tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN January 7, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
this. i still think within the next few months we are going to see the impact of these vaccines on the metrics that matter most. >> dr. sanjay gupta, thank you very much. i'll have you back on tomorrow. we'll talk about this and your excellent new book. thank you so much for being with us, and our coverage on cnn continues right now. thank you so much for watching. xxx. we're following breaking news. fresh fallout from one of the most shameful days in u.s. history. house speaker nancy pelosi is among a rapidly growing number of lawmakers and officials calling for president trump's removal from office in the wake of the domestic terror attack on the u.s. capitol that he incited. pelosi saying congress may impeach the president unless vice president pence and members
of the cabinet declare the president unfit for office and remove him under the 25th amendment to the u.s. constitution. now cnn is learning that federal prosecutors are looking at mr. trump's unprecedented role in inciting this shameful violence. one top u.s. attorney saying, and i'm quoting now, we are looking at all actors here and anyone that had a role. meanwhile, the disgust among members of the president's own team is fwroeing and growing. secretary of transportation elaine chao has become the first cabinet member to resign over these truly stunning events, saying she's deeply troubled by what she calls, and i'm quoting here now, entirely avoidable events. we're covering all angles of the breaking news this hour. correspondents in key locations. let's start with our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. fast-moving developments in the wake of one of the country's worst days. >> that's right, wolf.
president trump is back, and hiding inside the white house after inciting a bloody coup attempt up on capitol hill yesterday. now lawmakers from both parties are calling for mr. trump's emoveable, using the 25th amendment of the constitution and speedy installation of mike pence as an interim president. pence is break with the president, refusing to overturn the election results and now planning to attend joe biden's inauguration, we're learning. resignations, meantime, of officials are pouring in. none of that may be enough to stop a president who appears to be bent on destruction in his final days of office. as one republican source close to the white house told me, quote, the president is unstable, ranting and raving. one day after the president sparked a violent rebellion at the u.s. capitol, spilling blood inside the halls of congress, a bipartisan effort is under way to kick mr. trump out of office. house speaker nancy pelosi said democrats are prepared to impeach mr. trump once again if the vice president and cabinet
fail to invoke the 25th amendment, allowing for removal of an incapacitated commander in chief. >> i join the senate democratic leader on calling upon the vice president by removing this president by immediately invoking the 25th amendment. if the vice president and cabinet do not act, congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment. that is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus. and the american people. >> reporter: a small number of republicans have begun to show their support, arguing mr. trump is mentally unfit. >> all indications are that the president has become unmoored. not just from his duty or even his oath but from reality itself. >> reporter: insisting the country has no choice after the storming of the capitol. >> i think there's no question that america would be better off if the president would resign or be removed
from office. >> reporter: with his own social media accounts locked mr. trump was forced to release a
statement through an aide, relesion the statement, even though i totally disagree with the outcome of the election and the facts
bear me out, nonetheless there will be an orderly transition on january 20th. hold on. it was the president who incited the capitol siege, starting at his rally earlier in the day. >> we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. because you'll never take back our country with weakness. you have to show strength. and you have to be strong. >> reporter: later, telling the rioters he loved them. >> this was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people. we have to have peace. so go home. we love you. you're very special. >> reporter: transportation secretary elaine chao became the first cabinet member to resign in protest along with other top administration officials. chao, who is married to republican majority leader mitch mcconnell said in a statement it
has troubled me in a way i simply cannot set aside. mick mulvaney left his position as special envoy to ireland. >> i can't do it. i can't stay. >> reporter: cnn has learned vice president mike pence was with his family on capitol hill during the violence yet the president and top aides did little to check on their safety. a source close to pence said was he concerned at all that an angry mob that he ordered to march on the capitol might injure the vice president or his family? engineered a coup to keep him in power, something he refused to do. >> those who wreaked havoc in our capitol today, you did not win. violence never wins. >> reporter: as one republican senator said of the vice president, i've never seen mike pence as angry as he was today. it's now a soul searching moment for the gop, after leading figures in their own party fueled an attack on american democracy. >> and if we're wrong, we will
be made fools of. but if we're right, a lot of them will go to jail. so, let's have trial by combat! >> reporter: there was combat. in a sign that the vice president's family added to, daughter charlotte pence tweeted out congratulations to president-elect joe biden. cnn has learned the president spent hours tuesday applying pressure on vice president pence to throw out the election results. during their meeting a source close to pence said the president repeatedly warned his vice president there would be major consequences if he did not comply with the president's orders to throw out the results. the message to pence was clear. as for the upcoming inauguration of joe biden, it will be imperative to keep the capitol safe. house speaker nancy pelosi said she called on for the residencition nation of the capitol police chief. there was a massive security
breakdown when those rioters stormed the capitol. it is imperative that they keep that inauguration safe. >> at least trump has now officially quit this contest, is stepping aside. there will be a new president in 13 days. thanks very much, jim acosta. let's get more on the investigation. cnn crime and investigation correspondent s hichlt mon prokupecz is joining us now. investigators are looking at the role that president trump played in inciting the violence, the chaos that ensued at the u.s. capitol yesterday. could the president actually be facing criminal, federal charges? >> reporter: well, wolf, you're right, the president could potentially -- his comments, his words on that stage, leading up to what happened here behind me yesterday, those comments certainly are part of a criminal investigation. we've learned from the u.s. attorney here in washington, d.c., saying that trump's
comments are fair game now to investigators. these are significant comments from a u.s. attorney, who you don't normally hear these types of things from a u.s. attorney, talking about an investigation. wolf, let me read to you exactly what he said in a call with reporters. the u.s. attorney saying we're looking at all actors here, and anyone that had a role. and if the evidence fits the elements of the crime, they're going to be charged. the u.s. attorney saying that everything is on the table. now let me just explain some of the things that the fbi and prosecutors here in washington, d.c. are doing. they're going through a lot of the video, the social media postings. they're going through cell phone information. what they're doing is they're trying to see if people were working together here. it's obvious they were. that is something that they're going to be looking at as well. also today, the first federal
charges were announced against more than a dozen people involved in the activity yesterday. one of them charged with poss s possessing a gun and a gas mask and ammunition. another person charged with assaulting one of the officers here. so this investigation, wolf, is very much ongoing. it would seem that there are a lot of prosecutors assigned to it, that there are a lot of fbi investigators, fbi agents assigned to this. the u.s. attorney says we could see a lot more charges to come. >> including potentially the president of the united states, which may inspire him to actually try to pardon himself or quit and let the vice president give him a pardon in these final days. we'll discuss a lot more on that. that's coming up, shimon. thank you very, very much. chief political analyst gloria borger is with us, van jones is with us, dana bash is with us. and cnn legal analyst cordero.
what we witnessed yesterday, this was awful, domestic terrorism inspired by president trump. listen to the words. he told these people minutes before he left toward the white house, walked down pennsylvania avenue up to capitol hill. clearly has blood on his hands. the question is, will he be held accountable? do you think he will be charged? >> i don't know yet, wolf. i don't know what the legal folks are going to say. maybe carrie cordero can talk about that. i can tell you that it was so stunning to watch an insurrection, to watch a mob attack the capitol of the united states and the mob itself was a wholly owned subsidiary of donald trump. that is who they were. they were inspired by him. they listened to him. they took instructions from him, and they did this because they believed him, wolf.
and now we're in a situation where not only do people who are serving as members of congress feel in peril, but i think the whole country, to a degree, feels in peril because they're worrying about what donald trump could do if he remains in office for the next two weeks. having observed this, you have to ask the question. there's no remorse from the president, it seems to me. the next question you have to ask is, what is next? >> yeah. and, dana, the president clearly is not showing any remorse for his role in provoking this mob that overran the capitol. instead, he's growing, we're told, increasingly agitated. what's that tell you about what we need to expect between now and january 20th, 13 days from now?
>> we don't know what to expect. the only thing we have to base the next 13 days on is yesterday at this point, given what we understand from our reporting is the president's mental state. there isn't a lot of remorse that i'm hearing from my sources who were in touch with people around the president. not at all. he is doubling down, tripling down. if anything, is he angry, not at himself or any kind of regret that he might have. not at all. he is angry at people like mike pence. angry at anybody who has spoken out. and that is a very, very, very long list at this point of people who are saying enough is is enough. many who have been under a lot of pressure to say enough is enough for a long time, after pick your event where the president did something that was
untoward or, frankly, anti-american, depending on what it was. this was a completely different situation. and it's really unfortunate that it took this kind of dese krccrn of the people's house but also the people who work in that building who are on the president's side when it comes to the political party to feel personally in peril and to feel personally an affront to, you know, what was going on as opposed to other events throughout the past year, even just the past two months where they could have spoken out more forcefully. but it took this, feeling it personally, for that to happen. >> took it personally, covered capitol hill for a long time. it was so painful to see this attack on the u.s. capitol. van, when joe biden won the presidency, you shared a very emotional moment. a lot of us remember it right here on cnn, where you said, and i'm quoting you now.
you said it's easier to be a parent this morning. it's easier to tell your kids that character matters. i wonder what you told your kids this morning. >> well, you know, they are on the other coast from me right now. i'm out here on the east coast doing this coverage. i haven't had a chance to talk with them fully. but what i shared with them in general is this is a country that is better than what you're seeing. this is the only country they know, the only america they've ever seen is what they're seeing right now and my heartbreaks for them and for all the children of this country. this is the only america that they know. for us, it's a deviation. but for them it's their reality. and the sun has to come up later this month, but these are the moment dangerous 13 days this country has faced since the cuban missile crisis. you have someone in the oval office now who is out of moves. he's out of legal moves.
there's no more ceremonies for him to try to hijack, no rubber stamp rituals to try to take over. he has to look down the long barrel of the defeat that he is not capable of accepting, and he still has all the powers of the nuclear arsenal, this is the most dangerous 13 days in the entire political class has to stand with one voice to press back on this president, to get him to accept his fate or to be removed from office. that's where we are. i am -- i try not to be an alarmist in these situations, but what i have seen over the past now two months gives me not any comfort at all about the psychological ability of the president to accept what's happening with him and to govern himself accordingly. both political parties now need to step forward and ensure the safety of the american people. >> you know, carrie, federal prosecutors, including the u.s.
attorney here in d.c., they're looking into anyone that had a role in inciting violence yesterday. could the president, do you believe, face legal, criminal, federal charges? >> i think that the u.s. attorney's office, wolf, is going to cast a wide net in terms of who they're going to look at for this umbrella investigation that is going to look at what transpired yesterday. there were multiple federal crimes that we know, just from looking at the pictures and looking at the video of what transpired at the capitol, federal crimes in terms of breaching the capitol building. i read reports of some individuals who were armed. that in itself is going to launch the investigation. whether or not the president will fall into that, they can look at his public statements. they can also start to investigate, as part of that investigation, anybody who was in touch with, perhaps, the leaders of the organization that
was there. do i think that the president will face criminal charges? that will be a decision that a future justice department, the new justice department will have to make. but i want to be really careful, wolf, not to cabin the conversation about the president's conduct in the construct of whether or not he violated criminal law. because that's the wrong frame for us to look at the president's conduct. the president should be facing his close advisers and his allies in congress, and they should be seeking his resignation based on the incitement activity that he conducted. it shouldn't take a criminal investigation. it shouldn't take the threat of a federal indictment. it should be the fact that we all know, the public knows that he incited those individuals to conduct the aggressive actions that they did.
and we are fortunate, as a country, that there was not greater harm and death yesterday. had someone who was armed used their arms in a different way, given the massive security failure at the capitol, we could have had a real, even more serious casualty event involving members and staff yesterday. >> you say the president should resign. legally speaking, carrie, if the president, let's say, decided over these 13 days to resign but only if in advance he received a hard pledge from the vice president, who would then become the president, mike pence, to give him a pardon, would that be legal to have a deal like that? >> that would be -- first of all, this would be a novel circumstance where that type of deal -- if he resigned and the vice president pardoned him, if he took that action, i tend to think that that would be the end
of it. there would not really be a venue to then litigate whether or not the vice president's pardon were done in a corrupt way in some way. the purpose of the pardon would be to end this situation, which is for the next 13 days, the country is on edge that there will be more violence and the president will potentially inspire more violent activity, particularly around the inauguration day. >> as i remember when richard nixon resigned the presidency, gerald ford gave him a pardon. we all remember that, as well. let's see what happens. 13 days seems pretty short, but these 13 days could be very, very long. everybody, stand by. there's more breaking news we're following. president-elect joe biden is reacting to the trump-inspired attack on the u.s. capitol, calling it -- and i'm quoting him now, one of the darkest days
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president-elect joe biden today called the pro-trump mob attack on the u.s. capitol one of the darkest days in u.s. history. arlette saenz is in delaware. biden also announced his justice nominees. president-elect's transition team has just put out a statement on invoking the 25th amendment to the constitution, to remove trump from office. update our viewers. >> well, wolf, despite growing calls for the 25th amendment to be invoked or even potentially impeachment of president trump, president-elect biden is staying out of this debate for now. a spokesperson for biden, andrew baits, released a statement saying that the president-elect and the vice president-elect are focused on their job of preparing to take office on january 20th. and any decisions regarding the 25th amendment or impeachment should be left to the vice president pence, the cabinet and congressional leadership. but today, here in wilmington, delaware, president-elect was forceful in denouncing both
those rioters at the capitol yesterday and president trump. >> i wish we could say we couldn't see it coming. but that isn't true. we could see it coming. >> reporter: with outrage in his voice, president-elect joe biden directly blamed president trump for inciting wednesday's insurrection at the capitol. >> the past four years, we've had a president who has made his contempt for our democracy, our constitution, the rule of law clear in everything he has done. he unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracies from the outset. and yesterday was but the culmination of that unrelenting attack. >> reporter: the president-elect described wednesday's attack as one of the darkest days in american history, and condemned the trump supporting mob. >> all of us here grieve the
loss of life, grieve the desecration of the people's house, but we -- what we witnessed yesterday was not dissent. it was not disorder. it was not protest. it was chaos. they weren't protesters. don't dare call them protesters. they were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorist. it's that basic. it's that simple. >> reporter: the incoming president called out the disparity, in how police responded to the rioters at the capitol compared to black lives matter protesters over the summer. >> no one can tell me that if that had been a group of black lives matter protesting yesterday they wouldn't have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the capitol.
we all know that's true. and it is unacceptable. totally unacceptable. >> reporter: biden's comments came as he introduced the team that would lead the department of justice with the president-elect signaling the clear departure he intends to take from president trump. >> you won't work for me. you are not the president or the vice president's lawyer. your loyalty is not to me. it's to the law, the constitution. >> reporter: his choice for attorney general, judge merrick garland, laying out his views of justice. >> the rule of law is not just some lawyer's turn of phrase. it is the very foundation of our democracy. the essence of the rule of law is that like cases are treated alike, that there not be one rule for democrats and another
for republicans, one rule for friends, another for foes, one rule for the powerful, another for the powerless. one rule for the rich, and another for the poor, or different rules, depending upon one's race or ethnicity. >> tonight we're learning president-elect biden has also made decisions on three other top cabinet positions. he is expected to name rhode island's governor, gina romando as commerce secretary, and isabelle guzman as the person to lead the small business administration. the president-elect is viewing these picks as people who can take on the economic crisis in the wake of this coronavirus pandemic and those announcements are expected to come tomorrow. wolf? >> arlette, thank you very much. we're joined by key democratic senator, chris kunz
from delaware. you said president trump, in your words, does not catastrophe to be president any longer. do you agree with your colleagues like the minority leader, soon to be the majority leader, chuck schumer, who want to remove him from office, using the 25th amendment to the constitution? >> yes, wolf. and, frankly, more importantly, there are several senior former members of the trump administration, cabinet officials who have said that they agree as well. john kelly, who was chief of staff to president trump, has publicly said -- i think it was just announced on cnn earlier this evening, that if he were still in the cabinet, he would invoke the 25th amendment. attorney general bill barr, who has just resigned, elaine chao, secretary of transportation, who will soon resign. mick mulvaney, his former chief of staff, have all said that president trump bears responsibility for inciting the riot that assaulted the capitol and there should be consequences in different ways.
the larger point here is that if the 25th amendment is to mean anything, if it was ever important, it is exactly for this kind of moment for which it was written when an unhinged president has demonstrably abandoned his post. today the worst day during the coronavirus pandemic for the american people and yet president trump spent his time giving medals of honor to golfers and continuing his fantasy that he won the election two months ago that he lost. he is not keeping the american people safe. he's not suppressing any regret about yesterday's assault on the capitol and, frankly, for the next 13 days, we would all be better off if he were no longer actually our president. >> 13 days is a long time. would removing him from office, senator, say under the 25th amendment, create, though, some problems potentially for the incoming president, joe biden, who has the monumental task of
trying to unite the country after all the chaos? some have suggested removing him under the 25th amendment could cause riots in the street. he has a lot of supporters out there. >> he does. the 25th amendment provides that the vice president would become the acting president for a brief period of time. so, it would be a transition to someone who was elected alongside president trump, someone who has been tirelessly loyal to president trump and someone who has enjoyed, up until the last 48 hours, a lot of the support of president trump and his supporters. wolf, you raise a good point. that exactly the sort of mob violence that happened in the capitol last night could happen if there were a move by the vice president and the cabinet to suspend donald trump as president and make mike pence the acting president. but, frankly, after the events of yesterday, all of us have to
step back and pause and say what else is president trump capable of in the remaining 13 days of his presidency? >> you say he's unhinged, your word. what's your biggest worry of what he might do over the course of the next 13 days? >> well, obviously, as commander in chief, he retains a great deal of power over our military. i am encouraged that all ten living secretaries of defense, former secretaries of defense who served republicans and democrats have urged president trump to accept the results of the election, to move forward with a peaceful transition of power, and it's been made very clear by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff that he believes that the military has absolutely no role in an election dispute. my concern would be that president trump would get us into some sort of conflict in his last 13 days that would then leave president-elect biden not only with the challenge of responding to a pandemic, but
getting us out of or unwinding an unplanned and unnecessary and needlessly disruptive conflict somewhere in the world. >> record nearly 4,000, 4,000 americans died from the virus just yesterday. it's an awful situation. clearly, the current president of the united states is completely ignoring the death toll, the cases that are exploding across the country right now. senator coons, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. stay with us. we're learning about some of the people who were part of the mob that ransacked lawmakers' offices up on capitol hill and committed federal crimes. we'll talk about that. much more with the former homeland security secretary, jeh johnson. he's standing by live. we have lots to discuss. for wha? really? i didn't-- aah! ok. i'm on vibrate. aaah! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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share with our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world what you're finding out. >> yeah, they're very easily identifiable, identifying themselves on social media. thighs are no patriots. these are members of proud boys, bugaloos, and you can see some of them on your screen. many of these men, mostly men, are trying to scrub their social
media. you can't scrub the video all over the internet now of these men. let me point one out to you. jake angeli, the buffalo-horned man with no shirt on, who was all through the senate yesterday, marching through the senate. he is known as the qanon shaman is what he calls himself. he believes in the conspiracy theory that the washington, d.c. is somehow controlled by satan worshippers. he has also posted in the past a selfie of himself with rudy giuliani at one of giuliani's sham voter investigation hearings in arizona. i also want to point out richard bann barnett, he is the man who broke into nancy pelosi's office, put his feet up on the desk and stole an envelope. he is speaking to one of our affiliates, boldly saying why he actually went in and put his
feet up on her desk. take a listen to just that audio that one of our affiliates just obtaine obtained. >> i sat down here at my desk. i'm today taxpayer. i'm a patriot. it's not her desk. we loaned her the desk. i threw my feet up on the desk. >> that is a belligerent richard barnett. he is from arkansas. the fbi, the police want to speak with him. what was striking about all of this is how much was preplanned and talked about on the internet before january 6th. we know the president, what he said. we also have seen evidence that thousands and thousands of messages were passed on the internet between these groups preparing for exactly what took place. bring guns to d.c. bring your violence to d.c. we are going to storm the
capitol. hundreds of thousands of violent messages passed through these groups, wolf. yet somehow the capitol police, the capitol itself was either looking the other way or simply unprepared. wolf? >> yesterday president trump said these individuals, he said, we love you. you're very special. awful words from the president, after we saw so much of the destruction up on capitol hill. thank you very much, drew, for that report. let's discuss with the former u.s. homeland security secretary, jeh johnson. good to speak with you. >> thanks, wolf. >> you're also former counsel at the department of defense. let me get your reaction briefly to what we witnessed over the last 24 hours up on capitol hill. >> wolf, where do i begin? it's tragic, one of the saddest days in our country. and with all sorts of tragic irony and hypocrisy. i was responsible for the security of the inaugural event
on the western front of the capitol four years ago. i had a role for responsibility for that. we all remember that in that address on the western front of the capitol, president trump talked about american carnage and a number of us, including reportedly george w. bush said what the heck is he talking about? and over the last four years of the trump presidency, capped by yesterday's event, that's exactly what we now have, brought to us by donald trump. american carnage on the western front of the u.s. capitol building in the wake of covid, with over 350,000 americans dead. there were many, many images from yesterday that will be burned into my memory for the rest of my life. i have to tell you that the two that were the most shocking to me, aside from the destruction of property and so forth was the hangman's noose on the western
front of the capitol. a hangman's noose on the u.s. capitol grounds as well as people brandishing confederate flags in the u.s. capitol. wolf, you and i know, we fought an entire civil war to prevent exactly that from happening. that's how far washington descended yesterday. >> i mean, you think about it, to see a guy walking around with a confederate flag in the u.s. capitol -- as we know, you spent most of -- a lot of your professional life working to protect our country. did you ever imagine, mr. secretary, that one of the gravest threats against the u.s. would be domestic terrorism coming from within our own borders, the terrorism that we clearly saw yesterday from these rioters? >> domestic terrorism coming from within our own borders, encouraged by, incited by a sitting president of the united states. no, i never would have anticipated that in my lifetime. it was a sad, sad state of
affairs. and let's not beat around the bush. this was insurrection. this is the very definition of insurrection. you heard a lot of talk about insurrection last summer from this president but this was insurrection, incited by this president. and, no, i never could have imagined such a thing. and, wolf, the breach of the capitol grounds did not have to happen. we know how to protect the perimeter of the capitol grounds. we do that with planning for the inauguration. we do that with planning for state of the union addresses. we do that up here in the new york area for the u.n. general assembly, when you have over 100 heads of state, heads of fwost assemble. we know how to establish perimeters around security zones. and what happened here was obviously a failure to anticipate the security challenges of yesterday's event in congress. >> you're a lawyer, among other
things. does the president of the united states have blood on his hands? should he be charged with a federal, criminal offense? >> well, wolf, i can't say i'm an expert on what constitutes inciting violence. i will say that i believe that president trump, first and foremost, is responsible for lighting the match that caused yesterday's conflugration. whether he is held accountable legally or not, this is the capstone of his legacy. he needs to appreciate that this is what his legacy is going to boil down to. this is what people are going to remember about the presidency of donald trump. american carnage that he incited right there on the u.s. capitol grounds. >> when you and i spoke a few months ago, i remember you sharing very personal story. we spoke about it. about why that confederate flag is so offensive to you. you shared a photo of your fw d
fwrand mother, as you explained your family history, we watched that confederate flag, a rider going through the capitol with it yesterday. what does it say about where we are as a country right now that something like that could even happen? >> wolf, i think we're in a place now where it's more than just bridging the divide. we hear a lot of talk about bridging the divide. bringing us together. reaching across the aisle. 70 million people voted for donald trump. that's the single biggest vote tally of any loser of a national election. there is, among that group of people, an awful lot of people who are angry, who have been actively misled into believing that the election was stolen. they really do believe that. how did we get here?
and so i'm counting on, and i believe that president-elect biden will make every effort to bring us together. but there needs to be a harder look at how a large segment of this country can get to a place where they believe that the election was stolen and that they, therefore, have to take to the streets and invade the capitol to somehow seek redress. that's a very, very sad state of affairs. >> indeed, it is. trump had 74 million votes, biden had 81 million votes, 7 million more. secretary jeh johnson, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. more breaking news we're following. coronavirus deaths in the u.s. set a single day record amid growing concerns about the pace of vaccinations. we'll be right back.
much more on the attack on the u.s. capitol in a moment, but there is also breaking pandemic news we are following. the u.s. coronavirus death total just topped 364,000 people with more than 21.5 million confirmed cases. the number of deaths just yesterday was at an all-time high here in the united states, more than 3,800 americans lost their lives to the virus in just 24 hours. the crisis by the way is especially severe in los angeles county right now. let's discuss with the mayor of los angeles, eric garcetti.
thank you so much for joining us. i want you to look at the unprecedented new surge of cases in l.a. right now. how did things get so bad so quickly? >> every six seconds a new case and every eight minutes somebody is dying. we have seen it across the country and here with the densest metropolitan area in america. you have shown the heros in our hospitals, angels in the ambulances stretched thin to deal with the onslaught of what is happening here at the epicenter, los angeles, kansas, couple of other places around the country is where we are seeing the fight continue. despite the distractions in washington we won't stop saving lives and we are hoping the country recognizes this and gets us what we need. >> someone in los angeles is dying from this virus every
eight minutes. how do you get this back under control? >> i think three ways, wolf. first of all, we need more vaccinations. it is clear vaccinations are not being handed out where we need it most. california and los angeles, we have the capacity to do much more and need to get them directly to local governments who can get them out. congress, unfortunately the senate leadership and the president walked away from their promise to help the cities out. they are defunding the first responders and third as individuals we have to tighten our bubble. making the right decisions. making sure in our households where the majority of the spread is happening to do everything that we can to stop it now. that gives me hope by the end of the month we will see the worst behind us. >> your hospitals are pretty full. i have friends in l.a. who tell me they are ready to leave because they are afraid if they
had to go to the hospital there would not be room for them. everybody is so busy with covid right now. how tough is the situation as far as hospitalizations are concerned? >> it is very tough, wolf. we learned lessons from march and april. we had the ppe, more ventilators, plans to surge. all of the hospitals are in surge mode. of the 90 hospitals in l.a. county are in crisis mode and come in and out of that. as we send doctors to places like new york when there was that surge. i am asking folks across america, if you can spare a doctor or nurse, send it here. we care about each other. send it to kansas. send it to the places that are going through the surge. we can get through this in a better way than we saw early on in the pandemic. but only if we come together as a nation and have the national leadership we have been lacking.
>> good luck to you and everyone in l.a. this is an awful situation we are following. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. god bless. >> there is more breaking news we are following. more on the growing number of lawmakers and officials now calling for president trump to be declared unfit for office and forceably removed under the 25th amendment to the u.s. constitution. we will talk about that and more. the former secretary of state, general colon powell is standing by live. we will discuss when we come back. i'm a fashionista. sneakerhead. metalhead. me? gearhead. ♪ audiophile. gamer. i'm a foodie. woo! i'm whatever this is. obsession has many names. this is ours. the new lexus is. all in on the sport sedan. woohoohoohoohoohoo! experience amazing at your lexus dealer. on all the food that makes you boogie. - [narrator] grubhub perks give you deals
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this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i am wolf blitzer in the situation room. we are following breaking news. grumbling calls for president trump to be removed from office and removed quickly for inciting riots at the u.s. capitol. the house speaker nancy pelosi is pushing for the 25th amendment to the u.s. constitution to be invoked. if not she is as congress may move to impeach the president warning that he is "deadly to the american people." federal prosecutors in washington say they are investigating trump's role in egging on the angry mob, and the fbi is vowing to track down and charge more domestic terrorists who stormed the u.s. capitol and were allowed to walk away in a stunning, stunning breach of security. also breaking the transportation secretary elaine chao has become the first cabine