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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  February 16, 2021 6:00am-7:01am PST

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from endpoints to everywhere. hi. very good tuesday morning. i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm poppy harlow. the nation leads leadership and hours from now we'll hear from president biden in a town hall. he faces questions from a nation divided. a nation that's weary and a nation that is desperate. desperate to get back to some sense of normality. with just weeks before existing pandemic benefits, economic aid run out, the president is set to make a major push tonight for his $1.9 trillion covid relief bill. his plans to take on the economic and health crises will be front and center on that
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stage tonight. even as we do see some good news, jim, some good news in this fight against the pandemic. >> yeah, it's significant. the u.s. reported fewer than 53,000 new infections on monday. that's about a quarter of where it was at the peak. and the country's lowest mark since last october. the timing of tonight's town hall comes just days after the end of former president donald trump's second impeachment trial. but the fallout of the deadly insurrection on january 6th still hangs over washington. the house speaker announced a 9/11-style investigation will begin even as the divide within the gop deepens. the north carolina gop has censured senator burr over his decision to convict president trump. jeff zeleny is in milwaukee. do we know what the president's message will be tonight? >> well, jim, good morning.
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no question president biden, as he wraps up the first month of his presidency, suddenly has the spotlight all to himself. and he is going to be talking, selling to the american people his $1.9 trillion covid economic relief package. so we do know that he's been working behind the scenes on this. this is the first opportunity to take this message directly face-to-face with voters. he'll be taking questions from democrats, republicans and independents here in wisconsin. last year it was battleground wisconsin. this year it's governing wisconsin. so this is the chance for him to make his argument here. but so many challenges facing this administration. vaccines first and foremost. the administration has rolled out its plan to have some 300 million americans vaccinated by the end of july. that is still very much an open question as this administration is taking ownership of this problem. but the administration also is struggle with its message on schools. there has been very much a mixed message. look for the president to get questions on schools as well. jim, this is also something that you see as he's trying to make
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his push. the next two weeks are absolutely essential to getting this through congress. the house has passed some of these budget bills. the senate will look at this as well. but this clearly is president biden's first chance to go around congress, make his case to the american people and the white house believes that people are on his side, jim. >> yeah, he staked the start of his term to the passage of this huge stimulus plan. jeff zeleny, thanks very much. cnn's town hall with president biden moderated by anderson cooper begins at 9:00 eastern time. the u.s. reported its lowest case count since october. but the threat of this virus is still high across the country. >> cnn took a look at the actual numbers and our analysis showed 89% of children right now live in a county that's considered a red zone under the cdc's new school reopening guidelines. what does that mean for you, your family, your kids, your
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teachers? our senior medical analyst elizabeth cohen is here. this was the most important line of questioning that jake tapper went back and forth with the cdc director on over the weekend, which is, does that then mean that 90% of our kids can't go back to school? >> i think we wouldn't want to say it quite that way. that's a little bit too black and white. this is a report that its footnotes have footnotes. it is very complicated. we're going to try and lay it out for you nice and simply, or as simply as we can. so the report lays out different zones that you can be in. so it's the zones are based on how much coronavirus is in your community. the red zone is the highest amount of covid-19. and it's the worst and almost 90% of the country is in it. so that's, first of all, not great. second of all, let's talk about what that means. if we look at what that means for children in middle and high school, it means they should be in virtual mode unless they do
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the mitigation measures that are necessary, such as masking, and social distancing and all those sorts of things, and they can keep their case numbers down. so that's a big if. if you can do that, then you don't necessarily have to be in virtual mode. for elementary schools, it's a little different. they say even if you're in this red zone, the worst zone you can be in, be in hybrid mode, meaning you can do virtual and in-person, but keep physical distancing of six feet or more, which i have to say, as the mother of four children, i have trouble socially distancing them when there's two of them, let alone an entire classroom. so that's certainly a real challenge. i think it's going to be a real challenge looking at this report how schools are going to figure this out. it's extremely complicated. it is not public health communication at its best. >> no, if it's confusing for you, then it's confusing for everyone. elizabeth cohen, thank you. you really helped us understand it better.
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nearly 5 million americans this morning without power as a deadly winter storm grips a lot of the country. >> the storm is forcing many cities and states to delay their vaccination plans. let's go to kristen holmes for more on this. of course, you never want to delay. it's a big storm. do we know for how long and how many people this is affecting? >> look, this couldn't have come at a worse time. we know even before the bad weather, states were having to cancel some of their appointments because they did nohave enough supply. i cannot tell you how many people i spoke to yesterday who told me that they qualify to get the vaccine but it has been near to impossible to get an appointment. now because of this bad weather, some of those people who were actually lucky enough to get an appointment mm mm mment will ha. dallas, frankfort, kentucky, areas of missouri. this is at a time we expected to see a ramp up in not only
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production but also in shots in arms. if you look at the current number, you're about 70 million doses distributed and about 52.8 million doses administered. this is, obviously, continuing to increase, but it's not where health experts had hoped we would be at this time. and one thing i want to know because this is incredibly interesting. we heard from governors democratic and republicans for the first time writing a letter to the white house raising alarms over how exactly the federal distribution process works. they say that there's just some confusion. they want them to lay it out. this is the first time we've heard this explicit request of this administration. and one thing to point out, we spoke to someone who spoke, you know, off the record here, on background. i'm told what they are hoping the federal government will do here is acknowledge that some of the problems are due to shortages. not state and local officials messing up in some way. >> understood. well, listen, that's the key here, right, getting out these
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vaccines. that's why the administration's hope that they can have hundreds millions more by the summer will make a difference. well, to another big story we've been following closely. that's a growing and very public rift within the republican party. gop senator richard burr of north carolina is the latest lawmaker to be censured by his own party for his vote to convict the former president in the impeachment trial. >> he joined six other republican senators in that vote to convict and find the former president guilty of inciting the january 6th attack on the capitol. within hours of those votes, though, state party leaders of state republican parties began condemning those republicans' vote. our congressional correspondent jessica dean is on capitol hill. no reward for diversity of thought, i suppose, but yes in utah, which we'll talk about later, but not elsewhere. >> that's exactly right. we're just seeing censure in states across the country where the senators and house members who voted to impeach the former
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president are facing a lot of blowback in their home states and home counties. in fact, in addition to senator burr, we also know senator bill cassidy of louisiana has been censured by his state party. several county committees in pennsylvania have censured senator pat toomey in pennsylvania, and the state party is meeting soon to discuss censuring him from the statewide party. so more of that that we're seeing just across the country as this all plays out. a lot of these members who believed they were voting their conscience and doing the right thing are really getting a ton of pushback and punishment from their state parties. now for senator burr in north carolina, that happened overnight. and he released a statement calling it a sad day. here's a little bit of what he said. he said, my party's leadership has chosen loyalty to one man over core principles of the republican party and the founders of this great nation. now that was a unanimous vote to
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censure senator burr there in north carolina. it was expected that that's how it would play out. poppy, you mentioned utah. it's worth noting the utah republican party put out a very different tone in their statement. of course, mitt romney who voted to convict former president trump, senator mike lee who voted to acquit former president trump, but they put out a statement saying that it's the differences where the power comes from. and that they are celebrating difference of thought. so one state republican party really breaking from the pack in all of this. but we're seeing a lot of pushback across the country. >> we'll talk to the head of tthe utah republican party a little later this hour about that. thank you, jess. still to come -- most republicans who voted to impeachment former president trump are facing some serious backlash in their home states. not utah. we'll talk about that ahead help. >> house speaker nancy pelosi is calling for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the january 6th attack on the capitol. we're going to speak to two architects of the original 9/11
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commission. and millions of people are now without power in texas as temperatures in that state plunge to dangerous levels. what went wrong? >> it's like a walk-in freezer. it's like 34 to 36 degrees, i would say. you know, me and my family have been getting inside our cars trying to warm up and all that stuff. >> goodness. we'll have a live update from there, next.
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is officially calling for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the insurrection at the capitol on january 6th. she explains what is at stake writing, now is always security is the order of the day, the security of our country, the security of our capitol which is the temple of our democracy and the security of our members. >> the house member is not the only one calling for an independent inquiry. vice president and congressional leaders original members of that 9/11 commission write that such an investigation is necessary and should establish a single narrative and set of facts to identify how the capitol was left vulnerable and corrective actions to make the institution safe again. joining us now, the authors of that letter and members of the 9/11 commission, chair tom cain and vice chair lee hamilton. thanks for joining us today. >> thank you.
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>> if i could begin with you, governor kaine. the 9/11 commission was bipartisan. its recommendations were accepted by, largely by both parties, and it dealt with a common set of facts, right? that was the starting point. the sad fact about january 6th is there is still not a common set of facts. many republican lawmakers who are still pushing the line that, you know, this was antifa, it wasn't really the trump supporters. denying the president's role. i just wonder, can such a commission succeed without that starting point, right? one reality. >> i think it can, and i think it has to. when we started the 9/11, there was not an accepted set of facts. a lot of confusion about what happened, how it was allowed to happen and a lot of argument around the country. and we had to do almost a
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two-year investigation to determine the facts. the first thing we had to do was get the set of facts right. once we had the set of fascts right, then we could make our recommendations. based on those recommendations, the country has been safe from major attack ever since. so it worked. >> senator hamilton, good morning. you are warning about the traps of partisanship, though, in all of this. and i think jim does make a good point that, even if there were not universally agreed upon facts, you know, we are so much more divided now. and there's so much more reward for not getting along, oddly, politically. >> well, that's true, of course. i think we live in a time of very intense partisanship. the partisanship is not new. partisanship can often be helpful in this country and has
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been in the past. but there are times when you have to come together. you have to put aside the partisanship and look at the problem or the challenge from the standpoint of what's best for the country. tom and i believe very much now is a time when we have to come together. we have to understand what the facts were on that awful day. it was really scary to me to watch the people coming into the capitol building, breaking windows, walking up and down the floors of the capitol, going into chambers of the senate and the house and desecrating the capitol which is the temple, as you said, or the citadel of our democracy. we must take steps to prevent that from happening again.
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the very republic is at stake. >> governor kean, to your point, and people forget. there were factual disagreements going into the 9/11 commission, particularly about what warnings there were, what were missed, et cetera. i wonder in terms of the broader threat. no one questioned the threat from international terrorism after 9/11. who could? right now, though, you do have something of a partisan disagreement about the seriousness of the domestic terror threat here. if you speak to the fbi and they've been saying for years, at least their nonpolitical appointees have been saying this is a big deal. as you enter this, how concerned are you about the threat from these domestic extremist groups? >> i am very concerned. i think everybody has to be concerned after seeing what happened at the capitol. look. i'm concerned about any group that preaches violence. i'm concerned about any group that would invade, as leaders rightly called the temple of our
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democracy. it's a symbol not only for us but around the world of democracy. so to have that defiled, this is enormously important. and you know, lee is absolutely right as always. and the nonpartisanship, bipartisanship is a very, very important here. and the fine people not who aren't republicans or democrats, but people who will take to the other side, can cooperate and work around the middle to get an agreement. and then again, make recommendations so this will never happen again. that's the most important. >> yeah. >> coming from a republican and a democrat. you guys who worked together to get this done. and it has so protected our country since. congressman hamilton, you, on the 9/11 commission, you had subpoena power. and i wonder how important -- you do mention it in the letter you two wrote together. how important is having that subpoena power and the ability to refer to doj?
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>> well, it's critically important. there are all kinds of investigations that are set up in washington, but if you are really going to be serious, you're going to have to get information from people who don't want to give it to you. and you have to have the power to force them to give you the information. you can only do that through the power of the subpoenaing and the enforcement of the law. so it's critically important that the investigators have the resources, the money, if you will, and the legal power to force action. otherwise, you're not going to be able to get the facts as you must have if you're going to do an adequate job and try to prevent these things from
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happening again. that's the purpose, after all. we want to stop the efforts to disrupt the democratic process. and we are going to penalize those who try to keep information from us. >> gentlemen, we appreciate the work you're doing. it's important. and i think a large portion of the folks watching right now are eager for this kind of work. governor kean, congressman hamilton, thank you very much. >> thank you very much. the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, is denying accusations that he hid information about the true number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes in his state. but admitting some things should have been done differently by him. we'll take a closer look. we are also moments away from the opening bell on wall street. futures pointing higher across the board. investors still focused on what's going to happen to this $1.9 trillion stimulus bill as
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well as, of course, the vaccine rollout and the drop that we're seeing in new covid-19 cases. we'll keep a close eye on the market as soon as it happens. this is how you become the best! [music: “you're the best” by joe esposito] [music: “you're the best” by joe esposito] [triumphantly yells] [ding] don't get mad. get e*trade and take charge of your finances today. go pro at subway® for double the protein on footlong subs and new protein bowls. and if you want to go pro like marshawn,
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governor of new york, andrew cuomo, is denying that his administration covered up the number of covid deaths in the
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state's long-term care facilities. >> the governor is now admitting that there were mistakes. is he taking responsibility for them? athena jones has the latest. >> we made a mistake. >> reporter: days after his top aide admitted their office withheld data for months about covid-19 deaths of nursing home residents, new york governor andrew cuomo finally speaking out. cuomo acknowledging that the data was not provided quickly enough. >> it retrospect, should we have given more priority to fulfilling information requests? in my opinion, yes. >> reporter: but maintaining that his administration provided accurate data. >> to be clear, all the deaths in the nursing homes and in the hospitals were always fully publicly and accurately reported. >> approximately 15,000 long-term care facility residents have died in new york. that's about one-third of all
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covid deaths statewide according to the department of health. until late last month, new york only accounted separately for people who died from covid-19 in long-term care facilities like nursing homes. the data didn't include the number of residents from those facilities who died after they were transferred to a hospital or elsewhere. >> i understand the public had many questions and concerns. and the press had many questions about nursing homes primarily. and i understand that they were not answered quickly enough. >> reporter: the tipping point came during a private video call between the governor's top aide melissa derosa and democratic state lawmakers. derosa told the lawmakers the governor's office delayed giving updated information to them after then president trump's department of justice sent an inquiry about nursing home deaths in the state because basically, we froze because then we were in a position where we weren't sure if what we were going to get to the department of justice or what we gave to you guys, what we start saying was going to be used against us.
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her words an admission they stalled on showing a true picture of how many nursing home residents died. the governor was lauded globally for his pandemic response. >> between his emmy for his coronavirus press briefings, to governor cuomo's book, to his speech at the democratic national convention, governor cuomo has been held up as the model governor in his coronavirus response, even though new york was so hard hit by the virus early on. >> reporter: cuomo arguing monday much the same as his top aide that the request for data at the time was politically motivated. and came amid many other competing priorities as the state was struggling to contain the virus. >> there was a lot going on. everybody was working 24 hours a day. everybody was overwhelmed. we were in the midst of dealing with a pandemic and trying to save lives. they were answering doj.
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>> reporter: but now he's taking heat from both sides of the new york legislature. >> you're only sorry that you all got caught tweeted a democratic state senator. other democrats are actively discussing drafting a bill to strip cuomo of his emergency powers. and republicans in the state going even further. declaring cuomo should be investigated. >> the gravity of this cover-up cannot be overstated. >> reporter: and using the word impeachment. >> andrew cuomo must be prosecuted and andrew cuomo must be impeached, if this evidence exists. >> reporter: now state democrats say that bill to repeal the governor's expanded executive powers will likely be introduced this week and voted on early next week with one source telling cnn, it's definitely going to happen. they have also discussed an inquiry into why this happened and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. poppy? >> so many answers needed here and straight talk all around. athena, thank you for that important reporting.
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president biden is standing by his commitment to administer 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office. moments ago, biden tweeted that he believes the administration will not only meet that goal, jim, but exceed it. he said we will break it. >> folks want the vaccines. most people do. let's bring in chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, this news comes as the u.s. is reporting the lowest number of new infections in months. a fraction of where it was at the peak last fall. we spoke with dr. paul offit last week. his theory is that more of the country has been exposed than those numbers indicate there. 27 million people. therefore, more of the country, perhaps three or four times, has some immunity. i wonder if you agree with that. >> yeah, no, i do. and i talked to paul offit about this. some 27 million confirmed infections. but as you point out, the model suggests that because we were so -- we were undertesting for so long, the actual numbers of
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exposures are probably closer to 90 to 100 million. and they probably have some degree of immunity. we've seen that same sort of -- that same population immunity account for decreasing rates in other countries around the world, for example, like india. so it's quite possible. add to that that they seem to have more adherence to the basic public health strategies we've been talking about for a year and probably coming off some of the surge from the holidays. and the numbers are, thankfully, coming down. the hospitalizations are still right now higher than the previous peaks. so i think the context is important here. downward trend important. but we're still at these unimaginably high numbers compared to where we thought we would be a year ago. >> sanjay, novavax has, obviously, a vaccinemaker, it's not approved in the u.s. yet. but they tell cnn that they are testing a new version of the covid-19 vaccine. to specifically target the
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coronavirus variant first identified in south africa. what should we take from that? when you look at the vaccines already in the pipeline, are we in a good position to fully combat these new variants? >> you know, i am optimistic about this. and i think a little bit depends on how you frame the conversation. what is it that we expect of our vaccines? if the idea is that, like my parents got the vaccine. they are able to, i think, with great confidence, be able to say that they're not likely to get very sick, require hospitalization or die from this. can they still become unfected? can they have milder illness? yes. we showed the johnson & johnson data. a lot of people paid attention to this because it was the 50 d -- first data to show there was a difference in how it worked against the different strains. the south african trial where the variant was circulating wildly, 57% when it comes to
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moderate disease, but across the board, this vaccine was 85% protective against severe disease. that includes all the variants, and there was no hospitalizations or deaths. i think that's really important. that's what makes me optimistic. >> sanjay, we have heard from some doctors about the greater likelihood that what you'll need to combat new variants are booster shots to a vaccine rather than an entirely new vaccine. kind of the way we deal with the flu seasonally. and i wonder if based on what we know now, is it still the booster path or entirely new vaccines as the path? >> so, you know, if you think of the booster as saying we're going to give you another shot of the same thing. that's the booster. that's the two-shot model that we have now with moderna and pfizer. i think we're starting to hear the other option, whether you call it a totally different vaccine or retooled vaccine.
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the idea that you're changing the genetic code a little bit within the vaccine to then account for these strains, these new strains, i think is pretty exciting science. it takes years, as we've said, to create new vaccines. they think they can retool these mrna vaccines within weeks, for example. so that's probably what it will be. >> to be clear, just for my own edification, is that similar to like the seasonal flu shot? you retool the flu shot every season to account for new strains of the flu, right? is that a model? >> yeah, it's a model, but the mrna vaccine is a totally different kind of vaccine. it's almost more like computer code than a biologic therapeutic. i just think it's amazing science. so worth continuously beating the drum on that. >> it's amazing. and great. a matter of weeks, sanjay. wow. thank you. see you soon. some state parties vote to censure republicans who voted to
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convict the president, utah taking a very different route. the chairman of the state's republican party is here next.
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i love this rakuten app. look at that. i open the app, find the store i want to use, start buying and it gets me tons of cash back. i just got paid to shop. my favorite thing about rakuten is just getting money back in the mail. i mean, who wouldn't want cash back. sign up today and get cash back with rakuten. welcome back. the north carolina republican party has censured senator richard burr, their fellow republican. why? because he voted to convict former president trump during his second impeachment trial. burr is the second republican senator to be censured since that vote and several other republican members of congress are facing backlash in their own censure. in utah, where mitt romney voted to convict trump and mike lee voted to acquit him, the utah republican party has taken a different route. they put out a statement that
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said this. quote, there is power in our differences as a political party. and we look forward to each senator explaining their votes to the people of utah, disagreement is natural and healthy in a party that is based on principles, not on persona. derek brown is the chairman of the republican party of utah. it's amazing when you make the news for celebrating a diversity of thought, but that is where we are. thanks for being with me. >> thanks, poppy. good to be with you. appreciate it. >> so there is something circulating, and we don't know who wrote it, but apparently a lot of republicans have signed on to it that would censure mitt romney. i know it's not yours. it's not directly from the party. but i bring it up because i just wonder in general, do you think these moves by states to censure their own republican senators and members of the house is going to help your party in future elections? >> ultimately, i think this is a time for the republican party to look forward. to take stock of where we are.
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think carefully about what are the principles that we believe in and that we rally around as conservatives and as republicans. and then to move forward. and this is a perfect opportunity for us to do that. and i feel like here in utah, although there are differing opinions and, in fact, i have my own opinion of what things have happened. as a party, i think this is sort of a great opportunity for us to think about the fact that we have two senators who experienced effectively the same set of facts and came to differing conclusions. and that's okay. that's normal. that's healthy. and i think that is a hallmark of a healthy political party. >> the "salt lake tribune" reports that the utah republican party that you chair has lost 7600 members since the insurrection at the capitol. i know you have questions about that data, but there's a big divide. that's 61% of all the folks who have left either the democratic party or nonaffiliated
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registration in your state. silvia harrow is one of them saying, i just don't recognize the party. it's not the republican party anymore. it's a trump party. what do you say to her, and thousands of others who feel the same, given these numbers? >> well, i think this is the time for the republican party to think back on what are those conservative principles we stand for. here in utah, we're a conservative state. we govern conservatively. what i would say to silvia and those like silvia, let's come back to the principles. here in utah, for instance, you can't buy a home at the moment because so many people are moving here. we have so many -- our economy is strong and we have so many things going for us. and these are because we govern in a conservative way. and we're open to differing thought processes. and i appreciate that about utah. and that's one of the things that we wanted to convey with this statement is that there
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are -- there is a diversity of thought. and that's okay. that's normal. that's healthy. >> but at some point, the party needs to decide which direction it goes on nationally, right, when you talk about who is your next candidate going to be to try to retake the white house. a new gallup poll. 68% of republicans think trump should remain the leader of the party. lindsey graham says he should play a major role in 2022. nikki haley says run as far away from him as you can. who is right? >> well, right now, i think this is why the statement that we've issued as a republican party here in utah is so critical because ultimately, when i ran for this position, i said what we need to do is elect good conservatives, rally around them, and let them espouse those conservative principles they believe in. >> is former president trump a good conservative who espouses those principles? >> well, we need to have confidence in the republicans. and rather than the party -- >> that's not what i asked.
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>> individuals like myself -- rather than me telling people, here's what you need to do and censuring people that i may not agree with. i think this is that moment for us to collectively sort of think about what is it that we stand for? what are those principles? and then sort of chart a pathway looking forward. and a lot of things like talks of censure, talks of the past president, things like that, really are an effort, i think, to look over our shoulder to look backwards. and i think this is the chance where we can look forward. we really need to look forward as a party. >> that sounds like you don't want people focusing on trump as a future of the party. >> well, what i want people focusing on, just like the statement that we released yesterday, are the principles that made america strong. the principles of conservativism. here in utah, we have a different way of going about doing this. in fact, we made the news last november because we have a governor candidate, a republican governor candidate, spencer cox, who appeared together in a
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commercial with his democrat opponent. >> i remember that commercial. >> remember that? >> it was a great one. >> viral. >> it went viral. all they did is the two of them said we're here together. we differ on policy, obviously, but we're friends. and whatever happens in november, we're friends. we agree on the outcome of what's good for utah. that's what we want. >> it was a great commercial. wish we'd see more. evan mcmullan, the chief policy director for the house republican conference is from your great state of utah. he was on the show last week. he's helping lead this effort maybe to break off and to have a center right separate republican party. he said the party is in a terrible place, he told me. it's become a destructive force for american politics. do you think it's time for a separate center right republican party? >> no, i think it's time for the republicans to look forward and come together rather than splintering. i think the important thing is to unify. and that's the essence of what i
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want to do as the chair of the utah republican party. we've been doing that here. that's one of the reasons we had so many successes last november. rather than doing what mcmullin is saying and splintering and trying to sort of create a different factions within the party, i think it's important that we come together and we unify. and that's why the conservative principles we stand for are so important. they are what will unify us. not persona. but principles. >> derek brown, chairman of the utah republican party. so nice to have you. come back soon. >> thanks, poppy. appreciate it. we'll be right back. so, no more tossing and turning. because only tempur-pedic uses a proprietary material that adapts and responds to your body... so you get deep, uninterrupted sleep. now save up to $500 on adjustable mattress sets. since suzie's got goals, she'll want a plan to reach them. so she'll get some help from fidelity, and she'll feel so good about her plan, she can focus on living it. that's the planning effect, from fidelity.
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dangerous freeze, a deep freeze across much of the united states because of the huge winter storm blanketing the country. >> including places you wouldn't expect it. more than 200 million americans are under winter weather alerts and icy conditions have left nearly 5 million people without power and most of those outages occurring in hard-hit texas. that is dallas, you're seeing there. ed lavendera is in dallas for us this morning. ed, what is the situation there and why the lack of power? >> reporter: well, jim, the bottom line here is is that what we're seeing is an unmitigated disaster here in texas in terms of the amount of power that is generated. state officials and the governor have been blaming among other things unprecedented demand for power. yeah, we knew that was coming when this winter storm was coming but other local and city
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officials saying there are much bigger problems here at play. so there is a great deal of finger pointing going on here in the state as everyone tries to get more than 4 million people back on to the power grid. it has been a brutal night here in the state of texas. houston police reporting that a family of four were found suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide. they were sleeping in a car in their attached garage and according to police a woman and young child were found dead inside of that car. so these are deadly situations that we're dealing with. here in dallas, the convention center behind me has been turned into a warm shelter for hundreds of homeless people here on the streets of dallas. so there is a great deal of concern. and the fact of the matter is that we don't have any clear update, jim and poppy, as to exactly when the power is going to be on for these millions of people here in this state. >> well, they need it. let's hope it changes quickly.
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ed lavendera, thank you very much. for the first time in a very long time, the u.s. is seeing encouraging coronavirus trends. so what is the reason for this? we're going to speak with dr. anthony fauci coming up in a few minutes. you'll want to watch. student loans don't have to take over for the rest of your life. with sofi it's possible to get them paid off and start new. ♪
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top of the hour. good morning, we're so glad you're with us this tuesday, i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. a sitting member of congress is suing former president trump over his alleged role in last month's insurrection. house homeland security committee chairman benny thompson has filed a federal lawsuit accusing trump and his attorney rudy giuliani of conspiring t


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