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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  February 12, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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that tweet. i asked cassidy was he satisfied with the response from the trump team, which essentially didn't really quite answer the question. cassidy said, not really. i said, are you decided on how you're going to vote tomorrow? he said, i'm undecided. so clearly some senators dissatisfied with the way the trump team answered their questions. at the moment, we're not expecting 17 senators to break ranks. john thune, the number two republican, said he doesn't think any minds were changed after today's presentation. but nevertheless, some people, some republicans not satisfied with what they heard, and tommy tuberville is standing by his account despite him being attacked by the president's team. >> manu raju, thanks so much. we should just note it's not just lawyers calling it hearsay. jake sherman, a well respected reporter here in washington, he tweeted, the trump team is disputing that tuberville spoke to the president on the day of the riot. >> yeah. >> they are saying that he's a liar. i guess the best interpretation is they're saying that he's
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mistaken about the most significant phone call of his life. >> can i -- >> sorry. just quickly, but not just tuberville because remember the call came to senator mike lee. it was on mike lee's phone. >> mm-hmm. >> and he gave his phone to tuberville. senator mike lee's office has confirmed that that phone call did, in fact, happen. they disputed what mike lee may or may not have said about it, but they confirmed that the call happened for sure. >> yeah, and i want to go to the white house right now where we have kaitlan collins, who can offer some more information about this phone call between then-president trump and house republican leader kevin mccarthy. it is a damning account, kaitlan, the president saying that the mob, the terrorist mob cares more about the election than mccarthy does, and apparently mccarthy is telling a lot of people this story. >> reporter: well, right. and of course if you look at what mccarthy's response was, he was clearly getting incredibly
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irritated with the president. you don't often hear about someone like kevin mccarthy pushing back on former president trump, but that is what jamie is reporting he did during this call. it grew quite heated, it seems, and it really does show how it wasn't just kevin mccarthy. there were several lawmakers that are typically allies of the former president's that were desperately trying to get in touch with him that day to talk about what was going on. i was told at the time he only wanted to talk about the former vice president mike pence and the fact he didn't do what he wanted. one thing we should point out about kevin mccarthy here is that after all of this happened, and as you all noted, he voted against impeaching former president trump, he went down to florida to president trump's mar-a-lago estate, met with him privately, asked for access to his donor list because they wanted it because they're trying to of course take back the house in 2022, and he knows that former president trump is still a major political force in the republican party and believes he's going to play a big role in that. so despite all of this and despite what trump said to kevin mccarthy that day and his
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refusal to call off the rioters any earlier than he did, after he did several hours later, kevin mccarthy still went down to florida to president trump's club, met with him privately, had a picture taken of them, issued it from his own office, and former president trump issued it from his office as well, and also asked for access to his donor list, which i should note i was told by one person former president trump did not give to him. >> interesting. all that supplication, and he didn't even get what he came for. kaitlan collins, thanks so much. dana, i mean this is really honestly the lesson for republicans as they watch this, is whether it's them throwing tommy tuberville under the bus and suggesting he's lying or the wanton disregard for human life that he showed -- that trump showed in his phone call with kevin mccarthy. i mean he doesn't care about them. i mean he showed that on january 6th, and they are still going to step up and do everything they can to protect him. >> well, you said it's a lesson. you know, i'm not so sure.
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>> well, it's a lesson for me. >> right. we're not so sure. >> not for them. >> the jury is out, quite literally, about whether or not the republicans are going to take this as a lesson and whether or not there will be, you know, senators who step up or whether or not there will be a change of heart even separate and apart from this trial, which we do expect to wrap up tomorrow. you know, maybe jamie's excellent reporting, you know, could change the managers' strategy. we'll see. but as i was saying, separate and apart from that, there is a very, very big question about how this republican party wants to be, who the republican party wants to be. mitch mcconnell, who has a very important vote before him, said very clearly that he wants to rid the party of donald trump. his counterpart, who got that phone call in the house, kevin mccarthy, sees him as an asset because they have very, very different political sensibilities in the house. much of the members are much more conservative, and mccarthy
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obviously has chosen that path. but -- >> yeah. >> we'll see how long that lasts. >> it's interesting to me because mccarthy relayed the details of this call pretty widely to his conference a few days after it happened, and he was clearly upset about it. during the impeachment vote, he called trump out. but what has happened since then is that he's been railroaded by trump and by trumpism and has completely changed course because he realized he was on the verge of losing control of his caucus to trump and to his acolytes, people like marjorie taylor greene and others who, after the fact, were incredibly furious with mccarthy for how he handled those statements. so it wasn't just that mccarthy just forget about it. he was effectively warned that this would mean that he loses power in the house, and i think that's what a lot of these republican senators are looking at right now. maybe they were upset on january 6th. maybe they were worried on
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january 6th, but they don't see a path forward for themselves politically if they cross trump. >> and let us remember the one critical sentence that house republican leader kevin mccarthy has uttered of donald trump throughout this entire sorry episode, from election day until now, was on the floor of the house when he blamed president trump for not doing more to stop the attack. >> mm-hmm. >> he did not blame him for inciting the attack unlike mitch mcconnell and others and people whose eyes are open as well and can hear. but he was willing, wolf, to criticize donald trump for not doing more to stop the attack. that's because he personally witnessed donald trump's craven indifference to human life, the fact that he thought this maga mob that was literally killing people and had invaded the capitol for the first time anyone had invaded the capitol since the war of 1812, he thought of them as good people standing up for him, for donald
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trump. it's quite remarkable and as an american, it's quite dispiriting. >> it certainly is, and we're just beginning to digest, jake, this new information, which is so powerful, so awful that the president of the united states was willing to do absolutely nothing to stop this insurrection up on capitol hill even though the top republican in the house of representatives, kevin mccarthy, was pleading, begging with him, mr. president, please do something. and as we just heard from jamie gangel's excellent reporting, the president was not interested in doing anything. you know, it's going to be interesting, john king, to see if this new information has an impact tomorrow. they're going to wrap up this trial. they're going to need 67 senators to vote to convict, if that's doable, if that's possible. but this new information is really startling. >> it is start lling and it's important for the public to know it because we'll watch the vote play out tomorrow. but let's also be honest.
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leader mccarthy on that phone call back on january 6th, he knew this information all along when he continued to support the big lie and try to object to the election results and when he voted against impeaching the president in the house. republicans on capitol hill have been talking about this since january 6th. why didn't the president help us? part of the house managers' evidence in their prosecution was republican lawmakers going on television, going on twitter on the day of the insurrection saying, mr. president, please help us. stop this. only you can do this. stop this. so the republicans have known for some time. even the republicans who would say, well, i'm not willing to go as far as saying the president incited it. they understand his mind-set. his vice president was under attack, and he attacked him on twitter as opposed to saying, people, leave the capitol. so the republicans have known this. maybe they know more details now. mash this new reporting will help them crystallize it, but they have known this on the house side. they stood except for ten of them. now we get to the senate side. there are 50. we know five or six -- >> 50 democrats.
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>> and 50 republicans. we know there are five or six republicans who are open, at least coming into the trial. will that number grow? you need 17 to convikct. so that's the first question tomorrow. are there 67 votes to convict donald trump? the odds tell us probably not. let's see how tomorrow plays out. then we go from there. what does it mean? he will still be twice impeached. that indelible sustain on the trump legacy cannot be wiped away. we had more compelling evidence of his conduct before january 6th, the early morning, and then what he did during the insurrection. he cannot wipe that off his legacy. the question for the other republicans is who do they want to be from this day forward? do they want to stay as the party of trump, or do they want to make a clean break? that's a debate that's going to go on for the next two, four, six years, maybe even longer, but tomorrow's a defining day. >> let's not forget this bombshell new information not coming from democrats, not coming from independents, not coming from anonymous sources but from republican members of the house of representatives. it's really a significant moment. the historic second impeachment
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trial of the former president donald trump expected to end tomorrow with a vote by 100 u.s. senators on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection. we're going to bring it to you live, of course. our special coverage starts at 9:00 a.m. eastern tomorrow, 9:00 a.m. eastern. we'll all be back then. much more ahead on the trump impeachment trial. erin burnett picks up our special coverage right now. and good evening. i'm erin burnett. outfront tonight, the breaking news. damning new details about a phone call between donald trump and the house minority leader kevin mccarthy, the top republican in the house. this information is coming on the eve of the crucial vote, the closing arguments in trump's second impeachment trial. here is what we're learning. our jamie gangel is reporting that mccarthy was on the phone with trump during the insurrection. he was pleading with him to call off the rioters, pleading with him to do so. trump tells mccarthy -- and i
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quote -- quote, well, kevin, i guess these people are more upset about the election than you are. that's what the president of the united states said. mccarthy responds, who the f do you think you're talking to? this exchange, according to sources, set off as what has been described as a shouting match between the two men. and all these sources are republicans. according to republican members of congress, the phone call showed that trump had no intention of calling off the rioters, that it essentially amounted to a dereliction of his presidential duty. jeff zeleny is outfront live on capitol hill. jeff, this is really stunning, right? we knew that mccarthy had talked to trump and pleaded with trump, and trump hadn't done anything. but these are the details. pleaded with him, and trump says, they care more than you, taking the side of the rioters and opting to do nothing. >> reporter: erin, the reason why this is important, because it speaks to the mind-set of the president in those critical hours of the afternoon of january 6th when this capitol
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was under siege, under attack. the house minority leader, kevin mccarthy, of course a very close friend of the president, was on the phone with him, being yelled at by the white house. so that made clear the president was very much aware of exactly what was going on here on capitol hill, and that has been at the heart of the entire argument, the entire set of questions. did the president know what his vice president, what danger he was potentially in? it was this series of several questions in the senate trial this afternoon. but it is this new reporting from jamie gangel and others that really shows the president's mind-set and what he was thinking in that afternoon. so this one more thing that senators will have to digest before they make their final conclusions tomorrow. but certainly it fills in many gaps in fact this trial did not. >> it certainly does. it also gives you a very point blank thing if you're a republican senator. think whatever you think about how it happened. at the moment it happenhappened commander in chief refused to do anything despite pleading from his own party. he did nothing to protect the capitol. that can stand on its own.
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so as for the trial today -- and obviously this is going to be a crucial aspect for perhaps some senators, jeff, but were any minds changed. >> reporter: erin, that is an open question we will see when the votes are cast tomorrow. but as we talked to senators as they leave the chamber, the defense presentation was very brief, less than three hours. they had a total of 16 they could have done. several republicans senators are saying, look, they didn't get their questions answered necessarily, particularly about what the president was doing through those critical hours. but we did hear for the first time on the senate floor the president's defense. >> the article of impeachment now before the senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance. >> reporter: a verdict in the impeachment trial of former president donald trump is expected saturday with his lawyers swiftly resting their case after arguing the deadly attack on the capitol was neither trump's fault nor responsibility. >> no thinking person could
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seriously believe that the president's january 6th speech on the ellipse was in any way an incitement to violence or insurrection. >> reporter: the senators quickly moved to the next phase of the trial with republicans and democrats alike submitting written questions before rendering their judgment. the senate clerk read this query from republican senators mitt romney and susan collins. >> when president trump sent the disparaging tweet at 2:24 p.m. regarding vice president pence, was he aware that the vice president had been removed from the senate by the secret service for his safety? >> reporter: the house prosecutors said it was impossible to think the president was unaware. but defense attorney michael vander veen insisted otherwise. >> the answer is no. at no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger. >> reporter: vander veen dismissed the point beyond the question. >> it's not really relevant to
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the charges for the impeachment in this case. >> reporter: after two days of dramatic testimony from house impeachment managers, including this security footage of vice president pence being rushed to safety, the trump defense team sought to rewrite the narrative of that dark day in america. they sought to falsely equate the former president's own words. >> we fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. >> reporter: to routine political speeches of democrats, zeroing in on their use of the word "fight." >> to continue fighting. we each have an important role to play in fighting. >> never give up this fight. >> fight back. >> this is not whataboutism. i am showing you this to make the point that all political speech must be protected. >> reporter: with 17 republicans unlikely to join all democrats in voting to convict, many of
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the questions read aloud on the senate floor underscored the inflamed partisan tensions at the core of the impeachment. >> are the prosecutors right when they claim that trump was telling a big lie or, in your judgment, did trump actually win the election? >> as we all know, president trump did lose the election by 7 million votes, 306 electoral votes. by the time of the january 6th attack, the courts, the justice department, all 50 states across the country had done agreed that the votes were counted, the people had spoken, and it was time for the peaceful transfer of power. he lost. he lost. >> who asked that? >> i did. >> my judgment here is irrelevant in this proceeding. it absolutely is. >> so you saw the president's
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lawyers there quarrelling back at senators. it was actually senator bernie sanders who asked the question. now, lawyers are not supposed to be speaking back to the senators so that opened up a bit of back and forth there. clearly lawyers were essentially taking the tone of the former president here, being slightly combative. but, erin, at the end of all of this, the question still remains, was the single article of impeachment actually proven? did the president incite this attack? it would take 17 republicans, 11 more than voted earlier this week. tonight senator bill cassidy, republican of louisiana, who asked that question about vice president pence, he said he was not satisfied with his answer. so we will see how they vote tomorrow. erin. >> jeff, thank you very much. i want to go now to harvard law school professor lawrurence tri. house democrats have consulted with professor tribe on impeachment, and the lead impeachment manager, jamie raskin, is one of professor tribe's former students. john dean also with me.
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john, i want to start with this new reporting. mccarthy, every time we've heard of this, implored, begged, these are the accurate words for the tone and tenor of this conversation from the side of kevin mccarthy. begs the tonight stop this, to call his supporters off. and trump replies -- and this is the quote -- well, kevin, i guess these people are more upset about the election than you are. taking their side and of course his actions show he refused to do anything to stop the riot. how significant is this, john? >> well, i think it will be significant. while it's not directly in evidence in the trial at this point and probably will never be, the jurors, the senators are certainly aware of it. and it's one of the questions they asked quite frequently today, trying to narrow down what did the president know, and when did he know it? a familiar refrain in impeachment situations. and this is evidence he knew a great deal. he knew that the capitol was under threat.
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he was being implored to provide assistance, which he didn't do. and so i think while it's not in evidence, it's going to influence the thinking of maybe a few senators, republican senators. >> and this is really important, professor tribe, because, you know, all these questions of what did trump know and when did he know it, obviously he was watching tv. he knew it. but mccarthy, on this call, tells president trump that the rioters are breaking into his office through the windows. so trump is now hearing about direct violence, an attack on the republican leader. trump tells him, you know, these guys must care more about the election than you do, kevin. mccarthy replies to trump -- again, this is a quote. who the "f" do you think you're talking to? that's what he says. i just wonder, professor tribe -- and i understand the point john's making. you're not going to formally introduce it into this trial. many senators here in this trial, they're putting a lot of information out, not just what they hear there. this does prove the sitting president did what all the facts already show he did, which is
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nothing to stop the attack. so the commander in chief did not stop an attack on the capitol. no matter what you think about how the riot began, this is a fact. is that alone a violation of trump's oath of office? >> without any question, it is a violation of his oath of office. it is a dereliction of duty. it is a desertion of duty. it is a violation of his obligation to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. you can now expect either of two things. either people will argue, as john dean has suggested, oh, it's not in evidence. that's obviously not really relevant the way these things operate. it doesn't operate like a normal trial. otherwise, the fact that three of the jurors are out there hobnobbing with the defense during every break and helping them plan the defense would be enough to disqualify those jurors. it's definitely part of the picture. the next thing they're going to
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argue is, well, technically that's not part of incitement. you see, we have an article of impeachment that says that the president was in violation of his oath by inciting an insurrection, and they're going to try to argue that everything depends on whether the january 6th speech, in and of itself, was enough to convict and permanently disqualify this president. through all of their representations today, defense counsel suggested, well, the words he said on january 6th, he used the word "fight" 20 times, and 18 of them were innocuous, as though we were counting dots on the head of a pin. that's not what this is about. it is about as jamie raskin suggested, whether the nation needs protection from this man. and dereliction of duty is part and parcel of this particular incitement. it shows his state of mind, and it shows that when push came to
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shove, he would be just as happy having the vice president dead, it seemed. he left them all for dead. he would have been happy to have nancy pelosi dead. there would have been no succession, and then he would have declared martial law. he would stop at nothing. if this doesn't change votes, the senate is convicting itself. >> so let me ask you, john. the questions, as we point out, there were a lot of questions about this very issue. you know, before this news broke, all day long there were questions about what the president knew and why didn't he do anything, right? all day long. does that show you anything, john, about how significant this information may be, the fact that so many senators care about this during the riot, presidential inaction? >> there was a rush. no question the house felt it had to move fast because trump was still in office. i think they used it as something of a check on him when they issued the resolution of impeachment and voted for it on
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the 13th. he still had seven more days in office, and i think the speaker was very worried about what he might do. and that did seem to have some sort of check on him. but, erin, you know, i keep looking at the big picture. while it looks like the republicans are going to defend him and acquit him -- >> yep. >> -- what is not going to happen is they are not going to prevent him from being disqualified from office. this record is just dynamite. it's an albatross he'll have to carry for the rest of his days. i can't imagine how if he ever were to get the nomination, he could ever get re-elected given this record. also, i've got to tell you something based -- >> go ahead. >> i was going to say based on personal experience, events like this that are legacy-setting, like seditious insurrection is parallel to watergate. historians, journalists are going to dive into this, and there's going to be a lot more information like came out today coming out in the weeks, months,
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and years ahead, as d nauseam is going to come out. >> i think it's a great point. i remember reading, of course, the book, and that being what i studied in high school. it will impact a whole generation of people and how they see this. professor tribe, i want to ask you about one of the managers specifically getting a lot of attention today for her performance. that's stacey plaskett. you heard some of her work at the end of jeff zeleny's piece today. here's a couple of things for people who might not have seen. >> first, if defense counsel has exculpatory evidence, you're welcome to give it to us. we would love to see it. you've had an opportunity to give us evidence that would exculpate the president. haven't seen it yet. everyone, the defense counsel wants to blame everyone else except the person who is most responsible for what happened on january 6, and that's president trump, donald trump.
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this attack is not about one speech. most of you men would not have your wives with one attempt at talking to her. it took numerous tries. you had to build it up. that's what the president did as well. he put together the group that would do what he wanted, and that was to stop the certification of the election so that he could retain power to be president of the united states in contravention of an american election. >> she clearly knows her audience and how to play to it very effectively, obviously even eliciting a laugh there. how effective was she there, professor? >> brilliantly effective. and as a student of jamie raskin's, i'm not too surprised. she was brilliantly effective. but let me go back one moment to something that john dean said. he said with all of this hanging
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around the president's -- former president's neck like an albatross, he's never going to win again, in a way saying we don't need to worry. but the house managers made the powerful point yesterday that the real problem isn't that he might win again. he's not going to win again. the problem is that he might run and lose. we've now seen what he does when he runs and loses. he riles up a mob. he incites them. he inflames them, and then when they're about to do the most lethal damage, he turns away and is derelict in his duty. that's the reason it's vital, vital that he be convicted and permanently disqualified from running. it's not enough that when he runs, we'll defeat him. >> right, although i suppose i'm sure i know maybe the reality of the world you're going to be looking at is what it would be like if they do not convict. right now they don't have the votes, but we'll see. thank you both very much. and now democratic congressman jason crow. he served as an impeachment
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manager in the first impeachment trial of president trump, so certainly you know his face from that. i want to start with you, congressman, with this new reporting about kevin mccarthy. he calls trump during the riot. we knew that. he tried to get the president to call his supporters off. we knew that. we knew trump didn't do it. but now we know some of what happened on the call. we know mccarthy told him they were literally breaking the windows trying to get into his office in the attack. we know that trump says to kevin mccarthy, well, kevin, i guess these people are more upset about the election than you are. and then he did nothing to stop it. do you think, congressman, this will have any impact on your republican colleagues? >> hi, erin. thanks for having me on. i've given up trying to predict what will and won't have an impact on the gop in the senate and the house. i have thought many, many times over the course of the last couple years that, you know, something would be the last straw, that, you know, whatever it happens to be. and i thought that this would be the last straw on january 6th,
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and unfortunately i've been let down so many times. so i don't think this is going to change the votes of some of these folks, which is very unfortunate. there's a contrast in duty and in courage here. you know, today the senate unanimously voted to give officer goodman a congressional medal of honor. >> yeah. >> which is exactly what should have happened. it's a well deserved recognition. but some of those senators tomorrow will vote to walk away and not hold the person accountable that led to that attack that almost killed officer goodman and their colleagues. that contrast, to me, remains stunning. >> do you feel any regret or anger that you now will have tried trump twice, obviously succeeding in the house, but chances are failing both times in the senate? >> well, you know, we warned the senate about this a year ago, you know. i remember our closing arguments almost a year ago today that, you know, we said this man is not well. he's not safe, and he's not
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going to ever learn his lesson, ever. that is the nature of donald trump. and we said, how much damage can he do between now and the time he leaves office? and we now know the answer to that. a lot. we have a police officer who had been killed, 140 others who were brutally beaten. we had an insurrection that failed that tried to derail our democracy. but we have been repeatedly telling these folks that this is what this man is. this is who he is, and he will never learn his lesson. so when senators say, you know, we think he's finally learned his lesson, i don't know what that's based on. there's just no reality out there where i think donald trump changes who he is. >> so i want to ask you, senator bill cassidy was one of the six republicans to vote that the trial is constitutional, and, you know, he hadn't voted that way when rand paul had put this forward, right? so he listened, and he changed his mind. he was photographed today by "the washington post" holding what could have been a draft statement indicating he may vote to acquit trump or talking
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points provided to him. there's some question here. but it reads in part, the document that they photographed, the house managers did not connect the dots to show president trump knew that the attack on the capitol was going to be violent and result in the loss of life. now, he had later said his mind is not made up. he was pacing back and forth during the question and answer portion. what do you make of this? obviously no matter what happens here, his vote will be especially significant. >> well, what i've learned, erin, is that it's the actual vote that counts. it's not the statements they put out. >> yeah. >> it's not the pontification that they make leading up to it. they're going to have to take a vote. that is the amazing thing about this process is we will have on the record, probably tomorrow, where these people stand, and it's a very clear choice. it's a choice between the rule of law, our democracy, against incitement, against violence, or just for raw political power. we'll see on full display where people come out in that choice.
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and this is actually an opportunity for our country. the opportunity here is that we come face to face, we come to terms with this idea that we are move vulnerable than we thought. all of the structures, all the norms, all the traditions that we think about when we think about our democracy really come down to people's willingness to uphold them and fight for them. and we're going to see where people come out on that too. and i think going forward, we have to make sure that we are bolstering those protections so we have the strong democracy coming out of this that we're going to need. >> i appreciate your time. thank you very much. these developments come as some republican senators, who of course are also jurors in trump's trial, have been working with trump's defense team, openly so, on strategy. like senator ted cruz, you see right there, going to meet with trump's lawyers during the trial earlier today. cruz along with republican senators lindsey graham and mike lee also met with trump's team last night to go over strategy
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for today. but cruz, like every other senator in that room, took an oath, an oath under god, signing an oath book after being sworn in. the oath that senator cruz and every other senator took reads as follows. i solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of donald j. trump now pending, i will do impartial justice according to the constitution and laws, so help me god. impartial justice according to the constitution. those words matter. to every senator they should matter, but especially to ted cruz. why cruz? because, oh, yeah, he went to harvard law, right, and he studied with professor tribe. i studied constitutional law and for years this has been his claim to fame, that he is an expert on constitutional law and he's a champion and fighter for the constitution itself. >> over and over again, we fought to defend the constitution. >> it is a time to reclaim the constitution of the united states. >> we are proud to stand
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shoulder to shoulder with you as we defend the united states of america, as we defend our constitution, as we defend our freedom, and we will not go quietly into the night. we will defend liberty into the future, and we are going to win. >> we have an obligation to the constitution. >> fair weather fan. democrats are also facing questions about their involvement with the house impeachment managers now because the managers had prepared responses with notes to questions from democratic senators today. and house democratic aides would not answer directly when our manu raju asked if there was any coordination between the managers and -- as bad as cruz's transgression may be, it appears a lot of people just disregarded their oiath. manu, they all took an oath, and that is very important, and it would appear it has not been kept by many people.
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but there's also this question. how often is this type of coordination happening? >> reporter: it feels like a fair amount. this is a political process, not a criminal trial, and these are politicians. and i can tell you in going into this trial, virtually all senators' minds were made up. maybe a handful were not. but on the democratic side or on the republican side, they had made the decision to convict or acquit, and it was clear where things were headed going into this, which is why despite all the evidence that we have seen come out from the democratic side, it is not moving republicans, who are resting on this argument that it's all about the process going forward, and they don't think the senate has any jurisdiction in trying a former president. now, the optics, of course, don't look good. the question that i did pose to the house democratic impeachment managers' aides about whether they coordinated at all with the majority leader's office, they would not answer that. but it was pretty clear the managers were prepared for these
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questions, had detailed notes they were reading from as they responded, and the optics also of the republicans meeting last night behind closed doors and today during the breaks, meeting with the defense team clearly to plan strategy, plan their questions, which is why both sides were ready for what they heard. >> so, you know, we've been talking about this kevin mccarthy/donald trump call. there's also, of course, the three-person call -- tuberville, lee, and trump, right, on the day of the insurrection? and, you know, this is a crucial call, right? and there's been -- you know, lee has disputed details of what he said about it, but the call happened. but now the president is saying the call didn't happen. but it did. >> reporter: yeah, the president's attorney said that the call -- the account from senator tuberville was just hearsay. that act was that the president had called him on the afternoon or tried to call him. he accidentally called mike lee, but eventually that phone was handed over to ub iterville.
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and tuberville told him that the vice president had been evacuated and he had to go. but just moments later, donald trump tweeted an attack against mike pence despite what tommy tuberville said. that's what was dismissed by trump's attorney today, saying that was just hearsay. but i just asked tommy tuberville if he stands by his account, and he said he did. he said a few things. he was talking about donald trump during the phone call. then he said he responded to donald trump saying, mr. president, they've taken the vice president out. they want me to get off the phone. i gotta go. so it's crystal clear here about what he said to the then-president, and he said he didn't remember the exact time of the phone call, but his account, he says he stands by it despite what the president's attorney is saying today. >> he stands by it, and we should note mike lee, who the president actually called and gave the phone to tuberville, mike lee's office has confirmed the call happened. the call happened. that's the reality. and the president again, adding to kevin mccarthy's office
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getting broke into, he calls the president begging for help, you have tuberville telling trump, we've got to run. the vice president's being evacuated. these things are all coming together. the president does nothing. thank you, manu. we've got a lot more on that pence timeline because it is important when he was evacuated and what donald trump knew about it. and we're going to have a whole lot more on that. the full timeline in a moment. i want to go now to van jones, former special adviser to president obama, and matthew dowd. van, let's start with senator cruz because, you know, he talks about the constitution all the time, right? it's his claim to fame, that he knows it and he stands by it, and he's a strict constitutionalist, right? you know, he believes every word in it. and, you know, obviously he took an oath to uphold it here this week, and he has failed to do that. why the hypocrisy from cruz? >> i don't know, but he has less
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respect for the constitution than he has for toilet paper. it's unbelievable. and i think that for me, it's especially appalling. i have the blessing of also having an ivy league law degree. he went to harvard. i went to yale. i know he knows better. he's not fooling anybody. >> right. >> he knows better, and he's doing it anyway. and this is a time when he could, you know, stand on principle and lead his party and lead a true constitutional conservative movement to higher ground and be completely fine. nobody thinks he's a liberal. nobody thinks that he's, you know, a closet bernie sanders guy. he has the standing to do it. he has the knowledge to do it. he doesn't have the courage or the character to do it. but he's not fooling anybody. we know the education that we got at those schools, and he is completely crapping all over the constitution every day.
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>> van, how disappointed are you that democrats also then appeared to say -- maybe they threw in the towel and said he's doing it. we can do it. the managers were clearly prepared for their questions. that's disappointing i would imagine. >> i think what's good for the goose is good for the gander. i think the level of almost religious worship that cruz pretends he has for the constitution, and then when there's a chance to prove that worship, he runs the other direction, that's hypocrisy beyond measure. >> it truly is. matthew, let me just ask you what you think the significance may be for some of these republicans, you know, who are watching this. and i know that it's not going to be admissible, but i think we've already established that they're all going to take into account whatever information they choose to take into account. it has been laid out very clearly that no matter what you buy into about trump's inciting of the riot itself, he knew it was happening. he was hearing it was happening. he was asked to stop it from
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happening, and he refused to do any of it for hours and hours. that in and of itself, of course, would be a violation of his oath of office. will it convince republican senators on its own, matthew? >> well, i hope -- again, i'm a person that's hopeful most of the time. i don't know because of how the republicans have behaved before. there's been so many instances where i thought they would do a certain thing and go on principle when they've gone completely against principle. i would hope they would do something and would move on this. if anything could move it, it may be the pence development that could move it, the timeline and everything associated with mike pence and the president actually putting him in danger may move it. but i think, again, we have to look at this thing -- i mean this isn't two political parties anymore. this isn't the republicans and the democrats and where the republicans line up, where the democrats line up. this is a party of autocracy and a party of democracy, and they have to decide where they stand on that. they have to stand if they're for a democratic republic or if
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they're for an autocracy this. is one of those moments. i would say everybody should -- absolutely should the president be held accountable and i think the evidence shows he should be convicted in this, yes. but that's not the most important thing. the most important thing in this is moments of injustice often happen on the path to justice. the civil rights movement is a perfect example of that. and if you can shine the truth in moments of injustice even though you don't get what you want or you don't get what justice is in that moment, this is one of our historical moments when even if the senate doesn't get the 67 votes to convict, it's a moment that we're going to live with and our children will read about and their children will read about on a path towards justice. >> right. >> and if we and you and i and van and everybody else focus on what's the truth, what we heard, and who should be held accountable, obviously we want them to convict, or we think they should convict because the evidence is there. but in an historical context,
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awareness and the truth in the moment is the most important thing and i think that's been established. >> one thing that happened today was unanimous -- one thing, van -- was the congressional gold medal to hero capitol police officer eugene goodman, who we have learned about so much in the past couple of days. we've seen him on those videos. i want to play the moving moment when the majority leader announced his plans at the end of today's trial. >> in the weeks after the attack on january the 6th, the world learned about the incredible, incredible bravery of officer g goodman on that fateful day. officer goodman is in the chamber tonight. officer goodman, thank you. [ applause ] >> it was very moving, van, and
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they all -- they all genuinely believed what they were doing at that moment. >> yeah. look, never has anybody had a more appropriate name than goodman. he's a good man, and the whole world saw it, and it was honored today, and it should have been honored, and the flag should have been lowered at the white house in honor of the officer who lost his life and in honor of the bravery and the sacrifice of the people who survived and who helped congress survive. so that was a beautiful moment and a good moment, you know, and you would think that it would be hard to acknowledge the bravery of this officer and then vote any other way tomorrow, but we'll see how it goes. >> matthew, of course it took three days for the president of the united states -- for the white house to lower its flag to half-staff after officer sicknick died in this riot. but, you know, which says something again about the president and how he saw all of this. but in that room today, those
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blue lives mattered. >> well, to me, you couldn't have a more pointed distinction between officer goodman, who put his life on the line to save people and to save our country in the moment, and u.s. senators unwilling to give up free parking at national airport and a $175,000 salary if they voted in the wrong way opposite the republican base. that is such a contrast that it is hard for me to fathom how you could decide any other way in this moment. that that contrast of honoring somebody in a unanimous way, but then, oh, by the way, we're unwilling to even do an inch of what he did to save our republic because they're worried about the perks and privileges of being a united states senator. and so it's unbelievably poignant that that happened in that moment, and we'll see the vote tomorrow. but you couldn't have a bigger contrast from somebody that works on principle and defends
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our country and senators that don't. >> thank you both so very much. i want everyone to watch van's new documentary called "the reunited states" profiling those devoted to bridging racial divides in this country. it is on itunes, amazon and all streaming services. as our manu raju just reported, republican senator tommy tuberville just telling cnn that he stands by his account of his phone call with trump, which did occur on january 6th. tuberville says he told trump that vice president mike pence was being evacuated from the senate chambers in that phone call, which is crucial because it shows that trump knew that was happening, because it happened moments before he sent a tweet attacking pence during the riot. trump's attorneys calling tuberville's story hearsay today. >> at no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger because the house rushed through this impeachment in seven days with no evidence, there is nothing at all in the record on this point.
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>> sunlen serfaty is outfront. >> reporter: with new details of the january 6th insurrection at the capitol coming into focus, the clearer timeline revealing a damning picture of president trump's total disregard of the safety of his vice president. at 12:49 p.m. on january 6th, as vice president mike pence was on capitol hill, president trump calls him out directly from the national mall. >> mike pence, i hope you're going to stand up for the good of our constitution and for the good of our country. and if you're not, i'm going to be very disappointed in you. >> reporter: at 12:55 p.m., pence in defiance of the president puts out this definitive statement, saying he is not going to stand in the way of the electoral votes from being counted. >> madam speaker, members of congress -- >> reporter: minutes later at 1:06 p.m., pence gavels in the joint session of congress,
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starting the process towards certifying biden's win. at 1:45, the mob pushes past capitol hill police. >> they just took mike pence out really quickly. >> yes, they did. that's exactly what just happened there. >> reporter: at 2:12 p.m., pence is evacuated from the senate floor to a room near the senate chamber. one minute later, at 2:13 p.m., the rioters breach the capitol building. at 2:24 p.m., trump took to twitter, denigrating his vice president for not having the courage to overturn the election results. two minutes later at 2:26 p.m., pence is rushed from a room near the senate chamber to a secure location. at that same time, 2:26 p.m., senator mike lee's cell phone rings with a call from the president. the timestamp of that phone call according to a spokesperson for senator mike lee. the president had the wrong number and was actually trying to reach senator tuberville, a source familiar with the call tells cnn, the president called
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to convince tuberville to try to block the certification. senator tuberville says he told the president that pence was under threat. tuberville telling reporters, quote, i said, mr. president, they just took the vice president out. i've got to go. the call, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation, lasted about five to ten minutes. the chilling security video first shown in the impeachment trial this week also exposing the extent of the vice president's danger. as pence and his family were rushed to safety, you see the military officer carrying the football, the classified nuclear codes that goes everywhere with the president and vice president behind him. at one point, only 100 feet away from the rioters, many of whom were targeting the vice president. and sources have told cnn that former president trump was indeed watching tv as the riots unfolded up here on capitol hill, and former secret service agents tell us that it's so
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unlikely the president did not have an awareness of what was happening, what was specifically going on with the vice president, that they always have that information, erin, at their disposal. so this certainly underscores not only that the president's not checking in on his vice president, but he's doing very little to rein in his supporters, of course. >> absolutely doing nothing at that time. thank you very much, sunlen. let's go now to david chalian, our political director. trump's defense team tonight falsely claims he was never aware that pence was in danger during the riot. that is false from so many things that we now know. what do you make of it? >> yeah. well, it doesn't surprise me that trump's defense team puts together this false notion because the house managers have used it quite effectively throughout their entire case, making a real appeal to republicans, taking somebody that is popular with republicans, who has been this loyal lieutenant to donald trump for the entirety of his presidency, and holding him up as an example in this case that this tells you more about donald trump's character in this moment in terms of not defending the
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democracy, that his most loyal lieutenant is in danger as well, and he lets him sort of hang there to die. >> and he does that, and yet we're learning now that pence right now is deliberately laying low, being quiet, still patching up his relationship with trump. pretty incredible that that would be a priority. what do you make of pence's silence? >> well, it fits how pence has treated his relationship with trump for the entirety of their time together in office, right, erin? he played that role of loyal lieutenant to a "t." he never took his criticism public. it would be out of character for him to do so, and that's the role he's playing now. remember, mike pence is looking at his political future. he understands where the base of this party is vis-a-vis donald trump right now, and he upset with the way he's treat d, he he's not going to make that a political divide. next, glove now andrew cuomo
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tonight the white house dodging when asked if president biden has confidence in andrew cuomo's handles of the virus. he wrote a best selling book toting his leadership for the crisis and winning an emmy for daily briefings but he's facing allegations he covered up thousands of covid deaths in the state's nursing homes.
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ath atheen gjones is "outfront" arm andrew cuomo is under fire after the top aide admitted to withholding data for months that revealed thousands more conif i recalled and presumed covid-19 deaths of long-term care facility residents than previously disclosed. according to a transcript of a private video call, melissa derosa told democratic state lawmakers basically we froze because then we were in a position where we weren't sure if what we were going to give to the department of justice or what we give to you guys, what we start saying was going to be used against us. cuomo arguing at the time the threat of an inquiry from the trump administration was p politically motivated. >> they played politics from this on day one. >> reporter: "the new york post" cited a recording of the call. state lawmakers from both parties slamming derosa's admission. 14 state senators saying cuomo
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should be stripped of emergency powers, among them, it was tweeted you're only sorry you-all got caught. state republicans echoing the call and going further. >> the cuomo administration purposely lied and with held evidence and information to avoid prosecution andrew cuomo must be prosecuted and andrew cuomo must be impeached. >> reporter: residents of long term care facilities account for many covid deaths in many states. in new york, some 15,000 residents in facilities like nursing homes died according to the department of health. a third of awlll covid deaths statewide. >> the covid crisis was a preventable crisis. >> reporter: the true death toll was revealed of the new york attorney general and leticia yam s issued a scathing report accusing the state of under counting deaths by some 50% by
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only publicly reporting those who died on site, not those who were admitted to hospitals and died there or elsewhere. they were counted in the overall death toll but not attributed to long term care facilities. >> whether a person died in a hospital or died in a nursing home, it's the people died. i wish none of it happened. i wish there was no covid. i wish no people died. >> reporter: more than 9,000 recovering covid patients were transferred from nursing homes to hospitals. including 2700 readmissions of patients sent back to nursing homes from hospitals. cuomo among the governor's meeting with biden yesterday faced criticism over a march 2020 state advisory that required nursing homes to admit and readmit patients with covid.
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something critics say may have further fueled the outbreak in those cuomo said it was in line. 90% of new york nursing homes had covid cases before admitting a positive patient from a hospital and the major driver of infections appears to be from asymptomatic staff. the controversial directive was scrapped in may. >> and this latest controversy comes after governor cuomo was praised in many circles for his handling of the pandemic. his daily covid briefings became appointment viewing for a time during the worst of the of the br -- outbreak. there were people talking about how he should run for president. now he faces a real crisis. >> certainly does. thank you very much, atheena and in part because of how he himself positioned himself. let me bring in the "new york times" burro chief and you
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covered governor cuomo for many years. you heard the governor accusing the trump administration playing politics over nursing home deaths and now he's being accused of withholding data on these deaths and covering this up. what more can you tell us? >> i don't think there is any question they with held the data. journalists and advocates and lawmaker hs have been asking fo the data since last spring and only came out in the last couple weeks. i think broadly speaking, this is probably the worst couple weeks for andrew cuomo in a long time between the report and revelations and our newspaper at the times, "the new york post" report last night. it's put a hurt on the image he has of the data and science guy, just the facts and i'll follow those and makes it out to be a political thing. >> it does and of course, there is the book, right? the title of the book is "american crisis leadership lessons from the covid-19 pandemic." the book that he put out in the midst of the pandemic before we
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knew any of this. you sort of laugh there but yeah, it's stark. >> yeah, the timing is not great on that book i would say. i mean, the testament from the time it came out on october 13th until now there are 9,000, maybe 10,000 deaths in the state of new york is a sizable number of fatalities for any crisis, let alone one that's on going here in the state of new york. i think the book did not land exactly the way he hoped and i think there is backlash to it. >> so there is the book and then there is, as you point out, the daily press conferences. he was getting a lot of love. okay? people are like look at him. he does the daily press conferences and trump doesn't and this sparked all kinds of talk about his future, probably why he wrote the book and talked about as a viable candidate for president or vice president and running again for reelection in 2022. is there any political fallout for him? >> next year i think he probably
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will face a primary and that will be the biggest challenge. new york is a safe democratic state. >> yes. >> republicans 2-1 here. so in terms of a republican challenge, that doesn't look very fierce but democratic primary next year could be testing and looking ahead to 2024 as you mentioned, his national profile went up and up and up during the covid crisis last year. a lot of people were impressed by his performance and a lot of people started to chatter maybe he would be a possible candidate in 2024 but this situation has certainly put a blemish on that legacy now. >> what about any legal exposure? do you think there is anything? >> i'm not aware. >> yeah. >> i don't really think that at this point people are talking criminality but certainly, i think this is a reputational hit for him. you know, as i said, he was the data and science guy. he was the guy who was telling the truth. he's the guy that said blame me
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if things went wrong and in this case, he didn't seem to take responsibility for the state of the data, accountability and i think that hurts his reputation. >> jessie, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks very much to all of you for watching. "ac 360" starts now. and good evening. breaking news this hour on the former president's conduct during the january 6th riot that could have an impact on his impeachment trial which is now at adel delicate moment and cou up end the timeline. the defense's team laid out today, right now the report a phone call between the former president and the republican conference leader in the house kevin mccarthy as the attack was unfolding. cnn special correspondent jamie joins us with her report. jamie, this is extraordinary report, explain what you learned. >> we're learning really speaks to president trump's continued desire to delay and to try to prevent the election results. i think this is critical insight into his