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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview With Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH); House Democrats Plan Impeachment Vote For Wednesday; Acting DHS Secretary Resigns; FBI Warns Of "Armed Protests" At All State Capitols, U.S. Capitol; Two Capitol Police Officers Suspended, Up To 17 More Under Investigation For Their Alleged Role In Riot; Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Declines President Trump's Offer Of Medal Of Freedom; Over 182,000 New COVID Cases In U.S. And At Least 1,574 New Deaths. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired January 11, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She was able to bury her mom, she is still waiting to cremate her stepdad -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Thank you, Sara.
And thanks to all of you. Hand it off now to Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has resigned. The F.B.I. is warning of a nationwide wave of armed protests planned for the coming weeks. House Democrats will vote on Wednesday to make Donald Trump the first President ever to be impeached twice.
We're learning more about the deadly insurrection he incited and the more we learn, the more terrifying and sickening it becomes.
What is also sickening is what we've learned from CNN political analyst and "New York Times" White House correspondent, Maggie Haberman. She reports that President Trump is angrier at the Professional Golfers Association for pulling next year's championship from his New Jersey Golf Club than he is at the prospect of impeachment. Angrier, she reports by an order of magnitude.
Think about that, which may speak to something else beyond his greed and his grievance when deprived of a money-making toy, namely how little pressure and sense of responsibility the President is feeling right now for Wednesday's insurrection and attack on the seat of our democracy.
Because let's not pretend here, with five people dead, a nation traumatized and the F.B.I. warning there could be more political violence to come. So far, there has been no real reckoning. In fact, until this weekend, when flags began flying at half-staff at the White House and Federal buildings, there wasn't even a simple recognition that lives were lost in the attack, let alone a reckoning with it. Certainly, not from the President.
There were no daily briefings neither from the acting Attorney General wherever he is these days, nor the F.B.I. Director nor from the White House Press Secretary, nothing on camera since this non- accountability, no questions allowed moment last Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Now it is time for America to unite, to come together, to reject the violence that we have seen. We are one American people under God. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was it from her. Nothing on camera from her since then.
We did hear from the First Lady who put out a statement today, in it, she named the five killed and she condemned the violence, but not the President for instigating it nor Republican lawmakers for abetting it with lies about being able to overturn the election, an election which was free and fair. No accountability there.
Nor from the Republican Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, so-called grown up who calls the insurrection, quote, "disgusting," says it, quote, "runs counter to everything he stands for." That said, he is against holding the President accountable because it would divide the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): So it's unfortunate that instead of unifying this right now, Biden and the Democrats have chosen to use this as an opportunity to talk about ridiculous things like let's impeach a President who isn't going to be even in office in about nine days.
The left has decided this is an opportunity to destroy the right. So if you ever voted for Donald Trump, if you ever supported anything he did, you are just as guilty as the people who went into that Capitol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: There's Maria Bartiromo, nodding her head, just like she did in all those Trump interviews. It's an unfortunate thing for Senator Rubio to say especially from a man who claims to be wanting to unify the country right now. No one is saying that anyone who ever supported President Trump is as guilty as those who attacked the Capitol.
Seventy-five million people voted for the President in the last election: good, honest, decent people. Hard to imagine that most of them aren't sickened by seeing thugs with bats and zip ties between police officers and carrying Confederate flags and talking about hanging the Vice President.
What people are saying is that there needs to be consequences for what we all witnessed on Wednesday. Consequences not just for the thugs who broke the law, but for the President and his enablers whose lies and words and leadership led to the attack.
This wasn't some outrage of the weak from this White House that we're used to, something we can just move along from. No, this has never happened in the history of this country and it wouldn't have happened if it were not for the lies and actions and encouragement of this President. It is that simple.
To make sure it never happens again, people need to be held accountable. This was mayhem and murder in the Capitol instigated by the President, and by this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: If we are wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we are right, a lot of them will go to jail.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
GIULIANI: So let's have trial by combat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Today, the New York Bar Association said it is now looking into the possibility of expelling Giuliani because lawyers aren't supposed to incite mob violence. Bar Associations have more teeth, it seems than senators from Florida, but arguments against holding the President accountable get even weaker than Senator Rubio's.
Remember after the first impeachment when Senator Susan Collins said that the President had learned his lesson was unlikely to misbehave again. That didn't hold up so well, did it?
Well imagine saying nearly the exact same thing, only yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): ... personal view is that the President touched the hot stove on Wednesday, and is unlikely to touch it again. And if that's the case, I think -- we get -- every day we get closer to the last day of his presidency, we should be thinking more about the first day of the next presidency than the last day of his presidency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Look forward, not back says the senator who once pronounced himself quote, "deeply troubled" by the long delay of bipartisan and authoritative report on the Benghazi attacks.
Back then he vowed to, quote, "Continue working with my colleagues to uncover the facts." But as far as an attack on the capital, fomented by the President, don't worry, he's just a child who touched a hot stove and he won't do it again. I am sure about that.
In fact, at the moment, some of his fellow Republicans are now talking like the real assault on democracy, the real threat comes not from armed right-wing mobs or a President who enables them, but instead from the social media platforms who no longer one anything to do with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): Unfortunately, it's far worse than what I could even imagine. The effect of this is that there is no longer a free and open social media company or site for any American to get on any longer.
Because these big companies: Apple, Amazon, Google, they have just destroyed what was likely -- Parler is likely a billion-dollar company. Poof, it's gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Until the PGA took the President's tournament away, getting bounced from Twitter was said to be the President's big grievance in the wake of Wednesday's attack. Which is odd because it's not like he's been muzzled or anything. He does have a briefing room right in his house. How many of us can say that?
So if the President wants to get a message out whether about a grave national tragedy like an attack on democracy, or a personal one, like losing a golf tournament, he can just walk downstairs, turn on the lights and have at it.
Meantime, CNN's Manu Raju is reporting that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy indicated to his Republican colleagues that the President bears some of the blame for Wednesday. What's more, Manu's source says McCarthy also said that Trump acknowledged to him that he -- meaning the President -- bore some responsibility for the attack or the riot.
With us now, Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown.
Senator Brown, how believable is it in your view that President Trump acknowledged to Congressman McCarthy that he bore some responsibility for what happened? I mean, beyond the fact that President hasn't done this publicly, it would also, I guess, jeopardize his legal exposure in all of this.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): After three years and 355 days, we're going to start -- and not to mention his business past, his past as a private businessman, we're going to believe that he's going to take responsibility for something and acknowledge anything that's his fault and won't even say it. Of course, we don't believe it. That we don't expect.
What we need to do is hold him accountable and Kevin McCarthy accountable. Cruz and Hawley who should resign or be expelled, hold them accountable. The six senators who voted to vote -- who sided with the attackers -- with the terrorists after they attacked -- 139 House members who sided with the terrorists after the attack on our democracy on our Capitol, that's -- and the Giuliani's of the world and Eric Trump's that incited the violence and the President of the United States, of course, that's why impeachment.
COOPER: You tweeted over the weekend, you said, "Both Josh Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz have betrayed their oath of office and abetted a violent insurrection on democracy. I'm calling for their immediate resignations." Do you mean -- it's unlikely they're going to resign or be expelled. What consequences do you believe, if any, they could actually face for their actions and the actions of the other people you spoke of?
BROWN: Well, the public humiliation doesn't seem to matter much even some of their allies. Senator Hawley and his sort of mentor, former Senator Danforth is -- he was speaking, although, I don't remember exact words, but that he wished he hadn't encouraged him to run for the Senate there. They are hearing that.
But the Senate as a body needs to take action. And I know Senator McConnell won't, but we should if, he is not going to resign, which of course they won't. They continue to be like Trump and take no responsibility for anything even though we saw their words and we saw the picture of Hawley, who George Will said there's a huge chiasm between his ambition and his achievement, then we should take action on expulsion.
COOPER: What would it say not just to the nation, but also to America's allies and adversaries if there aren't consequences for, you know, for those who enabled a sitting U.S. President to attempt to overturn an election?
BROWN: Well, that's one of the fundamental reasons I believe that we should impeach and we should expel those two senators and take some kind of action which we should discuss on the others -- to the other six and 139 House numbers is our standing in the world as the greatest democracy this world has seen and people are shaking their heads wondering about us, wondering about those awful, awful pictures.
We see something -- a video -- a new video every day, their assaulting and kicking police officers. They are trying to crush another police officer. They're chasing an African-American police officer who should get great credit for heroism as many of these officers should that stood their ground against these white supremacist mobs.
And it should be who we are as a nation that we hold accountable the thugs that came into the Capitol, those who planned it and who were organized and clearly had training, planning to kill, and those who incited and that aiders and abettors, from Cruz to Jordan to Hawley, to all those senators that stood up and said there was still there, you know, Biden maybe President, but there was fraud.
Well, every senator, every Republican Senator and House member need needs to look into the camera and say, Joe Biden is the legitimately elected President. There was no fraud and I'm sorry, the president lied about it. Every single one of them has a responsibility to do that, to really restore democracy in the eyes of the American public, most importantly, but also, as you suggest, Anderson, in the eyes of the world.
COOPER: What happens in the next -- I mean, how concerned are you about what may happen in the next two weeks? Three weeks?
BROWN: I'm very concerned about what happens leading up to the 20th and on the 20th and that is why law enforcement has to be absolutely ready. We know that a number of them and maybe more coming back. My colleagues have heard comments from passengers, by terrorists, from people who had assaulted the Capitol that were flying back to their states and heard their comments about they are coming back on the 20th and we are ready to go.
That is why (INAUDIBLE) needs to start now. They may come back with guns and they break the law and they do things that they attack democracy again, that they will pay a serious, serious price. The people who incite them, the people who participate and the people who continue to aid and abet them.
COOPER: And just finally, on impeachment. I mean, unless Pence decides to invoke the 25th Amendment, which doesn't seem likely at all, the House is poised to impeach the President a second time. What sort of timeline would you want to see for a trial in the Senate? There's talks of Senator Schumer trying to use an obscure Senate mechanism to force a trial immediately. Is that realistic? What's the timeline here?
BROWN: I think you do it immediately, because you really do want to show that we are serious about accountability, by holding them accountable that this was the most egregious heinous attack on the American public, on democracy that we've seen.
But I also know that the Senate can do two things at once. We still organize. We get our Committees going. We begin to approve people like Congressman Fudge to be H.U.D. Secretary and Dr. Rouse to be Chairman of the National Economic Council and Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary and that means we move immediately on the next coronavirus package, so people aren't -- so we don't see evictions in the middle -- mass evictions, people's apartments in the middle of the winter, in the middle of a pandemic, we need to do all of those things.
Congress could do two or three things at once. I mean, Mitch McConnell, that now has a Senate that works about two and a half days a week, we're going to work harder. We're going to do more things. We're going to deliver for the country.
We can do impeachment while we're doing these other things that deal with this, to combat the coronavirus and rebuild the economy starting now, starting January 20th.
COOPER: Senator Brown, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
BROWN: As always.
COOPER: Breaking news from the White House, I want to go to Jim Acosta for that. So you have some information about the relationship between the President and Vice President? JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson. We do
know that the President and Vice President did finally have a meeting today. They had not spoken for several days, in part because the Vice President and his team were so upset that Trump did not reach out to Pence during the siege on the Capitol when Vice President Pence was up there for that official tabulating of the electoral votes.
I can tell you at this point, Anderson that they're trying to mend that relationship. I talked to a source close to the Vice President this evening, who said they are trying to turn down the temperature in this relationship between the President and the Vice President, and that they feel like the point has been made, that they did make this concern known that the President did not reach out to the Vice President when he was essentially having his life threatened up on Capitol Hill last week.
And at this point what the Vice President's team is saying, Anderson, is that they're trying to send a message to the world that the US has what this one source described as a quote, "fully functioning government."
The Vice President had a meeting with the COVID Taskforce earlier today and that sort of thing. But it is an extraordinary thing to say to a reporter, Anderson, that what the Vice President and his team are doing right now is trying to project to the world that this government is still operational, which I think speaks volumes.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, is this government operational? Because it certainly doesn't seem to be from the outside?
ACOSTA: No, and I mean, I think Anderson, you know, when you look at how the President has behaved over the last several days, he is holed up behind closed doors. He is not coming out in front of the cameras. Obviously, he doesn't want to take our questions right now.
I talked to a source close to this White House earlier today who said the President does not feel any remorse for what happened on January 6th.
Now, of course, Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican Leader, as you were just saying, has been telling colleagues that he understands the President and that the President now feels like he bears some responsibility for all this. But Anderson, I'm not aware how much stock I would put in that. This is the take no responsibility President.
And I talked to two Republican sources on the Senate side this evening, who said, we have gotten zero indication that the President is taking responsibility for what happens here. And Anderson, until the President comes out in the briefing room or in front of the reporters gathered over here and takes responsibility publicly, I think we should take all that with a massive grain of salt.
COOPER: Yes, let's remember the President, his first video message after seeing images of what was going on, you know, says we love you. You're very special people.
Jim Acosta. Appreciate it. Thanks.
CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash joins us now along with CNN contributor and former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean. John, how do you square Kevin McCarthy apparently, you know, laying some of the blame of the insurrection or saying the President is, you know, accepting some form of responsibility, but again, just seems highly dubious.
Also still opposing impeachment, and instead perhaps, pursuing congressional censure. Does censure send a strong enough message?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: There was a time and a place for censure, it's now past as a result of what happened on the 6th. We're way beyond.
A censure would be a wrapping of his knuckles. He needs more. He needs a minimum, an albatross around him on with impeachment, an Article of Impeachment that's been voted by the house, even if it doesn't pass the Senate. So we're way beyond a censure, which is I say a rather mild compromise, it's often reached to get votes and they have the votes in the House.
COOPER: Dana, do you buy this idea from Kevin McCarthy?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Do I buy the idea that they could think about his censure?
COOPER: No, no, sorry. Sorry.
BASH: Or the idea that the person has remorse?
COOPER: Yes, the President has remorse?
BASH: No. No, I don't. I'm with you and I'm with Jim Acosta in my skepticism for lots of reasons, not the least of which is I've spoken to people who are familiar with the President's thinking in the last 24 hours, who say that there is no sense of remorse at all, from the President, maybe possibly, he could be trying to look forward and he is crazed about the notion of a stolen election.
But as we know, from our experience, let's just say that was the case with somebody he was talking to who I got information from that could have been different five minutes later, because that's the material nature of this President and we know that all too well now.
COOPER: John, CNN is reporting that Bill Barr, former Attorney General and the current White House Counsel have both advised President Trump not to try to pardon himself. How bad an idea does something have to be for two of his most ardent defenders to try to steer him away from?
DEAN: They may well have done that, because they realize if he does it, it will attract the attention of the Department of Justice to challenge their existing position, which was developed back during the Nixon years, that no man can be a judge in his own case, and that actually invites them to challenge that and take it to court, and the only way they can do that is with an indictment.
I don't know that he will not be indicted otherwise. But I think if he doesn't follow that advice, and does a self-pardon, I think it's very likely he will be indicted is what they're telling him.
COOPER: Dana, does it surprise you at all that this reporting that, you know, the Vice President is attempting to, you know, calm things down between him and the President or smooth things over?
The White House readout of their meetings today was sort of upbeat and a Pence adviser telling CNN the feeling is that we made our point. What point is that exactly?
BASH: Well, the point is and should be that the President, you know, left the Vice President high and dry after inciting the mob to go there and in the videos that we have now seen, actually calling for his head.
And you know, the point that the Vice President has been trying to make over the past, I don't know week, since last Wednesday when he finally put out a statement saying that he would support the Constitution and not the illegal action that the President wanted him to take and not accepting the Electoral College results. That, you know, what you did was wrong.
BASH: Now, obviously, Mike Pence feels that he was in the right over the last week and history will prove that to be the case. But he also is somebody who is a young Republican with ambition. And he knows better than anybody that this is still Donald Trump's Republican Party. So as you know, kind of heroic as he was, if people want to say that, you remember that Mike Pence over the last four years who has been loyal -- unflinchingly loyal, despite the fact that he learned as everybody else did beforehand, that's a one-way street.
COOPER: Well, I mean, it is incredible, Dana, when you think that while Mike Pence was being hidden at an undisclosed location in the Capitol with his wife, I believe, the President was tweeting against him while there was a mob searching to hang him.
BASH: It's unbelievable. And the fact that -- I mean, listen, politics is politics, but just on a human level, the notion according to Jim's reporting that the Vice President wants to make things right in their relationship, you know, most people would do their best to make sure that things stay very wrong in their relationship, because it is Donald Trump. That was the one -- who was the one who did the wrong in so many ways, not the least of which is you said, abandoning him and ignoring him when he was clearly in peril.
COOPER: I mean, the idea that anybody would think that Donald Trump would be thinking about them in the midst of crisis surprises me after what we all we've all learned.
John, George Conway recently tweeted that what we saw at the Capitol last week was President Trump's August 1974, and the direction he fomented was his smoking gun tape. As you well know, in August 1974, Republicans actually did something after President Nixon's smoking gun tape surfaced. From what we're seeing so far, is there any reason to think they're going to do something now?
DEAN: There is not yet -- we can always be hopeful that they will get the spine to go down and tell the President that he really should resign, or they can speak through their processes by first in the House, a significant number of Republicans joining in an Article of Impeachment. If there is some sympathy in the Senate, they've got lots of ways that they can express it and that would send the message to him.
You know, the polling so far shows that while he had 74 million votes in this last election, a lot of those people no longer support him as a result of these activities that have happened on the hill and his encouragement to ignore the vote, if you will.
So I don't know that he does have that solid support. They're trying to measure that. They are politicians. They are looking at their career and their future, but if they would just do the right thing, that always is the best solution to deal with these problems.
COOPER: John Dean, appreciate it. Dana Bash, thanks very much.
Next, what the F.B.I. knows and what it wants the public to know about potential violence in the run up to Inauguration Day.
Later, the government's former cybersecurity chief sifting through the online clues to prevent another deadly attack.
COOPER: As if one national trauma weren't enough, the F.B.I. is now warning and more potential turmoil to come, the Bureau today is saying it has received information indicating quote, "armed protests," unquote are being planned at all 50 State Capitols and the U.S. Capitol in Washington in the days leading up to Inauguration Day.
The news comes as security measures are being stepped up ahead of the events and of course adding to the mix, the man in charge of the Department of Homeland Security has just stepped down.
Joining us with latest, CNN's Shimon Prokupecz. So what is this F.B.I. bulletin say?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, it's a very serious time right now, Anderson. You know, all across the country, threats facing almost every state and city across the country. And so the F.B.I. gathered a lot of information, a lot of it that they're seeing online and social media.
And so they put out this bulletin. They're trying to avoid some of the mistakes that we saw at the Capitol, and so they are warning law enforcement across the country that more protests are coming. And as you said, one of the things they're warning is that there could be armed protests. They believe there are armed protests planned for January 16th through the 20th.
They're saying that groups are calling for storming the government buildings, such as courthouses and other government buildings. They are also threatening an uprising if the President was removed before his supposedly last day of office.
And of course, there are also threats against the incoming President, against Biden and against the Vice President Kamala Harris, all of this very concerning for the F.B.I. So they put this together in this bulletin that they sent out to all law enforcement across the country -- Anderson.
COOPER: And we know following last week's attacks on the Capitol that officials are now calling up additional security for the Inauguration. Do we know the plan?
PROKUPECZ: Yes, so certainly, the National Guard in Washington, D.C. will see extra National Guard. Also, the Secret Service, the now resigning Homeland Security acting Homeland Security Chief, he ordered that the Inauguration a week early for it to be called a National Security event. So they are doing that.
And also we're going to see -- there's going to be extra Secret Service, extra police, certainly here in Washington, D.C. but also all across the country, at Capitols and at government buildings, you're going to see extra security.
This is a very much a real threat that a lot of people are really concerned about and they are trying to avoid some of the mistakes that they saw last week. They just didn't take it seriously enough, Anderson and it seems now that authorities are going to be doing that.
COOPER: Let's hope so. Shimon Prokupecz, appreciate it.
Joining us now CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow, CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger and another CNN law enforcement analyst, former Washington, D.C. Police Chief, Charles Ramsey.
Gloria, Chad Wolf, just the latest Cabinet Secretary to resign. What's the impact on that during you know, one of the most fraught security situations in Washington's history?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think we know yet Anderson. I mean, this is the former head of the Department of Homeland Security. We are in the midst of a national crisis here and an emergency so severe that the FBI is sending out warnings that you just spoke with Shimon about.
And I think, psychologically, that affects every person, not only living in Washington, DC, not only the people whose lives were threatened in the government and the United States Capitol. But all over the country, when you hear that your elected officials, your hearts of government are going to be under attack.
And so, when you don't have the head of Homeland Security there, and he's handed it over to the head of emergency management, every -- I think the logical question to ask is, who's piloting the plane here? Who's going to make sure that there is a peaceful transfer of power? And can that actually occur? And, you know, there is a sense, asleep at the switch?
BORGER: What can you do about it?
COOPER: Chief Ramsey, former FBI Acting Director, Andrew McCabe was on CNN earlier and said, the bulletin from the bureau warning of arm protests is really quite extraordinary in its scope, and its specificity. How concerned are you?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I'm very concerned I had heard about a week ago that January 17th, had been targeted for a so called Second Amendment rally, which is just in my opinion cover for something like what you saw Wednesday, and it's going to occur not only in Washington, DC, but all the Capitols across the United States 50 Capitols.
So, that obviously is of great concern. All you have to do is remember what happened in Michigan, not very long ago, when they took over the state capitol there, and many of those people were armed. So yes, I mean, in light of Wednesday, in particular, we have to be very, very concerned.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, Jonathan, looking back, I mean, that Michigan State House, you know, infiltration, you know, was you can look at it's kind of a test, and it was a test that we failed. And that, you know, the President encouraged. I mean, the President praised these people who went in with, you know, rifles and, and, you know, verbally attacked, got in the face of police and legislators in the State House.
Before he resigned, Chad Wolf said he instructed the U.S. Secret Service to begin the national special security event operations for the inauguration, on the 13th instead of the 19th. What does that mean, exactly? And what do you make of his resignation?
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, first of all, I deviate a little bit from Gloria, in terms of the, you know, his resignation, I think that his resignation actually has little impact on national, you know, the national security posture, the inauguration security, and DHS has transitioned into the new administration. Wolf never had developed a long-term strategic plan, because he lacked the confirmed leadership, it often fell into what I refer to as the substitute teacher construct, the acting role, really has all the power of a confirmed position, but definitely is not treated so by Congress and other employees.
And in terms of like the, like, how do we move forward, non-political and career government employees are really going to carry the mantle for the next week, all of the components, including the Secret Service, have been self managing under Wolf anyway. So there really is a little, you know, his departure is sort of a so what matter with a few days left.
What's important right now, and probably the best decision he has made, is to move up and accelerate the transition into the national special security event, the NSSC, which is coordinated by the United States Secret Service. And one of the failings that we saw last week on January 6th, was a lack of command and control in intelligence sharing. By standing up the NSSC struck now, we now have a codified command structure with a multi agency coordinating center. You're bringing all of these entities together to share intelligence, and quickly react to any type of threats that may present themselves.
COOPER: So --
BORGER: Can I just say one thing though?
COOPER: Yes, go ahead.
BORGER: In response. He can -- when he's gone, he can't vote for the 25th Amendment should have come to that. All these people who are resigning have given up their votes on that one. So let's just remember the impact of that.
COOPER: And Gloria, you know, we've been hearing now, you know, more threats against individual members of Congress and that they've continued since last Wednesday. I just want to play for our viewers some voicemails left from Representative David. Cicilline who is among those leaving the calls for impeachment.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You poke the bear this time you little. You poke the bear, you understand what I'm saying? You've got 80 billion people coming after you, you commie little. If you impeach him, civil war is on buddy.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: First of all, I reject this idiot caller's notion that 80 million people support what happened at the Capitol. I mean, it's 75 million people or so voted for President Trump this last time around. I just don't believe that there's 74, 75 million people who support what happened at the Capitol. How unprecedent is this? I mean, how does Washington feel tonight?
BORGER: I think Washington is frightened. I think in many ways it's paralyzed about what's the right thing to do. And what can they do with the little time they have or should they convict if they impeach the President, and how should they convict Donald Trump or at least try to convict Donald Trump after Joe Biden is President when they want Joe Biden's cabinet to be confirmed, et cetera, et cetera. I spoke with somebody who had to hide in the Capitol the other day, who was hiding under a desk, who was afraid for his life, because he chose to go into some form of public service and work for a senator. And I can only imagine that fear, and I have a hard time thinking about it all across the country. When these people are saying we're going to do it again, we're going to do it again.
And the Congress is paralyzed right now about what to do. And I wonder, would they be so paralyzed if this were ISIS, al Qaeda, whatever. I have a hard time wondering whether they would because I don't think they would be. And I think they have to do what's right and hold the people accountable, who needs to be held accountable? And one of those is the President of the United States.
COOPER: Chief Ramsey from a law enforcement perspective, how do you deal with crowds showing up to state Capitols armed? I mean, in some cases, you know, it's totally it's legal to carry. How do you deal with that from a law enforcement standpoint?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, each state has its own gun laws. And it's quite permissible in some cases for you to be armed like that. However, I'm sure what they'll do is all the governors are certainly aware State Police will be fully activated, National Guard that hasn't already been sent to Washington, D.C. So they'll establish a hard perimeter around the Capitols that they will not allow anyone to cross.
And so, is it concerning? Yes, if you've got armed people there, obviously, it doesn't take much for this to turn into something very, very bad, which could have easily happened last Wednesday in the Capitol, some of those folks were armed as well. So, it puts added stress on law enforcement on everybody concerned. I would imagine they'll evacuate the buildings, once they get wind of the fact that there's a protest coming on. So at least you're not worried about protecting the people. You're just trying to protect the building itself.
COOPER: Chief, are you confident law enforcement can handle this?
RAMSEY: I hope they can. I mean, I can't be 100% confident after last Wednesday, but I really don't think last Wednesday was the norm. I really do think they got caught flat footed, they weren't paying attention. They didn't have the resources they needed.
I don't think it all falls on the shoulders of one individual Steve Sund, who was the former chief of the Capitol Police, there are a lot of people who get their fingerprints on this failure, believe me. And once they start digging into this, they're going to find out that there are a lot of people that played a role in the Capitol's being unprepared to deal with this.
COOPER: You know, Jonathan, Jonathan, you know, in the early '70s, there were thousands of bombings, political bombings, mostly from left wing groups, a lot of them against property. It became something that people sort of got used to, that's something we haven't seen in this country for a long time. Are you concerned that this is just the beginning of something? WACKROW: You know, well, I you know, I hope not Anderson. And, you know, for law enforcement, you know, it's, there's a little bit of an advantage here and let me explain that. For law enforcement, it's no longer a probability assessment as to the likelihood of violence by these groups.
We actually know that these are people who are prepared to engage in domestic terrorism, and unfortunately, they believe in this apocalyptic and revolutionary ideology. So the advantage is that law enforcement actually knows who these groups are. They've been following them for a long time. They know who the hostile actors are, whether it's QAnon conspiracy theorist, Proud Boys or oath keepers, law enforcement, is it actually going to act very swiftly to contain this threat.
COOPER: Jonathan Wackrow, appreciate it. Gloria Borger, Chief Charles Ramsey, thank you.
To Chief Ramsey's point about accountability, more now in the Capitol Hill police. A new report about actions being taken against officers for their alleged roles in the riots. CNN's Alex Marquardt joins us now. What are you learning about these investigations?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all Anderson, that there are more of them than we initially thought we're learning from a congressional aide on the House side that there are up to 17 different officers who are being investigated on the Capitol Hill police force. Most of the information that we're getting is from Congressman Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio.
And he's saying that two officers have been suspended. Obviously, deeply distressing Anderson to think that any of these officers could have been involved or sympathetic to these rioters, especially when one of their colleagues paid with his life. One of the officers who was suspended was seen taking a selfie with the rioters, another was seen wearing Make America Great Again hat and Anderson directing the rioters, according to Congressman Ryan.
And that's something that we've heard elsewhere. We heard from Congressman Jim Clyburn, who was really surprised, he said, and that something untoward had happened because rioters managed to find an office of his deep in the Capitol that was unmarked, that did not have his name on it. So that -- we have heard of people possibly being directed.
Obviously Anderson, this was a massive security failure. And as you and your guests were saying earlier, the former chief of the Capitol Police has now stepped down.
COOPER: There are also police departments, among other employers around the country looking into whether anyone affiliated with them was involved in the attack. What's the fallout been like on that front? MARQUARDT: That's right. This is a specific line of investigation from federal investigators. To what extent was law enforcement, current law enforcement and military perhaps, among the rioters. And we know of at least seven police officers who are being investigated by their police departments in five locations across the country, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Virginia, and Texas.
The question is, were they just here as protesters, as is their constitutional right, or did they cross the line were they were they among the rioters? And of course, we have many, many photos that the FBI is now poring over to see whether they might have crossed the line. So far, Anderson, no one in law enforcement has been arrested.
COOPER: And lastly, what's the latest in the arrest of those involved?
MARQUARDT: Well, growing by the day, so far, 20 people have been arrested on federal charges. The acting U.S. attorney here in D.C. says that number could go up to hundreds of people and that the charges may include murder. It's clear that they're not done. The FBI, as I said, is working very hard.
And they've been asking for tips and help from the public. They've gotten thousands of those. They're going over all the closed circuit video from inside the Capitol from all the photos that have been on social media to try to figure out who these people are. So you can be sure Anderson, that the list of charges is going to grow both on the local and federal level.
COOPER: Alex Marquardt, appreciate the reporting. It's just -- it's so sickening to see these images, people, you know, battling in -- pitch battles with police officers, and some of the images that have come out recently are just horrific. I think it's important to take time to remember those officers as well, who we now honor as heroes in the attack. Earlier Senator Sherrod Brown referred to one such person Capitol Hill police officer Eugene Goodman, is his name.
He's been credited with helping to prevent rioters attackers from getting inside the Senate chamber. We want to show you the video of what some of what he did. It was captured by a reporter for The Huffington Post. Needs some setup first, attackers have already breached the Capitol, Officer Goodman encountered them. They then follow the officer up several sets of stairs and that's when this happens. Let's take a look.
You see him here, protesters are right behind him right there. He looks to his left and that's key, to his left is the Senate chamber. So he sees no police officers there.
(voice-over): The Washington Post in a detailed TikTok (ph) says police at that moment were furiously trying to lock all the doors to the Senate floor and keep everyone inside safe. You see at least one attacker look that direction, but Goodman lures the attackers in the other direction. All he has is a truncheon to the right without a doubt officer Goodman prevented an already tragic day from becoming far worse. Just ahead, more on the concerns that this attack was just the tip of the iceberg. You'll hear from Christopher Krebs, the former cybersecurity chief fired by President Trump about how to detect the next attack and defeat these homegrown terrorists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER KREBS, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Anderson this is the equivalent of ignoring that pain in your chest for a couple weeks and then all of a sudden you have a catastrophic heart attack. We're on the verge of what I fear to be a pretty significant breakdown in democracy and civil society here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just before air, I spoke with Chris Krebs, a former senior cybersecurity official for the Department of Homeland Security fired by President Trump after he rejected the President's election conspiracy theories. Much of our discussion was about what we heard before the break about what he thinks law enforcement must now do to sift through the incredible number of potential threats directed toward government entities prevent the sort of an attack we saw on Capitol Hill.
We began by talking about the abrupt resignation of the acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.
COOPER (on-camera): The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security resigning does that have practical implications for security in the Capitol ahead of the inauguration?
KREBS: So it's certainly not what you would want to see right in terms of consistency and continuity in a leadership position. My understanding, at least in the acting Secretary's farewell letter that the FEMA Administrator will be stepping into that role.
And Pete Gaynor is a marine officer, he is a emergency manager, he knows how to run events. So he should be effective in that role. And the fact that one of the last things Chad Wolf did as acting secretary was move up the activation of the national special security event designation to begin this Wednesday will allow for more coordination headed by the Secret Service.
COOPER (on-camera): Obviously, there's a lot to be learned about exactly what happened on the attack on the on the Capitol. And obviously a deep dive on the security failures is, you know, just beginning if not already well underway. What role do you think the -- into what do you think this was a federal failure, a failure of -- because from time to time again, we've heard warnings about, you know, far-right extremists and it seems like this administration has not taken that threat as seriously as some in the security field would like.
KREBS: So, there's no question that there's going to be a very in depth investigation until into the various breakdowns last week, you know, if there were intelligence failures, operational coordination, failures, issues with the National Guard. I think those you're seeing little bits and pieces fall out through the media over the last week or so.
But I think we have to reckon with the fact that one, the disinformation spread brought by the President and his supporters, over the last several years has created a tinderbox situation. And that's what it was, I mean, Joseph Campbell said, If you tell a lie big enough, and you repeat it, often enough, people are going to believe it. And I think the election fraud, the rigging of the election, that it was stolen, is certainly a good example of that.
And we have got to get the truth out there to the American people that this was a free and fair election. I think if the President wants to defend democracy and be the patriot that he thinks he is, he needs to come clean, he needs to tell the American people that he lied to them, and that the election was not stolen. People need to go home and not show up either in Washington D.C. or the 50 state Capitols is the FBI is reportedly telling folks,
COOPER (on-camera): It seems there's no way this President is going to do that. I mean, he is continuing to stand by this even on the day of the attack it, you know, in the aftermath of the attack, he was saying, you know, that this was the stolen election.
KREBS: I don't believe that I think his track record would indicate that he's not capable of making that sort of concession and admission. But the -- I think part of the unfortunate reality is he is one of the few people that many of these MAGA types will listen to. So, that that would always be the first preference. But in the meantime, you there have to be other steps taken that would include consideration of invoking the 25th Amendment removing him from office or an expedited impeachment by the Congress.
COOPER (on-camera): I mean, as somebody who's, you know, worked in security and certainly security on the election and, you know, ended up losing your job because of your standing up and saying the truth about the election. Has, how concerned are you about what lies ahead? I mean, for the next week or two certainly.
But even perhaps afterward? I mean, you know, the, as you said, the FBI is said there may be armed, you know, what they call armed protests planned around the inauguration, maybe in all 50 states. Do you see this as the beginning of some larger conflict? Or is this the end of a potential conflict?
KREBS: Anderson, this is the equivalent of ignoring that pain in your chest for a couple weeks, and then all of a sudden, you have a catastrophic heart attack. We're on the verge of what I fear to be a pretty significant breakdown in democracy and civil society here. My hope is that through serious people in law enforcement, stepping up and showing a visible presence, and at least in the course of the next two weeks, ensuring that there's no protest that turns into -- yes, well, let's be clear, this is not a protest. This is an insurrection. So, let's make sure that we call that now.
But then over the next couple years, we have to continue chipping away at the disinformation and the propaganda and the lies that have been spread over the last several years to generate in motivating incentive -- and cite these actors, these insurrectionists.
COOPER (on-camera): It's not just going to go away when Trump is out of office.
KREBS: No, I don't believe so. No, I think the narrative has been set, it's been ingrained. I'm sure the President will continue to claim that the election was stolen, whether for fundraising opportunities or just to shield his ego. But this is again, that's why he is ultimately responsible for this and he's going to be the one that has to take responsibility for it.
But we, you know, I think, you know, if you're a betting man, you don't make that bet. So we have to go look at some of the other options we have available. I see the district attorney -- District of Columbia attorney general, is looking at criminal charges. You know, though that is part of the toolkit, that that the next administration that others are going to have to employ here, to get some semblance of order back into the mainstream.
COOPER (on-camera): Christopher Krebs, I appreciate you talking in this difficult time. Thank you.
KREBS: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER (voice-over): One more note on the hunt for the attackers who invaded the Capitol. The FBI is asking for the public's help in identifying and locating this man, the guy carrying the Confederate flag through the halls of Congress. The agency says that he made an unlawful entry and we'd like to talk to him anyone with information about this man or others who participate in the attack and contact the FBI toll free at 1-800-CALL-FBI. You can also share what you know online at tips.fbi.gov.
There is more fallout from last week's attack, President Trump was ready to award the Medal of Freedom to Bill Belichick the coach of the NFL, New England Patriots later this week. What the coach has just decided when we continue.
COOPER: President Trump was preparing to award the Medal of Freedom the nation's highest civilian award to the very high-profile football coach the NFL is New England Patriots Bill Belichick who late this evening said, no thanks. In a statement, the coach knowledge he was quote, offered the opportunity to receive the award but added quote, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I'm an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values freedom and democracy.
A White House official tonight says the administration was made aware of the coach's decision. First that decision by the PGA to abandon a prestigious tournament at one of the President's clubs and now this.
We don't want to leave you tonight, before an update on the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, it is not good. There have been more than 182,000 new cases recorded today alone. There are nearly 1,600 new deaths. Keep in mind the figures and a Monday are usually slow to be counted because of the weekend.
News continues, want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME", Chris.