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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  February 8, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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democracy was being overrun in an assault that would leave five people dead and dozens of police officers badly injured, and he was loving it. that said, it's not all we're learning tonight. sources telling jim acosta, the former president is taking his acquittal for granted and is fixated on punishing any republicans who do not acquit him. he sees the republican party as his own personal plaything. late today chuck schumer laid out rules. house managers will get 16 hours over two days to make their case. and the same for the former president's side. after that, a vote on the article of impeachment. followed by another if needed on barring the former president from holding future office. if house managers want to call witnesses, a vote will be held on it. >> the structure we have agreed to is eminently fair. it will allow for the trial to achieve its purpose, truth and accountability.
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that's what trials are designed to do. to arrive at the truth of the matter and render a verdict. and following the despicable attack on january the 6th, there must, there must be truth and accountability if we are going to move forward, heal, and bring our country together once again. >> proceedings are slated to begin tomorrow afternoon. cnn will bring that to you live. earlier today both sides presented their final pretrial papers. house managers writing a five-place reply to the defense and i'm quoting from the bottom line, the evidence of the president's conduct is overwhelming and he has no valid excuse or defense for his actions and he betrayed the american people. that's plain to see to a number of republicans including the third ranking member of the house, liz cheney, who was asked whether she'd convict if she were a senator.
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>> i obviously, believe and did then that what we already know is enough for his impeachment, what we already know does constitute the gravest violation of his oath of office by any president in the history of the country, and this is not something that we can simply look past or pretend didn't happen or try to move on. >> well, she's been censured by her own party in wisconsin. and she's been targeted by the former president. she's a also minority in her party now, most of which seems inclined toward the defense case no matter how little sense it might make to republicans who are not beholden to the man from mar-a-lago. a member of the federal society and the republican national lawyer's association which named him republican lawyer of the year in 2010, in the "wall street journal" he writes this in response that trying an ex-president is unconstitutional given that the constitution imposes the penalty of permanent
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disqualifications on former office holders, it defies logic to suggest the senate is imposing the penalty. nor is he cherry picking the facts to make his case, as the former president's team seems to be doing their clients words. quoting, mr. trump concluded his speech stating, so let's walk down pennsylvania avenue. i want to thank you all. god bless you and god bless america. thank you all for being here, this is incredible, thank you very much, thank you. they go on, quote, despite the house manager's charges against mr. trump, his statements cannot be interpreted as calling for a violent overthrow of the united states government. keeping them honest, the sentence they cited might not but other things were interpreted that way. the organization synced it up with how many of the mob responded using video from social media.
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>> we're going to walk down to the capitol. [ cheers ] >> we're going to walk down to the capitol! >> yeah! >> capitol! >> men and women and probably not cheering so much for -- take back the country. you have to show strength. >> yes. >> invade the capitol building. >> do the right thing. >> take the capitol. >> take the capitol. >> take the capitol! >> take the capitol! >> take the capitol! right now! >> again, those are the president's words along with realtime reaction to them and here is what it looked like in cell phone data obtained by "the new york times." that swarm of dots is people going from the ellipse where the
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former president spoke to the capitol and staying there in mayhem, yet the defense denies any cause and effect, quoting again, house leadership cannot have it both ways, either the president incited riots or they were pre-planned by a group of criminals that need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. but that's absurd, the two things overlap, as logic would tell you. significantly so because this already radicalized group was radicalized over the span of many months by the former president himself. the same one who then called on them to go to washington on january 6th to take action, thereby putting his seal of approval. and it's not like he couldn't conceive of the type of people that might be there that day. be there, it will be wild, calling people to washington.
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it wasn't for a love-in. underscores the point he was loving watching the capitol mob end quote. if he truly did not intend to stir up violence, wouldn't he have been appalled and doing everything he could to stop it? his defense team say he and his team took steps to coordinate with authorities to counteract the rioters and say there was a flurry inside the white house working to activate assets. he like the rest of the country was horrified at the violence. wow. horrified. if that's the case, why did they have to be pushed to finally put out a video half-heartedly calling on the insurrectionists to stop and why did that video repeat the election was a lie and praise the attackers as very special people whom the president loved? why during the attack with rioters looking to hang vice president pence was the president attacking pence on twitter? was that part of the flurry of
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activity? why were the president and rb rb rudy giuliani trying to lobby senators on the vote count as they huddled in a safe room? the calls went mistakenly to mike lee which is the only reason we knew about it. he handed the phone to tuberville who spoke to the president for about ten minutes. he said he had to tell tuberville, i don't want to interrupt your call with the president but we're being evacuated and i need my phone. sounds like a comedy of errors but no comedy. the point is it was not an example the president was trying to stop the siege or prevent loss of life, it was simply one more indication the president wasn't going to let a little thing like a deadly insurrection interfere with his plans. former white house chief of staff mark meadows went on fox news this weekend, didn't mention that or any constructive steps taken in the heat of the attack but tried to place the blame elsewhere. >> there is all kinds of blame going around, but yet, not a lot of accountability. that accountability needs to
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rest with where it ultimately should be, and that's on capitol hill. >> well, now, in a way it does, with senators, republicans who will have to decide whether they belong to the accountability wing of their party or the majority of it. joining us now, one of the senate jurors, minnesota democrat senator amy klobuchar. thanks for being with us. the former president's legal team is making two arguments. one, the trial is unconstitutional and even if it was constitutional, he was exercising his first amendment rights and did not direct anyone to commit unlawful actions. as a former prosecutor yourself, does that second argument hold water? >> no, it does not. the first amendment is designed to protect people from their government. in this case, he literally incited people to attack the government, to attack a coequal branch of the government. this wasn't about his first amendment right. he's more than exercised that over the years.
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this was about him literally inciting a riot and you laid out the evidence so well from his tweets leading up to this, from his statements at rallies and what i remember was the dog whistle when he said january 6th. that was, of course, the day of the electoral college vote. that was the day that turned out to be the insurrection. i remember it because i was preparing. i was leading our caucus in our response to ted cruz and josh hawley and i thought to myself, well, this is trouble because he literally was putting that day out there, telling people to go wild and then as you point out, as he is glued to the television by all accounts, watching this horror in which a police officer dies as a result of injuries and when two officers later die from suicide, and we have a woman trampled on the steps of the capitol, what does he do? he waits hours and hours and hours and it is only the president-elect that is willing to speak up, joe biden, not the president himself.
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and there were plenty of republicans in that room with us that were saying, when is he going to speak? when is trump going to say something? they understood that he controlled this violent mob. and so that is the evidence. this is not about his first amendment rights. it about him inciting a riot and for your first question about constitutionality, i love your quoting the republican lawyer of the year, mr. cooper, who made it very clear that the plain language supports going forward for this and we have actual precedent with the former secretary of war in the 1800s who was impeached after he was out of office. >> the question whether or not there will be witnesses, that's still undecided. and i want to read something chuck schumer said. this was in january of last year before the first impeachment trial. he said you cannot have a fair trial without the facts, with witnesses with knowledge of the events and related documents. should the standard be any
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different this time around? >> this is up to the house managers and they are going to have to decide if we should have witnesses or not, and i will say one thing, all 100 people in that room witnessed it. we have videotape that i think we're going to see, i've been told, that we have never seen that has never shown the light of day yet because it was law enforcement videotape. we didn't have that in that other impeachment hearing. now, whether they decide to call witnesses or not, that's up to them. they have asked the president to come forward and he declined. the point is that all of that, most of the evidence in that other case was behind closed doors. this is right out there on video for us to see. >> cnn is reporting that aides to the former president say he was enjoying the spectacle, the riot, and was, quote, loving watching the capitol mob. that was a senior official telling jim acosta. what about issuing subpoenas to those that were with him or the capitol police that were with them? wouldn't that be the best chance
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of possibly changing republican minds? >> look, any of this is possible, anderson. i am in the maybe unenviable position of being the jurors in this case. we are not the managers of the case, the prosecutors of the case even though it's not a criminal case, let me make that clear. that's going to be up to them. let's see what evidence they put out and we have plenty of testimony, as well, that has been garnered from what people actually said in the moment when they were there, and we have plenty of evidence of what the president said leading up to it in the report. so i'm going to let them run their own case, but i do think it's significant that senator schumer and senator mcconnell reached a bipartisan agreement on how this trial will proceed including a decision about witnesses, which will be made at some point during the trial. >> republican senator langford said, quote, i don't know of anyone that their mind is not made up. do you think he's right? >> i don't know about that.
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i guess as a former prosecutor, i saw a lot of cases go good or go bad depending on what the evidence is. i don't think that -- look in politics, did people think we would win georgia? i don't think they did. and we did because people listened and made a decision. so i'm not going to concede that right now before we have even seen an ounce of evidence in an official proceeding. this is our job. and i think liz cheney did a beautiful job this weekend of describing this, that you just can't pretend it didn't happen. i think she said we've got to make sure this never happens again, and i think that's really important to note that you can't have a president who, just because he loses, clearly loses an election, decides he'll mess around with our democracy and attack a coequal branch of government that was simply doing its job, to certify the jobs that have been certified. maybe trevor noah said it best when he said on his show, if you
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get fired from best buy, you can't go and steal a tv on your way out. so we can't have the precedent be that you can go do anything you want. in president trump's own words go wild and wreak havoc on the democracy to the point people die and police officers are killed and not have any kind of responsibility for it. so i look forward as you pointed out at the end of your segment there of carrying on that mantle of accountability and i think we have to take it very seriously. >> senator klobuchar, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thanks, anderson. look forward to being on again. thank you. joining me is noah feldman, one of the witnesses in the first impeachment trial and constitutional scholar. thanks for being back. is there any merit the former president's team put forward today, impeaching a president is constitutional? >> the trial is definitely not unconstitutional. there is strong precedent for trying someone once they are out
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of office, and the history suggests that the framers understood that was a possibility. i don't think there is much to that. on the first amendment claim, the key point to understand is that the constitution says you have free speech and what it means by that is, you can't be criminally prosecuted or otherwise harmed by the government for speaking freely. it does not say that you have a get out of jail free card as it were as president to commit a high crime and misdemeanor so long as you do it while you're talking. and that's what trump did. he did it while talking and that's what he was doing while inciting people to violence and that's the allegation and what he'll be tried for. it is a mistake to see the first amendment as the definitive feature there. so i think that argument, as well, is not a legally correct one. >> we just learned that at least two alleged capitol rioters are arguing in court that the former president himself is the reason for the violence, with one even going as far as calling him an unindicted co-conspirator, i mean, remarkable how supposedly
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supporters of the president with their back up against the wall in a court turn on him and name him as a co-conspirator. but do you think democrats might make that part of their case? does that matter? would that hold any weight? >> i don't think they will make direct reference to what is happening in those trials but they could say the same thing. they could say the president and they are saying that the president was a central cause of the attack on the capitol by virtue of inciting it. in fact, that means that, in some fundamental way, his words led to the events that followed. they don't have to prove it was the but for cause, if it wasn't for the president people wouldn't have attacked but have to show the president's words led in some meaningful way and they knew he would lead in a meaningful way to the attack on the capitol and that's what they're trying to do. >> it seems the entire fact that this rally was called for january 6th, it's not a random date. it not, you know, a date -- just a random date to protest
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election, you know, alleged election fraud, which was not actually, you know, real. it is the last date, i mean, if you are going to have a coup, this is the day to try to -- this is the day you have to try to stop the electoral votes from being counted. >> yeah, no, it's clearly the context of what happened. that was the context of president trump's speech. and it was the context of the riot that followed. his lawyers will try to say it was planned without -- in fact, they did say this in the long brief filed today. it was planned independently and wasn't because of him. the attack would have happened no matter what he did and that's a defense on the facts. i think the way to refute that is to say, did you watch tv that day? did you see the president's speech? did you see what followed? that's the core of the factual case they're making, and the president has to defend on those grounds, as well, not on these pretty inconclusive and not very convincing legal theories. >> one argument left out of all 78 pages of the filing today that was in the defense's
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initial filing a week ago is the accusation that helped foment this insurrection in the first place the election was stolen. despite how focused the president has been on pushing the big lie, do you think that will come up during the trial? >> it was very noteworthy the lawyers did not include that and i would say that was the first piece of good lawyering they engaged in. it's not a good way to defend the president against the impeachment charge to say the election was stolen from us because that seems like doubling down on the issues that started attack on the capitol in the first place. having omitted it from the brief they probably themselves will not bring it up. that's not to say some senators might not bring it up when they get to the point where they will deliberate over what took place and when they make their decision how to vote. >> professor noah feldman, appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. one other quick note, the georgia secretary of state tells cnn his office has started an investigation into the former president's attempt to overturn
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the state's election results and will prove that call he famously made, the former president made when he was caught on tape asking to find him the votes needed to win. the investigation will be fact-finding any further legal efforts will be left to georgia's attorney general. there is much more ahead tonight, coming up next what president biden said about the impeachment trial and the question about how he can avoid it overshadowing his agenda. and the welcome news on covid and worrying items including word how much less effective might vaccines be against new variants of the virus. he wants us to spray everything every time we walk into the door. it's just to be sure. just to be sure! tide antibacterial fabric spray. since suzie's got goals, she'll want a plan to reach them. so she'll get some help from fidelity, and she'll feel so good about her plan, she can focus on living it. that's the planning effect, from fidelity. i'm erin. -and i'm margo.
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breaking news from kaitlan collins on the timing of the impeachment trial. david schoen has withdrawn his request for the trial to be suspended during the jewish sabbath. it can proceed as planned but he won't participate. more on timing and president biden with a full slate of things he'd like to get done quickly. here he is when asked about the former president testifying. >> look, we've got an offer for him to come and testify. he's decided not to. we'll let the senate work that out. >> the president as you know has stayed conspicuously hands off impeachment. here to talk about his stakes in it, and incentives to move on, dana bash and david axelrod. no stranger to the white house, david. you are taking over amidst a crisis. president biden has an uphill battle over his covid relief
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package, a divided country, and a lot of the oxygen in washington will obviously be going to this trial. how do you navigate all that at the same time? >> well, you try and steer around it and hope it ends quickly and i think that's clearly what we're seeing here. look, you know, you asked senator klobuchar a couple of minutes ago whether she thought this was cut and dry, and she, you know, hopefully said no but everybody kind of knows how this is going to go down. the accountability for donald trump will be in the case that is produced by the house prosecutors but we know how people are going to vote, and you'll see it again tomorrow when they vote on the whether this is constitutional or not, that's the life raft that 45 senators chose to grab onto before, they will do it again, and i think that's fine with him. you know, there needs to be
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accountability. most democrats believe that. a lot of the country believes that. a lot of republicans don't and i think this is one place where he and trump may have something in common. they probably both want to get this over with. >> dana, we heard president biden saying the senate need s to work it out. we know for weeks he wasn't hot on the idea of impeaching the former president and trying to convince democrats not to i impeach. is there any up sside for the president short of a conviction? >> upside for joe biden? >> yeah, the president, president biden. >> no, no, no there is no upside politically. there really isn't. i mean, there is not necessarily that big of a downside, i don't think, but not that much of an upside, either. this is what it is two weeks for president biden, and my understanding in talking to democrats on the hill is that, you know, what they're hearing
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privately is what we are hearing publicly, which is, you guys work it out. i won't give you guidance or pointers, i'm not going to put pressure points on anything that is going to go on. i'm going to stay out of it and try to, as much as i can, work on other issues, primarily the covid relief package. >> david, president biden obviously campaigned on unity bringing the country together, bipartisanship, it was the focus of his inaugural address and he's clearly moving forward on the covid relief package without republicans at this point. plenty of reporting about lessons he learned early on in the obama administration. what do you think he took away from that experience? >> well, he probably took away particularly on the affordable care act that, you know, don't chase the unicorn of unity on an issue like this and lose six months, which is what happened on the affordable care act. president obama had numerous meetings with republicans and discussions went on and on and there were democrats in the
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senate who believed that it was possible to forge a bipartisan coalition around the affordable care act but there was a policy in place set by senator mcconnell that no one was to stray and we lost six months. joe biden understands with a raging virus and all the problems facing the country right now, he doesn't have a lot of time to spare here and he'll be measured by how quickly and decisively he moves on this virus and gets the country out of the economic hole that it's in, gets people back to work, provides the support that's necessary to keep them whole until they get back to work and if that's what he's rightly focused on, so when you ask before what the downside is of this impeachment, it's the loss of time. you know, there are going to be some discomfort and wrangling among members here and that's not great, but at the end of the day, the time lost is the problem and what he doesn't have is a lot of time here given the nature of the crisis he faces. >> dana, in the wake of the insurrection, even around the
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inauguration as there always is, there was a lot of talk about bipartisanship and the potential, the hope for unity. it certainly seems like everybody has dug in their heels, which is i guess a lesson we learn every four years that there is always this talk of it and hope of it and isn't this what absolutely happens all the time? >> yes, it is. having said that, i am going to say that i am optimistic that there could still be bipartisan deal making on other issues that are more right for bipartisan deal making. covid, the covid relief package just really never was, given how big joe biden is determined to go and republicans just aren't there. other issues down the pike, even something like the child care tax credit, which mitt romney says that he wants to do. that's a great example of something that they can genuinely do but after they get
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this big package done but likely -- >> anderson, let me just say. unity doesn't necessarily mean unaminity. i think his tone is good because he hasn't vilified the republicans. he hasn't foreclosed the possibility of working together even on this and that's really valuable moving forward. >> yeah, david axelrod and dana bash, appreciate it. just ahead, more about the impeachment trial. we'll get a historical perspective when we return.
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the historical implications of this impeachment trial can't the understated. it's the former president's second one, and the first time he was impeached, zero republicans crossed the aisle. this time ten did. we are joined by the author of "leadership in turbulent times." great to have you here. two impeachments for the same person never happened before in america history. what do you think of the significance of this in terms of his legacy and the unprecedented nature of this?
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>> i think the significance of the trial is indeed for history. i mean, i think what the argument of the house managers is that if this is not an impeachable offense, then what is? and if that's not made for history and for the future, there is no question that that's the important thing that's going forward now, and i think when people look back on this presidency, there may be presidential historians who will question what were the first four years like, could he have done this thing or that and did he have some achievements? but the crisis we found ourselves in from the moment he lost the election and refused to accept it was a crisis in his making, and historians will regard that with great disfavor. the first president that refused to concede created the story of a fabricated story of a stolen election, mobilized supporters and told them to come on january 6th. timetables matter in history and i think if the impeachment
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people can lay out the timetable and show the story from beginning to middle to end, stories matter, and you can tell it to somebody else and historians tell it to the children and the children's children and that's what will be lasting. >> it's so interesting how one's eye changes as time goes by and things that looked one way at one point look different through the lens of history or through the lens of time. you know, under this former president, things that were completely abnormal began to seem normal and one was sort of, you know, after a while it didn't seem so crazy that, you know, he's tweeting about ratings of morning news shows or, you know, on cable news and, you know, pardoning the husband of one of the anchors over at fox who is now being sued by, you know, the company that has -- who, you know, she allegedly defamed on voting machines. so i'm wondering through the lens of history, how abnormal
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all of this will seem. >> i think it will seem very abnormal. somehow we became numb over the last four years to things that were not true being said, to the idea that normal relationships between people in congress were going to see each other as tribal enemies. i think that's really the measure in a certain sense of success of the trial may not be the two-thirds conviction which people seem to think will not happen but whether the trial can tell people, this is what happened and this has never happened before in history and we cannot allow it to happen again. that's why the public sentiment is the key and in a certain sense, everybody is saying well, sense, everybody is saying, well, it will be a failure. it won't be a failure if the trial mobilizes the public to realize what happened and judge the former president by that so that everybody is assuming he gets acquitted and he'll be
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triumph. what if the public is mobilized by this to understand how serious this was and they want to change that and to protect the people that voted to impeach him? they can come out and vote in the primaries. that's what lincoln said, with public sentiment, anything is possible. without it, nothing can be achieved. the real goal it seems to me is not necessarily the 100 senators and how they vote but does the trial mobilize public sentiment when they see what happened, when they feel what happened, they know pieces of it. if the trial can connect the dots, and they have a story they can tell to the people next door and say, yes, this was wrong. the majority of the people feel it's wrong and there is a majority in the states. that's the battle to be fought once this impeachment trial is over. >> there is that famous faulkner line, the past isn't dead, it's not even the past. i think about this with this impeachment trial coming up and
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it's fascinating how the history is so alive. it's not just that we're living through a historical event but we are looking back to the impeachment of -- the attempt to impeach the former secretary of war in the 1800s, i think was stanton and that's -- that informs the arguments that's being made today. i just find that kind of fascinating. >> no, it's really true. i think there are certain times when you know you're living through history and when history becomes really important. that was true obviously during the civil war and true during the great depression and world war ii and maybe the 1960s and it's certainly true now. but the key thing that we know about history is we know how those other situations ended. we know the civil war ended with the union restored and emancipation secured and the world war ii ended with allies winning. we don't know the end of our story. we have the chance to write that
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ending and that's important about living in history. maybe in the '90s or the '80s or '70s you didn't feel you were living through history but now we are. the citizens have a huge responsibility to figure out how to tell this story and how to make right what was wrong. >> my mom just shortly before she died, i remember her saying to me, i just want to see how it all turns out and i have that feeling very often these days, like, how is this all going to turn out? we shall see. doris -- >> sometimes i wish i were in a story from 50 years from now to tell you how it would turn out. >> exactly. doris, it's always good to have you. thank you. while the impeachment trial plays out this week, there is undeniable evidence that the trend lines for the coronavirus are improving but these more virulent strains across the u.s. are becoming stronger. more on that when we return.
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so here is the good news. the u.s. is now averaging half of the new daily cases of the coronavirus it was logging just a few weeks ago. hospitalizations are down dramatically as well and deaths are declining slightly with sunday's total the lowest for a single day in more than three months. add to that more than 42 million vaccine doses have been administered and you have a case for a positive outlook. but as one former fda commissioner cautioned, these variants are likely to diminish the returns we see from the life saving drugs. >> as a rule of thumb, we can assume the vaccines will be 20% less effective against the new variants from brazil and south africa. and we also may be able to develop in a timely fashion, maybe in four to six months, a consensus strain that bakes in a lot of different variations we're seeing so boosters will be available for the fall.
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>> a new study suggests a third variant is doubling in frequency about every week and a half. that study is not published or peer reviewed but it was published in collaboration with a lab that shares information with the cdc. let's talk about this with our chief medical correspondent dr. gupta and dr. lina wen, a former baltimore health commissioner. let's start with the good news, cases, hospitalizations, deaths down. is this the end of the holiday surge down? is this actually turning a corner? >> i'm always hesitant to use the term turning the corner, anderson, with great humility because this virus obviously continues to surprise us in many ways. but, yeah, i think there is good news here as you point out. the numbers overall down. 21% as compared to last weekend as you mentioned. 52% down as compared to about a month ago. i think one of the things i'm really going to be looking for is, you know, we may see increases still in case numbers with these variants as we've all talked about. they're more transmissible,
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they're more contagious, and that's a big concern especially if those transmissible variants because of contagiousness affect more people. but that percentage of deaths to cases, you know, right now if you are to do the math, it's around 2% deaths to the overall number of confirmed cases. i want to see, even if the cases go up, does that percentage come down? if it does, i think that would give me more confidence we're starting to make significant headway. >> dr. wen, i know you're concerned about the variants. >> i am. i think we may be in the calm before the storm here. i completely agree with sanjay. i think there is really good news but we're seeing what happens in other countries with these variants take over. there is explosive surge even when the countries are in basically in shutdown in the uk and denmark.
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we've seen with this uk variant that cases skyrocket and places had to close as a result. and so i worry about people letting up on restrictions now. >> like in new york, i think indoor dining is allowed at 25%. >> yeah, and the governor of iowa and north dakota, they have removed mask mandates. this really is the last time that we should be removing these types of restrictions. we are in for something really potentially catastrophic, and we should be doubling down on the measures that we know to work. >> sanjay, we heard the former fda commissioner say vaccines are 20% less effective against variants, and this sounds like opposing ideas. can you explain? >> yeah, i mean, i think the way to think about this is that it is pretty clear that the vaccines especially from moderate or mild disease aren't
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as effective against these variants as they are against the more dominant circulating coronavirus. we've seen that and we've shown the numbers at 66% effectiveness. versus 72%. the opposing idea, scott was being consistent here because when you look at the overall effectiveness against serious disease across the board, whether it's the coronavirus that's circulating most dominant here in the united states, or the variants, it's pretty effective. 85% protected with this johnson & johnson trial against all of these variants. he also made the comment that with these mrna vaccines, what is kind of remarkable in some ways about them is that you can sort of re-tool them or re-engineer them them pretty quickly within weeks versus months to get a new vaccine out there that may give you more protection. that's something else i know we're going to be keeping an eye out for, is there going to be booster shots that are going to be recommended that are more
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protective against the variants going forward? >> dr. wen, in an interview on cbs, president biden called closed schools a national emergency. that was his term. he added that the cdc is going to issue guidance on re-opening the schools as early as wednesday. what do you think the guidance should say? >> well, i hope that the guidance from the cdc will be very clear because here's what we know. we know that schools can safely re-open, if the mitigation measures are put into place and if the community transmission is relatively low. that's not the case in many parts of the country, and so i want to see a breakdown of, in places where there is low community transmission, maybe here are the five things that schools have to put in place, but if you have a medium level of transmission, you need those five things plus you need ten more. and if you a very high level of transmission, maybe you need to do pretty extraordinary things like weekly or twice weekly testing. maybe teachers all need to be vaccinated prior to going into the classroom. i think if there's going to be a statement about the importance of in-person instruction, there
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should also be a statement, too, about prioritizing our teachers and school staff. the people who work in our schools as well. >> dr. wen, appreciate it, sanjay, thanks so much. appreciate it. the first sitting member of congress has died after being the first sitting member of congress has died after being diagnosed with covid. representative ron wright was 67 years old. he died yesterday. in a statement his office says the texas republican had been treated for cancer. in december freshman-elect of louisiana also died after getting covid. a lot more ahead, why lou dobbs tonight was abruptly canceled on "fox business." we'll tell you what fox news is saying and why it's not quite adding up, when we continue. new advil dual action fights pain for up to 8 hours. wanna build a gaming business that breaks the internet? that means working night and day... ...and delegating to an experienced live bookkeeper for peace of mind. your books are all set.
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tonight, fox news claims the official reason for cancelling lou dobbs' show is a post election programming adjustment. it's raising eyebrows because dobbs was the highest rated host on fox business.
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there was no mention of the multibillion dollar defamation lawsuit dobbs is named in along with other filed by a voting technology company. more on the mysterious cancellation from cnn's chief media correspondent brian stelter. >> everybody, i'm david asman filling in for the vacationing lou dobbs. >> reporter: dobbs was not vacationing last friday. he was being booted from the fox business network. >> president joe biden -- >> reporter: fox is now putting a generic show in his old time slot and giving no believable rationale for the sudden change. dobbs declined to comment to cnn on monday. a review of "lou dobbs tonight" highlights just how extreme his rhetoric had become. >> donald trump dealing an early blow to the radical dems' venal unconstitutional impeachment farcical fraud. >> reporter: that's how he opened his final show calling democrats dims, calling impeachment manager jamie raskin a sinister clown, and calling the trial illegal. >> it's sad to watch. >> reporter: and that was his
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daily approach. >> i watched lou dobbs last night. >> reporter: there were no limits to dobbs' propaganda for trump. >> this is a man who's a natural-born leader. he outworks them. he outthinks. he is remarkably resourceful and we are lucky to have donald trump step up. >> reporter: at one point, even thanking him for making weekends possible. >> have a great weekend. the president makes such a thing possible for us all. >> reporter: so, last november dobbs gleefully joined trump's crusade to steal the election from biden. >> why isn't the republican party en masse demanding the department of justice move in here? >> reporter: later he blasted then-attorney general bill barr for admitting there was no evidence of mass fraud. >> for the attorney general of the united states to make that statement, he's either a liar or a fool or both. >> reporter: name calling, smears, calling the truth a lie. this is how radical right-wing tv shows distort american politics. now, some dobbs targets are
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trying to hold fox accountable. suing the network and naming dobbs for defamation. >> dominion. >> dominion. smartmatic. >> dominion. dominion. smartmatic. >> reporter: dobbs was canceled one day after smartmatic sued for $2.7 billion. the damage to democracy was done months ago. >> this is an assault. >> reporter: painting trump as a victim. >> the crimes that have been committed against him and the american people. >> reporter: and eerily saying in december that there would be consequences. >> i guarantee william barr this, it will not be a quiet surrender of this constitutional republic. >> brian stelter joins us now. gosh. i hadn't watched lou dobbs in a long time. that's quite a show. so what more are you learning from sources as to why he was fired? >> you know, he ticked off management many times, probably one too many times. there may have been a falling out with the murdochs. dobbs is not commenting.
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but even though he's gone, and he won't be a part of the senate trial coverage, there are a dozen tv hosts on fox and newsmax just like him. that's the big-picture point here, anderson. all of that incendiary rhetoric, all of those lies that led up to the riot are still being broadcast all over the airwaves every day. dobbs is gone but the kind of hateful rhetoric that he created and he promoted, it is still all over the place and that's going to be an important part of this senate trial, i believe. >> lou dobbs, return to your post. kind of an inside joke around here. brian stelter, thanks very much. reminder, don't miss "full circle," our digital news show. 6:00 p.m. eastern at cnn.com/fullcircle. watch it there or the cnn app at any time on demand. news continues. let's hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> appreciate you, coop. happy monday. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time."
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the question is simple, did trump encourage or stir up the events of january 6th? if you think he did, that is called incitement. and it is why he was impeached. it's hard to argue his constant lies about the election being rigged, lies about proof that didn't exist, lies about bias judges, some of whom he put on the bench, and bad politicians, many of whom he supported and were from his party, did not make people distrust to the point of this insurrection. that's why almost all the senators in his party don't want to have to answer that question. we're hours away from the first ever second impeachment trial of a president in united states history. and his party wants to pretend the trial is improper. so they don't have to be on record ignoring everything that most will see as obvious. trump's lawyers argue this is all unconstitutional and political theater by democrats. two points.
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first, this was by far the most bipartisan impeachment in our history. ten members of trump's own party formally accused him of a high crime. second, if that's what you think, why don't you go to court? if you don't think the constitution means what it says about a trial following the impeachment, go to court. they can't. do you know why? because this is not about the law, per se. despite all the familiar terms, like trial and jurors, convict, this is a political process. it is about votes and integrity. trump seems to have the former in his pocket, and these senators appear to have too little of the latter. and so, the trial will begin with a four-hour debate on the constitutionality of it all. which really means why they don't want to do what the overwhelming number of legal scholars agree they must do, including chuck cooper.