tv Cuomo Prime Time CNN January 13, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
chris? >> we're living history once again, anderson. good to share it with you. i'm chris cuomo, and welcome to "prime time." today, we saw the most bipartisan impeachment in american history, a moment that almost ensures donald john trump will be forever known as the worst president in u.s. history. the only president impeached not once but twice. and no other president has had this many in his own party break ranks with him in an impeachment vote. ten of them. their names should be remembered, too. it's not just about shame. but the notice of standing up for your conscience. still, where are we now? we're all haunted by the same question. what happens next?
we're going to get to trump's fate in a second. but what about our fate? these are dangerous times. is the government ready for what may come this week or next? the inauguration is still a lifetime of possibilities away. i had to think about whether i wanted to remind the rabid in our ranks of the names of the true republicans who voted their conscience today, i had to think about it. jason crow says some of his republican colleagues are paralyzed with fear. they told him they wanted to vote to impeach, but they had fear for their lives and their families if they do so. and forced a decision to oppose the move. you can roll your eyes, but think back one week. are you sure that those types of people wouldn't target anyone else? i have new video to show you that proves what these people wanted to do to our capitol and
the people in it. there has been a flood of threats to lawmakers, phoned, texted, sent on social media. it only takes one to change your life, or more importantly, the life of your loved ones. that's what they have to deal with. but they're not the only ones in the crucible, trump is feeling the heat as well. he's looking to cut his losses. he did something he would have never thought about a week ago. went from demagogue to pedagogue, lecturing people, this time he's all about calm. >> mob violence goes against everything i believe in, and everything our movement stands for. no true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. no true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or great american flag.
no true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow americans. >> you could argue, only a true supporter of his would disrespect and attack the way we saw. the hope is that the feral few that believe everything he says to the point where they tried to overthrow the capitol in his name, maybe they'll believe his message and stay home. for the rest of us, including a growing number of gop'ers, who want their party back, we know he loved them, and he told them after the insurrection, after they attacked our democracy. they know that man can never be trusted to do the right thing when it counts. so what happens next to him? this is where the story shifts.
reports of mitch mcconnell's move turned out to be not credible. he's going to kick the trial in the senate until after president-elect biden's sworn in next week. not fair, some of you say. mcconnell says he doesn't believe they have enough time to have a fair trial. took 21 days the last time. and he did say he doesn't know how he's going to vote. but how would anyone know how they're going to vote before hearing the evidence? and this sounds like what happened with merrick garland, it's too soon. then he shortcut his way to two supreme court justices, as soon as he could. this is about delay or for him taking care of what matters to him most? now we have the troubling question about what to do next. timing. is it worth going after trump
anytime other than now? why? well, not only do you have a little bit of momentum, and who knows how long good conscience will stand, with the pressure on these tpeople. and the vp and the president-elect, they have to stop a pandemic that is eating us alive worse than ever. biden will have to figure out how to fix the vaccine queprobl. and this in a nation on the hairy edge. so joe biden made a statement tonight calling on senate leadership to find a way to deal with impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation. now, do any of you believe that's possible? it's not wrong for him to ask for it.
walk and chew gum. but they can't do either. they're a culture of opposition. the republicans have existed only to stop the democrats. the democrats are now trying to find ways to do that themselves, but not having the numbers. we're in a horrible place. look at where we are. look at our capitol, look at washington. it looks like a war zone. the number of national guard troops deployed is three times those deployed to iraq, af afgha afghanistan, and syria combined. and all to defend us against us. this is america now. the secret service is so concerned about violence, president-elect biden is no longer able to travel on amtrak. security is heightened at capitols across america. all 50 state capitals are under
threat of armed protest. no external terrorists ever did this to us. we never worried like this, even after 9/11. i was there for days, weeks, i lost people, i covered it. i went to train, and then i covered wars abroad. i've seen ugly things this country now resembles, but i've never seen this country more in doubt about safety at home than now. and the enemy is us. terrible times. hard to explain to your kids. same with mine. we are the greatest country in the world, we say. but why? answer it for yourself. what is the why? our why. for me, it's that america is the only place i've ever been where the competition of ideas can be settled by consensus and not bloody consequence. i do have to ask whether or not
that is still true. but i can also say to you right now, my answer is yes. and today is proof. but it is just one step. and there is still far to go. and our first question is, what is the next step? let's bring in better minds, david gregory and michael smerconish. good to see you. david, next step. >> well, what you've seen today is historic. that we've established. but it's so important because of the last point that you mentioned. if we can't rely on a peaceful transfer of power in this country, then our democracy is not strong. we can't forget that. it was president washington who established that when he shocked europeans by leaving office of his own free will. and stepped down voluntarily. that attack on our elections, that attack on the idea of a
peaceful transfer of power is what is under siege now. and the fact that we're going to inaugurate a new president in this camp, this kind of armed camp that is washington, d.c., is beyond sad. but there's been a big dodge here, the importance of today, bipartisan, historic. but mitch mcconnell doesn't have to do something really hard. he can kick it down the road. and that is an enormous challenge for a new president, to have to look forward and backward, in the middle of a pandemic, at the same time. democrats don't want to give up on one big thing, the precedent, and doing one step further, to remove the possibility he could ever run again. >> but you need two votes of two-thirds of the senate to do
that. you would have to have two-thirds to convict, and two-thirds to remove or ban. >> isn't it a simple majority? >> it might be. >> simple majority. >> thank you, david. still two votes they need to get. if they can get to two-thirds, you would get to 50%. smerk, what do you think about the larger proposition for a trial. >> i have this image of mcconnell and schumer looking at flowcharts on the wall. i think this is really complicated to game out. if you push for conviction in the senate, and you get the two-thirds vote, okay, donald trump is done. if, however, it's like last time, and they can't get in this case 17 republicans to cross the aisle, and i think that is unlikely, does he, does now the former president draw strength from that exercise? here's something to think about.
are democrats actually doing republicans a favor by taking him out if they can get the votes? because, chris, i believe he's wounded right now to such a degree that left alone, he can't come back and win. so if you're the democrats, why not leave him as the albatross around their neck? you know he'll cast a shadow. you know two years into this, he'll want to come back and run again, and the gop will have to deal with him. the risk you run, if the democrats take that hands-off approach, that like lazarus, maybe something happens and the guy comes back yet again. >> and, you know, he would be able to do that, unless they convict and have a majority vote after the two-thirds vote that says, no, he can't run again. david, it is hard to imagine they would focus on anything else, that anything else would get done if they had an impeachment trial going on.
and the last one took us weeks. and people need relief now. they have to figure out the vaccine now that almost certainly is going to need enabling legislation now. and he's got an economy in tatters, now. >> yeah, i'm with you. i mean, i just don't think it's possible, especially for a new administration, to try to be full speed ahead while you have also got the country obsessed with looking backward and looking at trump. look, there's a level of speculation to this that is more dangerous than most speculation. and that is, we don't know what will happen in the next week. god forbid there's more violence, god forbid we'll see a repeat. that is certainly what the warnings are. my hope and prayer is for quiet and a peaceful transition from this point moving forward. because regardless, the republican party has a lot of sorting out to do. >> right. >> and where to put trump is a big piece of it.
i don't think yesterday was nothing. i don't think mitch mcconnell letting it be known, letting it be leaked that he was happy about impeachment, that was a signal. it's still not clear what republicans will do with it. but they've got a choice about what kind of party they want to be. and for the first time, they have a donald trump who is wounded politically. he's still good adherents like jim jordan, to really fringe el elements, people who are violent, it's the full range. and they all call trump home base. >> jim jordan did sound like a boy among men and women, which was interesting. >> and there was no defense that was offered.
here's a final thing to think about. you identified the ten republicans who had the guts to cross party lines. what does it say to them if the senate doesn't move forward? it sets a dangerous precedent, this was noise, and their courage will not be rewarded. >> interesting. david, michael, thank you. david couldn't wait to leave. ten house republicans put country before party on this historic day. are enough republicans in the senate willing to give democrats the two-thirds majority needed to convict? or is there a different formula bubbling up on the senate side? we have a key democratic senator, jeff merkley. he says it's time to seek justice and heal. is there another way? next.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ anywhere convenience. everyday security. bankers here to help. for wherever you want to go. chase. make more of what's yours. a tough question. i know people are angry at trump, and with good reason. but what is the right next step for us? impeachment took a day this time, versus a day last time. and it got ten times more bipartisan support. ten today, none last time. i have a question for a senator about whether there is something else they should do first before
even dealing with trump. let's get some insight from democratic senator jeff merkley. good to see you. >> good to see you, chris. >> hawley and cruz, what do you think about the first move by the senate in terms of accountability for this, moving to censure them for this? >> yes, the two senators responsible for moving the big lie forward for those two. so they share tremendously for this assault on the capitol. >> what should be the best step forward? you have a lot of bad stuff to deal with, and other than the longshot that you get a two-thirds vote, you get 17 of
them to cross lines in the senate, and get a second vote where you get a majority saying you want to ban him from office, that's a longshot. do you have any hesitation about this playing out? >> none at all, chris. this has to go forward. first, the constitution lays out the pattern. the senate has to vote, it's not optional. second of all, normally when the senate comes in, it only operates three days a week, from monday afternoon to thursday afternoon. we need to be operating six days a week, all day long. and we need to be taking and doing everything we can to take the things that are used to delay and obstruct that the republicans do, and working to compact those. not allow the time on the floor to be wasted. if there's an intervening day on
a nomination, we should be using it on an impeachment hearing. maybe it can be done in a eweek. this is a much less complicated case, and every member of the senate saw the evidence directly. so this is not an academic inquiry. >> but going fast doesn't necessarily help your chances. and walk and chew gum, i've never seen it in the current political culture. $2,000 checks, people need it now. you guys need to help with the distribution of the vaccine now. you have a economy that needs government assistance, now. do you really believe you can do it all at the same time? >> everything you say is true. but we have a president who incited an insurrection. 50 states are worried about
their capitol on january 20th. we're going to have 15,000 troops in the capitol, defending the capitol. this is a mega assault on our constitution. we need to do it in a much more compact form, do we need to use every day of the week for six months? yes, we did. but we cannot set aside and say we won't proceed on the impeachment trial. >> i don't disagree. but aren't you worried? we're in such a bad situation right now, on so many levels. not least of which is a country on the hairy edge, which you and i in our lifetimes have never seen at this state of play before. aren't you worried about how to do this right?
>> i'm worried about so many things right now. people are afraid to get on planes to go to d.c. for the 20th. we have a situation where we have essentially the responsibility of the senate to act, that is to govern, but it's an ungovernable body under the current rules. so we have the burden of leadership without the appropriate tools to be able to drive issues quickly and make decisions on the pandemic, on the economy, on organizing the senate itself so we can get to those issues. on a host of nominations. all the cabinet nominations, the republicans can insist on not just an intervening day before you vote, they can insist on 30 hours of debate after cloture. this is a huge challenge we're facing, no question about it. and the conversation among my colleagues in the caucus, we're
going to have to be intense, determined, and make adjustments along the way. but we have to tackle it all. >> look, you're in a hard spot. and i know on one level it's simple, this is horrible what he did, you have to go after him. i got you. but the country is in a horrible situation as well. it's almost a hobson's choice in a way. do you believe it's worth investigating whether or not there was an inside job aspect to what we saw last week? >> yes. that is going to be investigated, because there has been rumors about the possibility that individuals we were escorted the day before. every aspect has to be looked at. how can you alter the outcome in the future if you don't fully understand what happened a week ago today? >> senator jeff merkley, we're going to show video later in the show. they were coming for you guys with bad intentions. thank god, as bad as it was, as
rocking as it was to the country, it could have been a hell of a lot worse. thank god it wasn't. >> it could have been much, much worse. absolutely. >> senator, be well. >> thank you. we're going to take a look at this question. i have no interest in going down some endless hallway of speculation, okay? and i'm not just going to act on rumors. but the question of how it was so easy for these people to get in. it can't just be about the capitol police, can it? was there any kind of assistance by anybody, member of congress, anywhere? what about what this one lawmaker says she witnessed? let's take it up, next 67.
the danger remains. in fact, it will probably grow in terms of the challenges we have to face, and the stakes. impeachment is an attempt to remove one of the main accelerants. but let's be clear, donald trump is not the only one in power. he didn't do this alone. members of congress accused by one of their own of showing soon to be rioters the lay of the land. >> those members of congress who had groups coming through the capitol that i saw on january 5th, reconnaissance for the next day. >> maybe, maybe not. meanwhile, democratic congresswoman mary gay scanlon
said she saw tour groups in maga apparel one or two days before the attack. i'm not particularly swayed by either of these suggestions, but that doesn't mean there's not an investigation to be had. videos coming out about just how determined some of the rioters were to penetrate the capitol. i want you to listen to some of the insurrectionists. that's what you are. don't make yourself victims. listen to the video, look at who they are, what they did. that's what they did. you are what you do. just listen. >> listen to me. in the other room, on the other side of this door, right here where these men are standing.
there's a glass, if it's drbrok, you can drop down into the room underneath it. two doors. one to the right when you go in. so people should probably coordinate together to take this building. we're going to get in and out easy. and this window here needs to be broken. >> okay, this was during, obviously, the insurrection activity, around 5:00 p.m. eastern. then the rally where the lies these people had been fed for months was whipped into a f frenzy. an organizer of the so-called stop the steal event. people say, jordan never said the election was stolen. is this about syntax or
intentions? this was all about helping to set it up. paul gosar, andy biggs, mo brooks had instructions for an angry crowd. listen. >> today is the day american patriots start taking down names and kicking ass! >> that's before you get to the conspiracy theories. yet now insist they must stand up about the reckless application of house procedure. are you kidding me? you need proof of the threat? don't look at the politicians. look at those who stand against the forces of evil across this planet. the capitol rotunda resembles a
mil mil military barracks. some 20,000 national guard troops will be in d.c. for the inauguration to defend against us. look, this is the proof of what i just said. those in the business of monitoring menace are at this moment considering raising the terrorism threat level against ourselves. the leader is not in a cave, he doesn't have a beard, he's not a member of a faith that you don't understand and think is out to get you. he's in the oval office. the people wanted to take the building. did they think it was unoccupied? no, they knew people were in it and they wanted to take it. which means stop the activity. which means do what?
it offends reason to suggest these people didn't want worse to happen once they got inside. you don't take a building without doing taking. the chatter is off the charts right now. we're on the hairy edge. and how dare any retrumplicans say biden should be doing unity. no, that was on you, to stop the poison coming out of donald trump's puss on a daily, hourly basis. and you did nothing, or, worse, echoed it. and it's time for a reckoning. don't make yourself victims. this isn't about being punished for speech. it's about being held to account for what you did in the name of leadership of this country. thousands of armed pro-donald trump extremists are plotting to surround the capitol ahead of biden's inauguration.
and his milquetoast words that someone wrote for him are not going to get it done, and you know it. and you have 50 state capitols to worry about. our nation's state capitol means every bit and more than the twin towers ever did. this is what we look to. this is the white plume pointing that the way is up. at this moment, the entire city is under an emergency declaration. americans are being told for their safety to stay away from our capital. there's no moving on. there's no forgiving and forgetting. that would be a mistake. that would like it. jim jordan, who is afraid to be oppressed by a mask. now is not the time to be brave, you won't even come on our show. stay safe on state tv. we'll talk to one of the
lawmakers who was forced into hiding, congressman ted lieu who is one of the nine impeachment managers. what does he see as the next step, what does he see as healing? next. three derm ingredients in one cream. don't settle for less. revitalift triple power with pro-retinol plus hyaluronic acid and vitamin c. it visibly reduces wrinkles. firms. and brightens. now that's triple power. revitalift triple power moisturizer from l'oreal. tracfone wireless gives you unlimited now carryover data.ower. $20 bucks. no contract. $20 bucks? wow, that's great. yeah, hit decline. i don't want to talk to her. hit me. get me. this is your wake-up call, people. tracfone wireless. now you're in control.
even kevin mccarthy admitted today that trump bears responsibility for what happened last week. this isn't about votes, truth, or logic. no, it is about votes. that's all it's about. it's not a legal process or what makes sense. it's about what makes you vote. that's it. can they get this done in the senate? congressman ted lieu is one of the democratic impeachment managers who will prosecute this case in the senate. good to see you. i'm glad you're safe. >> thank you, chris. >> the constitution says you have to have a trial. the world is watching us and we are in some of the worst shape you and i have ever seen in our lifetime. do you believe you can make the case in a way that gets 17
republicans to cross the line? >> i do. but this is a very simple case. we had a mob that violently attacked our nation's capitol to stop congress from formializing donald trump's defeat, and joe biden's win. and the person that incited that mob was donald trump. we have videotapes of the speech, what he said after january 6th, and of the mob attacking the capitol, resulting in numerous deaths. >> stipulating to the point that trump helped put the animus in their heart, do you believe there was inside help that put ideas into their head? >> it is certainly possible. that's why we need a full investigation. and in terms of the law, no one is above the law. not the president, not his attorney, and certainly not any member of congress. if any member of congress incited the insurrection or gave
inside information, the fbi should investigate them. and if prosecutors think they should be charged, then they should be charged? >> do you have any reason to believe it? >> based on some articles i read, there does appear to be suspicious activity. so there should be an invest investigation. >> are you worried about you can't do two things at once, they won't work with you on anything? >> senator schumer will be the leader when this trial happens. and we hope they can do the rules so we can both do the trial as well as get the work of the nation done simultaneously. i think that can be done. but even if it can't, we've got to do this trial. the way we heal is first to have
justice and accountability. when crimes occur, no one says let's go straight to healing. we first need justice and accountability. >> true. but this is political accountability. you can have the doj look at it and make cases, let them lead are where they lead. that doesn't mean keeping trump in front of us for the next two or three months. >> so, joe biden understands that the way to move forward is to have accountability. whether it's political or otherwise. that's why he's letting congress move forward with our constitutional duties. we simply can't heal as a nation if we don't respond swiftly and strongly to what was a violent attack on our nation's capitol, resulting in multiple deaths. strongly worded press releases alone are not an appropriate response. >> do you worry that if you don't get a conviction, donald trump will get a win? >> no, donald trump will go down in history as the only president
impeached twice. and future generations will know that when he incited a mob to attack the nation's capitol, we responded properly. the house has now impeached on a bipartisan basis donald trump, and it's time for the senate to ab act. >> and mitch mcconnell, he says there's not enough time but he got the supreme court justices in, in record time. >> there's enough time, he's simply choosing not to do so. but i'm hoping with public pressure, he will. >> is it true that while you were still hiding in a room from an angry mob, you started to call fellow members of the
judiciary committee saying we have to impeach these guys? >> i was in an office, watching with horror, realizing we were in the middle of an attempted coup. and we became convinced we needed to remove the president because he's a clear and president danger. we started drafting articles of impeachment, working remotely with others, and we started reaching out to members to sign on to the article of itc impeachment. >> that's some dedication to the cause. you were already thinking about what to do about what was happening to you all. congressman ted lieu, good luck going forward, and stay safe. >> thank you, chris. >> all right. the evidence so far suggests a level of planning for this attack, that it wasn't just spont spontaneous. and not just that video with orders being barked.
so, how can we prevent more terror in the run-up to the inauguration? what can the same forces be doing for next week? that's next. e all finding ways to keep moving. and at fidelity, you'll get planning and advice to help you prepare for the future, without sacrificing what's most important to you today. because with fidelity, you can feel confident that the only direction you're moving is forward. do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy, even a term policy, for an immediate cash payment. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized that we needed a way to supplement our income. if you have one hundred thousand dollars or more of life insurance you may qualify to sell your policy. don't cancel
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they were attacks by domestic extremists. the bulletin also reports those who carried out the assault largely viewed their efforts as a success and that the next targets could be lawful protests or other gatherings. so let's discuss the current danger with phil mudd and david axelrod. gentlemen, thank you. phil, do you believe that there is anything to the suggestion that there was inside influence or help in what we saw last week? >> well, let's take out the question whether we should investigate it. yes, we should investigate. the question of whether that actually happened, chris, i'd give you two answers to that. the first is did individuals on the inside have conversations with sympathizers that said
we're angry, we understand that you're angry, if you want to come down the street with protests we perfectly -- we understand that perfectly well? that's easy to believe. to take it a step further, to say individuals on the inside said if you want to plan this and if you want to breach the barrier and if you want to get inside the building here are some operational ideas or support for how you do that, i want to see some evidence, chris. i haven't seen that yet. >> david, are you curious? as somebody who worked in the white house. that this was so woefully underplanned. >> i mean, there are two explanations. well, there are several explanations. one is the most nefarious. that there was willful neglect because this was a crowd friendly to the president. the thing that worries me, chris, is it is a manifestation of a dysfunctional administration. i think that may be closer to
the truth. you know, when we were in the white house, we had a senior homeland security director who would regularly, when there were issues like this before events, not just after action, convene the relevant federal agencies along with the capitol hill police along with the metropolitan police in d.c. to go over intelligence, to share information and to help coordinate strategies. i don't think that's going on. i'm not even sure if president-elect biden named a senior homeland security official to his national security team today. i'm not sure that function is even being served in the white house right now. so even if they had the best of intentions i'm not sure operationally they were playing a coordinating role at the national security council they should have been playing given the fact this threat of domestic
terrorism has been high on the list of concerns of the fbi director in all of his public testimony. >> right. quick follow for you, david. what do you make of people saying on the right, listen, i would have voted for impeachment but i'm worried about the threats? there are always threats. do you believe that there is more to the fear now than we've seen in the past? >> maybe. i think the bigger concern for most of the people who would have voted for impeachment but didn't was the threat to their political well-being because the trump base is still out there and it's still fairly strong if you look at polling. and he despite the mr. rogers kind of image that he tried to project in his video tonight is a vengeful person and they know it. look, i have no doubt that something has been activated here, it's been brewing for years. it has culminated in what we saw there. but i don't think it's the end of it. and i understand their concerns.
i think there is danger. >> so phil, you've been telling me for years trump should not be playing come out come out wherever you are with these white extremist groups, that you're not going to like what they do once they get out. where do you believe we are in terms of how much of a threat we are to ourselves in this country right now for more of what we saw last week? >> i mean, worse than where we would have been two years ago. i'm not as concerned about the inauguration as i am about 50 states. when you heard the director of the fbi years ago saying me had investigations open in 50 states on isis, people were concerned in this country. i can guarantee you that there are investigations maybe not in 50, 48, 47, whatever it is, on sovereign citizen people, that is, people who don't recognize the u.s. government, and white supremacists in 46, 47, 50 states across this country. and people seem less concerned. and those are the people who stormed the congress. if you don't think this is a threat, let me flip the scenario, chris. let me flip the scenario.
thousands of people show up on the capitol who are isis sympathizers and storm the capitol. what would people say? there's a fundamental threat to this country. what are people in congress saying today? we're worried about alienating these people by voting against the president. we have a problem and the problem partly is we cannot look to our neighbor next door and say we have to say that's wrong, it's un-american. that is significant. >> phil mudd, david axelrod. gentlemen, thank you. we'll be right back. (burke) deep-sea driving, i see... (customer) something like that... (burke) well, here's something else: with your farmer's policy perk, new car replacement, you can get a new one. (customer) that is something else. (burke) get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
the big star. d-lemon right now. >> that's a good question, where do we go right now? i have an idea. your talk with phil mudd was very important. and i think phil mudd is on to something. >> what's the word he didn't say? >> well -- >> about why you would feel one way about who attacked the capitol last week and another way if it were about isis or anything else. >> okay. so here's what -- this is a tough conversation for america. what happened in washington, d.c. at the capitol on wednesday was not about preserving some sort of conservative principle, you know, ideas. it was not about that. what folks were fighting for in washington today -- or against was not about preserving some conservative principle ideas. what happened on wednesday at the capitol was about preserving whiteness. that's what this is about. this is the tough conversation that we must have. and preserving it in the worst