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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  February 2, 2021 9:00am-10:01am PST

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convicted. but certainly a very remarkable day here. one last thing, we asked the kremlin about this, they said vladimir putin is not paying attention to the trial today. >> hard to believe that one, but thank you. appreciate the reporting. thank you all so much for joining us today. john king picks up our coverage right now. ♪ hello, everybody. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. we're moments away from what the biden white house says is an important coronavirus response update. cnn is told the administration plans to start shipping vaccines directly to retail pharmacies. this move, the announcement of this briefing coming not long after pfizer told investors it expects to deliver 200 more vaccine doses by may, that would be well ahead of the previous schedule. also a first look at the legal road maps for the second
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impeachment trial of donald j. trump. a new brief says the former president holds unmistakable responsibility for the capitol riot, and that it was obvious and foreseeable that his remarks on january 6th would lead to that riot and disaster. the president's new legal team faces a noon deadline to file a response. these are two developing story lines in the biden reset. today he will form a new white house task force to reunite children separated from their parents during the trump administration. president biden would like major congressional action on this topic, but primary number one is covid relief. the monday night meeting between the president and ten republicans was cordial but did
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little to fill the gap between what the republicans want and what the president is necessary. today this new data point in the republican fracture over the direction of the gop. loony lies and conspiracy theories are a cancer. those are the stern words of the senate republican leader, mitch mcconnell as he makes clear he sees no place for majorie taylor greene marriin the republican p. she has a place as the member of congress and has the backing of donald trump which complicates things for kevin mccarthy as he deals with an ultimatum to strip the congresswoman of her committee assignments. first the impeachment and the new details of the democrats case. let's go up to capitol hill. the brief has been filed by the prosecutors. what jumps out? >> they're dividing the argument up into several different areas. one about the run-up of january
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6th, the deadly day of the riot here when pro-trump supporters came into the building and they're blaming it exclusively on donald trump and his actions saying he riled up supporters. they're breaking it down to what he said before the election alleging there would be mass fraud, suggesting he wouldn't accept election results. everything he did also after the election, what he did to promote the save the steal rally, the promoting of the disinformation, the efforts to pressure election officials locally and at the state level to overturn joe biden's win and culminating on january 6th when the president went to the ellipse, told his supporters to go to the capitol, leading to what we saw here on the day of horrific violence. this is what they say in this brief. it says he insisted that the election had been rigged and stolen and that his followers had to fight like hell and fight to the death against this act of war since he can't let it happen and won't take it anymore.
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they also say it was obvious and foreseeable that the furious crowd assembled before president trump at the save america rally on january 6th was primed and prepared for violence if he lit a spark. now, the last part of the argument that they're making in this extensive brief, john, is that this is in their view a constitutional case. they say there is no reason to say the senate does not have the authority or the jurisdiction to try a former president because we have heard the president's team, we heard also republican senator after republican senator saying the senate has no grounds to try a former president. they're arguing absolutely the senate does. so that's going to be a central case going forward. they're making a procedural and constitutional argument but also the factual argument in their view the president needs to be held accountable and also never hold office again. of course, you need 67 senators in the senate to convict and a simple majority to bar him from holding office again. at the moment those 67 senators
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are not there. >> the filing of this brief a reminder that the trial begins next week. in the next hour the president's defense team will file their brief. with me now to share the reporting are jennifer rogers and jeff zeleny. i want to read a bit from the house brief and pick your brain as a former prosecutor. it's unthinkable that the framers left us defenseless against a president's treachery in his final days allowing him to misuse power, violate his oath and incite insurrection because he's a lame duck. there is no january xexception o impeachment or any other provision of the constitution. that's their way to say sorry, this is the only weapon we have against a president whether it's his first day or last week refuting the constitutional argument we expect the president's team to make. as you read this brief, what jumps out most to you? >> that's right. they spend about 40 pages, about half of this long brief making
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that argument that it is constitutional and they do it effectively. i think they do a great job. they go through history from british to early american times, they talk about all the impeachments that are relevant. they talk about the text of the constitution, commonsense. they hit it all. so i think they're right. i think the problem is this is a forgone conclusion and these senators are looking for a way out where they don't have to grapple with what president trump actually did. i hope in the presentation as opposed to the brief they spend more time on the facts. now at this point it seems to be more about educating the american public about what happened and setting down the historical record. for that they need to not get bogged down in this procedural argument and instead focus on the direct line between trump's actions and the insurrection on january 6th. >> it's going to be critical to see which evidence they bring forward to do that. jeff, the point that jennifer raised in the sense that we know the math is against the
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prosecution right now. we see five or six republican senators, they would have to get 17 or 18 to get there. this is one of the president's new attorneys. the president has his own problem here. he had five attorneys who quit because they refused to argue about election fraud. this is david schoen last night, his take of what the president said at the rally before the insurrection is you can't blame the president. >> we know now apparently that mr. swallow and the other managers tend to show videotapes of the riots. read the word of his speech. it calls for peacefulness. in has nothing to do with president trump and the country doesn't need to watch videos of riots and unrest. we need to heal now. >> well, we could use to heal, but we need to be truthful and factual. mr. schoen saying the president said be peaceful. he did say be peaceful but also said other things. listen. >> you'll never take back our country with weakness. you have to show strength. you have to be strong.
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i know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. we fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. >> that essentially the dilemma, the democrats will say there was more muscular language than be peaceful. >> that is the end of what he said. what's going to be presented is the 77 days from election day through january 6th. and what the trump campaign, what he was doing on twitter, and other matters, what led to that point. so, first of all, the president -- the former president was looking for a tv lawyer. that's why he dismissed his south carolina team of respected lawyers for someone who would go on sean hannity and argue just that. we'll see how that defers on the well of the senate, the senate floor. the reality here is that the facts are known, but it is going to be a stark reminder because even though senators were all
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sitting in the chamber moments before it was invaded, they didn't necessarily know what was leading up through the month of november and december. that's what this case is also going to go through and litigate. it wasn't an organized effort here by many of the president's campaign aides, supporters to get to this point. was he calling for the specific type of violence? not necessarily but he was calling for his supporters to come out and do something. so that is what is going to be litigated. the question is he said the number of votes. they can look into a crystal ball across the capitol into the house side to see what happened to the republicans who voted for this. liz cheney is exhibit "a" for if you're a senate republican, why take the risk. >> jennifer, to that point, as the prosecutor if you're going into the room knowing the jury is stacked against you, you hold out the possibility but you're unlikely. you're still doing this for the history books, you're still doing this if you're the
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prosecutors and managers that perhaps donald trump will try a comeback in politics. when you went through this brief, here's the case laid out in the brief. it's extensive and very well done. the question is, who would you call, if you were trying to take this brief and bring it to life, who do you think the witnesses the managers would need? >> i think they certainly want witnesses if they can get them to give the narrative that they have in the brief. starting from before the election as jeff said up to the events on january 6th about this was a constant drumbeat what the president was doing trying to overturn this election, it was the frivolous lawsuits, going to the state courts. the ones i want to see that are not so well covered in the brief are i would love to see a witness from inside the white house on january 6th covering what the president actually did as he's watching on television as these people are breaking
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through the barriers, beating capitol police, yelling for blood from nancy pelosi and mike pence. i want someone to tell us how delighted the president was. i think the american people will want to see that when they consider whether or not down the road they want to elect this president again. >> one of the arguments, jeff, the prosecutors, the managers will make their case. the question is to watch the republicans. we'll listen to the president's lawyers but what will senate republicans do in asking their questions and giving interviews during the trial. this is lindsey graham, the chairman of the judiciary committee. listen to the argument he makes. he doesn't make the case that the president was perfect and did everything right. it's a little different. >> there's mounting evidence that the people came to washington pre-planned the attack before the president ever spoke, so i'm confident of the outcome here that we're going to have more than 45 votes for motion to dismiss on the idea that this is unconstitutional
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impeachment pursuing somebody out of office. >> this is where, again, selective memory comes into play. lindsey graham said it was pre-planned, therefore nothing the president said at the rally could have affected the conduct at the capitol. some of that is laid out in this prosecution brief. but that is the challenge for the prosecutors and the managers to make that case. it was the president who called his supporters here on that specific day knowing the electoral college machinery was happening in the congress that day. there's other tweets and emails and fund-raising emails from the president. as you mentioned, campaign supporters, campaignorganize. >> right. the speech at the ellipse was the cherry on top of all of this. that's part of the evidence here that the house managers will have to try to prove. there's been lots of good reporting about what happened in those 77 days to lead up to this. but we know now the president's
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own political advisers knew he lost the election in november. we got a look at a memo overnight that his re-election advisers released that he lost because of the pandemic. he lost because of white voters men and women. he kept this big lie alive, "a," to raise money and "b," to keep stoking this fire. this is the point here. i think senator graham, yes, he makes the point that people came to washington for this reason, but the president was giving the final order on the ellipse. >> you mentioned the fund-raising, trump supporters out there, he lied to you to raise that money saying it was to challenge the election. he took it all with him. most of it with him. grateful for the reporting and the insights. to the covid relief debate, yes, looks can be deceiving. after the last four years these images you see here are a big deal. the president of the united states meeting with senators from the other party for detailed policy talks that stretched on for two hours.
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that never happened in the four years of the trump presidency. respect and cordial conversation are important and they are most welcome in washington. but do not confuse polite with progress. >> it set the stage for going forward. >> it was a very good exchange of views. i wouldn't say that we came together on a package tonight. >> the republicans in that meeting, they came to that meeting saying they're open to spend about 6$620 billion in ne covid spending. president biden wants 1$1.9 trillion. one of his advisers said this, while president biden will continue to reach out to republicans and democrats, there's as much pressure on republicans to work with the president as there is on president biden to work with republicans. joining us is laura barone lopez. it's a key point in your piece to say how much is president
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biden willing to give. their argument is he won the election and then the two georgia senate races. the question is more will republicans come up and make it worth actually saying, okay. let's have bipartisan conversations or was last night something like we're not going to agree, i'll go forward with the democratic plan? >> all of the messaging coming out of the white house publicly and privately is that they are moving ahead with this big coronavirus package. democrats in the senate are clearly setting up and in the house are setting up to have the resolution moved through so that way they can start the process for that 1$1.9 trillion package. in yesterday's meeting, biden was attempting to show he wants to be bipartisan and he will talk to republicans in a way that the former president didn't talk to democrats. even though he wants to be bipartisan and bring some republicans along, the white house doesn't want to have to wait and have drawn-out negotiations. you have a lot of obama alumni
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around biden and they are a bit -- they have a lot of scar tissue from the obama years when republicans drew out negotiations and democrats didn't ultimately get as big of a stimulus package as they wanted or had to wait longer on aca negotiations. so they don't to go through that again. >> and to that point, senator schumer making clear this morning and the house democrats doing this as well, they're prepared to use reconciliation, you can do it with majority support in the house and senate. some republicans are saying you shouldn't do that. that's proof you're not being bipartisan to the new president and leader schumer this morning on the floor citing history telling republicans, really? you guys did this a few times during the trump administration. don't point fingers at us. listen. >> the former senate majority, i heard the senator from texas crying crocodilereconciliation.
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just a few years ago he was an active participant in using it twice. >> today we're told the new president, joe biden, his treasury secretary, janet yellen, will join the democrats weekly luncheon on capitol hill by video. are there concerns among the democrats? some have said, okay, mr. president, fine. meet with republicans as much as you want, they won't come your way. we have to do this all on our own. do the democrats feel the president has their back if they go through this all-democratic process? >> so far it appears they do the white house came out of the meeting saying their top line number has not changed. even in the meeting biden was saying -- was talking repeatedly about reconciliation, about his experience, was making the point that even if they go the route of reconciliation, republicans can still ultimately vote for the bill if they want to.
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biden expressed reportedly some interest in a more targeted stimulus payment to lower income earners, which is something republicans and a few democrats said they want but that doesn't change the top line number. so democrats in the senate and house are telling us they feel as though they're in sync with the white house right now. >> and one of the challenges in washington always at this moment is if you have a train leaving a station that you expect to make its final destination, every interestied in congress wants t have their piece of it. things will be litigated. among the hispanic caucus in the house they were hoping to get some pieces of immigration reform attached to this. hispanic caucus said yesterday they are disappointed that the house covid-19 blueprint does not include protections for essential workers, dreamers, we will not give up. we'll continue to make a push for a path to pass immigration reform. you have these competing
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pressures because this bill, the covid relief plan is expected. democratic votes in the house and senate to get to the president's desk. some democrats saying i want to add my piece to it. >> yeah. the hispanic caucus members wanted some kind of language in there that would have provided a pathway for essential workers. dreamers, d.e.d. holders, even put in a broad language in terms of who qualifies as an essential worker. hoping to provide legal status for even more than just dreamers and tps recipients. but there's no indication that democratic leaders want that in there. they want to move this quickly. they don't want to get it bogged down. it looks as though other democrats like senator dick durbin who leads the judiciary committee will try to move individual pieces of immigration reform through his committee. they want to keep those things out of the reconciliation covid bill to begin with. democrats may have a second bite
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at the wrreckonciliation apple. they could add different things to a second reconciliation bill if they go that route later on in the year or during summer or fall. >> bigger picture, we talk about the president has the meeting last night with the ten republicans. he wants to show -- sorry, we have to go to the white house. >> the cdc will monitor the data on an ongoing basis to make sure that pharmacies are efficiently and equitably administers vaccinations. this initial phase of activating pharmacies will get more shots in arms and make sure pharmacies have the infrastructure and experience they need to scale up when vaccine supply increases in the months ahead. eventually as we're able to increase supply, up to 40,000 pharmacies nationwide could provide covid-19 vaccinations.
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these range from local independent pharmacies to national pharmacies and supermarkets. this is a critical step to provide the public with convenient, trusted places to get vaccinated in their communities. importantly, pharmacies are just one part of our overall effort, which includes mass vaccination sites, mobile clinics, community health centers and other providers that americans count on each and every day. finally, central to our strategy is to make sure states, tribes and territories have the resources they need to turn vaccines into vaccinations. that's why at the direction of president biden fema has increased its support. in his second day of office president biden directed fema to fully reimburse states for the cost of national guard personnel and other emergency costs. today we're announcing that we will go further.
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we will fully reimburse states for the eligible services they provided back to the beginning of the pandemic in january of 2020. that means the states will be fully repaid for things like masks, gloves and the mobilization of the national guard and they can use the additional resources for vaccination efforts and emergency supplies moving forward. this reimbursement is estimated to cost a total of 3 billion to $5 billion and it is only a small share of the resources that states need to fight this pandemic, including for testing, genomic sequencing and mass vaccination centers. so to fully support states, tribes and territories needs to contain the pandemic and vaccinate their population, president biden is requesting 3$350 billion from congress in the american rescue plan. as the president has said, this is a national emergency and we're treating this as such.
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we're bringing the full force of the federal government to partner with state and local leaders in this effort. we are giving americans the facts they need and we're working to ensure our response is fair and equitable. we're doing all we can, but it is critical that crock does its part as well. we need congress to quickly pass the american rescue plan. give us the funding we need to continue to scale up our vaccination program and to provide the resources the state and local leaders need to protect their communities and fight the pandemic. with that, i'm happy to take a few questions. >> thank you for joining. we have time for a couple of questions. carla o'donnell with reuters. >> hi. thank you for your time. so, i guess what would be
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helpful is just to understand first of all, you know, you mentioned 6,500 pharmacies in the program originally. how much vaccine doses do you think will be pushed through that on a weekly basis and just want to confirm for that 3 billion to 5 billion, does that require the congress to pass legislation allocating funds or is that something fema can do from existing funding? >> so, 1 million doses will be allocated next week to those 6,500 pharmacies. so that's in addition to the 10.5 million doses that will go to states, tribes and territories. that's the first phase of the pharmacy program. we'll phase up, as i said, as supply increases. en your fema question, no, that does not require congress acting. that's a decision the president made, we will reimburse states that 3 billion to $5 billion.
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>> all right. next kaitlan collins with cnn. >> thank you very much. i have two questions for you. one on this rollout, given you just said this is in addition to the 10.5 million you're already sending. where are these vaccines coming from, this 1 million you will start sending out? what allotment is this coming from that you have? secondly, you said to make sure you can meet the el igibility guidelines before you try to get a vaccine at these pharmacies. a lot of states are at different stages of distribution, is the federal government asking states to open up eligibility to it's the same across the board and less confusing. >> thanks for the question. good questions. the additional 1 million on top of the 10.5 million is consistent with moderna and pfizer scaling operations. we're doing all we can to
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monitor and help the manufacturers produce as much vaccine as possible. so the increase of over 20%, that's happened since the beginning of the administration. that's going directly to states, territories and tribes, but this 1 million to pharmacies directly is a result of the manufacturing scaling up and we hope that we can do all we can and we will do all we can to continue that scale up to make more vaccines available. the second question was on states. each state has its own policy. individuals should take their own state policy for eligibility. you will recall that president biden a couple weeks ago did call on states, territories and tribes to move as quickly as possible to make all people 65 and over eligible in their states. more than half the states have done so. that's an important population. more than 80% of the over 400,000 deaths that this country suffered has been in people over
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65 years of age. >> next sikh zeke miller from a. >> jeff, on the pharmacy allotments, can you speak to how those million doses per week will be distributed across the country? what metric will be used to achieve equity and make sure distribution will be population based? on the president's call for congress to pass legislation, how much quicker would the pace of vaccination be with additional congressional funding and conversely how much slower would it be without congressional action. >> thanks. again, good questions. on the pharma allocation, it's allocated the same way we allocate to states, tribes and territories based on populations. however the centers for disease control, which has quite a bit of experience working with
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pharmacies, is making sure that we are picking pharmacies in that first phase that are located in areas that are harder to reach to ensure that we have equitable distribution of the pharmacy doses. and across the board, as you know, equity is foundational to everything we do. on the american rescue plan, we're doing all we possibly can with the resources that we have. we will continue to do so. the faster congress acts, the faster we can scale vaccination sites, mobile units, we can increase testing, we can increase emergency supplies. given this pandemic, it's important that congress act as fast as possible so that we can scale our efforts and fight the pandemic as efficiently and effectively as possible. >> we will go next to elizabeth wise with "usa today." >> thanks so much for taking my call. a question about production.
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the states report that they get fluctuating amounts of vaccine every week even though they're ordering the same amount each week. is it that production coming out of the pfizer/moderna plants varies by week or what is causing that fluctuation? >> that is one of the messages we heard loud and clear through the transition was that it was very hard for states to plan to most effectively vaccinate their populations without a better sense of what their shipment was likely to be the following week. that's why since we've come into office we've given a minimum of three weeks of visibility. this morning when i was talking to governors about 10.5 million doses being distributed, that's not just for the next week but for the next three weeks. that allows them to plan accordingly to know what staffing to have, what centers to open. so i think historically there had been fluctuation. we're tuned in to not having
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that fluctuation. we're guaranteeing minimum levels of distribution to the states of doses for the next three weeks. we started that last week with 10 million. we moved that up to 10.5 million for the next three weeks. it's important that states know what's coming and as production increases we hope to increase those minimums across the time but always give the three-week visibility so states can plan accordingly. >> last, anne flaherty with abc. >> thanks for taking my question. jeff, do you have any sense of how the weather has impacted on the east coast has impacted the rollout of these doses? also, on the fema-run sites that the president wants to set up, there are some in place and supporting vaccination sites. will we expect to see more along with the pharmacy rollout, some fema-run sites? >> good questions.
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thank you. on the weather, i talked to general perna this morning. all vaccine doses have been available to the states on schedule. unfortunately, as you know, given how the storm hit some locations, some vaccinate sites have had to close or limit their hours. in terms of vaccine distribution to the states, that's worked as planned despite the challenges of the weather. in terms of vaccination sites hard hit by snow, some of those sites are closed and people are being rescheduled for later in the week. on fema, the president -- we have had a very active first couple of weeks with more than 1$1.7 billion going from fema t the states to support vaccination. some of these sites were already started and we helped with technical assistance and
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resources to bring them to a higher level. there are other sites being set up that will be run by the federal government with the help of fema, potentially military personnel, doctors and nurses. so we're making a lot of progress. we will meet and likely exceed the president's goal of having 100 community vaccination sites up and running by the end of his fist first month in office. we're also utilizing mobile vaccination units to make sure we're reaching hard to reach communities with equity being first and foremost as a foundational principle of our vaccination program. so, i think that brings us to the end. i want to thank everybody and really appreciate the interest and we're doing everything we can to effectively vaccinate individuals across the country.
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we do need congress to act and pass the american rescue plan to help us expedite our efforts and make them more effective and efficient. thank you. >> you have been listening to jeff zients there. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is with us and jeff zeleny as well. sanjay, this proof positive that the biden team understands that the most important job is for them to accelerate the vaccine rollout, not only distribution but getting shots into arms. jeff zients saying they will start a rollout program of 1 million doses next week at pharmacies around the country. 1 million doses a modest amount to get started but the idea they have gone into a new phase that they will start next week with doses going to community pharmacies around the country. how much of a difference might
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that make? >> i think the idea will make a big difference. to your point, the number itself is very hodmodest. there's a couple things that we learned or have been reminded of over the last couple of months now, last several weeks at least. pharmacies is where people often go. this is what people are familiar with, especially local neighborhood pharmacies. we saw evidence of just how well that has worked in west virginia, for example. we also know pharmacies can have incredible ability to scale up according to some of the folks that i talked to. if you look at the retail pharmacies and add in the local pharmacies, potentially 100 million doses per month these pharmacies could administer. that will be significant. the other part of it is just having something you can count on. as i talked to many of these centers around the country, the idea they would make appointments, vaccines that they thought were coming, but then
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didn't come. if this works and they can count on these vaccines, it's going to streamline that process and i think decrease frustration. still have to go faster. it's not just the amount of vaccines, it's the speed at which these need to be administered in part because we're in the middle of a pandemic but also because as you heard so much about these variants, and the variants and the mutations increase in numbers as the virus continues to spread longer and longer. the amount and the speed both important. >> and it's complicated. you have 50 states, you have different health care systems within the states. now you're adding pharmacies to the wrinkle. they have some mass vaccination sites like stadiums, convention centers, you have mobile vaccination vans going into communities, lurl areas rural a are harder to reach, community health care centers. walk through the complexity and when you do your reporting, you know, there is -- again, we went through this in testing for
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months, now we're going through it in the vaccine rollouts. with 50 states, sometimes within states there's different rules. one thing for the biden team to do is get people on the same page and how they're doing it. >> from the beginning, you looked at the first team vaccinated, health care workers and those in long-term care facilities. some states have more in long-term care facilities than others. so you would be earlier in line at one state and a longer line in another state. so it felt disjointed or uneven in terms of the vaccine rollout process. now trying to figure out really the vaccines keep people from getting sick. when we say they're 90% protected or 85% protected, what does that mean?
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they're protected in terms of someone developing illness and symptoms of covid. who are those people most at risk? and are those people getting vaccinated in the numbers they should be earlier in the process. each state will be different. the demographics are different. the kolorollout is different. but the fact they can have the vaccine to counts on, that's one of the problems they had. they weren't sure if the vaccine would come. sometimes they did. sometimes they didn't. sometimes more came. it won't solve all the complexities you're discussing, but i think it will help a lot. by the way, we could be at this a little bit. you heard the vaccines may need to be retooled in response to these variants. is this going to be more like a flu shot where we need is periper ic perio
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periodically. >> dr. gupta, appreciate that. we have some breaking international news. a judge in moscow just handed down a ver gdict against alexei navalny. let's bring in fred pleitgen. alexei navalny came back to russia, was immediately imprisoned and put on trial and he's being sent back to prison. >> he's being sent back to prison. he's been sent to prison for 2 1/2 years. that's the verdict the court handed down. essentially what happened is that in 2014 he was handed a suspended jail sentence of 3.5 years. and what the court is saying is essentially he violated his probation after he was poisoned by the chemical nerve agent, novichok, had to get treatment in germany, they are saying because he went here he violated his probation and now they're turning the suspended jail sentence into a real jail sentence. they say because he served a
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little over a year in home dedetde dete detention, they are giving him 2 1/2 years in jail. this will be a disappointment to alexei navalny's followers. they tried to protest here in front of the prison earlier today. there's a massive police presence of riot cops. they have been here throughout the entire day. many, many people were detained. the latest number we have is 350 just at this courthouse alone and certainly we do expect that protests are going to continue. for now, alexei navalny who as you said was detained immediately upon arrival here in moscow when he came back from germany after getting that treatment being sent to jail for 2 1/2 years. of course the folks around alexei navalny have already said that his actions will continue. john? >> fred, stand by. i want to bring in clarissa
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ward. it's a remarkable story playing out here in the sense that navalny in court said putin the poisoner. this is obviously the highest profile critic of the long-time russian leader being sent back to jail. his supporters say it's a rigged system. he's being sent back to jail because he's so outspoken in his criticism. it's a major test and defiance by mr. putin but also a test for governments around the world now as to how they stand up to this. >> well, exactly. the onus is really now on the u.s. will the white house step up to the plate and levee some sanctions? so far under the trump administration we did not see movement in terms of condemning vladimir putin for poisoning alexei navalny. so i think there's a real sense of pressure coming not just from navalny but hundreds of thousands of russians across the country that they want to see the international community come together in concert and offer some kind of a tough response. certainly president putin knows
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that by sending navalny back to prison he risks turning him into a martyr. he risks another wave of protests. he risks sanctions from western countries. it's clear that he and those around him view navalny enough of a threat that they felt this was the only course of action that would be appropriate for him to take. >> clarissa ward, thank you. could be a dicey evening in moscow. we'll stay on top of this story as it plays out today and the days ahead. back to other breaking news in the united states, the former president's legal team now responding with its brief. its defense brief as we prepare for the senate impeachment trial. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa
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another big breaking news story this hour, the former president's legal team has just issued its legal response to the democrats preview of the
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impeachment case against donald trump that will play out next week in the senate impeachment trial. jeff zeleny is still with me and jennifer rodgers also joins the conversation. counselor, this is the 14-page brief filed by the president's lawyers, it says this is unconstitutional because he's a former president. it says number two he has a first amendment right to speak and therefore he said things at a rally and people attacked the capitol. you can't hold him accountable. >> yeah. those are wrong. they're well countered by the long brief that the house filed earlier today. you don't have a first amendment right to lie. you don't have a first amendment right to put people in danger. and he did both of those things. and of course we know the jurisdictional arguments were covered in about 40 pages of the house's brief. it's not surprising that in only 36 hours with what are clearly not his a-listers of defense lawyers they weren't able to come up with compelling arguments. but it also highlights there are not compelling defense arguments
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here at all. you know, the brief was mostly what was to be expected. there was one thing that did surprise me which is that he claims that because you can't definitively prove whether or not the election results were valid, that he denies lying about them. that was a little bit of a surprise. you can definitely prove that. that has been done. but other than that, no real surprises here. not a particularly good job. >> that is the lawyer's writing for the client who has insisted they continue to push his big election lie. as jennifer notes, she's raising legal arguments about this brief, legal questions about the complexity and thoroughness of this brief and it's a reminder that this is a political proceeding as much as a legal proceeding. the goal for the trump lawyers is to make sure they don't lose republicans. plain and simple. >> to give the republicans something to point to. they want them to point to the constitutionality, the belief this is not a legitimate process to go after a former president.
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some republicans senators believe it would create a dangerous precedent. those are what they want the trump team to argue. they do make those arguments in this brief. but they don't want to hear those allegations that the election was stolen, the false claims, the big lie that president trump pushed before he left office. they don't want to hear that lindsey graham, one of the former president's closest allies told ted barrett that trump should not focus on that argument about this being a stolen election. and john cornyn told me yesterday it would be a disservice for trump's team to make that argument on the senate floor. the quote here that stuck out, they say insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable jurist could conclude that the 45th president's statement was
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accurate or not. so that is a convoluted argument. i can tell you in talking to republican senators they don't want to hear that emphasized on the senate floor next week. >> georgia recounted the votes three times, audited and recounted the votes three times. there were at least 60 court cases where judges said bring me evidence. if you're going to come into my courtroom and allege fraud, i would like to see some evidence. they had none. the president exercised his first amendment right under the constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect. okay on day one. okay on day two. but after two months, after recounts, after court cases, after calling your supporters to washington on that day to continue the lie, 70 days plus. >> that's why so many of the lawyers would not touch this case at all because they did not walk into a courtroom and allege fraud, nor can they walk on to the floor of the u.s. senate and
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allege fraud. you cannot openly argue something that is not true. just reading through this brief, he also states that essentially the state legislatures in approving these electoral college votes sped through the process because of coronavirus, and there was not adequate time to go through all of this. the reality is, we didn't learn much new in here except his lawyers are also seizing on the president's words that we've seen again and again. it's denied the phrase if you fight like hell you won't have a country anymore. his lawyers say we deny that has anything to do with the action at the capitol. he was talking simply about election security. if you watch that whole speech, he was inviting and instructing people to go to the capitol. they pull out his own words and say nope, election security. >> after he specifically
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mentioned his own vice president was up at the capitol that day. the president's lawyers in this document do raise not as specifically or defiantly as he might have liked but they raise the president has the first amendment right to say the election was suspect. my question going forward is, republicans don't want him to do this, just because it's in the brief doesn't mean they'll talk about it on the floor when the proceedings play out, right? >> i think that's right. but you can kind of see what these meetings must look like with the president and his new lawyers with him pushing for them to go in on the big lie and them pushing back saying no, it will be all about jurisdiction. he got them to sneak in some of these arguments a bit in this 14-page brief. it will be interesting who wins that battle about what they say on the senate floor. >> manu, we do know, we have the briefs today which set up the arguments for us, tell us a little bit more now, this is next week. we know the house managers, the
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prosecution, if you will, plans to have video evidence. do we know how long they expect this trial to go? >> that's still an open question. it will be quicker than the 2020 trial that lasted 21 days, which was the quickest impeachment trial of the three that happened. we expect it not to be as long as 21 days, but it could take up to two weeks i'm told. it's still uncertain. what is also unsettled is whether they will bring in witnesses to come in and testify. in talking to democratic senates who will essentially make that call because they can vote and decide on a majority basis to bring forward witnesses, they say they don't know the answer to that question yet. the house impeachment managers tried to find someone who could shed new light into donald trump's thinking. who is that person? would they be willing to testify? those are unanswerable questions at this moment. also everyone in this building witnessed what happened on january 6th. so the argument is do we need witnesses when we all saw what happened before our very eyes? >> be fascinating to watch as that plays out.
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important procedural steps today with these briefs. now we'll get to the impeachment trial of donald j. donald trumps next week. up next for us, the state department officially designates the military takeover in myanmar a coup.
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topping our political radar today, the u.s. state department
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formally calling the takeover of myanmar a coup. that designation requires the u.s. government to cut office tan off assistance to myanmar. the united states calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the leaders detained by the military yesterday. massachusetts senator elizabeth warren demanding answers from robinhood over its decision last week to temp temporarily ban purchases of stocks touted by reddit users. senator warren calls out robinhood for abruptly changing the rules. the senator wants to know if the company has conflicts of interests with large financial firms which she writes may be undermining its obligations to its customers. failing grades on the pandemic. a lack of credibility in the eyes of many voters and crumbling support from key drem gra demographics cost donald trump the election. that's from tony fabrizio who
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pieced together those findings even after the president pinned the loss on election fraud. it analyzed exit polling in ten key states. and this, a disturbing detailed account of the capitol insurrection from democratic congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez who says she thought she was going to die. the democrat describing on instagram live a moment she said didn't feel right of a capitol police officer who did not identify herself and she got deeply personal revealing she's a sexual assault survivor and she encouraged others not to fear speaking out about trauma. >> these folks who tell us to move on, it's not a big deal, we should forget what's happened or even telling us to apologize, these are the same tactics of abusers. and i'm a survivor of sexual
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assault. and i have not told many people that in my life. but when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other. >> very powerful. thanks for spending your time with us today. hope to see you back here tomorrow. brianna keilarpicks up our coverage right now. ♪ hello. i want to welcome viewers here in the united states and around the world. we are following breaking news in the impeachment trial of former president donald trump. the pretrial briefs from both sides are in. they lay out their strategies ahead of next week's trial. the trump team filed their 14-page briefing last hour denying that he incited an insurrection and calling the trial unconstitutional. they write the constitutional provision requires that a pe


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