day decision once they check the boxes that's all that's going on here. much more is going on here. >> abc new poll out conducted after three public january 6th hearings, january 6th committee hearings. shows 6 in 10 americans believe former president trump should be prosecuted. still leaves 40% who don't. goldschmidt said garland has to decide if prosecuting trump is in the national interest. yeah. if the nation is divided on this, he has to ask if the consequences will be to another violent incident. >> he does. he has to ask as goldsmith says.
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will it be hyper polarizing for years and years? what is the rule of law in this country if he doesn't act? and to me that has become more serious. as trump has continued to do the same kind of conduct that threatened us before and now threatens us in 2024. but, again, there are serious things on both sides, and i don't want to trivialize it as just a matter of is the evidence there, which let me stress i think it is. >> okay. so let's go through what the process would actually be tomorrow. okay, harry? >> yeah. >> what would be the next steps for him be if he did choose to prosecute the former president? >> so he's very much a sort of doj guy. he will work up a big memo from all his troops who are working on it. it will go through everybody up to the deputy attorney general and have a series of recommendations. also very importantly, at that point, don, he will or will not
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have, probably will, have indicted other people in trump's circle. you know, go to watergate. might it be mark meadows? might it be bannon, et cetera? maybe they have turned. maybe they have cooperated. maybe they make the effort even more strong. but he will be guided by the recommendation of his professional staff who, by the way, i understand the worry about it, but they are straight up. there is no worry about holdovers somehow being hesitant. and it will work itself up. but it will be his decision at the end of the day probably in consultation with the white house which might itself say, no, you do it, merrick. but, again, the political considerations are strong enough that i think you have to involve the -- you know, the absolute accountable figure. that being the president of the united states. >> okay. so you said the political. but, i mean, what other president -- the last president
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who did something like this and not even, you know, i think this is worse was nixon, right? >> and nixon at least had some sense of shame, some institutional decency so when he walked away it really could be the case that our national nightmare had ended. our national nightmare seems to redouble every few months and we had the possibility that trump and trumpism will have its clutches in us in the 2020 election. >> because the crazies and the fringes? >> yeah. >> what happen ifs the same thing happened with a democratic president where -- where, you know, there was something really bad and then -- it just, i don't know, that doesn't make sense, harry. >> it doesn't make sense to go forward? >> no. it doesn't make sense that the concern is that some -- you know, the fringes of the
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republican party obviously the former president did something that if they come to this, right, if they do decide there is enough evidence that the former president should be prosecuted to say that, well, we don't want to do it or we shouldn't do it or there is a possibility that, you know, that what happens in the next election and the fringes are going to be upset and they will try to prosecute a democratic president, i don't know. should that -- why is that taking to -- >> i don't think that -- good point. and i don't think that's the big risk. no. i think the big risk is our polarized politics could literally break in two. but let me be clear. i think what goldsmith is saying is something that garland will and should consider at the end of the day, though, i think he's got -- he should go the other way not simply because trump broke the law but because the national interest demands it because trump continues to act like a jackass. >> okay. >> so if you are saying just because they have the goods on him they should prosecute, i
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will disagree with you. but if you're -- but i will still agree with you on the bottom line because i think the national interest demands it. notwithstanding that we could be stepping on a hornets nest and the hornets could swirl for a few years. >> okay, right. if they do decide to go along with it. okay. >> that's the $64,000 question. thank you, don. >> thanks, harry. see you next time. so the first image from inside robb elementary school showing police with rifles and a ballistic shield just minutes after the shooting started. and that one image is raising a whole lot of questions. cerave cleansers help me maintain my moisture balance with hyaluronic acid, plus 3 e essential ceramides to help restore my natural barrier. so we're cerave clean. cerave hydrating cleanser.
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so tonight we have a new image inside the scene in a texas elementary school as a gunman was firing on children and adults. this is back in may. and the image raises questions about whether officers had the equipment necessary to try to take down the gunman earlier than they did. the image obtained by the austin american statesman shows at least three officers in the hallway of the school. two officers, one on the lower left and one on the lower right, they're holding rifles. you see it right there on your screen. the officer on the right is standing behind what appears to be a tactical shield. the image was recorded at 11.52
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a.m., 19 minutes after the gunman entered the school. he was not taken down for another hour after killing 19 children and two teachers. a democratic member of the texas state senate is here, and we're glad to have him on. thank you for joining us, state senator. appreciate it. >> thank you, don. appreciate you. >> so you have seen that imagine. after seeing it, do you think the community will have new questions about why the officers waited for more than an hour to confront that gunman? >> yeah. this corroborates what we said last week, that there was three ballistic shields in the hallway at the 12:03 mark. so this is 11 minutes prior to that. we see there is officers with, you know, adequate munitions, adequate equipment to be able to reach that room. i just don't understand why that didn't happen. why they didn't breach the room. those answers shouldn't be had.
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they shouldn't be dribbling through the media in this way. we should have law enforcement agencies tell us exactly what went wrong. and the fact that we're not getting that information is just a travesty in and of itself. >> to your point about, you know, what's coming out, this is one -- this is one still image that we have access to right now. is it time to release all the video and all the evidence to the public? >> well, don, precisely. what i have told mccraw since the beginning, you have the videos, you have the body cams. this notion that this should take six monthsludicrous, what we have been hearing from the district attorney, law enforcement, even this committee telling us six to eight weeks, ten weeks. ludicrous. we have all the footage, gps data, we know which law enforcements officers were aware and at what time.
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the public and the people of the state of texas deserve to know what went wrong and we deserve to know it now. >> the statesman says that documents they reviewed, quote, some officers at the scene, one officer says that if there is a kid in there, we need to go in there. and then another responds, whoever is in charge will determine that. now, senator, we still don't know who was in charge, right? i mean, how big of a problem is that? >> yeah. as i talked to different law enforcement in the region, as i'm doing my own investigation here, don, i keep getting the same narrative, that they were reading off of each other and they were just frozen in time, all of that, that failed leadership, wherever it came from, whichever agency should have been in charge was a clear failure of protocol. all of those officers are trained in an active shooter situation. and from the very beginning, even the ones that didn't have the ballistic shields, they
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should have just gone in. that's what their protocol suggests, and to yield to this motion of there was an incident commander. maybe there was. maybe there wasn't. just isn't good enough. for 48 minutes and beyond, children were left in a room scared to death, calling 911, and, yet, no one went in. what happened here was the worst tragedy in recent law enforcement history in this state, and this governor has failed in his leadership. he's failed in his leadership to demand answers. >> there is a transcript of body camera footage also reviewed by the statesman, and it shows that the chief of police for the uvalde school district trying to get keys to open the classroom door, but officials say they don't believe officers tried opening that door in the first place. i mean, the details we learned it just seems to be getting worse, senator. do you think that is why it has been so hard to get information
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out of officials? >> yeah. i mean, clearly from the beginning there has been finger pointing, competing narratives. we have blamed a teacher for a while. we saw mccraw do that. this is preposterous. pull off this band-aid. tell us who was at fault. they were all at fault. three children bled out likely. one teacher likely bled out. these are very serious matters. and i'm not here to cast blame or play monday morning quarterback. i'm here to find out what happened so it never happens again, don. the fact that you and i are sitting here now three weeks and beyond, almost four weeks having this discussion is just ludicrous. >> senator gutierrez, thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> thank you, don. a massachusetts middle school, they flew pride and blacks lives matter prides. now the bishop says the school
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so a massachusetts middle school can no longer be called catholic after flying gay pride and black matter flags. the bishop of the catholic church making the decision, even
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though the nativity school of worcester says the governance are fully independence of the die ses and receive no funding from them. the school says the flags will stay up. joining me an alumnus of the nativity school of worcester. thank you for having me. >> thank you for having me, don. >> what do you think about this decision as an alumnus of the school and human rights cord nay of the city? >> look, this is absurd. the reality here is that the bishop doesn't really have a reason to truly meddle into something like this. the flags have been up since january of 2021. why now? and ultimately, you know, to put the decree out, right, in june, pride month, a couple days before juneteenth, it is very telling to the motives. and to me it doesn't make sense. >> yeah. that was not lost on you that it happened in this month?
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>> no. absolutely not. i looked at the fact that we were -- the bishop started talking about this in march and to make the decision here in june, i think to me that's more telling. look, this community serves black and commune population. young black men are attending matters. so to them you have the students that made this decision to have these flags come up. i mean, the decision to understand that what these flags mean to them is about inclusivity, you know, a catholic school is essentially being punished for being inclusive. >> there has been a long -- you said you're openly gay. there has been a long divide between the lgbtq community and catholics. what is your response to that? >> yeah. that's a tough one. i think what i learned in catholic school and i think what many others in the catholic
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faith can attend to is the fact that jesus helps those that were marginalized, and this is a little bit of an attack on the marginalized groups out there. i am not a believer that jesus would be turning us away. we should be promoting inclusivity in the catholic church. this is not something new. i mean, lbgtq catholics exist. you know? and so to hear this come from the bishop, it just doesn't really make sense. >> yeah. as a product of a catholic school, similar. similar. i'll just say similar to what you just said. >> this is from the bishop. he said because every human life is sacred, the church is 100% behind black lives matter. wider agenda has coopted the phrase it promotes a 13 principal agenda for schools which i dare say people do not
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know about but is easily available on the internet. similar to the gay pride movement, those symbols include to be queer affirming and trans affirming. so the bishop is trying to tie these two movements together. why do you think that is? >> the way i see it, it is two birds with one stone type of thing. it is unfortunate that's the type of case. you have gay rights and black rights. especially with the pride movement. you remember that pride didn't happen unless it was because of black and brown individuals that made it happen. ultimately you have to question, okay, why is this the motive now? why are we conjoining both groups? but it is ultimately strengthening the movement. one of the things that the bishop's spokesperson said recently was that these are logos. that does a disservice to the fact these are true social justice movements. these aren't just logos that are up on a flag.
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these are staples for inclusivity. that's the way we should be looking at it, inclusivity is what the catholic church needs and it is what the catholic church teaches. i think the bishop here is truly on the wrong side. >> flags bearing the words "end ra racism" would be far more appropriate for a catholic school. would that be a fair compromise? >> you and i both know how important these symbols are. these aren't just logos. this isn't about one or two phrases. this is about a movement of embracing human beings and human rights ultimately. that's what this is. to hear the bishop say this, it doesn't make sense. >> they want to sanitize or dlut what this actually means. okay. thank you. best of luck to you. happy pride. >> happy pride. thank you. >> thank you. an alarming rise in hate speech and violence, and a lot
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>> as millions of americans celebrate pride month and take part in pride events around the country, threats of violence by white extremist groups are on the rise. more from stacy. >> >> reporter: came as no surprise to those tracking hate
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groups for they say they have seen a steady rise in his speech directed at the trent aikman. >> we can see a pattern. it's really been building. that is something we will have to continue to monitor. >> reporter: sam jones, as with the armed conflict location and the data project. the lgbtq plus mobilization in the u.s. has increased four times from 2020 220 21. the violence targeting that community already exceeds the total number of attacks reported last year. the proud boys and oath keepers, some of whose members stormed the capital on january 6th, are the same group harming lgbtq events. members say that pro boys showed up at a dryclean story
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hour with trans-phobic slurs. >> these people should be put to death. >> reporter: this time at a church outside of dallas. >> they should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head. in this information and a wave of >> going into the midterms i think this will be one of multiple issues where groups like the proud boys and others will be trying to ramp up tensions. ultimately, possibly, missing. >> reporter: here in new york city, site of one of the largest celebrations in the world this weekend, they are fully aware of the rise in hate crimes. >> is disheartening. we are aware of a prissy unprecedented time to think the vision and rhetoric is at a
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whole new level. >> reporter: organizers say they have security measures in place for pie. the police department says it provides a significant and overlaid to the event. nypd alert postures have remained ever vigilant. don, a -rights activist that i spoke to said, despite all of the imitation and the hate and the violence, this community has no intention of losing the gains that have been made over the past few decades. don. >> jason, thank you. thank you, for watching. our coverage continues. clermont from 8.2 to 6.7. take the mystery out of managing your diabetes
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>> good evening. my members are repairing for the fourth hearing, tomorrow. we will hear from witnesses in georgia and arizona who felt pressure from the president and his allies. we will hear perhaps the most detail today about one of the most bizarre elements of president trump schemes. to get imaginary slates of electors installed in swing states in favor of the president. this is what it looked like a michigan one the fake electors actually showed up at the statehouse to try to talk the way past police. >> the electors are already


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