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tv   Cuomo Prime Time  CNN  February 8, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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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.
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you know him? he's a big shot conservative lawyer. he's represented house republicans, john bolton, even ted cruz. he was an adviser to his campaign. he says look at article 1, section 3, of this constitution. in there, it says the senate has an option for more punishment than conviction. "disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit, under the united states." that punishment can only be imposed on a former officer, like trump. so, if there is an option to disqualify, how can it be unconstitutional to create that option? right? that clause can only apply to someone who is out of office. so here is the problem for the gopq and for trump. their argument on the law is weak, but their argument on the facts is weaker. okay?
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they couldn't even spell "united" in his brief. let alone, cogently argue that trump was trying to keep us that way. they're arguing that people who criminally breached the capitol did so of their own accord and for their own reasons. so you don't think this encouraged them? >> and we fight. we fight like hell. and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. and we're going to the capitol. we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. >> he used the word, "fight," or something like it 20 times in that speech on january 6th. and then during the coup attempt, he went home to joyfully watch and attacked mike pence to keep whipping them up. stirring them up. encouraging them. tweeting, "pence didn't have the courage to do what should have
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been done" which is not even fair. it's not even true. pence had no ability to do anything. a big problem, though, with their factual argument is that you know who disagrees with that argument? the people who attacked the capitol. that's why i've been having their lawyers on the show. some of the suspects rounded up have told, as you know, you've heard it here, they've told authorities their actions were motivated by their support for trump. and felt they were being asked by him to take action. they say they did what he said to do and stopped when he said to. and i have new proof of that for you tonight on the eve of the trial. his lawyers are also going to say, it's not true that trump didn't act swiftly enough to stop them. if so, why were his aides said to be struggling to get him to understand how serious the attack had become? why did house minority leader mccarthy apparently urge him to
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denounce what was happening and they got into a heated exchange? trump didn't even attempt to secure the safety of his own vice president. but finally, he was convinced to say something. >> go home. we love you. you're very special. >> "we love you. you're very special." that's the message to people rioting and trying to overturn our democracy. murdering a capitol police officer. maiming others. maim as in losing fingers. maybe an eye. a guy pleading for his life. injuring more than a hundred. sending pence and lawmakers running for their lives. trump acted swiftly? you know when that video was? more than three hours after the first barricades outside the capitol were breached.
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and there's a fact question that you guys don't hear enough. why did trump try to phone senator tommy tuberville during the attack to try to slow down the certification vote? remember? he accidentally first called senator mike lee who then handed the phone to tuberville. tuberville. his lawyer, rudy giuliani, also mistakenly called lee for the same reason. that's on tape. >> senator tuberville? or i should say coach tuberville. this is rudy giuliani, president's lawyer. i'm calling you because i want to discuss with you how they're trying to rush this hearing and how we need you, our republican friends, to try to just slow it down. is >> slow it down while under attack. does that sound like you're trying to put down an insurrection or benefit from it? now, does the former president have a case on the law or the facts? and how will senators from his party justify ignoring all of
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what is just too obvious? let's bring in the better minds. norm eisen and michael smerconish. good to have you both. norm, the idea of anything happening in this four-hour debate tomorrow to stop the trial, what's the chance? >> well, zero, chris. thanks for having me back on the program. the majority leader, senator schumer, has made clear there's going to be a trial. the house managers are ready for a trial. and there is going to be a trial. this is a futile constitutional debate that the gop minority is forcing. they already lost it, chris. over 150 constitutional scholars left, right and center, even chuck cooper, he was my main adversary when i was co-counsel in the previous impeachment representing john bolton. wouldn't produce him. even chuck cooper says it's baloney. they're doing this because they don't want to face the reality, donald trump inciting an
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insurrection. they don't want to talk about anything else. that's why we're having this debate. >> michael, your take. >> i find the case for incitement to be compelling. now you know where i'm coming from. i don't think the jurisdictional battle is frivolous. norm didn't use that word and neither did you. everybody keeps talking about chuck cooper. you know what i found significant about this op-ed? he said that scholarship on the question has matured substantially since the rand paul vote. the rand paul vote was january 27th. you mean all these constitutional minds have matured in the last ten days or so? i hate to say it, chris, but i think that many people are looking at this and suiting up in their usual jerseys determined by who the litigants are. and as evidence for that, i point out to you that in december of 2019, matt gaetz proposed the idea of impeaching
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a former president, barack obama, and sal rizzo, the fact checker at the "washington post," went out and surveyed the academic community. it was a mixed bag. i think it's a mixed bag. i have to say i find the well is now being poisoned because people are saying, ah, it's trump, sure, we can go ahead and have this trial. >> right. he's got two problems, norm, and you should address them. one is when was obama impeached? you know, trump was impeached in office and it's an extension of that. and the second thing is, michael ignores the analysis. the analysis is, not about the scholarship changing. it's that section 1 of article 3 says they have an option to disqualify. how can you have that option if you don't have a trial? and the only people who are eligible for that are people who've been removed. why isn't this resonating? >> well, we can go back a lot further than obama and matt gaetz to see the origins of this, chris.
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the -- when the constitution was debated, the example that the framers pointed to over and over again was the hastings impeachment. guess what, an ex-official. when they voted on belknap in the 19th century to impeach, guess what, an ex-official. john quincy adams said i could be impeached to my dying day. so whatever the back and forth, this is not a close question. that's why it's not resonating, that's why it's being seen as partisan ducking and dodging by the republicans and the mere fact that the -- i think it is a false symmetry to say that both sides are taking their political -- their usual political sides. no, this is not a close question. you can impeach an ex-president. >> why not argue the facts, michael, that, you know, okay, fine -- >> because the facts are not on his side.
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>> why not? >> the facts are not on -- the facts -- no, chris, the facts are not on trump's side. i began by telling you both -- >> right. >> i find the case for incitement to be compelling. >> right, why? >> i think donald trump incited that rally. so you know the way -- >> you heard him say -- >> if the facts are on your side, you argue the facts. >> you heard him say -- >> if the facts aren't on your side, then you argue the law. >> you heard him utter the talismanic word that make up the brandenburg test? you heard him say -- >> i think i did. >> -- i want you to leave here right now, go down to the capitol, attack the cops and go in there and find the members of congress. you heard him say that? >> i really did, chris. with a little cover your ass, krr -- cya, use of the word peaceful thrown in the mix just to protect himself.
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it's not just january 6th. you've got to look at the totality of what he was doing from november 3rd through january 6th. so i'm a believer. i just -- i just am getting incensed at the idea that everybody's on the same page on the jurisdictional question because i don't think that's the case. >> i don't think they're on the same page, either. if this is you incensed, you got to come spend more time with me, michael. because that's not nearly enough if you're incensed. norm and i did this on the radio today. for those who listen, i don't mean to repeat it. i want another bite of the apple because he beat me so swiftly on the show today. norm, if this were a criminal case, again, i don't think you make the brandenburg test. i don't understand why they're not leaning into that. this guy's got a big mouth, arguably he was a liar. he was not giving directional indicative language to these people any more than he ever has when he was telling at his rallies, i'd like to punch that guy in the face, and he's telling fake news. that's a hothead and demagogue. that doesn't make him guilty.
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>> chris, that's the problem with using the more borderline arguments like the ex-president argument. it occupies the airspace that they could be using for arguments about the first amendment. it is in their briefs. they do -- the trump team does argue -- does argue it. look, as we talked about earlier today, it's a rare tv appearance, by the way, when i'm the calmest one of the three. as we talked about earlier today, chris, the -- the case here is an impeachment case for a high crime and misdemeanor. that's the word that the constitution uses. high crime. brandenburg is for an ordinary crime. the supreme court has said when you're judging government officials, you don't apply that same brandenburg test. we've invested them in public trust. we need to hold them to their oaths. so the brandenburg issue is really beside the point. maybe that's part of the reason that trump's lawyers aren't pushing it harder. now, i do think when you put the whole picture together, yes, i
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agree with michael. those words when he said, we fight and we fight, if you don't fight, you're not going to have a country anymore -- >> right. >> -- that comes on top of months of incitement telling people their democracy was stolen. it comes on top of the president's inaction and gleeful gloegt -- gloating as the attack was going on. his delay telling the protesters he loves them and that it was a great day after they did a deadly riot. >> right. >> and what -- and, chris, above all, as we discussed earlier, the protesters understood exactly what he meant. they said over and over again the president ordered me to come here and that's why i'm here, and as soon as he told them, go home, you see them saying, why are you leaving? oh, the president told me to leave. so i think it's a compelling case in context. >> i'm out of time, but one of the reasons to understand why
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it's cogent from norm and cogent from michael is context. you could have this jurisdictional issue, absolutely, if it were a true legal process. and it isn't. it's politics. and they have the ability to say they want to do it and they did. and you may get away with this under this brandenburg test because it's so specific about what you have to do. it's not the test. it's about votes and political will and sense of his abuse of duty. i hope you understand it better especially on the eve of the trial. norm, michael, thank you both. cnn has new video that speaks exactly to this issue. okay? i had this guy's lawyer on. the qanon shaman. remember all you got angry, said why are you having this guy give a defense? i was never giving him a defense. he's always going to be in trouble legally for what he did. why he says he did it would matter. remember? now it is the best evidence they have. that suspect, jacob chansley, is making his first public comment since his arrest. we've got that exclusively for you.
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we have video that shows rioters were looking to trump for guidance even as they were inside the capitol. why does this matter?
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trump's lawyers argue he could not have incited the insurrection because he was being metaphorical when he talked about fighting and, "of the over 10,000 words spoken on january 6th, mr. trump used the word, fight, a little more than a handful of times." well, he certainly could fit 20 times in his hands. so, if anything, they were huge handfuls. right? 20? but while they claim the democrats are cherry-picking facts, notice how they only mention one speech he gave and they ignore the months of fomenting that led to the stop-the-steal rally which in and of itself was a protest with a very definite point of view of doing something to change the outcome of the election. the video you will see shows how these people hung on every word trump spoke or tweeted. you don't have to even look far into the crowd for an example. it's as clear as the horns on this guy's head, the recognizable member of the mob, the shaman.
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this idea that because some people showed up to d.c. with plans to cause trouble ignores the fact that for people like him, jacob chansley, january 6th wasn't the first time they heard trump's call to arms. this is chansley november 5th, 2 days after the election, all fired up at a pro-trump protest in arizona, the same day trump said this. >> so we can't have an election stolen by -- like this. we can't let that happen to our country. >> then two days before the riot, chansley was back in his getup for a rally in georgia. at some point, he did change clothes to a shirt and tie, but the message he heard was this. >> that was a rigged election. but we're still fighting it. and we're going to take it back. >> then here he is. six-foot spear in hand. trying to take it back.
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just like trump had been telling him to for months at that point. if there were any question of whether trump could have stopped this in its tracks, which is also fundamental here, chansley explains why he left the capitol. listen. >> donald trump asked everybody to go home. he just said -- just put out a tweet, it's a minute long. he asked everybody to go home. >> why do you think so? >> because, dude, we won the [ bleep ]. we won. >> how did we win? >> we won by sending a message to the senators and the congressmen. we won by sending a message to pence. okay? that if they don't do as they are -- as is their oath to do, if they don't uphold the constitution, then we will remove them from office. one way or another. >> his lawyer can fight to get him the special organic diet that he's requesting from jail or say he was only following orders. all that's for a judge to rule on.
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what matters in terms of the impeachment is what role trump's months of lies played in laying the foundation for the attack on our democracy as experienced by one of the people who did that. chansley's attorney, al watkins, is here. counselor, welcome back. >> thank you very much. >> so your client has something he wants to say. >> i shared with you verbatim the statement prepared by my client, dictated to me by my client, and he has asked that i cause it to be released to the world. >> would you like to read it? >> i would love to read it except i don't have it. you have it. >> all right. here's -- i got you where i want you then, al. so, here are the main points. okay? "i am deeply disappointed in former president trump. he was not honorable.
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he let a lot of people, peaceful people, down. i have to leave judging him up to others." also says, "i deeply regret and i'm very sorry i entered the capitol building on january 6th, 2021. i shouldn't have been there." he should have led with that. why does he believe the president wasn't honorable and let down a lot of peaceful people? >> one of the things that you missed out and others have missed out on is the propaganda and the talk. the talk by trump which was never comprised of a complete sentence ever. no -- no subject, no verb, direct object, followed by a period. that trump talk, that propaganda, was going on nonstop not since november but since prior to trump assuming the
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office. trump's tweets, his social media exploitation, what he said day in, day out, that we all permitted, included untruths, misrepresentations, out and out lies. not every now and then, every day. not once a day, multiple times daily. you couple that with a protracted period with covid, social distancing, the absence of humanity around a lot of people who get their news from tiktok and from social media and from this -- >> fox. >> -- internet coffee klatch. and it was a mess. it was a mess that created an environment on january 6th which was not one month in the making. for people like jake, for millions of americans, they truly did hang on every word of their president, our president,
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the person that we permitted day in, day out, to speak to us in ways and in fashions that simply weren't true. >> does jacob now believe -- chansley, your client -- that the election wasn't rigged? does he now know he was being lied to? >> so this is a process. the answer is yes. the process, though, is not something that jake is going through alone. the process of unwinding from years of trump, years of lies -- >> you make it sound like he's being deprogrammed from a cult. >> well, i've likened the entire thing to 1978 and jim jones down in guyana. this is very real for these people. these are our brothers and sisters and our families. they're millions of americans. the unwinding process is not going to be completed at the end of this week whenever this impeachment trial is concluded. it's not going to be over by the time of the next election.
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it's a process that's going to require patience and compassion. people who are introspective like my client and smart like my client and alone and able to exploit that time alone, he's moved through it more quickly than most of my white-collar crime defendant clients. >> that says something, especially for a guy wearing horns on his head. al watkins, i appreciate you bringing this comment here. and especially on the eve of the trial. thank you for taking the opportunity. >> my pleasure. >> all right. now, again, i don't care about his defense and what this means for him in court. i think he's got trouble. okay? but on the eve of this political trial, the question of whether or not trump was relevant as a motivator to people who did the worst things, there's your answer. now, another big topic. covid relief. who gets the $1,400 check? there's not enough discussion about this.
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that's all most americans care about when it comes to the talks going on in washington, but you're not hearing about it. why? here's the reality. democrats are not on the same page about this. the checks cut under the last administration went to individuals making up to $75,000. okay? couples, $150,000. centrists, let's put joe manchin in that bucket in the senate, they want that lowered to $50,000 for individuals. $100,000 for couples. that may just be talk given what happened -- what just happened in the house. ways & means put out its part of the plan today. it keeps the higher thresholds that the more liberal wing of the party has been calling for but has a structure in there where the checks get smaller for individuals making between $75,000 and $100,000. as for the real-world impact, we know higher-income jobs have come back quicker. lower-income workers have not seen the rebound. at the same time, there are millions of americans right in that $50,000-$75,000 a year
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range who find themselves sitting in food lines these days. okay? meanwhile, you have biden's team spending the weekend saying that they are open to all ideas. >> it's still being negotiated at this point in time. >> the exact details of how it should be targeted are to be determined. >> i'm prepared to negotiate. >> i think he's going to have to tell them what he wants. i think he's going to have to figure it out because my understanding of these deliberations is that people are far apart. and there's this drumbeat of people that the right keeps bringing up who say, i didn't need the money and i got it, anyway. why is my kid getting this, why is this one getting it? too many people are getting the check. so this is going to be a problem. all right? the question becomes, what does it mean for the ultimate plan? i don't know. but i think it's going to have to be biden not leaving it up to them to figure it out themselves. i don't think it's going to happen. is that going to happen this week? no, it's impeachment this week. so let's talk the reality of
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what is to come with "the new york times'" tom friedman. this is a huge week in our process of deciding our why. what are we about in this society? next. ♪ wayne's world, wayne's world, party time, excellent. ♪
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democrats have to make the case, it's got to be overwhelming, and republicans have to show their true face. that's the name of the game as
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we await the start of the second impeachment trial for former president donald john trump. let's bring in "new york times" foreign affairs columnist, tom friedman, author of many books including bestseller, "thank you for being late." good to see you, brother. >> good to see you, chris, thanks. >> so what is your take on how this plays this week? where are we a week from today? we just learned today, no time off for the sabbath. so where are we a week from tonight when i'm begging you to be on the show, i'm begging you why, what's the headline? >> you know, chris, i think the best that can come out of this is two things, one is through the presentation of the evidence at this trial, for the first time many, many americans are actually going to see the speech that president trump gave at that rally inspiring those people to march on the capitol and take it over. they'll all make up their own decisions, but i think we in the news media got to remember this is the first time a lot of americans are going to see that.
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and at the same time, this is the first time as you guys have been showing that they're going to hear those rioters say, we came here for trump and we left when trump told us not to -- told us to leave. so i think that there's going to be a lot of republican senators really squirming there, making a procedural legal argument while this really vivid evidence is presented at that trial, and i think for whatever -- if -- i think it's going to actually influence how they look at the president after this trial. >> so you think their key moment is actually tomorrow, they have to get as many people on the right side of the aisle politically to think that this is illegitimate and not even get to the facts? >> well, you know, i think we know this is -- the president's not going to be acquitted. there's nothing that the majority of republican senators -- there's nothing the president could do that they
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won't convict him because they all want to get re-elected and preserve their free parking at national airport and their $174,000 salaries and they'll do whatever the base says. to me, the most important thing, chris, of the trump rally is where donald trump jr. comes out and says wait a minute, this is not their republican party, this is donald trump's republican party. i'd say to all those senators who are going to try to hide behind the procedural question that when they do that -- >> that's trump, by the way, you may want to pick that up. hold that far away from your face. >> no, it's -- sorry. >> i'm kidding. i'm kidding. it's your pizza. >> it's -- what i would say to those senators, chris, is you're all living on borrowed time because as soon as this trial is over, chris, trump is going to have a real coming out party. he's being, you know, a nice little boy in the corner right now, not saying anything because he doesn't want to mess up the trial, his case, any more than
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it is. but when this is over, what donald trump jr. said at that rally, this is donald trump's party, not their party, that's really going to come out. and then you're going to see every day he's going to say something. there's going to be another marjorie taylor greene, whatever her name is, out there saying crazy stuff and every day those republican senators are going to be asked, do you agree with this, do you agree with that? they're living on borrowed time. they're in donald trump's house. they're going to be reminded of that. >> why not convict him, disqualify him? >> a very good question. that's what liz cheney and mitch mcconnell actually believe, that this is their time to actually separate the party from him, but the problem is they spent four years allowing him, basically, to warp the base of the party, to get them to believe in this big lie, and having done that, they lost control of the party. it is his party.
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they're just renting rooms in donald trump's party. >> it's interesting, we have a full screen here from senator murkowski, i think we're in a place where donald trump is gone. you disagree. >> boy, if you look at the base, i just don't see that, chris. it -- he still clearly has a hold on this party. the only hope, i think, for the republican party, chris, you know, i thought of, you know, the democrats actually should make the republicans a proposal. very simple. here's the deal. either you agree that we get rid of the filibuster, or you agree that for the next four years all your votes will be in secret because you're clearly a party that can only tell the truth in secret about cheney, about, you know, taylor greene, so here's the deal. you know, either agree to hold all your votes in secret or we're going to get rid of the filibuster but we're not going to go on with this madness where some guy sitting in mar-a-lago,
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you know, calls the shots in this -- in this senate and this congress. to think that's what biden has really understood very, very well. i've been so impressed at just the cool, methodical way he goes through his, you know, goes through his process. and it's incredibly healthy. and it's inspiring to me. >> well, i want to tell you something. i think biden's got trouble coming his way, but just for some context of the point you're making right now, the poll, i know how you feel about polls, senate convicting trump and barring him from federal office in the future. february 5 and 6 this was done. u.s. adults, 56% approve, 43% disapprove. margin of error is about five points. so, look, for what it's worth, those are the numbers. i think because of those numbers, i just can't get my hands around this secret vote thing. i know that they would be less malignant if they were in private, but i think that you have to stand up and be counted as an elected official. and, you know, the definition of
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integrity, you know, what do you do when nobody's looking. this is like the -- you have to do the right thing when everybody is looking. that's the integrity of public office. i don't think they can hold private votes, can they? >> i'm being actually facetious. the point is integrity left that party, chris, a long time ago. they sold their soul to trump. that's why you're seeing those with a shred of integrity, rob portman, shelby, others, saying, you know what, i don't want to fight that base but i don't want to be part of this show anymore. this party is going to fracture. i don't know when or how, but this can't go on the way it is. and we're going to see that fissure appear, chris, as soon as trump has his coming out party because every day he's going to say some crazy thing and reporters are going to be sticking microphones in the faces of those senators and saying, do you agree with this? do you agree with that? and every day is going to be hell for them. he's going to turn up the heat. they're just living on borrowed
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time now. you know what i've been thinking about, chris, as i was listening to your show, the lead-in here, i was thinking, like, what are they doing in china today? you know, chris, do you know that it takes 4 hours and 18 minutes to take the bullet train from beijing to shanghai? and it takes 21 hours to take the train from new york to chicago. and they're both about the same distance. i can't -- i'll tell you something they weren't thinking about in china this week. they weren't thinking about some knucklehead. they weren't spending the week thinking about a knucklehead who claimed 9/11 didn't happen. they weren't thinking about some guy who is a qanon shaman. they were probably thinking about some bad stuff with the uighurs and all of that, oh, for sure, but i guarantee you they weren't wasting their time on this nonsense and how do we do this week after week, month after month, and think we are a serious country. we are so deeply unserious as a country right now. and we need to put this crap behind us. okay?
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and get focused on the future because right now we are going to be falling farther and farther behind. and that's what's really on my mind. and that's what i am praying for joe biden because i think he's a serious guy. he's trying to do the right thing. and i think he is cursed by republican party that is chasing a madman who actually encouraged people to sack our capitol. you have to stop and repeat that. they sacked our capitol on the basis of a big lie and now a republican majority is going to sit on their hands and be just fine with that. shame on them. shame, shame, shame, on them. >> i can add nothing. that sums it up in all its sadness and its different dimensions. tom friedman, thank you very much for the perspective, brother, especially on the eve of this historic event. once again, living history with you have a privilege. new update on the race to vaccinate america.
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this is something that's going well for us and by extension joe biden. i think he's going to have trouble with this relief bill. i think the democrats have to figure out what they want, who's going to get the money, and come united fast. i don't think it's happening fast enough. now, how about this question. a clinic in a state decides to vaccinate teachers because they want to get kids back to school and they don't think it's fair for the teachers to not be treated with prophylaxis. the state finds out, they punish the clinic and have their supply seized. right call/wrong call? happened in georgia. a member of the clinic is here next. it matters for them and it matters for you wherever you are. this is going to keep happening. next .
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who wants good news? i do. good. on the vaccine front, we just learned from pfizer it is now ramping up production to double current vaccine output. a company spokesperson told cnn efficiencies, that's that extra dose thing, by the way, and upgrades in its production process will help cut down the 110 days it usually takes to make a batch. from 110 days to 60. how many doses in a batch? up to 3 million. nationwide, of the roughly 60 million doses distributed, that is pfizer and moderna, and we're waiting for others to come online, right, more than 42 million, or 72%, have now been administered. the efficiencies are going up on every level.
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we were in the hundreds of thousands, now they're at over 2 million a couple different days. very important. shots going into arms is moving toward the biden he has vowed 1.5 million doses per day. average last week was 1.3 million up from 1.4 the week before. there's big spikes autopsy lulls. communities all over are working to speed up. the effort, however, has backfired on one georgia clinic. why? the medical center of elberton was recently stripped of its vaccine privileges for six months. guess why? vaccinating teachers too soon. the clinic says they thought they were doing it all right. they say they swiftly vaccinated all of the area's known health workers in mid-december, then the state changed things up, expanding the first phase to
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include people age 65 and older and first responders. the expanded group was known as 1a plus. it wasn't eligible to get vaccinated until january 11th, but by then the clinic says they had already given teachers a dose. within two weeks state health officials deemed they were in violation. most of their vaccine vials were seized and their vaccination privileges, like i said, suspended six months. that takes to dr. jonathan puhn, a physician at the clinic. good to see you, doc. >> thanks for having me. >> what am i missing here? i get it. so maybe you didn't do the teachers in the right order, but you had a policy argument for it and you didn't underserve anybody else. what do the state officials think? they wouldn't come on the show. i asked her to come on the show, you wouldn't come on, now you are saying i am not being fair to your position. you should have come on. doctor, from your position, what did you do wrong? >> we think we did everything just like the book.
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you know, it was something that we took very seriously early on to try to prepare with all of the county officials and our clinic too get ready for this vaccination rollout. we already had a lot of meetings beforehand discussing who was going to be in that essential worker phase and using the state guidance and cdc guidance. we were convinced that teachers were part of that essential group, just like the guidelines had stated. just like you said, we had received our vaccination shipments very early because we were ready with the ultra cold freezer. as soon as we received them, the very next day we started vaccinating, our clinic, and was able to make sure all of the health kcare workers in county were vaccinated. per cdc guidance we were able to roll into the next phase, which at that time was 1b because the state guidance at that time did not include 1a plus so we were not prepared for that when they made the change. like you said, we had vaccinated all of the essential workers in
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the county which included teachers by the first week in january. so when 1a plus rolled out, we had already started vaccinating some elderly, 65 plus, and were going right ahead. >> this is the best i can come up with. again, i invited them on. they didn't want to come on. this is the best i can figure out. no, no, you are being sneaky. no, you are being sneaky for a good reason. you are trying to help people. you are trying to get more teachers vaccinated so kids can get back in school, but you don't get to make the policy. you didn't follow it, you went around them because you weren't supposed to start a phase until they told you that you could even if you exhausted your population of the existing phase and you went around that and are now pleading ignorance because you wanted to do what you saw as the right thing but you didn't follow their rule. is that fair? >> well, if the state believes that, i think that's misguided. we took every precaution to try to follow the guidance available. we were very, you know, well prepared with the county
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officials on how we're going to roll this out, and we red all of the guidelines available. certainly in the state guidelines they did outline the 1a and 1b priority group, but in their guidance there wasn't any wording about proceeding from one phase to the next. the only guidance we had was from the cdc website. >> i get it. >> on their website in bold fofont we were able to find that the phases were to be transitioned seamlessly. in fact, they would even expect some phases could go simultaneously, didn't have to roll back-to-back. >> right. on the cdc site it says that. let's talk about the penalty here. okay. you went a little faster than other people, you're too efficient. shame on you. six months? what will that mean to your community if you are not able to vaccinate where you are for six months? >> yeah, we were vaccinating 60 to 70 patients a day and we were hoping to ramp that up and vaccinate even faster. we felt like we got such a great head start in december and we had such great momentum in
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january that we were looking to finish this very early. but not being able to vaccinate our patients does mean that a lot of them are going to have to look elsewhere, and some of these options just aren't very convenient. some of them will be located outside, a lot will require online registration, and in a rural county with, you know, an elderly population that's a very difficult task, especially when not everybody has internet access. so we were trying to afford a convenient and safe place. we had our own trailer, which was right adjacent to our property, that was going to be isolated just for the vaccine patients. >> so let's do this. >> so therefore they would not even have to come in. >> you're going to appeal. i'm going to stay on the story. i will correspond with you and keep covering it and find out what happens. dr. jonathan poon. thank you. >> thank you for having me. >> good luck. we'll be right back.
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time for the big show. cnn and the big star, d. lemon. >> look at you, on time. you came back from the break quick. >> spot on, on the eve of the historic trial. your man, the former president, has a commission and omission problem. >> meaning? >> he has

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