Return to Transcripts main page

CUOMO PRIME TIME

Seventeen States And Trump Join Texas' Effort To Overturn Election; Trump Tells White House Hanukkah Party Crowd: If "Certain" People Have Wisdom & Courage, "We Are Going To Win This Election"; U.K. Warns Against Pfizer Vaccine For People With History Of "Significant" Allergic Reactions. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired December 9, 2020 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:00]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Yes. Evan Perez, appreciate it, thank you very much.

A reminder, don't miss Full Circle, our digital news show. You can catch it streaming live at 6 P.M. Eastern on CNN.com/FullCircle, or watch it there, and on the CNN app, any time, on-demand.

News continues. Let's go to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, Anderson, thank you very much.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

The big news, 18 state Attorneys General from states that Trump won are now trying to sue other states because they aren't happy Joe Biden won. Brothers and sisters, this is the worst of times. The reference is not a nod to "A Tale of Two Cities." We are all together in a single world of pain.

We've never had more starving from a pandemic in modern times. Today more died from this virus than on any single day before. And, yet, it will now get worse. Partisans with poisonous intent are trying to create a crisis on top of a crisis. This moment will be remembered for what happens next.

And I want to be on record to you, and to all, as an American, as a journalist, and as an officer of the court, Trump and his Party are trying to kill our democracy with these efforts, and I accuse them of this high crime, tonight. This is wrong.

Now, their efforts don't have to come to fruition for the fraud to be a crime against you, the people. This is a power grab attempted that is worse than anything we have seen in modern politics.

These men and women are doing it with complete knowledge that there is nothing worthy behind the claims. Their hope is a foul one, that a single body may validate their vindictiveness, validate mobocracy, and nullify democracy.

To be fair, and to expose the fraud, all of these attorneys general were invited on. Not one chose to own this argument in person. Every statement offered was full of bad feelings and completely absent of any compelling proof of the same.

The charge against them must be clear to all. They want to go to the highest court with no proof after the governments of all of their states, of all 50 states, have counted, vetted, recounted in cases, litigated issues of concern in cases, and certified outcomes that produced Joseph Biden as the winner, as the law requires.

18 acting arguably in bad faith, and for the benefit, not of their states, they already exercised law. They already exercised due process. Not certainly for the people who put them in power, but for one man, a man who sees this move that could explode society as what it is, "The big one."

He wants the court that he packed to change the outcomes in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin. All those states passed laws to allow the voting they conducted in the way they conducted it, in full view of and often under the control of Republican lawmakers.

Trump's claim is a lie. His claims of proof to support them have been proven fraudulent 50 times over. And, yet, even before the Supreme Court, on this matter, he just lied.

Literally, in a filing to the Supreme Court, Trump argues "No presidential candidate has ever won Ohio and Florida but lost the election." Really? Nixon did in 1960. What do you think, they didn't know? No, they lied. And Nixon is a fitting analog to Trump because not since Nixon have we seen someone lie to us for personal gain like Trump.

His main co-conspirator, the Attorney General, at the head of this travesty, is Texas A.G. Paxton. He himself is under investigation by the FBI, accused by his own top aides of abusing his office, of bribery, and he has been indicted on securities fraud. Just the kind of guy Trump likes to do business with, isn't he?

To be clear, he has not been convicted of anything. But there is more proof against him than anything he is offering in his assault on the rest of us.

[21:05:00]

Now, as for the rest of his dirty dozen and a half, they're filing an amicus brief. It means friends of the court. It couldn't be less so. But the states they represent must be named.

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota. I have been to all, Tennessee and Utah and West Virginia as well.

I have been to all. Their license plates in states are filled with mottos about virtue, law, order, and the decency toward one another, and they should. And all of those states and the people there must now stand up for themselves. All of you in those states, your states validated the election

outcomes, and the result is Biden won, same electoral margin that Trump called a blow-out in his own win in 2016.

You all cry for law and order. Will you order that law take precedence now? This is done in your name by people you elected. Speak out now or forever hold the peace of this shame.

Even sadder, almost nine out of 10 Republicans in Congress are on board with this election sabotage. Why? Because Trump scares them. That's why I call them Re-Trump-licans.

House Re-Trump-lican Leader, Kevin McCarthy, asked today by CNN, if he would consider Biden President-Elect after the electors vote on Monday, what does he say? "Why would I do that? I'll wait 'til it's all over to find out."

That is when it's over! And he knows it. He is a living rejection of his own oath, and owner of no code beyond his own ambition.

And then there's Senator Ron Johnson, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

He won't rule out challenging the results even after the Electoral College, on January 6th, when Congress formally certifies the vote. He's holding a hearing next week on the "Irregularities" of the 2020 election. Ask him for proof. Shh! The proof of his perfidy is in abundance these days.

These same men, anxious to go to the grave, on an empty accusation, these same men were once all about proof. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): There are no facts there to uphold impeachment.

That's not how democratic republics behave. Elections matter. Voters matter.

Democrats haven't just failed on process, has also failed on evidence.

They want to undo the results of the last election to influence the next one.

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): The charges are pretty thin gruel. I don't see anything impeachable in that.

A lot of damage being done to our democracy right now, Martha, is what we're not talking about. So, we can obsess on this impeachment, we can obsess on the trial. But what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to get the American people the truth of what all happens.

It's whether we should drag a completely flawed and pretty weak case on for months and months.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: What changed? Nothing, except their own ambitions. That's it. But hopefully, then, as now, people will stand up.

When was "Then?" McCarthy. This is the inheritance of Joseph McCarthy in that Republican Party. Now, that was never taken to the level that Trump has been. You have to tell them, strong and wrong, he sets a new standard.

But just like then, hopefully now, it will end with the Supreme Court. Then it was the Warren court. Now it's the Roberts court.

Maybe, once again, the Supreme Court will expose them. They just did it, 9-0 on very similar issues, and accused them, and charged them, by their actions with the fruit of their efforts, which is national embarrassment.

Remember this moment. The country will, for generations.

How does it go? What does it mean? Let's bring in David Axelrod, and John Kasich.

Gentlemen, thank you for joining us, on a heavy night.

John, I start with you. This is your party. Not since the "Red Scare" have once good men and women been dragged into this kind of sabotage of our democracy and social norms. What do you say to--

JOHN KASICH (R), FORMER OHIO GOVERNOR, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: Chris?

CUOMO: --these attorneys general?

KASICH: Chris, driving over here tonight, I was trying to figure out what I could say because I can't believe what I am seeing in our country.

These Republican leaders, and think about this, 18 attorney generals, across our country, Members of Congress, you just were talking about the Republican Leader, you know, I've just become convinced that these leaders are morally and ethically bankrupt.

[21:10:00]

I don't know how they can look in the mirror. I don't. I just - I'm flabbergasted about this. I mean, these are attorney generals. These are people who are in a position to be able to uphold the law, and for them to be joining in to something like this.

I'm glad to see that the Attorney General in Ohio did not join this, this amicus brief.

And it's the leadership has just lost it. They're just, like I say, they're bankrupt.

And, Chris, the reason why my heart is bleeding is, you know, I have been a Republican all of my lifetime. But I'm an American first. And what I see happening here are the people who are supposed to be the shepherds, and lead the flock, in the right direction, these are shepherds who are not treating the flock right. The flock is scattered.

And it's a tragedy for my Party and a tragedy for our country that we're seeing this. Just morally and ethically bankrupt, I don't know what else to say. It just - it's just - it's so upsetting.

I have been upset about this from the moment I heard about it. I've been losing my temper about it. And I wanted to come in on here today and not just be yelling and screaming.

What I have had to say is as strong as I can possibly say. And I'm going to look at that list of Republicans in the House who sign on to that. It will be really interesting to see that as well. For those that are watching, stand up for your country.

CUOMO: Axe, even if the court acts as it just did, and throws this out, because there is no merit behind the claim that we didn't see in the Pennsylvania case that was just 9-0, just the effort portends a level of division that you and I have never lived through before.

They never even did this to Obama. Even all the stuff that happened on the ACA, that was about policy. This is about a deeper principal that they just don't want to accept anything but their own aims.

What does this do for Biden?

DAVID AXELROD, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well obviously, it doesn't portend good things, especially because you know that Trump is just going down the street, and setting up the resistance from whatever television studio he's going to land in.

And he's going to take the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars that he is fraudulently raising, off of phony claims of vote fraud, and use that to weaponize his own movement, and to menace Republican politicians. And this is, you know, they're acting out of fear.

Let's just be clear about one thing. The President said yesterday, he said "Let's see who has the courage to do what everyone in this country knows is right."

Let's talk about courage. Courage are those secretaries of state and election officials, who, under threat of violence against them, and their families, and political repercussions, did their duty, counted the votes, verified the votes, recounted the votes, and proclaimed a winner, based on the will of the people in their states. That is courage. That is courage.

What these people are doing, these 18 attorneys general, the Members of Congress, you know, Representative Johnson said the President is eager to see the list of who signs on, what do you think that means?

What do you think that means? These people are cowards. They're cowards. So, let's be clear of who is showing the courage, and who is showing cowardice here.

But it does make for - it will be problematic for Biden because Trump is not going to do what other presidents do. He is going to try and lead the resistance from outside, and he's going to threaten Republicans who don't do what he wants them to do.

CUOMO: I think Trump set them up for a suicide mission, and the lead Kamikaze is now Ted Cruz. He wants to argue this case in favor of the man who said all these horrible things about his own father, his own wife.

Do you think this is the moment that makes or breaks Ted Cruz, Governor?

KASICH: Well, I don't know, makes him or breaks him for what?

I mean, he's got elected to the - got re-elected to the Senate. And I'm not going to be projecting his political future other than to say those people who have operated in a morally and ethically bankrupt way, at some point, will be held accountable.

But let me tell you the other thing I worry about Chris, and David, both of you. When these kind of things happen, and you have all these people that are involved in this suit, and all these claims, going back and forth, there're going to be a big chunk of Americans, who are going to think this was not a legitimate election. And that has a--

CUOMO: They already do.

AXELROD: It's already happening.

KASICH: --it has an - it has an erosion. It has a sort of an erosion at the base of what we're all about. And yet somehow--

[21:15:00]

CUOMO: I don't know that that's the right metaphor. I think it's a sink hole, Governor.

AXELROD: Yes.

KASICH: Yes.

CUOMO: I think this is a sink hole. It's not an erosion.

Tomorrow, we just got information in my head, while you were speaking, the President is holding a lunch tomorrow, at the White House, with Paxton, and, we don't know how many, but the invitee list are the rest of these attorneys general.

Axe, they're going to put it on full display that this is--

AXELROD: Yes.

CUOMO: --what this country is--

KASICH: See, I'm not--

CUOMO: --going to be about.

KASICH: I am not sure.

AXELROD: But - but--

KASICH: Before I came on, I was talking to some of my friends. And Chris and David, I'm not sure what is going to happen when he leaves.

I'm not sure that he's going to command the attention he currently gets. I'm not sure that he's going to have this Svengali spell on all these Members of the Congress and leaders in the Republican Party.

I am not sure that that - that might just begin to fade away because, I think, over time, people are going to wake up and say - look, I just saw a poll the other day that said like 85 percent of the American people want the Congress to work together.

I am not convinced that he's going to have the power that we think he's going to have. Part of it's going to be up to the media as to whether they want to give him oxygen or not.

CUOMO: I'm with you.

KASICH: Whether they want to give him air time.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: John, I'm with you that.

AXELROD: Well--

CUOMO: If we're looking enough to get to that place.

KASICH: Yes.

CUOMO: Last word to you, Axe.

AXELROD: Yes, yes, part of the - part of this is where the voters go, John. 83 percent of Republicans say they doubt the legitimacy of the outcome of this election. He's already had a corrosive impact. And if these Republicans--

KASICH: I--

AXELROD: --there may be some heroes among them. But if these Republican members think they're risking their careers, by defying him--

KASICH: Yes.

AXELROD: --they're going to - a very few of them are going to be "Profiles in Courage." That's why "Profiles in Courage" was such a thin volume. KASICH: I would just conclude by saying this. That Republican Party ain't what she used to be. There are a lot of people that left that Party who are no longer in that party, and that base has shrunk. How much it's shrunk, we'll have to see.

CUOMO: Well.

KASICH: But David, there are a lot of people that left, and helped elect Joe Biden President of the United States--

AXELROD: Yes.

KASICH: --who were Republicans.

CUOMO: Well look, they like to play with--

KASICH: So, let's see.

CUOMO: --they like to play with ugly language about what comes next and violence and this and that. No. It's got to be about decisions about men and women of goodwill.

We'll see if your Party really changes and splinters off. We'll see if it happens on the Left. Who knows? There are a lot of reasons to believe if you can keep the money even, you'd be better off with four than two parties.

But we are in a moment in history right now, and I think people are sleeping on how significant this is. But we will see in the coming days what this will mean for our collective history.

David Axelrod, John Kasich, I am honored to share this moment--

KASICH: Thank you.

CUOMO: --with you two men of goodwill.

AXELROD: Thank you.

CUOMO: And look, I know you keep saying you shouldn't--

KASICH: Thank you.

CUOMO: --have to talk about the election anymore. But this is what happens when people in power are willing to poison a process.

I should be talking to you about the pandemic killing more of us than ever before in a single day. But it doesn't work. We're not moved. We're moved by animus and division. And I can't stop it.

But I have something you need to hear. The adults, the deaths, the numbers, it's numbing. What about the kids? I heard something today that just broke my heart, and I didn't think that could happen anymore.

But if you want some context of what's happening this holiday season, I want you to hear from some kids. And I want to bring on one of the lawmakers who can still have a chance at making something rational happen when it comes to relief. Let's get after it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: It is time to be counted, and I'm not going to watch Trump reduce us to his own perversity, where lies are as good as truth if they get where you want to be.

He is a toxic twist, taking our focus away from where it should be, our kids, a pandemic that may affect our kids most of all. His inaction, our inaction, we have stolen from them, school, sports, dances, college life, birthdays, graduations.

Now comes Christmas. May feel more like miss-mas than Christmas for them, for so many. There are going to be way too many Tiny Tims this year's, families facing want, hunger, hopelessness is going to be a guest in too many insecure homes.

And for all we do, to shield our kids, from often painful realities, they get it. And it cuts deep. It hurts to hear their pain, even in their letters to Santa.

Listen to this kid Jonah. He wrote, "Dear Santa. I don't want anything for Christmas. But I would like to ask you if you can do me a favor. Can you please find a cure for COVID-19, and give it to us, to save the world. Thank you."

Letters filled with not "Toys for me," but for "PPE, Lysol to help keep us safe," can you imagine what these kids are seeing that we're not even understanding is in their head and their heart?

The Postal Service, that's where I got these, they've posted all the letters to the Operation Santa site. The good news is you can go there, the Operation Santa site, and help these kids, help make their dreams come true. Somebody should. And many of you will.

But what about the people who were supposed to be able to help most, Congress?

The Right sees protecting companies from potential future litigation, over COVID cases, as equal to the emergency of getting these kids the help, these families the money that they need, as they starve. What the hell does that say about them and us?

[21:25:00]

Kids, like nine-year-old Alane (ph), they know the difference a relief check would make in their home. She writes "Dear Santa. This year has been rough because of Crona. But I was hoping I could get some Lego sets because my mom said she can't get anything for me for Christmas because she's not getting paid as much so she can't afford anything."

"Too much relief for the unemployed? Can't do that. Makes them not want to work." Really? You believe there is a positive incentive to exist on less than minimum wage?

Tell that to the 13-year-old girl in Texas pleading for gifts for her three siblings, and for her parents, writing, "This year has been tough to all of us due to COVID-19. My stepdad is the only one working and because of COVID-19, he had to stop working full-time. Now he's working less because of COVID, and all the money he gets is for paying the rent and the bills."

COVID, it's all over life as a bad thing.

And when anyone says that we've done enough, to make our schools safe, remember the words of Savannah (ph), this girl from Massachusetts, who included a confession and an apology. "(P.S.), I'm sorry if I've been bad. It's really hard because of COVID-19 and online school. I'm trying to be good. Hope you understand."

Nobody does seem to understand anymore. We're all making excuses. We blame the needy. We protect the greedy.

Trumpers, they just trump. He is their everything.

And every day we get closer to too many being left with nothing, I wonder what these kids' pleas will mean, I wonder if they'll make any difference. So, what do we know about where relief stands tonight, especially this curiously sticky bit about balancing the interest of the employers with those who are not employed?

I'm joined now by Representative Katie Porter, Democrat from California.

Congresswoman, you're a mom. You still got warm blood coursing through there. You haven't been in Congress that long. It is hard to feel the hurt of these kids, and it is hard to say that better is coming their way.

This, first of all, just what are we supposed to do with that, the fact that our kids are in this kind of place?

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): It's incredibly difficult to nurture and take care of your kids during this time. We're all worried about keeping our kids safe. And so many Americans are worried about keeping their kids fed, about keeping a roof over their head.

This is a crisis. We have an epidemic of COVID, but we also have an epidemic of hunger, an epidemic of housing insecurity, an epidemic of unemployment. What we do not have is an epidemic of lawsuits.

And Senator Mitch McConnell is the problem here. It's not Democrats. It's not even Republicans. It's coming down to one person, Mitch McConnell, who wants to give his big donors giveaways and kowtow to them instead of helping hungry kids.

CUOMO: So, let me ask you a couple of "Is it trues?" Forgive the leading nature.

Is it true that McConnell is saying that the emergent circumstances of hunger and of need for checks is equaled by the needs of employers to be protected from lawsuits that may come in the future from people who get sick at work?

PORTER: Yes. He's holding up COVID relief, and has been holding up COVID relief, for months and months, six months, in fact, because we - because we do not want to give big corporations a license to kill their employees, a license to kill nursing home patients, a license to kill patients. That's what this is about.

CUOMO: And it's not like we don't have workers' comp. It's not like there aren't already big legislative structures, in place, to help negotiate these kinds of labor versus management issues.

Is it also true that McConnell is at once arguing, "I have to do the liability stuff now, I won't get another chance," at the same time that he is arguing, "I don't have to do relief checks now because we'll get another chance."

PORTER: I think that's a disgusting argument. And, to be clear, we don't have to give corporations immunity to knowingly and recklessly put workers and patients in harm's way ever.

We have a legal standard that already provides protections, a legal standard that actually grew out of the deaths, the maimings that were occurring with railroad workers, about 100 years ago, in this country.

We don't have to give corporations anything. But kids, hungry families, they can't wait one more day.

[21:30:00]

CUOMO: What happened between the circumstances when you guys agreed on giving checks to people, not just the unemployed, and now to justify the argument that you don't need to give checks to people, who aren't unemployed, but just a check or two away from being broke. Things have only gotten worse.

PORTER: Exactly. There is incredible pressure, right now, for us to do something that "Nothing" is not an acceptable substitute. So, I think there has been an effort to compromise on the number. And that's a really important thing for people at home to understand.

We're not fighting about this number or that number. We're fighting to make sure that corporations, that employers, cannot kill people, and have no liability, for acting recklessly, the number we can give people some money now and some money next month.

But make no mistake, this pandemic, as you know Chris, is far from over, and we need to be giving people enough not only to make up for what we haven't done, in these past months, but we need to give them enough to go forward into spring before this vaccine will be widely available.

CUOMO: Can you respect any of the arguments that are being made for performing a parody exercise here between the needs of these people and the needs of the employers?

PORTER: No. That's disgusting, and I want no part of it.

CUOMO: But it looks like people aren't going to get the checks.

PORTER: Well, listen, people need money. Americans need money.

But there is no reason to give corporations this kind of excuse to engage in corporate malfeasance and corporate abuse to put workers' lives at risk, to make bets on whether how many workers will die and they're employee.

This is not a necessary thing. There is no epidemic of lawsuits. As I said before, there is an epidemic of hunger. There is an epidemic of COVID. There is an epidemic of housing insecurity.

We need to pass those programs now. With things like unemployment insurance expiring, at the end of the year, we can't afford to wait. Mitch McConnell is in the way.

CUOMO: But doesn't he wind up being more the mountain than he does the, you know, anybody getting a pass around the mountain? Because even hearing it from Joe Manchin, he is saying, "Look, I'm not going to get the checks done for people, and this is going to happen, the corporate liability waiver."

PORTER: I don't think the corporate liability waiver should happen.

I don't know how you can go to sleep at night, and tell yourself that you had to make a trade-off between feeding children, and putting workers, essential workers' lives, nursing home patients' lives, at risk, literally allowing people to engage recklessly in killing people.

Corporations and hospitals, they already have protection. Let me give you a fact to put this in perspective. As of today, there are more Trump-related election lawsuits in this country than there are, personal injury or med malpractice cases for COVID-19.

This is not a problem. Mitch McConnell, there is no - there is nothing to solve here. This is about Mitch McConnell giving his donors something that they are demanding, his big, corporate donors.

CUOMO: What do you say to the 90 percent of your Republican colleagues, who are in alliance with these 18 attorneys general that are going to the Supreme Court, and say, "Overturn the results in states that we don't like?"

PORTER: To be honest, I know Joe Biden won the election. 50 states have certified that. I am really focused on making sure that people are going to get this relief.

Last time you and I talked, I talked about, you know, the biggest request for me, these days, to go do things in my community, is to load food into people's trunks. It's to make - it's to call constituents back who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. This is what we need to be focusing on.

And I think it's disgusting that Trump is making these frivolous lawsuits at a time when what we need to be doing is focusing on helping the American people, and he should be leading the way. He's President.

CUOMO: You don't think that this weight of political energy coming to the Supreme Court may change the outcome from the 9-0 we just saw in Pennsylvania?

PORTER: No. I don't think so. I think the American people have spoken, and we have to hold firm on this.

This is our democracy. It doesn't belong to Donald Trump. It doesn't belong to Democrats or Republicans. It belongs to the people. And we voted, and the results are in, and we all have to accept that outcome, whether we like it or not.

CUOMO: Ordinarily, after we talk, I just wish I could match your head. But on this one, I hope I can match your confidence that this comes out the right way.

They just went 9-0 on basically the same issue, but we're going to have to wait and watch on this one. This could be a moment that defines our collective future.

Congressman Katie Porter, thank you for making the case. You are always welcome to do so.

All right, I'll take silence as acceptance.

Eighteen states, that's a lot of political weight coming to the Supreme Court in saying "Listen to us," I have never seen anything like it, never.

[21:35:00]

How does the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, his state is in the crosshairs, how does he feel about the legal standing, and the political initiative being employed here by other people in his office? We're going to ask him.

And we have a Republican veteran Bush v. Gore, election lawyer. He is an expert in this area. What is his take on the stakes and what will control the outcome? Next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Look, I call them Re-Trump-licans for a reason, and they just gave it to you.

18 attorneys general just killed any idea that their Party is somehow about protecting states' rights, and limiting federal government. The absurdity behind these legal arguments, if you can even call them that, doesn't make the threat though any less, OK? In fact, it may do the opposite.

[21:40:00]

Let's bring in a key player. Pennsylvania's Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and a leading election lawyer, who represented the Party, formerly known as the Grand Old Party, the Republicans, Ben Ginsberg.

Thank you both. Let's talk law, and then let's talk political implications.

Counselor Ginsberg, you know the area of law. Am I being distracted by the political force behind this appeal, and missing the overall weakness of the appeal regardless?

BEN GINSBERG, REPUBLICAN ELECTION LAWYER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I think you are.

First of all, the content of what the attorney generals have brought have already been litigated in the individual state courts before the election. And that's the key. These are all complaints about laws that could be litigated before the election. It's sour grapes to do it afterwards.

And if you will remember, in Bush versus Gore, one of the core findings was that a court cannot change the rules of the game after it's been played. And now with the--

CUOMO: And that's what this would be.

GINSBERG: That's what this would be. And three of the Justices were down in Florida, so they would know this under any circumstances.

CUOMO: Oh, right. For you at home, what Ben is talking about there is that we have had three Justices now, were working on that Bush v. Gore litigation, so they know it intimately. Josh, so do you. And why do you have confidence that this is not different than 9-0 except for the trappings?

JOSH SHAPIRO, PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Look, I agree generally with Mr. Ginsberg. I will just tell you this suit that was filed by my colleague, from Texas, is uniquely unserious. It is based on bizarro conspiracy theories.

It is based on issues that have been litigated and dismissed, issues that the Trump campaign has brought up that they have lost on. These issues are not serious. This process is not serious. I'm totally confident we'll win.

Chris, I'll be honest with you. I'm a bit sad that we still have to go through this process, and I'm a bit pissed, at the same time, because the reality is this election is over. Joe Biden has won. He's been certified by all 50 states. The Electoral College will meet and vote, on Monday, and he'll be sworn in, as President, on January 20th.

This is a distraction, and this is an attempt, by some, to speak not in a court of law, but to an audience of one, and that is Donald Trump.

CUOMO: All right. Let's square that with what Trump just said, moments ago, about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: All I ask for is people with wisdom and with courage. That's all. Because if people--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President (ph).

TRUMP: --certain very important people, if they have wisdom, and if they have courage, we are going to win this election.

(CROWD CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So I just want to thank--

(CROWD CHANTS "FOUR MORE YEARS!")

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Can't see the faces. I don't even want to get into all, the mask and the super-spreader stuff. Nobody's apparently listening to that.

But Ben, wisdom and courage, where would wisdom and courage find purchase in this situation, from your Republican perspective?

GINSBERG: Well honestly, it's not - it's certainly not in this suit, and what they're asking for, Chris.

I mean, the whole notion that a state doesn't have the power to run its own elections is completely contrary to what the Constitution holds, what our practice has always been.

If the logic of this suit was carried forward, does that mean if Josh Shapiro doesn't like the mask policy, in another state, he can go in and sue, to get that other state, to change its mask policy, for example?

CUOMO: That is exactly the kind of question that would be asked if we even get to that stage.

Josh, last question to you, what do you say to Senator Ted Cruz, who is supposedly a legal genius, who wants to argue this case, because he believes it has such merit?

SHAPIRO: He has proven himself to be, neither, a genius, in the law, or a genius, frankly, in terms of an EQ. He is a sad sack.

And I would say to him and, frankly, I'd say to my 17 colleagues, who have gone along with this circus, you know, I don't know if I need to send you a surgeon, to examine your spine, or a psychiatrist, to examine your head.

But something is wrong with you, if you continue to follow this President, if you continue to behave in these bizarro ways, if you continue to hold yourself out as a legal expert, yet demonstrate, day- in and day-out, with your support of this President, and his claims that you don't know anything about the law, either the process, or the facts that go into a winning lawsuit.

This President will continue to lose in court. And I believe anyone who sides with him, Ted Cruz, or anyone else, will continue to lose as well.

[21:45:00]

CUOMO: And what does it mean to you at home to know that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, wants the man that he referred to always and almost exclusively as "Lyin' Ted" to argue the case before the Supreme Court.

Ben Ginsberg, Josh Shapiro, thank you very much for bringing sense to a senseless time.

SHAPIRO: Good to be with you.

CUOMO: And you know what we're not talking about?

GINSBERG: Thanks.

CUOMO: The most deaths ever in a single day from Coronavirus, today. Hospitalizations, deaths, cases, you pick it, what number do you want to numb you today? What comparison can we make?

We lost a 9/11's worth of people today. I hate that comparison. I hate it. But I don't know any other way to get it through. The pain is real. So, where are we on this vaccine? Are we behind? We need to follow this because Trump, in his remaining time, wants to speed up the vaccine even more. Is there a lesson in coming in second here, a lesson from the U.K.? It has not all gone well. Why?

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, with the facts, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: We just shattered the 3,000 lives lost mark today, deadliest single day of COVID. Another record number are in hospital beds, more than 106,000.

Chief Doctor, Sanjay Gupta, joins us now.

Everybody is resting their hope on a vaccine. Too many believe it is a cure. We keep saying it isn't that you have to do the right things before it comes. And now there comes the concern that we weren't fast enough. "We should have been before the U.K." Why weren't we? And what's your take on that?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I think you talk to people like Stephen Hahn, the FDA Commissioner, Dr. Anthony Fauci, you get some version of the FDA in this country is the gold standard in terms of regulation.

They look at raw data. They recreate the studies. They get down pretty granular to the level of the individual medical record for these tens of thousands of trial participants, and it just takes a while.

I asked Dr. Fauci about this specifically, Chris. Listen to how he framed it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We here, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration, no doubt, really is the gold standard of really careful scrutiny of all of the data, all the minutia of the data of the clinical trials. That's just the way our FDA works.

Some may say it's a bit too careful, a bit too slow, but it really isn't. It really makes very much the front burner safety an absolute certainty of efficacy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: And if you wanted to argue Sanjay, "Nah, they're too slow, the FDA. It's more Deep State bureaucracy. They're trying to thwart Trump," then you have the allergic reactions that we've been seeing in the U.K.

How does that fit into your thinking about all deliberate speed?

GUPTA: Yes. No. I think this is a really good point.

So, one thing there to point out, as I looked at the Pfizer data that's been submitted, so far, it was interesting. There was an exclusionary criteria Chris, so people who had had serious allergic reactions, in the past--

CUOMO: Ah!

GUPTA: --were excluded from the Pfizer trial, OK?

So, one can make the argument perhaps that should have been an exclusionary criteria for the first people to get vaccines, maybe, maybe not. We're going to hear from our own FDA tomorrow or the next day about things like that.

But you're right. I think these are potentially concerning things. We're getting more details on these two healthcare workers in the U.K., both of them had history of significant allergic reactions in the past, significant enough where they carried an EpiPen with them.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: So, that gives you some idea of what's considered serious allergic reactions. And they had some sort of anaphylactoid reaction to this vaccine as well. They're doing fine now, so it resolved. They got epinephrine, I think.

When I talked to Dr. Fauci about it, he said, "Look, there may be a situation now, where people can still get this vaccine, even if they've had a history of serious allergic reactions."

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: "But you got to be prepared for it." Maybe you pre-treat with Benadryl, make sure you have EpiPen on standby, or we may just hear tomorrow, Chris, they're not going to be part, at least, of the first vaccine rollout.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: Too much of a concern there. So, we'll get details on that.

CUOMO: Well, look, here's what we know. The only thing that spreads faster than this virus is panic. And if we don't get the vaccine right, and some people get it, and they have, even a handful of people--

GUPTA: That's right.

CUOMO: --it goes sideways we're going to have a crisis of confidence, because if we haven't all noticed yet, we got a crisis of confidence, already in this country, on every level.

Distribution challenges may also play into this. Warp Speed distribution is ready to go. Shipments reportedly are falling short of the need, which puts the state that gets it in a bind of picking winners and losers.

How big a deal? What's the fix? What does the fix hang on?

GUPTA: It's going to feel a bit disjointed, Chris, I think.

First of all, 2.9 million doses are going out. How do they get to that number? Well it's 6.4 million doses that Pfizer has, right now. They're going to put 500,000 in stockpile. Then they're going to take half of what's remaining, right, because it's a two-dose regimen, put - take half of what's remaining, and distribute those, that's 2.9 million.

2.9 million will stay in refrigerators for now. The 2.9 million that are going out are going to be distributed to states, in varying amounts, based on what the states have projected their needs to be.

But, Chris, in that first group, 1a group, there's close to 24 million people. So, we knew that there wasn't going to be enough vaccine, in this first rollout, and it's going to feel very different state-to- state.

[21:55:00]

Alabama and Alaska, for example, are going to vaccinate healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents at the same time. Obviously, not all of them in those states but they're going to triage.

In Pennsylvania, they're going to focus on healthcare workers. So, it's going to feel, you know, you could qualify in one state for the vaccine, cross the border, and you no longer qualify. Hopefully, as time goes on, and the vaccine continues to roll out, you smooth over those edges.

But it's going to feel a little disjointed in the beginning because the demand is so much higher than the supply, at least initially.

CUOMO: Right. But you know what happens. When they pick winners and losers, when they make choices, sometimes the criteria are not the most equitable criteria, so we have to stay on it, as well. We assume good faith but we have to police bad faith.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much, as always, brother.

GUPTA: You got it. CUOMO: I love you.

GUPTA: You got it.

CUOMO: All right, look--

GUPTA: Take care.

CUOMO: --the COVID stuff, it's just too scary on too many different levels. And I don't even know what's going to get better anytime soon under this administration. So, I called in a favor.

"We've got to own the problem," says Dr. Fauci. Good. Come own it on the show. I asked him to do that, and America's most trusted doctor has said "Yes. I'll come back on PRIME TIME."

He knows, everybody knows, he was just on. He's coming back on, why? He respects the platform, and we need the perspective. Tomorrow night, Tony Fauci, here.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)