tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN January 31, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello and welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm michael holmes, and we'll be bringing you all the latest from washington on the coronavirus relief negotiations after the deadliest month in the pandemic so far. but first want to bring you up to date on the breaking news in myanmar. the military there seizing power in a coup against the democratically elected government. in an lerlly-morning raid, the military detained aung san suu
kyi and other senior government leaders for what it called election fraud. the military also detaining a member of parliament and declaring a one-year state of emergency. the white house has warned, quote, the united states opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede myanmar's democratic transition and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed. cnn's will ripley joins me now from hong kong with more. there are those saying that this is a violation of a constitution the military actually helped write and just days ago said it would abide by. what are you hearing? what's the latest? >> reporter: it's extraordinary, michael, to think that this civilian government came into power just five years ago led by aung san suu kyi, who for so many years was this kind of darling of the movement for freedom and democracy around the world because she was kept in
house arrest on and off for 20 years by the same military that has now once again detained her after she was at the united nations defending their actions against rohingya muslims, defending the military against accusations of genocide, saying that their actions were actually justified. this, of course, there are deep, deep ethnic and religious divisions inside myanmar, and aung san suu kyi was essentially condoning what has been called the rape and murder of hundreds of thousands of men and women who are forced out of myanmar into bangladesh, saying that it was actually rohingya militant who's were to blame. so people who watched her for so many decades, she won the nobel peace prize in 1991, saw this kind of fall from grace, and they saw her fall in line with the military leaders, who still held a lot of control inside this government even though they did hold this election in november. but the military was extraordinarily disappointed with the fact that the national
league for democracy party led by aung san suu kyi got 396 seats in parliament while their proxy party got just 33. they started making allegations of widespread election fraud. they claimed as many as 10.5 million votes could be fraudulent. they demanded that the country investigate and look into how they could have possibly gotten so few seats. and the election officials inside myanmar said they looked into it, and there was no evidence of this kind of widespread voter fraud. so on the day that the government was supposed to form, they took control, essentially kind of shattering this illusion that civilians had a whole lot of control in the government in the first place. >> you mentioned a very important point and that is the shine has sort of worn off a little bit on aung san suu kyi when it comes to what has happened to the rohingya people. how is she regarded inside myanmar? i mean 80% of the seats were won
by her party. is she still highly regarded within the country? >> inside the country, her popularity is extremely high. keep in mind she was the opposition leader for many years, the son of a famous hero who helped liberate myanmar from japan and then was assassinated. so she had this iconic name. she had 15 years of being kept in her house with almost no contact with the outside world aside from an occasional radio broadcast. and yet there were people writing songs about her in the outside world and people rallying for her release. but when she became the leader of the country, she started to play politics, some have said. and it's a fact that myanmar is deeply divided along ethnic and religious lines. and for most of the voters who are buddhist, there's a lot of disdain, if not outright hatred for the rohingya muslims. they were happy to see them cleared out of their villages and forced to these refugee
camps in bangladesh. so her actions, while largely condemned on the global stage, were celebrated at home, which may have been why her party won so many more seats in this most recent election, that the government that she was defending at the u.n. has now essentially snatched away from the people who voted those civilian leaders with now a general in the top spot and a year-long state of emergency to come. >> tense times. will ripley in hong kong, appreciate it. thanks for joining us there, following this story for us. now, the u.s. has just suffered its deadliest month from covid-19 since the pandemic began. more than 95,000 deaths were confirmed in january, far more than the previous record high, which was just the month before in december. this coming as the u.s. is seeing more cases of the variant first detected in the uk. one expert warning that strain could make the crisis even
worse. >> the surge that is likely to occur with this new variant from england is going to happen in the next 6 to 14 weeks, and if we see that happen, which my 45 years in the trenches tell us we will, we are going to see something like we have not seen yet in this country. england, for example, is hospitalizing twice as many people as we ever hospitalized at our highest number. that hurricane's coming. >> a former fda commissioner says southern california is one of the places most at risk from that mutation of the virus, and that is because it is already one of the biggest u.s. hot spots. despite that, california seeing some reason for optimism. here's paul vercammen. >> reporter: i'm paul vercammen on the campus of cal state northridge university where they had 2,400 appointments for vaccinations, the pfizer vaccination, first one on sunday. and things seemed to move swimmingly. we also got good news at the same time from l.a. county.
we cannot definitively say that there was not a gap in reporting of the numbers, but we saw a drop in the number of cases by about 1,000. a huge plunge in the number of deaths. and we also saw a drop of 1,600 hospitalizations. this seemed to be the reason why l.a. county officials were so optimistic and eased up on some of the restrictions. now, back here at northridge, we saw mostly senior citizens getting their first shot, and were they ever ecstatic. never has anybody felt so happy to be stuck by a needle, i would imagine. >> i didn't even feel it. in fact, i'm not even sure she gave me the shot. i didn't feel a thing. it was as smooth as could be. everybody knew their role. everybody was cheerful, pleasant, boom, boom, boom. >> reporter: this is one of five sites where they hope to give 2,400 vaccinations a day. that would be seven days a week by los angeles county. and this is a lot better scenario than what we saw just a short time ago where it was much
more chaotic. reporting from northridge, i'm paul vercammen. now back to you, michael. >> paul vercammen, we appreciate it. thank you. now, ten u.s. senate republicans are meeting with president biden on monday to discuss the latest coronavirus relief package. over the weekend, they pitched a much more scaled down version of the president's nearly $2 trillion plan. cnn's alex saenz with details from washington. >> reporter: the white house is indicating they are open to negotiating with senate republicans on that $1.9 trillion covid relief package. republican senators over the weekend introduced their own proposal which was much smaller in scale. about $600 billion in funding compared to that almost $2 trillion bill from the president. one thing that they are pushing for is more targeted checks to go out to american families who need it most. now, a senior administration official said that $600 billion
price tag is not going to scratch the itch of what they need to accomplish. but one area where they are willing to negotiate and have discussions are those targeted checks to american families. right now the white house is pushing for $1,400 checks to go out to american families while one republican senator suggested they could go down to $1,000. now, one question going forward is how long president biden will give these republicans to negotiate. the president has also made his preference clear that he wants to pursue this in a bipartisan manner. but he has left open the possibility of moving this without republican support. he is adamant that he wants action
on this measure fast. arlette saenz, cnn, the white house. now, with just about a week to go before donald trump's historic impeachment trial begins in the senate, the former president announced that two new lawyers will head his legal team. he's been struggling, of course,
to find attorneys willing to take on his case. cnn reported that five members of his impeachment defense team quit this weekend after falling out over legal strategy. they wanted to focus on the constitutionality of convicting a former president, but
trump wants to use his disproven election fraud claims as a defense. here's why one legal expert says it's not a good idea. >> i think the wild card in this is whether donald trump does insist on trying to make his case for election fraud, which if he does, will make senators very, very nervous. and he basically has been told in the senate vote that he's going to win if it's just a challenge to the constitutionality of putting a former president on trial. but his apparent desire to interject the wild card of trying to make his unmakeable election fraud case is a totally
new dimension. >> meanwhile, one republican lawmaker is pushing back on the party's continued other allegeance to mr. trump. adam kinzinger has launched a new political action committee to battle what he calls, quote, poisonous conspiracies and lies that defined trump's presidency. in a new video, kinzinger says the republican party has lost its way, but so far, not much support for him. >> imagine everybody that supported you or so it seems that way, your friends, your family has turned against you. they think you're selling out. i mean i've gotten a letter, a certified letter twice from the same people disowning me and claiming i'm possessed by the devil. >> doug high is a republican strategist and former rnc communications director. he joins me now. good to see you, doug. let's start with why is the gop leadership so quiet in the face of the likes of marjorie taylor greene and others for that
matter? i mean in her case, someone who's been so damaging, why the silence at the top? >> two simple reasons. one, they're scared of the feedback they're getting from their members, which is not positive, or feedback they're not getting from their members because their members are scared of the feedback they're getting from their primary voters. one thing about trump supporters, they don't go quietly into that good night. they're loud. they're vocal and their members hear from them. i've heard so many stories from members of congress on emails or text messages they get from their donors, from supporters who are saying they're not doing enough for donald trump, and have said this over and over again and really in unkind words. so they're reacting directly toward their base. i don't think that's a positive thing but that's the political reality right now. >> then you've got the house minority leader mccarthy going to mar-a-lago to meet with donald trump. there's all this talk, as you say, of keeping the base on side. but trump lost the house. he lost the senate. he lost the white house. why this continuing fealty?
and we've got the photo up there of mccarthy and trump in the gilded room. why this fealty? >> i think because the one thing donald trump hasn't lost -- he has lost a lot, no doubt about it -- is he hasn't lost the core base trump vote, which is really dominant in the gop right now. look, there are problems with that. one i would point out to you is in my home state of north carolina, about 5,800 republicans have left the party. they've changed their registration to unaffiliated. and if you're making those kinds of political decisions in january of an off year, you're pretty angry about things. that's obviously long-term, not sustainable for republicans. the other is i point out some recent electoral history where we've nominated terrible, terrible candidates who cause a lot of problems for republicans like a todd aiken in missouri, a richard murdoch in indiana, candidates who got a lot of national attention for terrible comments they made and ultimately lost. sharon engel and christine o'donnell back in 2010, two
senate seats that we should have picked up in nevada and delaware but we didn't. that also helped define republicans negatively. so we've lost those seats. we get defined negatively, and it's obviously a parallel to a lot of what we're seeing right now. marjorie taylor greene can define what republicanism, i think, to a lot of independent voters and even a lot of republican voteers that are leaving the party. that's dangerous. >> the problem is there are risks in maintaining fealty to one man, especially since he's out of office. i mean it is an extraordinary sort of eggs in one basket sort of situation. if you had to think of the next party leader or figurehead right now, it's hard to do that. it is a one-man party. there are a lot of risks in that. >> there sure are. obviously, you know, wifee've s them play out over the past few weeks and obviously on january the 6th. and the takeaway for me that i think is so critical on this is in an interview that jonathan swan of axios did with ukrainian president zelensky today, where
he said, it's hard to look at america as that beacon of democracy. it's what we've held ourselves up to be for basically almost 250 years now. we clearly have fallen short in the past few weeks and the world is watching. myanmar is another country where they're dealing with issues like this, where the united states is supposed to serve as an example. and what we've seen from the republican party just over the past few weeks, much less the past four years, really has fallen short. >> we've got less than a minute but i did want to ask you, you had representative kinzinger, one of ten republicans to vote to impeach trump. he's launched a new political action committee designed to challenge the trump wings of the caucus itself. real quick, do you think that has legs? >> i sure hope it does. look, those ten members stuck their neck out to do the right thing, and they're paying some political price. adam kinzinger is one of our best and brightest and smartest and youngest republican house members. we need a lot more like him. you know, i'm one who will sign
up on anything adam kinzinger wants to do because it's usually a pretty good idea. >> always a pleasure to have you on. thank you. >> thank you. >> we'll take a quick break. when we come back here on the program, thousands of russians are braving police crackdowns to rally in the streets. why they're so fired up. that's ahead. and also our exclusive one-on-one with a defector, a north korean diplomat. how he predicts kim jong-un will react to a less accommodating u.s. president. we'll be right back.
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a russian watchdog group say police detained more than 5,000 protesters on sunday, a record number. crowds of people marching in demonstrations across the country and the growing unrest obviously making the kremlin nervous. the protesters demanding the release of jailed opposition leader alexei navalny. but that is not all they want. fred pleitgen reports. >> reporter: russian security forces showing no mercy, cracking down on protesters demanding the release of opposition leader alexei navalny. but some telling us they want more fundamental changes in russia.
i came here today not only because of navalny, this man says. i think it's more because of the lack of freedom and because of this demonstrative lawlessness that's going on. >> i want a free election. i want change in our government. >> reporter: independent monitoring group ovd info says thousands were detained across russia. many protesters but also some journalists, including briefly me. >> sorry, sorry. all right. all right. it's okay. it's okay. >> reporter: while i was released after a few minutes, many others were not so lucky. the u.s. secretary of state condemned what he called harsh tactics against protesters and journalists. riot cops often wielding clubs and in some cases even tasers, like in this troubling video from moscow. but as the protesters marched through the russian capital, many motorists honked their horns in apparent support as
they drove past. alexei navalny, whose appeal for release from detention was denied this past week, called for the nationwide protests. vladimir putin's government reacted swiftly in an unprecedented move, shutting down large parts of central moscow, including ten subway stops in an effort to stop the protests, which authorities say are unsanctioned. but people came out in masses across this vast country, often braving freezing temperatures and often faced with a sharsh police response like in st. petersburg where ovd info says hundreds were detained. release, release, they chanted, referring to alexei navalny. navalny remains in detention and faces another court hearing this week. locked away but not silenced as many of his supporters have vowed to continue their action. fred pleitgen, cnn, moscow.
a winter storm on the u.s. east coast has forced president jiebd to postpone his plans to visit the state department on monday for a speech on foreign policy. but it is widely expected he will take a very different approach internationally than his predecessor, particularly when it comes to north korea. cnn's paula hancocks joins me now live from seoul. and, paula, you spoke exclusively with a high-level north korean diplomat who recently defected. tell us about it. >> reporter: that's right, michael. yes. this is a defector, who came here back in 2019, but news of it only emerged just in the last week. now, he spoke first to cnn. he did offer some words of advice for u.s. president joe biden, but he also pointed out how worried he was for the safety of his family. he told his teenage daughter he'd drive her to school. instead, he drove to the south korean embassy and claimed asylum. >> translator: i told her, come
with mom and dad to find freedom. she was shocked and then said, okay. that's all she said. >> reporter: he was acting north korean ambassador to q8 until he defected in september 2019, part of the north korean elite, a privileged diplomat of a country that touts itself as a socialist paradise. it was a life ryu and his life were desperate to save their daughter from. in his first ever interview, he reveals how agonizing the decision was to make. his voice cracks when he thinks of his 83-year-old mother, his wife's elderly parents, and his siblings all back in pyongyang. >> translator: i just want to see them live long. any thought of them being punished for what i have done just hurts my heart. >> reporter: north korea under kim jong-un has had a policy of punishing the families of defectors, a deterrence for those wanting to flee and lifelong gift for those who escape. r,y u says he watched the 2018
summit between then u.s. president donald trump and kim jong-un. >> as a diplomat, i thought this might be a political photo op. the u.s. cannot back down from denuclearization and kim jong-un cannot denuclearize. the power is directly linked to the stability of the regime. >> reporter: as for advice for president joe biden, ryu demurs, citing biden's lengthy policy experience. but he does believe that north korea will only consider reducing nuclear weapons, not giving them up completely, all while being accepted as a nuclear state. what does kim jong-un want from president biden? >> i think he wants the u.s. to lift sanctions. >> reporter: a move ryu does not think should happen. he also wants the issue of human rights to be an part of biden's policy. he sees the nuclear deal with iran as a sign of hope for dealing with north korea, but he does offer a reality check.
>> translator: north korea is going to be more difficult than iran. >> reporter: now, although ryu is heartbroken by the fact he had to leave family behind, he's very concerned for his family that's left back in north korea. but he did say that he and his wife believe they have done the right thing for their daughter. he also said that the other day he asked her what she liked about south korea. the one thing she said that was the best was the fact that she could use the internet whenever she wanted, something that many of us around the world take for granted but certainly not something that any except for the top elite is able to do in north korea. michael? >> really fascinating stuff. paula, thanks so much. paula hancocks there in seoul. now, ukraine's president speaking out about that phone call with then-president donald trump, the 2/20/19 conversation when trump asked him to open investigation into his political rival joe biden's son, hunter
biden. vladimir zelinsky said he was offended to hear the media say he was pressured as ukraine is an independent country. mr. zelensky added that he felt it was inappropriate that the conversation was made public. coming up next here on "cnn newsroom," more on our breaking news. the military coup in myanmar. aung san suu kyi and other party leaders have been detained. we'll have details when we come back. we were the first to bring 5g nationwide. and now that sprint is a part of t-mobile we're turning up the speed. upgrading over a thousand towers a month with ultra capacity 5g. to bring speeds as fast as wifi to cities and towns across america. and we're adding more every week. coverage and speed. who says you can't have it all? so you want to make the best burger ever? then make it! that means selling everything.
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government there. soldiers surrounding city hall in the country's main city, yangon, the army declaring a one-year state of emergency. the military detained aung san suu kyi and other party leaders in a raid on monday morning. now, the army claims the results of november's election are fraudulent. there are now reports of widespread internet and telecoms disruptions in myanmar. yan a former special rapporteur on myanmar joins us now. what do you think is behind why the military acted? why do this? why do it now? what possible justification? >> well, as you know the commander in chief, his power will end in june. he will have to step down. and the military has already said that they will be finding another commander in chief.
and currently he exerts a lot of economic power. he and his cronies and invested a lot, and they have lots of foreign investments, and this would be the best time because he is desperate now to keep his economic holdings on myanmar, and he's desperate to stay in power because otherwise he will have to face charges within the international court of justice and other international courts. >> which would be an extraordinary thing if that were the case. i mean that is incredible self-dealing and bringing down a democracy for that self-interest. in many ways, the military never took its hands off of levers of power. i'm curious what you think the damage is to myanmar's democratic future by this. >> absolutely.
he never had the people's interest at heart. this event will definitely hamper the democratic process of myanmar. we've seen a little bit of transitioning into democracy. nevertheless, aung san suu kyi never did fulfill her campaign promises of 2012 to ensure that there will be a democratic transition. but this will really hamper the lives of the people of myanmar, all the ethnic communities as well. >> you know, i think the last time the military took power in myanmar, elections did not happen for another 20 years. what do you think could be the risks here going forward, and what does the international community have to do? >> well, the elections just took place, and so this is really
mind-boggling how a stunt like this can be pulled. he's able to pull a stunt like this with the endorsement of the two big brothers, soviet union and china. he has been lauded with prizes in russia, and on january 12th, chinese and the military had a formal meeting discussing the voter fraud in myanmar. the international community needs to act now. the international community needs to cut all relations with myanmar in terms of the military bus businesses and targeted sanctions, resume or reinstate bilateral sanctions with the military holdings. but most of all, the security council must convene immediately
and send in a delegation of observers immediately before this situation goes out of hand. >> and just finally and briefly, aung san suu kyi was so highly regarded internationally for her fight for democracy for so many years. but in recent years, that shine has worn off a little bit over her, you know, defense of the military and what was wrought upon the country's rohingya people. is she still somebody who you think is the right person to lead the country if the military does allow elections? >> well, i have to remind you and the audience that under her watch, atrocities occurred. genocide occurred in rakhine state. crimes against humanity occurred across other ethnic states. human rights violations and abuses were rampant throughout
the nld administration. the government and the international community should support the people's will. the people had voted. the majority, vast majority voted for nld, and i think that is where the current state and the current focus should be on, the nld. i'm not going to say anything more about the leader because aung san suu kyi has proven that under her watch, so much atrocities happened. >> fascinating, and thank you so much, yanghee lee in seoul. >> thank you for having me. asia-pacific leaders are expressing alarm. australia's prime minister said the coup was a disturbing development. the foreign minister calling on the military to respect the rule of law and release all who have been detained. japan's chief cabinet secretary said the government is watching
the situation and will do everything to protect the safety of japanese citizens in the area. and the u.n. secretary-general, antonio guterres, said the coup was a, quote, serious blow to democratic reforms, and he urged all leaders to refrain from violence. now, brazil's covid outbreak remains one of the worst in the world, and the slow vaccine rollout is doing little to improve the crisis. ahead, what officials plan to do about it. and a world health organization team expands its coronavirus investigation in wuhan. when we come back, a live report on their visit to a market at the center of the outbreak. owin that if this happens... ...or this... ...or even this... ...we've seen and covered it. so, call 1-800-farmers and get a quote today. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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drugmaker astrazeneca. the doses will reportedly start arriving mid-february through the world health organization's covax program. as cnn's matt rivers reports, the news comes as hospitals there are dealing with an overwhelming number of covid patients. >> reporter: some of sao paulo's sickest come here, the covid-19 ward at the institute of infectious disease. here a man struggles for air that won't come. he's put under and intubated and no one knows if he'll survive. the nurse tries to make sure he does. she says, i've already lost eight of my colleagues to covid. it is such a cruel disease. and yet in a way, she's lucky because in mid-january, she became the first brazilian to receive a vaccine. no small feat given that brazil's vaccine rollout is a mess as hospitals across the
country overflow with covid-19 patients. only about 1 million doses have been administered, a stunningly low number giving brazil's decks long success in vaccinating its population. >> you've got the infrastructure, the experience, but you don't have the product to get people vaccinated. >> it's really frustrating. we've got everything. we just needed a better president and a better minister of health. >> reporter: president jair bolsonaro has been widely criticized for not securing vaccine supplies earlier, spreading misinformation that could undermine confidence in taking the vaccine. he said, quote, if you become an alligator, that's your problem. if you're a woman that grows a beard or a man's voice becomes high-pitched, i have nothing to do with that. though he argues no country would, quote, do better than my government is doing, brazil has the second highest coronavirus death toll worldwide. and as we saw in the city of manaus last week, health systems have collapsed across the
country. a deal with astrazeneca to manufacture 100 million doses of that vaccine in brazil by july has yet to produce a single dose. there's tentative agreements to buy hundreds of millions of other doses, but no one knows when or if they'll arrive. s that the state governor tells us he went around the bolsonaro administration last year and negotiated with china directly for supplies of the sino vac vaccine. he secured millions of doses, only to be forced to turn over those supplies to the federal government. >> it was a big mistake of the bolsonaro government to choose just one vaccine, the astrazeneca vaccine, and not three, four, or five vaccines. >> reporter: bolsonaro has said brazil would buy more vaccines as they become, quote, available in the market. but who knows when that will be given the current worldwide demand? it's left many brazilians livid with protests like this one
becoming more and more common. they're seeing surging case numbers, a new potentially more transmissible covid variant and a pandemic that has no end in sight, all because, they say, of an inept federal government. back at the covid ward, it is easy to see why they're angry. we're told that this woman is now braindead, kept alive by machines. her family will have to decide when to give the go-ahead to cut them off. another death that might have been prevented with a vaccine. matt rivers, cnn, sao paulo, brazil. >> a team led by the world health organization has visited a seafood market in wuhan, china, where covid-19, of course, was first detected. the market has long been closed to the public. the w.h.o. team plans to conduct two weeks of field work as part of their investigation into the origins of the virus. for more, we're joined by steven jiang, cnn's senior producer in beijing. what have they found? what are they looking for?
and what sort of access are they getting? >> reporter: well, michael, that was the one big question a lot of people had even before this mission began. but so far these experts have been highlighting the positive and encouraging signs and aspects from their trip, including that visit you just mentioned to the seafood market. now, it has long been closed and has been repeatedly disinfected and sanitized. so there are a lot of doubts what kind of information, what kind of evidence they could collect from that place at this point. but these experts said even though they are now visiting a year after its closure, it still actually gave them a very good sense in terms of the state of the market, in terms of its infrastructure, maintenance, hygiene, and the flow of goods and people because all the shops and equipment are still there, and they were able to talk to locals and workers as well as public health officials who actually were there collecting environmental samples. so these officials were able to el it the experts where and how they collected these samples.
and the members of the w.h.o. team also said they had been given important data regarding flu-like diseases in and around hubei province in the months leading up to december 2019 and these could offer potential clues in terms of any connection between influenza and the covid outbreak. some members wish in the coming days their visits could be in smaller groups because they say it has been very challenging to build up relationships with their interviewees within a very short time frame when you have 50 or so people sitting around listening. but still these scientists, of course, they're keenly aware their entire investigation is under a global spotlight, and their every move, their every visit has been very much watched closely. so that's why they keep insisting they're scientists, not politicians. their focus is entirely on science, but it seems it's sometimes impossible to keep politics out of their agenda. one of the stops they made, michael, last saturday was this
exhibition touting the success of the ruling chinese communist party in containing this virus within wuhan and within the country. michael. >> all right. steven jiang there in beijing, appreciate it. good to see you. thanks for joining us. now, we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, gamestop's wild ride not over yet. the company's stock is still up as amateur investors set their sights on new markets to conquer. we'll discuss. advil targets pain at the source. acetaminophen blocks pain signals. new advil dual action with acetaminophen.
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welcome back. wall street enters a new trading week, with a cautious eye on retrail traders. investors on reddit's wall street bets app targeting silver now. silver futures surged as much as 8 and a half percent, on sunday. and the bubble has not, yet, burst for gamestop. after the so-called reddit rebellion, pitting hedge funds against retail investors, the stock's still up more than 69%, as you can see there. u.s. senator, elizabeth warren, admits she doesn't know who's right or wrong in the gamestop saga. so, she's calling for the securities and exchange commission to make sure no group of investors is manipulating the market.
>> what's happening with gamestop is just a reminder of what's been going on, on wall street, now, for years and years and years. it's a rigged game. they've turned this stockmarket, not into a place where you get capital formation to support businesses. but, more, into a casino. and they have been doing all kinds of market manipulation, pump-and-dump companies, that buy back shares of their own stock. so that they can inflate the stock prices. we need a market that is transparent, that's level, and that is open to individual investors. it's time for the s.e.c. to get off their duffs and do their jobs. >> matt is the director of research at the american economic liberties project and the author of "goliath, the
hundred year war between m monopoly, power, and democracy." instead of outsider -- insider trading, it was outsider trading, is that -- what's your read? >> i'm not -- it's not totally clear because we don't know who was on the message board. we don't know who is seeding information. but what we do know is that there is a lot of bets going on, both ways, with a lot of borrowed money. and it's -- it's fun to watch. but it basically reflects a disillusionment that most people have with wall street, which is why people want to think it's the little guy kind of rigging the market against the -- the -- the cheaters who are trying to push these stocks down. >> and in some ways, has -- does this mean that the game is changed in -- in some ways? the -- the -- that the big boys, the suits, are they worried? >> i don't think so. i think this reflects a basic corruption of our society and a corruption of our financial
markets. it's exposing that the markets are rigged. it's not -- but this -- this -- this isn't -- i don't think this is some sort of revolution, in which the suits are getting, you know, are getting pushed out. i mean, saying everybody should have the right to cheat on equal terms isn't actually going to establish fair markets for everyone. >> yeah. yeah. bernie sanders, i think, tweeted something like, you know, the -- the rules on wall street are, you know, that it's basically -- that it's corrupt. i guess, one of the real questions is why are the he hedge funds allowed to short the way they did with gamestop? why is that -- i was going to say irresponsible but illegal? why is it a thing? >> well, you have a broader problem, which is you have a bunch of funds and they talk those stocks up, or they talk those stocks down. and they do it on channels like cnbc, through the newspaper, they also do it on message
boards. it's called pump-and-dump operations. and the securities and exchange commission should be stepping in doing their job. and a lot of the problem we are seeing the last 15 years, ever since the financial crisis, going through, you know, puerto rican bonds, argentine bonds, the flash crash, there just -- there have been no cops there. so the laws don't seem to apply to the powerful. >> it was interesting, how the system, you know, robinhood app and -- and others sort of circled the wagons, if you like, around the hedge funds. helped protect them from, you know, these so-called ordinary investors. you got to wonder why that is okay. and to your point, senator elizabeth warren is calling for an s.e.c. investigation. should there be one? >> absolutely. i mean, we need -- we need a congressional investigation, as well. what we need to understand is what is happening in our markets because i think -- and what's important here is to recognize that gamestop is -- is simply one more incident that's taken place, over the last 15 years,
that reflects systemic corruption. and i -- i think that's why people are cheering for the people that are trying to rig the stock to go up. it is still market rigging, right? what robinhood is doing is enabling. it's still a form of gambling and speculation. the reason that people are excited about it is because it seem -- it seems to be saying, you know, this is some way to actually deal with the cheaters. but kind of out-cheating them. but that's not actually the way to address the situation because, in the end, cheaters are going to win. what you have to do is you have to drain the poison from wall street. you have to start to apply the rule of law there. and start to put some people in jail for cheating, which we haven't been doing for the last 15 to 20 years. >> great points. well made. matt staller, thanks so much. appreciate it. >> thanks a lot. and thank you for watching. spending part of your day with me. i'm michael holmes. don't go anywhere, though. my colleague, robyn curnow, is very excited to join you with more cnn "newsroom," after a quick break. you won't regret it.
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live, from cnn center, this is cnn "newsroom" with robyn curnow. hello. welcome to our viewers here, in the united, states, and all around the world. i am robyn curnow. the latest on the coronavirus-relief negotiations and the impeachment drama surrounding donald trump, in just a moment. but first, we are following breaking news. >> this is cnn breaking news. there is political upheaval in myanmar, where the military has seized power in an